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The Wines

1920s, 1930s Syrah, from 2005 made from Les Greffieux and Les Bessards, whole bunch fermentation, 18-21 day vinification, cap punching, pumping overs, aged 75% 600-litre, 25% 228-litre casks 10-30% new, rest 1-5 years old, unfined, light filtration, “this is always a fresh style of wine”, white capsule, 600-3,000 b

2018

(used 600-litre cask, sugars finished, malo perhaps completed) shiny dark red. There is a lees effect beyond the raspberry, sustained red fruit aroma, a wee floral note. This is rich and rolling, supple tannins in the wheel, is gourmand, croquant (easy to drink), has a lip-smacking close. The tannins are notably ripe. It’s an aromatic wine, will be stylish. 13.6°. At least **** wine. “I think it will take on structure thanks to its raising,” B Faurie. 25-28 years Dec 2018

2017 ()

(used 600-litre cask, the first crop harvested, three days before the second lot, which is going into Greffieux-Méal-Bessards, the GB wine) clear red, a joli colour. The nose has a hug of sweet-tuned blackberry aroma with gleam-glisten and steady persistence. The palate bears attractive mixed fruits, which have a real clear stream, are very purposeful. This has good Hermitage character, a wine that gives a true image of Hermitage. It carries some spice, late tannic thrust, oak-smoke, and shows a brief spot of gras on the close. It’s naked in style, true access allowed. “This is more in the style of a 2016,” Bernard Faurie. From 2023. 2043-45 Dec 2018

2016 ()

clear, full red colour. Has an inky, immediate nose, raspberry fruit, strawberry jam, soaked cherries (griottes) present – it carries elegant sweetness. The palate gives bustling red fruits, good, clear lines of fruit, poise and likeable breeze. It carries real good verve, goes long, skips along, with flanks of suave, fleshy matter, good detail and definition. It’s a long way from the density of 2017, is articulate, springy, true Hermitage. Greffieux has its say in its suave feel. It finishes on cherry stone intensity, the aftertaste agreeably cool, needs time. Decant it. 13°. From 2022. Bottled Feb 2018. 2044-46 Dec 2018

2015

dark red robe. Red fruit is peeking our on the nose, but it’s in retreat right now, I feel, and could stop for three to eight years. There is violet, cooked plum, raspberry liqueur in a generous offer, a Grenache association. The palate serves delicious gourmandise, silky gras on roller skates, max delight here; it has great feel, sève [sap of old vines], class, moves in slinky fashion into a smooth, curved finale with meat blood droplets, iron from Bessards on the finish, a touch of tar. This is high class, the definition of its place strong. Very complete, stylish, The Real Thing here. Only 13.5°. From 2023. 2047-49 Dec 2018

2014

(used 600-litre oak cask, bottling Apr 2016) shiny dark red, a belle robe. Has a lucid, upbeat aroma of black cherry, raspberry, a beguiling sweetness. The palate gives a silken run of stylish black cherry fruit, a good, clear expression. It develops a tasty pocket on the finish. This has a fresh vintage profile, the neatness of that. The fruit is intense in places, it has Pinot  connotations, and the wine has good zing. From 2019. 2033-35  Dec 2015 Previously Jan 2015 ***(*) 1) (600-litre oak cask, the first harvesting of the two, 50%-50%) *** sound, quite dark red robe. Has a down the line nose that is fragrant, open, gives airs of deep red fruit, is a little sugared. The palate is medium weight, presents rounded fruit, is up and running. Greffieux stamps it more than Bessards. It is a bit simple – it could be deeper and a bit longer. 0.2°of chaptalisation to take it to 13.5°. 15 years. 2) (600-litre oak cask, the second harvesting of the two, 60% Bessards, 40% Greffieux) **** good dark red robe. Has a nicely elegant and prolonged aroma of red fruits, with some subtlety. The palate is attractively fruited, broad enough, and lined with some well weighted tannin – it lengthens on that. There is a grainy cluster at the end. The fruit flows with appealing intent. This is stylish, northern, nice and naked, STGT wine. From 2019. 2034-36 Jan 2015

2013

bottled Nov 2014, the first harvesting run: bright cherry red. There is a peppery-spiced debut to the nose, along with brambly fruit, varied stimuli, green pepper over red cherries, a hint of rose. This is clean-sided, fresh wine with direct fruit; it has a good tingle about it, and the licorice/blackberry finale is satisfying. The exit is salty, nutty, granular. A dentelle, clear wine that has touches of floral and perfumed aromas, with a crackly tannin. “Les Bessards (60%) dominates this too much for now, over Les Greffieux (40%),” Bernard Faurie. 13°. From spring 2017. 2034-36 Jan 2015 Now, the second harvesting run, 10 days later, still in used 600-litre oak cask: **** quite a dark red. Cosy, strawberry, polished, fine aroma with floral touches. The attack is live, towards spritz, holds elegant fruit, nice and comfortable. It picks up some crisp cut tannins at the end from Les Bessards. The future is all before it, is a slow-burn Burgundian gainer over time. The finish is grainy, still on tight, quite powdery, aromatic tannins. From mid-2018, no hurry. 2032-34  Jan 2015

2012

dark red, crimson top, purple present in the robe. There is good sizzle in the bouquet, the snap of granite Syrah, with a hum of lead pencil and rose hip, pot pourri of dried flowers. The bouquet is still timid, but promises well for a gradual, measured unfurling. The prime fruit aroma combines red and black cherries. This is delightful wine with iron through it, and a suave berry, young fruit quality. The fruit peeks out on the finish from inside some fresh, ripe tannins. There is fine snap in this, the juiciness calm and precise. It finishes with 2012 clarity, has dentelle virtues. It is intricate, subtle and persistent, has a naked beauty and intrigue. Grand Vin. 13.5°. From 2016 or mid-2017. 2034-37  Jan 2015 Previously Dec 2013 ***(*) (bottled 3 weeks ago for the Marché de Cornas, just a small amount, the main bottling at least mid-2014 onwards) dark red, purple hues. Has a serene air, one that presents a rounded aroma across the glass, has a good, crushed berries heart. There is a small, earthy under note to it. The palate has fine floral inserts in its cosy fruit, which is gentle and lightly sweet. It isn’t full-bodied, wait for a long time Hermitage. Has light, gummy tannins. Agreeable, but it doesn’t light my fuse. From mid-2015. 13.5°. 2030-32  Dec 2013

2011

dark red. This has a smoky, from the rocks nose with a clear heart of black berry fruit – the bouquet is promising, interesting. The palate holds good, clear, expressive fruits, moves well with its spine of crisp tannin. It ends on a more rounded restraint, needs three years. Has a fine heart, a joli appeal, and an agreeable, wee floral touch comes through. From 2016. 13°. 2033-35  Dec 2013  Previously Nov 2012 **** bottled 10 days ago: even red robe with a touch of central darkness. There is floral scent on top of its raspberry fruit air – the bouquet has a plump teenage appeal, shows a note of soaked red cherries. The palate fruit is clear, Burgundian, in its precision, with a gradual stirring of extra depth and tannins which are supple. It ends round and gummy, compact, with a note of jam and toffee there, an extra ripeness, width and concentration. Stylish, aromatic wine that can gain in depth and appeal to **** level. It has subtle depth, and is not at all exaggerated. From 2015. 13°. 2031-33  Nov 2012  Previously Nov 2011 **** (used 228-litre cask, 13°, sugars completed) clear, pretty, quite full red. There is a ripple of fruit on the nose, red fruit with a smoky, graphite backdrop or second note. There is also a rose-peony floral softness. The palate is tasty, openly fruited, has decent balance, well-melded tannins for now – they provide a minor presence that may grow with its raising and bring extra structure. Quiet gourmet pleasure here on the second half. Burgundian, elegant wine. From 2015. 2030-33 Nov 2011

2010 ()

(called Greffieux (55%)-Bessards (45%) this year by Bernard, used 600-litre oak cask) pretty red; raspberry fruit air with a little succulence in it, a deep seated black pepper, and some floating floral, violet - has potential. The palate starts on a closed, fine raspberry fruit, is more living through tar and grain influences. Develops some gras late on, is a waiting wine, can evolve well. There is a live strike of tannin and snap at the end. An orderly, restrained wine which has a good Bessards spine to it – a mineral clarity, is STGT wine. From 2015. 13.85°. 2036-38. “It is closed – I racked and sulphured it a while back, and two days before the recent rain it went backwards,” Bernard Faurie. Nov 2011

2009 ()

(called Greffieux-Bessards this year by Bernard, used 600-litre oak cask) red, purple. Reserved but clean as crystal red cherry fruit aroma – it is treat with its primary youth and definition. The fruit continues very well along the palate – excellent quality, it is round, also fresh, a true traveller. The finale is round and textured, but also structured. There is a licorice darkness in it, and it is worth waiting for its display of greater variety around 2017-18. From 2013-14. 2033-35 Nov 2010

2008

(Greffieux part, used 600-litre oak cask) *** fair red robe; steady, clear bouquet; the palate fruit has a firm base, is snappy, pebbly. There is quiet black fruit within – the tannins need leaving until 2011-12. Upright, quite clear wine that lacks roundness on the finish, but can meld together. 2022-24. (Bessards part, used 600-litre oak cask) *** bright red; compact nose – red cherry, a bit baked, more depth than the Greffieux part. There is a nice tang in the palate, that extends carefully, has the granite glint in it. From late 2012 – time can only help this. It can be a *** wine, and interesting around 2015-16 esp. Cherry fruit lingers on the finish. “It is more solid than the Greffieux,” B.F. OVERALL *** 2026-28 Nov 2009

2007 ()

called Greffieux-Bessards on his literature this year, another year, another shift in name! purple and mauve robe; smoky, clear blackberry aroma that has a quiet insistence about it – it needs at least two years. The palate holds tasty fruit, right away – there is a delicate line of travel through the palate, which is flanked by grainy tannins on either side. The length is sound. A wine of delicate bone, quite apart from the Bruisers Gang, where extra ripe crop, oak and extraction roam the streets. Leave until 2011. 2029-32. €25 at the domaine. Dec 2008

2006

(cask) bright black-mauve robe; the nose is good and level, led by creamy black fruits – has a soft, persistent potential. The palate shape is round at first, then it gains momentum and bite. Its tannins are largely enrobed, but still active. Is a mid-plus weight wine of charm, and it has a clear, fresh finish. From 2010. 2027-29 Dec 2007

2004 ()

red berry fruits, scented surround to nose. Clear-cut fruit on palate and a low-key rich oiliness within. Harmony wine, fine and nicely rounded. Well-expressed fruit, has the expected Greffieux suppleness. Some tannin on finish, Drinks well already since the tannin is well set. 2025-27 Dec 2005

2002

some roundness on bouquet - compact fruit. Pleasant fruit on attack, then tightens. Pretty enough. Agreeable, early style wine. Some meatiness on finish, shows a bit more claw there. In transition, tannins softening quite fast. From 2006-07 on. 2022-24 Previously (cask) *** suave red berry jam nose; mid-weight, pure enough; down the line, fair length. 2020-22

2001

raspberry, rose-hip, pretty nose; clearly textured, persistent red fruits, stylish, elegant, tightens well at end. 2006 on. 2027-29