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The Wines

99-100% Syrah, 0-1% Viognier from 11 of their 13 plots, mainly southern zone and gneiss soils, 85% destemmed, 4-5 day pre-fermentation cooling at 6-7°C, 3-4 week vinification in closed vats, cap punchings, then pumping overs, ends at 32-33°C, aged 15% new 400-litre oak casks, 85% 1-5 year old 300-400-litre oak casks 18-20 months (50% 228-litre oak casks until late 2000s), unfined, lightly filtered, first made 1994, first called Les Méandres in 2006, 8,000 b

2017 ()

full, dark red. The bouquet has a clear curve, oiliness, black fruit paste, blackberry jam, is a little light, escapist, but has some depth. There are notes of licorice, black coffee, an underlay of mineral. The attack is broad, lined with blackcurrant, a ripe centre, with tannins on the outside. There is decent gras at its heart, with a touch of the South, tapenade, in it. It’s not far off OK to drink now, but it’s a bit dry on the aftertaste, and its tough finish is a put-off. 2030-31 Dec 2019

2014 ()

(accurate example of the blend, cask) dark red; the nose is interesting, comes with airs of violets and blackberries, has a little grounded depth. The palate is slightly narrow for now. The fruit is cooked, the tannins are grainy and a little bitter. This is a bon home style of Côte-Rôtie, not quite rustic, and is a bit off-key now. It struggles as it stands. The end is a little green. 3% Viognier this year, usually it is 1%. From 2018. 2026-27  Apr 2015

2013 ()

(cask) quite a dark red, with a little purple. Mulled red berries show on the nose, a waft of violet, raspberry at the centre. There is decent life and potential on the palate; there is a savoury notion, and more depth and flesh about than the 2012 and 2014. It travels longer than them, too. The finish is crunched, with a taste of red tone fruit. This is honest and pretty true. From spring 2017. 2025-26  Apr 2015

2012

fair dark red robe. Red cherry fruit shows in a nose with an upright shape, a wee note of herbs here and a smoked, lighted match angle. The palate leans towards red fruit jam, with oily tannins that are ripe but a little direct. The finish brings in tar. Traditional, a bit downhome. From mid-2016. 13°. Bottled June 2014. 2023-24  Apr 2015

2011

(5-year 300-litre oak cask) dark red; red cherry, soaked cherries airs in a supple bouquet, some floral scent with it. The palate is juicy, gives jam plus juice at the start, is easy and welcoming – it isn`t difficult to get into this; tannins gradually emerge on the finish, but it is above all tasty, w.o.w. wine – “pass me the bottle” wine. Supple is the word, with the finish rounded. “It doesn`t have large matter, has round tannins, is open and flattering; we may raise it a little less time – bottle it in December instead of the April after. I see 2011 as a drink in youth vintage,” Frédéric Bernard. 12.8°. About €16 export price. 2022-23 May 2012

2010 ()

(bottling in 2 weeks) full, dark robe. This has a slightly visceral air, a sort of turned in nature – it is intense, dark, displays menthol, tayberry, loganberry, gives a suggestion of oak. The palate is tight, almost taut, with a good filling of black fruit and prune flavour. It is ripe and a little truffly in its depth, ends firmly with good juice there, followed by a nice touch of suave, floral influence. A Solid Citizen Côte-Rôtie. From 2014. 2022-24 May 2012 Previously March 2011 ***(*) (example of the assemblage, malo completed, 4 year 228-litre oak cask) ***(*) plum, three-quarter red colour; sweet airs, rounded notes, strawberry. Forward fruit, charm, good gras, not showy, is measured. Good freshness. 12.8°. 9-10 years of life. (example of the assemblage, malo completed, 1 year 400-litre oak cask) **** three-quarter depth red; the nose widens out well, good reserves in it. Persistent palate – a good line of red fruit with tannins adding late weight. Good length. The nose will please – it is rather bountiful. 12 years. March 2011

2009

dark colour; has a smoky, full nose that comes with lashings of blackberry, plus coffee and a trace of violet. There is a pleasing, liberal roll of fruit with depth from its sunshine ripeness on the palate; there are tasty pockets surrounded by tar-tannin and licorice. There is the scent of blackberry on the finale. This is moving along well – the palate is delicious on the finish. From spring 2013 or so. 13°. 2025-26 May 2012 Previously March 2011 **** (vat, bottling next month) comfortable, dark robe; smoky, curling smoke air with black fruit lying low inside, has snap, and a few gentle waves of fruit. Well-inset fruit on the palate, which is stiff for now; there is gras within, it is not showing obviously. It ends on discreet richness, shows its raising today. A cool, clear Côte-Rôtie with no window dressing. Light late scent on this. Drink especially from 2016 or so, when it will be more supple and giving, more varied. Can be drunk from spring 2013. 2024-26 March 2011

2008

one wine only this year, a lot sold to the merchant trade, a total of 7,000 b: plum, dark tints in the robe; smoky, taut, tight nose, quite plum underair, peppery. The palate shows Côte-Rôtie floral traces and delivers a pretty, clear run after half way. Holds unforced fruit with the “steel” of the vintage in it. Clear drinking now, has peppery undernotes, its fruit clear and fine. “It is starting to open – I recommend to wait until Christmas 2011, and to drink it before 2015,” Stéphane Bernard. Offers fruit more than length. It is just a bit pinched at the end, but drinks well. To 2016. Only 19-20 months raising this year. I would buy this. March 2011

2007

(casks) pretty full red, with dark tints. The outer air on the nose is black fruited, the inner is smoky, peppery, and there is a gummy couch to this, as if minor reduction. The palate is crisp, direct, with nerve in it and oaking noticeable after half way – like a horse running still on the bridle. Leave this until late-2010 to gain extra roundness. It has direct but clean lines – just enough matter to be OK. Patience a good policy. 2015-16. To be bottled June 2009. March 2009

2003

(cask) bosky, stewed, ripe red fruit, raisiny bouquet. Full on palate, but stretched, wild berry flavour gives way to obvious tannins. Not fresh, hope it won't become oxidative. From 2006; 2013/14

2002

middling red robe. While light, the bouquet has heart; it is linear but gently fruited, shows a wisp of smoke and pepper. The palate fruit is agreeable; it weaves along and drinks fine, even solo is OK. A little end sweetness comes through, probably from chaptalisation. Pretty harmonious, showing well now. It still has easy youth, is a nicely clear wine, its character Burgundian this year. 2010-11 Nov 2005, Berkeley, California Previously April 2003 (cask) ** seems a firm year, good to drink around 2005-06. They had to bleed early juice off the grapes by the saignée method to achieve deeper colour. The wine is modern, and will be bottled six months early. April 2003

2001

(cask) prominent, smoky black fruit aroma; peppery, bouncy cassis fruit with a chewy undertow. Some souplesse. Live acidity, can meld. 2011/13

2000

light stewed fruit aroma; easy blackberry fruit, bit sweet. Some end liquorice. More interesting around 2005/06. Bit ordinary.

1999

robust dark red, pretty robe; varied, interesting bouquet - floral, violet - with depth. Delicious attack, clear-cut fruit, grows in weight towards finish. Discreet power with very good finesse. Some new oak on finale. 2012/16