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The Wines

much 1940s-plus slope Syrah 80% from kaolin soils at Larnage, 20% from Mercurol, destemmed, 21-30 day steel & concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 70-80% new, 20-30% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 12-15 months, fined, filtered, 20,000-22,650 b

2018 ()

(casks) full, dark robe; the bouquet carries oily intensity, oak-varnish notes, a stream of live cassis fruit. The palate is wide, robust off the bat, carries the charge of 2018, is a fruit, fleshy, oaked cocktail. It carries the weight of Crozes and its plain vineyards, rather than the cut of the granite terraces across the Rhône. It’s fat, large Crozes with an ample bearing and a lot of oak. The length is OK, for now propped up by oak. Decant it. From 2023. 2034-36 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) very dark robe; there is an opulent presence on the nose, black olives, tapenade airs with sleek cassis and black cherry fruit, smoked tar oak. The palate bears gleaming fruit with good pedigree, carries oak through it, is ripe enough and juiced enough to handle that overall. The finish is very smoked out by the oak, out on its own. From mid-2021. This will be handsome if you wait, especially until 2024 or so. 2033-35 Dec 2018

2016

(casks) shiny, full robe. The bouquet is bright, has a depth of black fruits, black cherries, with attendant oaking that is a little prominent. There is some style for the future. The palate offers clear and stylish black fruits with a little charge of tannin and oak after the mid-point. It will drink with some flair, is a shapely, polished, modern Crozes. 13.5°. 22,650 b. From late 2018, since the oak needs to fuse a lot more. 2028-30 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) dark, inviting robe. Blueberry fruit with ripe blackberry sets the nose en route, well. Its clarity is appealing. There is a drift of licorice, and oak. The palate runs with stylish black fruits and a silken set of tannins, ends on oak. There is a ball of sweetness that sets the palate humming. This is indeed a tasty meatball! There are some delicate grain tannins to close it on an added inkiness. From late-2017 to allow the oak time to fuse. It makes a bold statement, drink with roast beef. 2031-33 Oct 2016

2013 ()

(casks) dark, sustained robe. Buffed leather, meaty aroma - a nose of some power, more so than most this year. It has implicit oak and strength in its dark fruiting. The palate channels a surge of dark berry fruit with the oak all around it. This is a bit of a special cuvée production (tasted blind), but will come together if you take it on that scale. It does possess quite a lot of gras. A wine for la table wine, game dishes. 13°. 20,000 b. €10.30 export. 75% new oak. Allow until mid-2017 for the oak. 2025-27  Jan 2015

2012

(casks) dark, full robe. Oak-oiliness, copious bouquet with a lush air of blackcurrant. The palate holds liberal amounts of black berry fruit with dry-toned oak tannins circulating that don’t properly fit in. I am not convinced by its fruit-oak ratio, thought he fruit has fluid gras richness. From 2016: I wouldn’t drink the young oak. Time will help. 13°. 20,000 b. 2024-26  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) rather dark robe. There are oak traces in the sleek black fruit, has a nice crunchy effect, shows bacon and blackberry. The palate fruit is polished, has a juicy nature, could be deeper. Oak and charcoal hover over the finish – it wraps itself up tidily. Cellar-led wine for now – a modern, rather arm’s length wine. It needs bolder matter for its level of oak. From late 2013. 2021-23  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) pretty robe – bright, dark red, legs. The aroma drifts serenely across the glass, led by black cherry with a smoky trail from its oak. This will become supple, and a wee game notion adds some depth. The palate has an entwined black fruit and toasted oak debut, and never stops moving along. It ends on oak tar that is infiltrated by the juice of its black berries. The fine fruit within is relaxed, accessible. Promising, restrained wine that reflects the northern zone. A little late glow comes through. Should be together from mid-2013. 2024-26 Nov 2011

2009

good dark robe, holds up well. Crunchy, chunky nose, shows Marmite yeast and beef stock – it is wide and has plenty of reserves, is a wee bit vegetal. Overtly modern style on the palate – oak is a big feature. Sleek, spotless black fruit lies within, before a tar-charcoal finish. Painting by numbers feel to this wine, lacks soul. The fruit deserves a more sympathetic raising. From mid-2013, but the oaking is extreme. Wait, then wait again. 2021-23 I have marked it on how it might be around 2014-15 Nov 2010

2008

red, some black; oak front to nose, a steady couch of black fruit behind, is deeper than most 2008s, smoothly presented. Modern, sleek Syrah fruit with the emphasis on blackcurrant on the palate; oak is right in the mix and dominates the later stages - is not yet inside. Shows some of the southern zone olive and juiciness in its current charcoal-oak make-up. There is a confident sense of purpose about this clean, modern vinification wine. From 2011. 2017-19 Dec 2009

2007 ()

(cask 1, new oak 228-litre cask) very dark, centrifuge style robe; there is a wall of oak on the nose, with some fruit behind. Tight, very oaked palate – this is difficult to taste. There is a little black fruit that is quite clear inside it. (cask 2, also new) black fruit aroma, rendered crunchy by its oak. This has a more fruited departure, then the oak hits it. Fruit can be ascertained as existing within. The length is correct. 13 years. Jan 2008

2006 ()

full dark red laced with black in the colour; there is some richness in the aroma, that helps it to handle the oak, which hovers like a UFO close to the start of the nose. Three-quarter depth black fruit, principally black berries, have to some extent absorbed the oak on the palate. It is quite wide late on, has matter, and a bit of late olive in the flavour. From mid-2010. 2018-20 Jan 2008

2005 ()

overtly dark robe; soaked, extracted nose, with ripe black fruit, has a lot of oak and is rather over the top, so cellar worked is it. Showy, quite plush black fruit on the palate, wears an obvious gourmandise on its sleeve, but is not really truly established. Oak on the finish, and a tarry aftertaste from that oak. Formula rather than terroir wine now: try from 2009 late and it may acquire a little more regionality. 2018-20 Dec 2006

2004

thick robe; brewed, cocoa/oak aroma, shows dark fruits, earth, tea. Mineral-tinted flavour, black berries, jam, mature fruit with a weighty feel to it. Pushes a herbal-savoury taste, push being the word. Fair length and roundness at the end, the oak is largely set inside it. Funky style of wine. 2015-17 April 2006 Previously (cask) *** cooked fruit, floral tone on bouquet. Good integration on palate, flavour weaves along well. Has a pebbly feel, shows promise. Esp from 2008-09 onwards. 2016-18 March 2005

2003 ()

full, brewed nose, runs along coffee-pepper lines. Also big scale on palate, with oak assertion on finish. Rich, but oak in charge. Mocha finale. Esp from 2008, but will it hold its richness? 2013-15 80% new oak this year. March 2005 Previously **(*) broad, tarry but defined black fruit aroma, with coffee/oak sides. Usual modern attack - black fruit with grilled edges, cherry style. Some interior to help it along. Tarred, heated aftertaste. 2008 on. 2015-17

2001 ()

pebbly, slightly airy nose, upright black fruit, modern style, needs time. Interesting fruit on palate, with dry, mineral edging. Granite, cool style, grilled and oaked. Structured tannins need time. Greater variety and expression later. 2006 on. 2016-18

1999 ()

black, firm, tar bouquet, some stink; full, tight wine. Has structure and quiet scale. Quite prominent, ripe tannins. 2014-16

1998

warm, promising, smoky black fruit bouquet; very dense, lot of concentration for a Crozes. Middle is reserved, dry. Bit upright, less rich than 1999. 2008-12