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The Wines

100% Syrah from Brosse (1960s), Fongeant, Moutonnes (1940s-1950s), Le Champin, Côte Blonde (covered in scrub, cleared & planted by Bernard B), Fongeant, Leyat, Bonnivières, destemmed, 2 week vinification at 30-33°C, mainly cap punchings, up to 3 pumping overs, aged 15-18% new, 82-85% 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks (tonnellerie Sirugue at Nuits St Georges, Allier oak) 15 months, unfined, lightly filtered, 15-20,000 b

2018 ()

(casks, the various contributors, tasted blind, location revealed at the end) 1) (Moutonnes, S facing, lost 15% from millerandage, 14.75°) ***(*) full red; there’s inner richness on the nose, blackberry. It’s a bit common, not a top zone, plateau style. The palate is a fine iron, mixed fruits, a savoury feel, is lightly aromatic, floral towards the finish, is a squeezy wine with gummy tannins, powder touches, is a generalist wine, mostly marked by the vintage 19 years 2) (Champin, clone Syrah early 2000s, W facing) **** dark; there is more granite cut on the nose, a floral air, precision of dark berry fruit. There is a stream of fine fruit, Burgundian refinement, acidity on the attack. This is shapely, elegant, calm, joli, nice, terroir present. 21 years 3) (La Brosse, 1960s Syrah, a bit of frost low down on it, degree there 12° to 12.5°, 13.5° higher up) **** very dark; smoky bacon fat, dark fruits, depth, mystery on the nose, which is inky. The palate is firm, gives a good stream of black fruits, is all together, sustains well, ends roundly. This is shapely, dark wine with good heart. It will be a good foundation for the blend. There’s only low-key violet present. 22 years 4) (Côte Blonde) ****(*) dark+ colour; black cherry, slightly herbaceous air, licorice, a close-knit intro. The palate shows more sinew than the previous, a bit of oak, has good structure notably, a tight frame, the finish fresh. There’s depth in the mid-palate, and it surges on the close, hits the line hard, the tannins the most evident so far. This will play an important role. 23 years 5) (La Balme, within Champin, 1970s Syrah, W facing, with a bit of Fongeant’s old Syrah) dark robe; the nose smoulders, has a thorough aroma of black fruit, carries density, width. The palate is supple, fine, has a rounded finale and free running length. Elegance and content go arm in arm, has juicy depth is joli, poised. 22 years 6) (Leyat) ****(*) dark; the nose is reserved, deep, has a solid front, intense black fruits on offer, purity. The palate gives stylish, ready flow black fruits, holds gossamer tannins that are really beaus, offers floating grace, is lovely. Fine, long, icing on the cake wine of pedigree, harmony, balance. 25 years 7) (Champin, old Syrah, deeper soils that resist drought) **** very dark. Crunched, mulled fruits on the nose, grilling, a bit of wildness. It’s further behind than most. The palate is muscled, fibrous, manly, assertive, persistent, has good length, the most obvious tannins so far. It’s base of the blend wine, a strong foundation, is wide, firm. 25 years 8) (Bonnivières, very old Syrah, rising sun) ***(*) bright, dark robe; the nose is quiet, full, on close-knit black fruits, doesn’t suggest the best terroir, has a more flat land style, shows vintage influence. The palate gives brewed fruits, is a bit brothy, juiced, somewhere in the middle of the blend will be its role – it doesn’t really bring a definable contribution. There’s slight drift on the end 21 years 9) (THE BLEND) ****(*) dark robe. The nose has sealed depth, food intensity, scope, comes with plenty of black fruits, is perhaps the deepest so far, has good shape. The palate is wide, well filled, gives a very good run of dark fruits, spring-life in the tannins. This is serious, a top contributor. It’s long and thorough. 28 years Dec 2019 Previously Nov 2019 **** (casks) dark red robe; the nose is broad, well-filled, has Southern connotations such as black olives, a sweep of black cherry fruit through it. The palate hovers towards an acetate presence, with sleek content and tannins, a real sense of purpose and thrust in the delivery. It’s cards on the table wine, no hidden corners, has a thorough centre. The finish is rounded, pretty full. From 2023. 2041-43 Nov 2019  GB £152/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017

quite a dark red; the nose is reserved, shows dark berries, raspberry with a hint of blackberry, herbs. The attack is slightly baked, the content compressed, the tannins firm, close-knit. The length is sound. This is rather thick. It persists, shows a touch of rose, a musky side on the second half. There’s a good hit on the finishing line. This is honest 2017 Rôtie, that needs decanting. 2016 has more glint, cut. 2040-42 Dec 2019 Previously Nov 2017 **** 1) (used 228-litre cask, sugars done, malo doing itself, Champin, W facing, setting sun, slight slope, 1980-84 Syrah) **** full, dark red. The nose is rich, thorough, red fruits on the go. The palate is also rich, abundant, the tannins well enclosed. 21 years 2) (used 228-litre cask, Leyat) ****(*) dark robe; blackberry density on the nose, rich depth. Immediate, broad, fleshy content on the palate, no gaps or pause in delivery. Tasty tannins. It has a brothy depth, stewed fruits here. Good length, no chinks, a lip-smacking aftertaste, fine grain tannin on the close. 2038-40 “There was a bit more drought stress than in 2015 – the leaves were yellow/brown immediately after the harvest; we harvested 2015 a week earlier, and the vines remained green for one month after the harvest. There’s a lack of water in the vineyard now, and low reserves also on the plain below,” Bernard Burgaud. Nov 2017

2016

1) 1 year 228-litre cask) **** dark robe. Attractive, willing nose, is charming, shows black fruits, rose hip, is curvy. This holds good, suave gras, is squeezy and textured, the black fruits plump and detailed, has silken feel. It’s a tasty do, has a round, layered close, is neat and spherical. “it has always been as open as this,” Bernard Burgaud. 21 years 2) 3 year 228-litre cask) **** very dark. Blackberry, with a note of coconut – this is a nose of elegant fruits, a hint of meatstock. Fine fruit, blackberry on a tasty palate, a wine of tender virtues, good balance. It reminds me rather of 2006. Has fine juice, good drinkability. Its balance will allow a good, continuous evolution. From spring 2019. 20-22 years 3) (new 228-litre cask) ****(*) very dark. The nose has depth, bulk, is oak aided, but still shows the purity of the black fruit, rows of shiny blackcurrants spring to mind. The palate gives enjoyable gras right away, works well with its oak. There’s a surge of mulberry on the aftertaste. This is serene. 22 years. OVERALL a good **** a wine of great charm, unhurried in style, balanced, Burgundian. “Bringing together all the different zones – precocious and late – allows great balance. In the old days, before heating up of the climate, the late zones were sometimes hard to ripen, and the difficulty was to find fine tannins,” Bernard Burgaud. Bottling Jan 2018. 12.5°. 2038-40 Nov 2017

2015

dark robe. There are fresh bursts in an oily, full bouquet, airs of discreet, fine violet with simmered black berries; it’s both oily and serene. The palate starts stylishly, comes with fluid gras that is really suave, tasty and continuous: lots of yum yum here – you can eat this. There’s a brilliant curve on the nose. There are layers of finesse, silk, a maximum expression on the palate, black fruits, great purity and suavity, balance. The tannins are neatly and very successfully encased. The finish is detailed, salty. From 2019 – but the balance is so good …. The Paris restaurant trade will adore this! “If you allow it to breathe, you can drink it now. I enjoy myself the most with 2015 – it’s extremely fine, elegant; then somplex, subtle, and the tannins are very fine, tannins that remind me of 1985’s [I agree],” Bernard Burgaud. 2038-40 Nov 2017 Previously April 2016 ****(*) (5-year 228-litre cask, the final blend) very dark. The nose is coated and thorough, exudes appealing, sweet-noted blackberry and raspberry. It extends with  a touch of salt, has an inky, mulled darkness. The palate presents soaked fruits, abundance, with bendy, ripe tannins. I like these tannins – they are well edible. It is a full, sustained glass, with its juice working well on the finish, a rock-salt extract there. This is a long-term project – it needs to loosen. From 2021. The longer you wait, the more terroir you will receive. 13.5°. 2039-42  April 2016

2014 ()

bottled end Dec 2015: dark, shiny robe. The bouquet has a little dampness, blackberry fruit, has an easy curve of aroma. Prune and a soft florality feature. The palate rolls along on supple fruit and tannins, is tasty, with a back end of clear-noted fruit. This drinks well, has a salty touch, gives a jolie gourmandise, the aftertaste also salted. Its tannins fit in well. Uncomplicated, a bonny drink that gathers some mineral late on. I like the finish. 2028-30 April 2016

2013

dark robe. This is a good bouquet – it is close-knit, coolly fruited, a mix of prunes and blackberry comes with a shimmer of musky flowers. This attacks on crisp black fruit, has good inner heart, develops strict lines of tannin. It is good and wide, authentic, well fruited, take your time, lip smacking wine, with a mineral-graphite exit. It is indeed vintage faithful. The nose will burgeon well, is only half there now. Good intensity in a traditional style. From 2020. “It is a very good vintage for keeping well. Rain eight days before the harvest helped us to avoid excess concentration; you should decant it,” Bernard Burgaud. 2032-34  Apr 2016 Previously Jan 2015 ***(*) dark colour. This gives a gently assured air of blackberry, with a brioche, baked bread note: the nose is medium depth. The palate offers a steady sweep of black berry fruit, spots of gras richness towards the finish. Stable, sound wine, without the flair and buzz of the leaders. It is tucked in together - decanting an aid, thus. 12.5°. 15,000 b. 20% new oak. Bottled already. From mid-2016  2026-28  Jan 2015

2012

(4 year 228-litre oak cask, bottling Dec 2013, is the final blend except for the 15-18% of new oaked wine which is about to be introduced) **** dark robe; young, rather post vat air, a nose with floral dabs and very clear, pure black fruit. The palate is similar to the nose, gives a pure strike of black fruit. It isn’t especially deep, but has plenty to got work with. Elegance and attractive depth combine here. It is stylish, I like its fluidity of fruit. There are peppery pockets. A touch of oak shows up. It is a graceful, kind wine. “It isn’t massive,” Bernard Burgaud. From 2016-17. 2028-29  Oct 2013 (new oak cask, represents the 15-18%) **** dark robe also. The oak on the nose is absorbing, and under that it is fully-fruited, led by cassis blackcurrant, with violet-floral touches, shows good style. The palate fruit is easy, also pure, and keeps going well. Good length. A good ensemble to come. It is very tasty, yum yum. These parts will go well together and the wine will please. It is perhaps more accessible younger than in the past, too. 2029-31. Oct 2013

2011 ()

dark robe. The blackberry fruit aroma is subdued – the nose isn’t out yet. There are smudges of oak in it, the bouquet a wee bit stiff, the fruit undecided and closed in. There are light floral airs. The palate clusters its fruit into a small ball, without many really distinguishing features. Blackberry and prune centre in the flavour; there is juice here, tannins run along both sides freely, build up steam as they go before a finish on tarry moments and jam flavours. It isn’t easy to get into this yet. From spring 2015. The finish needs to coax out more fruit, so be patient. It is nutty and gummy now, but does well when re-tasted after the 2010, which is encouraging. “Decant it one hour ahead of drinking,” Bernard Burgaud. From spring 2015. 2026-28 Oct 2013

2010

dark robe. The nose spreads widely, has liberty and depth together, offers smoke and charcoal and grilled touches in its dark fruits. There is mystery in what lies here, and what is next to come. The palate strides out on still restrained but very bright black berry fruit, blueberry coolness after half way, lengthens very well, really motors as it ends, has delicious moments along its route. Supreme balance here: there is a joy and liberty in it, it mixes up rock n’roll and symphonic music. There is great, loose freedom as it ends. Joli, beau vin. Its tannins are still active, the finale is clear, with menthol in it. It is very persistent. 12.5°. 35 hl/ha, a low crop. 2031-34  Oct 2013  Previously June 2011 ***** (a 2002 cask, the assembled wine) ****(*) ****(*) has a big robe; bears a charming sweet black jelly air, a nutty note from its raising. The attack is supple, similarly juicy, jelly style fruit here as well. Delivers immediate generosity, and there is real sunny and floral charm on the fresh end, too. Agile fruit on the nose, flair on the palate, good balance, long wine. The attack has sweet notes, but the sweetness is measured and so charms. (a new cask) ***** very dark also; Has a really big content bouquet, a horizon that is wide and sunny, not extreme at all. The palate presents a belle marriage with its oak, the oak contributing a fine note to the wine. Also shows flair – the fruit moves all around it, is full of reach and appeal. Highly recommended. To be bottled end December 2011. “It is very fruited, spreads out well – I give it 20 years or more. Maybe it is like 2006, with more matter and balance. It has a pH of 3.60,” Bernard Burgaud. 2028-31 June 2011

2009

steady red robe; raspberry liqueur, a note of game, the intensity of the vintage on the nose which persists well, holds musky-floral notes, spice and cloves. The palate has a woody, firm debut, is compact, on red fruits, is slow moving indeed, going nowhere fast. The juice is concentrated, starting to show glints of red berry fruit, with cool notes on the attack. Its thickness is the main clue to the hot, dry summer, but there’s no glow, or power. Menthol comes through on the aftertaste. It’s still on sinew, so wait further. 2038-40 Dec 2019 Previously June 2011 **** bottled six months ago: bold, deep robe. Interesting nose that combines flowers and a sturdy backdrop, black raisin and smoke here – it is tight knit, no holes in it. The palate has muscle on the outside, an energy of tannin and thorough matter within. Has a chunky shape, and is resistant on the finish – it is “dark” there, closed. Out wide are some juicy pockets. Time can bring more charm, so leave until 2014. 13.8°. 2027-29 June 2011

2008

dark robe; light oak, toast air, black fruit, hints of violet, also dark cocoa. There is a wee sense of dampness, possibly volatile, on the palate, has a supple moment, is pretty tight knit, extends on grain and oak, is a bit strict, no surprise with this vintage. There is decent body here, the length also. Genuine wine, has sound carry, follows through well. 2018-19. “I like 2008 a lot – it wasn't an easy year, but the wine is very digestible, on the fruit of the grape. Mildew was the main problem – you needed a mix of luck and experience. The problems in 2008 were controllable, if you had the track record,” B.Burgaud. June 2011

2007

1st bottle corked. 2nd bottle: big robe; dark, intense, dusty first airs, attractive and fine black berry fruit, prune and black jam; there are also shiny, polished leather. The palate is moving into shape, carries bonny richness, is seasoned with gras that is discreet, well buried within it. It lengthens steadily, is doing well. The fruit resembles black berries, and is broad and juiced towards the finish, with a clean tannin exit. Good. 2022-24 June 2011 Previously March 2009 ***(*) dark robe; this has an agreeable bouquet – its foundation is blackberry jam with a hint of prune, and also mint. The palate fruits are supple at first, followed by a free run of clear fruit that is laced with tannin. It is an early style of wine – it will be going by mid-2010. The finish is less open, and shows a mineral, grainy note. Less reticent than many vintages from this domaine. 2018-19 March 2009

2006

mottled, matt, full red colour; there is a bit of evolution on the nose – red berry jam comes with game on the outer air, and touches of spice and rose hip. The palate is led by red fruits that run along a slight jam trail, while the later palate is delicate. Is not yet all together; it will be right there from around mid-2010. Is there a hint of volatile on the finish? Both the 2006 and 2007 from here are less upright than usual. 2017-19 March 2009

2005

(casks) tight, black fruits nose with raisin touches, as if the fruit is ripe but not over sweet. Rounder and richer air than usual here – denotes a rich vintage. The plaate comes in a mix of a rich core and straight sides, with leather and tannin on the side. There is a full foundation and the shape , though square, is promising. Rich enough to do well, especially 2009-10 on. Well sustained. 2019-21 Nov 2006

2003 ()

(cask) full, mineral-tinged black fruit bouquet, floral also. Stewed black fruit palate - violets and an earthy side. Quite rich, bit flat. Fair length. Some typicity near finish. Esp 2008-11. To 2013-15

2002

well brewed black fruit aroma, smoky/peppery edges. Fruit has grip, clear cut black brambly juice. Not esp packed, but is charming, has nice fresh length. 2007 on. 2013-16

2002

(cask) peppery/pistacchio nose, some oiliness; upright overall, has some middle, fair weight. 12 years or so - to 2014, say.

2001

oily, sappy wood, polish aromas. Nice ripe matter on the palate, olives and blackberries. This is generous, has good potential. There are some end tannins in play. It will be great until 2005-06, then come back to it from 2010. 2018-20

2000 ()

light spice/black fruit aroma, oily/gamey; expressive round fruit. Truffle touch, violets/black fruit. Full. More complex from 2008. 2015-16

1999

not really typical, but great bouquet: deep, stewed aroma, southern, chocolate style; cherries, packed flavour, gras texture grows on second half. No chinks. Violets/olives, variety. 2020-22

1998

slight fungal aroma, dry edges; cool, black cherry/mineral, dried raisin with air. Restrained cooked black fruit, widens well on palate. Coolness runs through it. Touch short. Fine now. 2011-14 June 2004 Previously *** quietly solid, tar/damp woods aroma; tight black jam flavour, tasty start, then tannins tighten and dry it. 2014-16

1997

almost herbal, olive/game and oily bouquet; overall warm texture, decent black flavoured flesh here. Narrows a bit. From 2006. 2010-12

1996

damp woods/olives, alert peppery nose; spicy, dark fruits, clear-cut juice here. Fresh, liquorice end. Frank wine. 2014-16

1993

quietly stewed nose, black jam, dry outer edge; fair confit taste, OK but lacks charm. More depth than most this year. Dry end. To 2008-09

1992 ()

fading red; damp blackcurrant leaf/violet aroma; fairly rounded, quite agreeable. Damson plum, touch sweet. Drink now till 2007.

1991 ()

great mixed aromas - pepper, sous-bois; prune, high fruit taste, truffled elements - the northern end of C-Rôtie. Sound length, with gras there, warm liquorice. 2010-11

1990 ()

quite fat, heavy bouquet - cherry jam, heat; spice, agreeable fullness and rounded, liquorice chew at end. To 2006-07

1989

start second phase - forest woods/oils; fresh, truffly taste, chewy, masculine wine. Air softens it, tapenade flavour, damson/cranberry. To 2008 or so.

1988

the robe is still red. Interesting nose – shows subdued blackberry, has reserves in it, can still do a spot of arm wrestling, since it has a slight local yokel air about it – there is mystery and black fruits in with paint stripper and a spot of Brett. The palate is a shade dusty, is very 1988 in style with its upright shape. It loosens and flattens, becomes a bit coarse, then revives on a precise finish that is slightly flowers and berries mixed together – the second half of the palate beats the first. Indeed, the finish is delectable, very Côte-Rôtie. The air keeps bringing out fine, small black berry fruit which bears a traditional, rather gamey overlay. 12.5° To 2018 or so. June 2010, Oslo Previously **** forest, pine, damp complex aromas; tight-knit dark flavour, chewy but accessible end. Upright, good length. Needs autumn food. To 2010-13

1986

dark colour, just some advance evident. Elegant, quite full bouquet - mixes olive, leather, truffly aspect. Suave, slightly peppered palate, still chunky enough. Black, oily flavour, then dry-toned finish. 2009-11 March 2003, Ampuis

1984 ()

the robe is still full, has a plum red colour, dark at its centre. As I walk in the cellar, its floral aroma drifts out, is striking, also fungal. There is a slight note of “high”. The palate expresses floral virtues, just a bit of taint in it. It has joli gras, a coulis of prune in the flavour, fig also, but overall it is fresh. Very good for its lowly vintage. This is tenderness in the glas. There is a nutty, peanut flavour on the finish, plus salt. Good to drink with partridge. “It was the first year I did canopy management, dropping leaves, and this was also the last year that my father and I worked together. It was whole bunch vinification then, which I stopped in 1987, one of the first to do that at Côte-Rôtie,” Bernard Burgaud. 2019-21  Oct 2013