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The Wines

Crozes-Hermitage Albéric Bouvet red Syrah (1960s, 1970s) 50% from Les Chassis, 30% from Les Chênes Verts, 20% from Mercurol, destemmed, 18-25 day steel vat vinification (down from 30 days from early 2010s on), cap punching over 3 days, then pumping overs, aged 10-20% new, 80-90% 2-3 year 228-litre and 600-litre oak casks 12 months, unfined, unfiltered, 25-35,000 b

2015 ()

(casks) dark red. Mulled raspberry, mulberry fruit combines with oak, toasting on the nose. It holds its depth. The palate offers juicy, on the instant red fruits with a touch of spicing and a dryness from the oak towards the close. It’s quietly muscular, and needs until 2018 to get together. It has the potential to be interesting, nuanced. 2023-24 Oct 2016

2014 ()

(casks, bottling next month, Jan 2016) dark robe. There is a scented, sultry depth in the nose, good life in its blackberry fruit, an air of rose-hip also. This strikes out well on the palate, bears engaging black berry, blueberry, mulberry fruit, a good mixed bag. It rocks on well, has more brio than the Papillon 2014. There is a good note of tar late on, the tannins salted and round. A genuine child of mature vines – witness its beau juice and good style. From 2017. 2021-22 GB £60/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com  Dec 2015

2013

dark robe. Cassis-licorice first air here, red meat, wee grilling, grilled pork, along with cocoa. The palate reflects the vintage truly – it has life in its fruit and tannins, a core of plump fruit, still restrained. This is good, typical Crozes from the plain, its length enjoyable. It has spiced, dark moments, more foundation than the 2014, its juice very good and clear. A good wine for beef. 13.5°. Bottled Feb 2015. 2021-22 Dec 2015

2012

dark plum colour. The bouquet is evolving towards floral, airborne qualities with attractive sweetness at its centre, hints of cloves, mulled raspberry, grilling. This has hit a supple stride on the palate, is easy to drink, the tannins soft. It is right on the go now. It has less foundation than 2013, holds a quiet grace, doesn’t quite ignite. The finish is a little tame, if tidy. Spice and flowers appear on the aftertaste. 13.5°. To 2018  Dec 2015

2011

dark red. Grilled, bacon-baked bread aroma with pressed flowers, licorice. There is bright, lucid fruit on the attack, followed by gummy tannins. It isn’t quite a complete ensemble. It skips the odd beat, but will be good with grilled foods. The finish is salted. 13.5°. To 2019  Dec 2015  Previously Nov 2012 **** (casks) shiny, quite dark red; the nose bears toasted-roasted black berry fruit, has an air of sweet nut, is good and direct. The palate offers supple, ripe black fruit with a fleshy middle, and a gentle spread of tannin and dust after half way. It ends on that grainy note, the black fruit still there. This is shaping up well, has class, balance. From 2014. 2019-21  Nov 2012

2010 ()

the robe is still dark, with legs visible. The bouquet is big, gives airs of soaked fruits, damp leaves, ripe prune, light notion of flowers: it is showing only gradual evolution. This is broad, sensuous, criss crosses, stimulates, is beau vin. Its texture is ample, its fruit runs freely, and its tannins are still active and good. Long, fresh, complete wine. The exit goes zing thanks to the vintage freshness. “The summer wasn’t too hot, and the Syrah ripened slowly, taking on sugar only gradually,” Gilles Robin. 13.5°. 2024-26  Dec 2015 Previously May 2012 ***** shiny dark red; reduction in a typical southern zone Crozes aroma, blackberry fruit with a drift of flowers across it, a light note of fennel or licorice. Alert black fruit with stylish juice and flow drives the attack. This is tasty, serene, stylish. Good mix of licorice and light chocolate, coffee on the late stages. Good typicity of terroir good energy and life in this. Crystalline finale, clear. 13.5°.  2018-19  May 2012 Previously Feb 2012 **** good, full robe. The nose is complete and elegant, tender black fruit is present with a fine, smoky licorice. The palate has good heart, round matter, has potential to declare more on the finish. Has nice, fresh length and powdery, scented tannins. I like its gradual development and gain in weight through the palate. Good balance. 13.5°. 2017-18 Feb 2012

2007 ()

smoky, black fruits nose – there is the air of grilled pork and coffee in it as well. The palate has a rather intense black fruits debut, then a sound, mid-palate heartbeat; the oak is present, but not in excess. It ends on its oak. It is OK now, but by the end of 2009 there will be a shade less oak in its texture and taste. Sound wine. 13.1°. To 2013. Bottled Jan 2009. March 2009

2005 ()

dark tints in the robe; red berry, mulberry aroma that has a lush air about it – the fruits is very ripe by design, the policy of later picking. The palate is a gourmand, obvious affair, led by soaked red berries, with a sweet curl at the end. From 2008 for a more settled finale, where it currently tightens up. Has broad appeal, is a fruit forward wine, best with food. 2011-12 Nov 2006

2004

Doesn't tally with what was tasted two months earlier. Quite creamy, plum jam aroma, some spice and mint to enlighten it. Mature style red berried fruit at opening of palate, from half way starts to dry. Finale is dry, no fruit or roundness there - is a palate of an alarming two halves. Worry about its extraction or handling, it does OK on attack, but later on. Try in 2007? April 2006 Previously February 2006 *** mid-red. Soft, rather subdued bouquet - alittle violet and plum. Red fruit on palate, has a squeezy middle, is soft and accessible. A little oak on finish. Soft and safe wine. 2009-10

2003

mixed bag of aromas - coffee, warm plum fruit. Rounded, fleshy start, runs towards a chocolate finale, with dried fruits, pepper, prune elements. Tannins softer by 2007. Modern, has correct integration, length. 2012-14 March 2005

2002

smoked, dense bouquet, stewed black fruit, a little forced. Rather heated attack, as if stretched. Quite big wine, has width but not grip. Taut from its early acidity. Try from 2007. 2011-12

2001 ()

meaty, open bouquet, red fruits present. Wide blackberry flavour, fruit runs well. Spice-herb-black olives mix at back of palate. Has scale, plus the freshness of the year. 2010-12

2000 ()

modern, rather spirity nose; taut black fruit, lissom and straight. Some heat, dry-toned, bit forced.

1998 ()

dark; dark, tarry bouquet, has ripeness, hint of young vines; bit disjointed, not a safety-first wine, brambly, peppered fruit, needs air to broaden. 2006-07

1997

clear, open aroma, peppered; some confit but floats away rather, not very long. Flavour not clear-cut.

1996 ()

funky, quite animal bouquet. Black fruit, meaty. Earthy-flavoured wine, finishes bit dry. Some oiliness in the texture. Fair extract. 2003-05