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The Wines

from Mercurol, Beaumont-Monteux, Pont de l'Isère, La Roche-de-Glun, inc 1958 Syrah, Syrah mostly ranges from early 1970s to mid-1990s, machine harvested, 4 day crop cooling, destemmed, 15-21 day vinification at up to 25-30°C, twice daily pumping overs, aged 40-50% large 50-60 hl barrels, 50-60% 2-3 year 228-litre oak casks, fined, filtered, 15,000 b

2018

sober dark red colour; the bouquet reflects sunshine, has a fat make-up, a warm, rounded shape, leans towards black fruit jam. The palate holds black fruits with a squeezy richness around them, engages well, the tannins also nice and munchy. It’s generous, potentially harmonious Crozes, good with beef dishes. There’s a sense of the South – black olives, tapenade – on the aftertaste. If you want more declaration, decant it. 14.5°. €24. From mid-2020. 2030-32 Nov 2019

2017 ()

very full, black-centred robe. Oak, nutshells front up the nose, which has some beef, red meat depth, a layered black fruit presence that is still on the back foot. The palate is rich and well lined with suave gras, fat content, picks up ripe and rolling tannins as it goes, builds into a little power on the closing stages, just about in check. It’s close to sipping wine status on its relatively high degree of 14° on the label, so is a bit above that. The finish is broad, sustained around its rich matter, with the oak adding extra sweetness. I’d like a bit more nerve, ideally. 14°. From spring 2020. 2030-32 Dec 2018

2016

dark robe, a full centre. The bouquet has a smoked tea angle, Lapsang Souchong, with oak and black berry fruits. It’s a weighty start. The palate is tightly drawn together, gives a selective stream of black fruits, a touch of oaking, before its crunchy, currently rigorous finish. It needs to infuse the oak and settle into harmony, so wait until 2019. 13.5°. 2024-25 Nov 2017 Previously Oct 2016 ***(*) (60 hl tronconic oak vat, sugars finished, malo not) dark red. Has a rounded aroma, nicely rich black fruit, near prune in its ripeness. The palate has style, sound body, silky tannins, mild and free they are. The matter is round, belle – there is good juice here. 2023-24 Oct 2016

2015 ()

dark red colour. The bouquet is thick, with coulis fruit, blackberry and prune, a littler freshness, licorice. This is a sudiste-southern style nose, with garrigue notions. The palate presents a broad front – you can get your teeth into this, it holds a good gras centre. The nose and palate link well. It is munchable, generous wine, with fine grain tannins on the close, nice width. It just tightens up now. 14°. Bottled Sept 2016. 2025-26 Oct 2016

2014

dark red; the nose leads on an air of blackberry, black cherry, sizzled bacon, a soft start. The palate offers cassis fruit with some tar and bite in its second stage. The fruit has lift, and this drinks well now. 13°. €8.50. 2018-19  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

dark, full colour. A good swirl of dark berry fruit greets the drinker, plenty going on in the bouquet, which has assured depth. The palate continues with a free expression of juicy Syrah, gathers a light note of salty clarity before the finish. It shows some oak on both the nose and the palate for now. Good with grilled foods, is near w.o.w. wine. It is an accurate example of southern sector Crozes, Les Chassis. 13°. 2019-20  Jan 2015

2012 ()

sombre, dark hued robe. The nose is reserved, cautious, shows an air of meat stock, dark fruits, both together. Another bottle the next day is also reserved on the bouquet. The palate is also on the back foot, bears an inherent muscle-meatiness, with good, genuine persistence. Taking its time, has interest. The finish is a shade overdone on the tarry oaking, so strikes a slightly discordant note there. A bit in the cellar, so time is its best friend, can get into shape around 2016, so wait until then. 13°. 15,000 b. 48.50 ex cellars. 2020-21 Nov 2013

2010

(casks) dark, sustained robe. Subtle, warm smile nose, an engaging sweetness at its heart, a curve of appeal: shows red fruits with a pocket of iodine, a light tang. There is some variety and complexity in its undertone. The palate is also marked by a salty clarity, and its red fruit is very easy to drink; with today`s low pressure there is a suggestion of reduction. Sound depth and length. It is a bit raw for now, but the fruit is agreeable, very friendly. The length is sympa, and it culminates in the pep of black pepper on the aftertaste. 2018-19 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(pre-bottling) bright, dark robe. Good curve of blackberry fruit on the nose, chicken stock, black raisin – has a crunchy style. The palate is restrained, but wanting to break loose, has some black fruit surges late in the palate, blackberry and blueberry laced with mineral. Ends on toffee, baked notes. It is very full as it signs off, and oak controls the finish. Powerful. From 2013. 2019-21 Nov 2010

2008 ()

the robe has red centre, a ruby top. The nose gives raspberry, red fruits, strawberry, spice and plums. There is an attractive mineral presence on the palate, with good stone red fruits, plums and cut. It is aromatic and fine. This is beau, drinks very well. “We had 300 mm (12 inches) of rain between 5 and 8 September,” Sébastien Chevrol. 12.5°. 2021-22 Oct 2016 Previously Dec 2009 ** quite full red; reductive, but a black berry aroma that is nicely sweet and rounded. Has a fine cassis flavour, elegance, tannins, the oak inlaid. Not overdone, the length is helped by the oak. The structure is shaky for the long-term, possible VA here, so drink soon – it risks going limp. Can be drunk solo from mid-2010. To 2013. Dec 2009

2007 No Rating

2 bottles tasted – both wrong. 1st is TCA, 2nd is also dry, dusty. Dec 2008

2006 ()

dark robe; black fruits` aroma – cherry, prune, blackberry with some spice and tea – is quite rich, with some earthiness. The palate has a fleshy texture, and the fruit is a little off-key – has a high” note about it. The attack reflects black berries. The aftertaste leans towards nougat, caramel. Drinks with ease at first, but with air it dries towards the finish – beware of airing this. To 2014. Dec 2007

2004

mineral, leather outer to bouquet, black fruit interior. Thrusting black fruit on palate, is mineral-lined, with a tea taste on finish. Rather upright, stiff - needs food. Some end richness and length. 2011-13 April 2006

2003

suave, sweet tendency on bouquet, low-profile. Straight into easy fruit on attack, just runs smoothly. Simple, olive-black jam mix. Ripe tannin presence. From 2006. 2013-15

2002

comfortable bouquet, as if prunes in syrup, some jam. Scented lozenges flavour, some tannin. Gets a bit dry on finale, a dodgy moment there. To 2006.

2001

cooked fruits/floral aroma. Fruit forward wine, clean. Some licorice, easy drinking.