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The Wines

Greffieux (50% 1930s), Beaume (1970s), Murets (1960s) and other sites, destemmed, 3-4 week steel vat vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 65-70% new, 30-35% 1-2 year 300-litre oak casks (until mid-2010s 600-litre oak cask) 12-18 months, filtered, 2,500 b

2017

(vat, bottling in three weeks) quite a dark red colour. There’s an outer air of oak, raspberry inside, rose fragrance, a willing roundness – the nose presents a sunny opening, has style. The palate engages well, red fruits with good reach on the agenda, has oak notes here and there. It bears supple, curved red fruits, and the length is sure. This is stylish, authentic Hermitage that flows kindly, its gras suave and sure. This delivers a nice truth of the middle-eastern sector of Hermitage. From mid-2021, say. “It’s a pity I have to filter this in order to have all the bottles alike,” Pascal Fayolle. 2040-42 Nov 2018

2016

dark red robe, a purple top. There’s a red cherry, stone fruit lead aroma that lingers on the nose, has a note of toffee-caramel from the oak, a little raspberry also. The start of the palate is fluid, opens well, offers rather openly, is consecutive along its route, is absorbing its oak well, with finesse and drinkability. There is a flavour of soaked red cherries, griottes, on the finish. Bottled spring 2018. From spring 2021. 2039-41 Nov 2018 Previously Nov 2017 **** (casks) shiny dark red. The bouquet is oily, curvy, shows a sleek aroma of black fruits with oak alongside. It has a thorough, rather stylish depth. The palate bears suave big red berry, mulberry with raspberry flavours, has a solid infill of tannins that fit well. It carries its richness into a smooth finale, where there is oak. This has style, integrity, and sound heart. 13.5°. From 2020. 2036-39 Nov 2017

2015

red robe. The bouquet is muscular, shows meat-grilling, pork scratchings, vintage strength, hints only for now of red fruits, cherry, a note of a lighted match. The palate is close-knit, a real bundle of tight fruit, a gradual gain in intensity, inner strength. There is a quiet stream of red fruit, not more than that. This is solid, rather unyielding, not from the Charm School. Leave until 2022 – it will be a slow gainer. The nose is ahead of the palate. The palate leans towards rockiness over fat, which is unusual for 2015. 13.5°. 2039-41 Nov 2018

2012

(casks) dark colour; there is quiet pedigree in the bouquet – it offers sleek black fruit, with a top hover of oak. The palate takes its cue from the nose – there is a good sequel of fine, scented, savoury blueberry style fruit. The oak moves into the picture at the end. Good style, fresh length, a satisfying finish which is juicy and bears appealing matter. The oak lies on the outside on the aftertaste. From 2016. 2031-33  Nov 2013

2011

(just been put in casks, another 10-11 months of raising to come) full robe; there is a bonny floral drift across the nose, which displays a nice Hermitage elegance, away from the grit and spark of the full granite in the west. The palate is built around tasty fruit backed by pliant, well-present tannins. It can gain in late palate grip and foundation. A wine on a good path; elegance and aroma, both the nose and the palate, are foremost. The fruit is fine, tastes of small cherry droplets. From mid-2015. 2031-33 Nov 2012

2010

(just been put in casks, another 10-11 months of raising to come) healthy, deep, largely black robe; the bouquet is biding its time, is full of ripe fruit, has a little smudge of oak (just entered the casks) for now, and shows a serious Hermitage depth. The palate is full of bright, accomplished black fruit, lots of blackberry appeal, with ingrained, tarry tannins. It shows some game late on, a hunky effect. There is plenty here – they sell quite a lot to Guigal, and the style reminds me of that final wine. There is good drive in the fruit, and his areas such as Beaume really deliver extra class in the fruit over the more eastern zones. The finish is aromatic. A stylish wine, on a good road. There is some late heat or glow, and the balance is successful. From mid-2014. It will taste well around 2017. 2032-34 Nov 2011

2008 ()

(casks) quite a dark red, violet top tint. Toffee, sweet raisin, brewed aroma – we are in sweet date territory here. The palate is similar to the nose, but after a sweet start, acidity comes along and “tramples on the grass”. Ends on an undecided note for now, the finish revealing vegetal aspects of the vintage, and a loose texture. From late 2011. 2020-22 Dec 2009

2007

(casks) full robe, matt tone. There is a blackberry-honey/toffee mix on the bouquet – dates and prunes with a glance of violet – and the whole is ripe and rounded in shape. There is considered richness on the start of the palate, which is open, its fruit picking up some tannin and leather-mineral as it goes. Mainstream, steady Hermitage of fair length. There is just a little dryness, the fruit halting somewhat. Traditional style wine, notably on the finish. From late 2010. 2023-25 Dec 2008

2006

(casks) full black-red robe; reductive, but well-filled, black fruits aroma – holds quite sleek cherry fruit, has sappy notes as well. There is a consistent run of black fruits on the palate – cherry in flavour, something of the griottes or soaked cherries here. The texture is smooth, the tannins are rounded. There is sound heart in this, and it is quite rich. On the finish, tannin, pepper, mostly oak come through. This may close up, drink from 2010-11. It does not have a lot of Hermitage grandeur, but is acceptable. 2022-24 Dec 2007

2003 ()

(cask) violets, full and well-knit bouquet. Black fruit shows at first on palate, quite tight then broadens and blossoms. Fruit is rich. There are some grilled tones on the finish. From 2008-09 on. 2021-23