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The Wines

50% Syrah (1982) from clay-limestone soils at Mercurol, 50% Syrah (1992) from kaolin soils at Larnage, 5 days crop cooling, destemmed, 25-28 day tronconic oak vat vinification at up to 25-30°C, twice daily pumping overs, aged 50-80% new 228-litre & 600-litre oak casks, 20-50% 1-year 228-litre & 600-litre oak casks 12 months, then 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 3-4 months, fined, filtered, 2,000-3,000 b

2017 ()

(casks) dark, sustained robe; chocolate and tar from oaking front up the bouquet, which has a damp, mineral presence, along with griottes or soaked black cherries. It’s a broad, sturdy start. The palate is plush-lush, savoury, very ripe, opulent, and close to too much. It has southern leanings, and the Syrah’s poise and precise elegance is reduced by the amount of coated ripeness in this. It will gradually swallow its oak, so is a wine to leave until 2023 and only approach when it is toning down. 2031-33 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(casks) full red robe. The nose is dominated by its oak, and a charcoal angle from that, shows licorice and clear black fruits that go “ping”. The palate is a modern do, sweeps up crushed plum fruits with grilling and assertive tannins towards the finish. It needs time to get together, and to get a hold on its oak. The fruit has style and a tasty beat, though. This oaking sits better in a full-blooded vintage, I reckon. 14°. From mid-2019. 2027-29 Nov 2017

2015

(casks, bottling Jan 2017) dark robe. Inky, red meat airs on the nose, with blackberry jam, ripe cassis. The palate has a gourmand, inviting start – there is a real juice fest here,a  lot of Cassis de Dijon liqueur, a ripe heart. It extends with suave gras, is thorough, well grounded. It is spherical wine, full. The cask raising was prolonged this year, another four months. 80% new, 20% 1-year casks. From mid-2018. 2028-30 Oct 2016

2014 ()

dark red. The nose has a serene quality, expresses red fruits, strawberry, a note of licorice, a hint of reduction. The palate is soft, has a squeezy fruit filling, mild tannins behind. There is an attractive floral sign-off. Calm, and easy to drink, with a little gain in weight as it travels. 13°. €17. 2021-23  Oct 2015

2013

(casks) dark robe. Has an attractive nose bearing violet, black fruit jam airs, a nicely simmered style of fruit. The palate is direct, presents polished fruit which is just a little on the clinical side. Slick tannins bring up the finish. It holds gras richness, is on its oak as it finishes. From 2016. 2024-26  Jan 2015

2012 ()

dark red; nutty, quite fluid black fruit aroma that is opening up, on the go. This is simply done, carries wavy black fruit, light oaking that gives a toffee-caramel aftertaste. Not very interesting, rather mainstream wine. The oak is strong on the finish. Tecchie style wine, and expensive at €18 ex cellars. From 2016. 100% new oak raising. 2,500 b. 13°. 2023-25  Nov 2013

2011 ()

shiny dark red robe. Reduction shows in a firm bold bouquet that leads on mulled red berries such as raspberry and mulberry. It is on the cusp of changing, so there is a hint of damp woods. This is tasty, the fruit and gras richness lie closely together, and it is mostly supple. The finish is tight. This delivers a dark glass of wine. There are flavours of black olives and a compote style of stewed fruits before the finish. 13°. 2022-24 Oct 2015

2010 ()

dark robe. Has a latent bouquet – hints at black raisin, black berry, with a curl of flowers, the scent of that, exhibits a curvy ripeness. The palate is grainy, edged with tar and tannin; the interior is decisive, crisp, the black fruit very tooth tingling, dancing. It needs to settle its acidity a touch to round out the final stages. A good drinking with real freshness in the bottle, has expressive fruit. From mid-2012. A candidate for saucisson, salami, or barbecues. 13°. 2021-23 Nov 2011

2009 ()

the robe is still very dark. The nose is still reduced! It has a deep blackberry, coated aroma, an earthy depth. It becomes mineral with air, and with a dish of veal. The palate is rich, based on a syrup of black fruits, the sun beating through it. Its tannins and oak are starting to integrate – it’s not yet there. It is thick wine with a red meat depth, intense depth, is very stable and hardly shifted. Glints of mineral come through at the end, a rocky finale. Decant this. 13.5°. 2026-27 Oct 2016 Previously Nov 2010 **(*) full, busy red robe. The nose shows “high” fruit with hung game/animal connotations, a bit of the downhome, of the soil about it also. Steady fruit start, the fruit is served down the line, picks up pace towards the finish. Not well organised, but hasn`t been long in bottle. There is a disjointed feel to it – the fruit is clipped. Has an arm's length style, not cosy. From 2012. 13.5°. 2020-22 Nov 2010

2008

quite full red; black cherry, jam aroma, with oak seasoning, a bit of green oak. Cautious start to palate, gives cutting black fruit, ends on overt outbreak of oak. There is decent, local, clean fruit within and I reckon it can handle the oak. Olive, blackberry aftertaste. From late 2010. To 2017. Dec 2009

2007 ()

full, black colour; reserved bouquet – there are black fruits with southern airs, olives, ripeness, but also what is almost a salty, anchovy note as well. The palate is tucked in by its oaking: a tar flavour prevails – there are black fruits with some juice in them, but the oak straightens the wine out. Drink from 2010 to lessen the oak. To 2019. Dec 2008

2006

clear, bright black cherry robe; agreeable black berry aroma with a hint of griottes (soaked cherries), some jam and sweetness present, is pretty open. The palate's black fruits bounce along well, with some oaking on the side. Clean, quite modern wine. Shows some late, slightly sweet roundness. Holds good, clear southern zone fruit. A soft, facile wine with a touch of late oak: very respectable. 2016-18 Dec 2007

2004 ()

oaked bouquet, with some core of black fruit within, and brewed coffee. Oak reduces on nose with air. Fruit content has some dash and a sleek texture - gets off to a good start, clean style of wine. Tightens towards finish under the oak influence. Has enough matter to handle the oak, which is a relief. Tarry, but acceptably rounded finale, cherry aftertaste. Can show well 2008 on. 2012-14 April 2006