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The Wines

Syrah (late 1980s) from Chavanay, Malleval, Limony, 90-95% own crop, 5-10% purchased, mainly destemmed, 5-7 day pre-fermentation cooling at <10°C, 4-week vinification at up to 25°C (down from 35°C until mid-2010s), 3 daily pumping overs, cap punchings, part vat emptying/refillings, racked every 3 months, with maceration at 25°C (down from 30°C until mid-2010s), aged 10-20% new (declining), 80-90% 2-5 year 228-litre oak casks 18-20 months with malo completed in the casks, unfiltered, 20-25,000 b

2017

dark, bright red. Soft, rather sweet aroma of black fruits, hint of reduction. Medium weight palate, with clear fruit through it. Ends only a little floral note. Doesn’t have great depth, is rather a primeur style of St Jo, agreeably fruited, with powdery tannins. It is bottled already. 13°. From spring 2019. 2028-29 Dec 2018, northern Rhône Previously Nov 2018 *** bright red; elderberry, smoked black cherry aits feature in a springy nose that has cool cut and a note of raspberry. The palate is live, a bit spare, carries direct black fruit, with steel in it, ends clearly on iron and licorice. It’s slightly stripped back, is suited to grilled foods. 13°. From mid-2019. 2027-29 GB £153 per 12 b i/bond H2Vin quintessentially@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 073 6655 London, Nov 2018

2016 ()

dark plum colour. The bouquet isn’t yet settled, shows reduction, a singed aspect, grilling, in with a cloudy set of black fruits, vegetal notes. The palate also has a vegetal angle, perhaps via the inclusion of stems, is on the thin side. The tannins travel up and down, distracting from the black fruits within. This is a wine in need of time, and further raising before bottling – tasted blind, hoping it has not yet been bottled. I see it is 12.5°, which may explain the vegetal side – the tannic ripeness not quite right? From 2019. 2028-30 Nov 2017

2015

dark colour. The nose starts on mulled blackberry fruit, with a fat intensity, the sweet notes of the vintage. It’s wide and curved. The palate gives soaked fruits, with a note of dampness, damp forest matter, a near fungal angle. It’s an obvious wine that could have a tighter tannic frame around it, plays to the crowd, I feel. There is a little floral presence on the close. It’s a bit limited, but may be under its recent bottling. 25,000 b. €8.30 export. From mid-2017. 2026-28 Oct 2016 GB £125 12 b in bond H2Vin www.h2vin.co.uk info@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 478 7376

2014

(casks) shiny red robe. Toffee and oak mingle on the nose with an air of red cherries – the nose is quite exuberant, very young. The palate gives a flavour of peppery dark berries, comes with a mild texture, is sleek, and the gras is just a little plump. It is grape juice more than wine in some ways. Shows licorice on the exit. Early drinking wine, no delay. 2019-20 £114 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk Nov 2015

2013

mottled red robe. There is a singed angle to the nose, whose red fruit is unconvincing and not very clear, unlike many St Jo reds this year; it carries a vegetal side. This is a modest start. The palate has ground to make up, therefore, and fails to do that: the fruit is on the stretch, the depth not confident. Questions about crop ripeness and selection here, a dilute wine. It dries on the finish. Disappointing. 12°. To 2020 Jan 2015  Previously Nov 2014 **(*) (casks) pale red robe. The nose gives an air of simmered berries – there is an airborne float to it, floral dabs present. The palate also gives floral touches, has raspberry fruit in the middle, then grips at the end. It lacks body to sustain it on the finish, where there are green pepper notes. The finale is grainy and oaked. 12°. 20,000 b. €14.50 at the cellars. £112 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk To 2020-21  Nov 2014

2012

(casks) pretty dark robe; notably peppery black fruit leads the bouquet, with reserves to come – it will be a good second stage wine when around four to five years’ old. Oak, blackberry jam and prune feature in its flavour, with notes of iron and smoke. The palate gives expressive, mineral-tinted dark fruit with genuine granite interplay. It ends with snap – the close is compact. From mid-2015.  2025-27  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) rather dark robe. The nose shows a floral scent with its blackberry and cassis fruit, the fruit “high”; has a good depth and an oiliness that works well. The palate delivers peppery, suavely coated black berry fruit with a lurking peony-iris flower contribution. It ends on a round, gummy texture, the tannins squeezy. Traditional style, and does a good job for a beef stew, or cottage pie (minced beef with potato covering), country foods. It tapes a tiny but, as its fruit narrows somewhat. The finish is solid, and this is sound, good. From spring 2013. 2022-24 Nov 2012

2010 ()

dark red; smoky, clear snap red berry, hedgerow fruit aroma, with a secure central depth, point of focus. The palate sets off on alert, lively red fruit, swings along well, leads to a clear finish, just a few grainy tannins there that are tasty. Good balance, with its freshness lifting the finish, rendering it clear and crisp as it ends. Enjoyable, and enough verve to drink solo at this young stage. From 2013. 13°. Fair value at £17 or so in GB. 2023-25  Nov 2012

2009 ()

(casks) steady, quite full plum red. Reserved, neutral nose_ there is the sense of cooked stone red fruit, and a float of rose-violet. The palate is more perky, has a red jam flavour, is infused with light spice. A traditional style Saint-Joseph, we are in food country here, rather than solo drinking. There is the southern zone style in its softness, sanded granite soils. It ticks over to the finish. Ready, though decanting may help. Solid quality, if not inspirational. 2018-20 Nov 2010

2007

(casks) dark robe; intense, chocolatey aroma – sweet raisin, prune, treacle – but it isn't heavy, and at its core lies comforting black jam. The palate black fruit is enclosed and oak-lined - this is a cellar-led wine, away from the simplicity of the vine. The length is OK, with companions such as mocha, cocoa and a pebbly feel from the oak at the end. From late 2009. To be bottled April 2009. 2019-21 Dec 2008

2006 ()

largely black robe, with some matt in its tone; there is bright black fruit in the aroma with a trace of peppering, and some sweetness: a bit more to come. Fleshy, rather flashy black fruits before a sudden clampdown from its oak. Has sufficient content to be OK, but leave until late 2009. Its fruit quality is well struck. 2020-22 Jan 2008

2005 ()

black tones to the robe; grilled bouquet, with some richness under a lot of oak – the fruit is clear, though. Well-founded black fruit that contains a granite tension. The oak is evident but can infuse by mid-2008. Upright, structured style – its second, later phase will give the best drinking, comes in a sleek style. Mineral finish. From mid-2008. 2020-22 Nov 2006

2004

dark robe. Stewed, gum fruit nose with a red fruits-floral mix. Elegant feel to palate, though fruit is stewed and not that fresh. Raspberry fruit core, then pepper. Oak handled pretty well here - the fruit is pure on the attack, before the advent of the oak. Tarry, bit burnt aftertaste. From 2008 for harmony, integration. 2016-18 April 2006

2003

full, dark robe. Touch burnt, oaked bouquet, upright shape with peppered tones. Sleek fruit start, pushes off on an extracted tack, alcohol evident within, is a potent brew. Chocolate elements from the vintage heat, is a bit dry at the end right now. There is some richness to allow evolution. From late 2006. 2017-20 Nov 2004

2001

the robe is still a full red – all the way up. There is plenty of depth in the bouquet – its displays black fruits with a frisky top note, and is still much more primary than secondary stage – fruit leads, rather than game or damp woods. The palate comes and goes, and while the middle is fruited, the end is oaked. It is well-knit early on, with a compact texture. After 20 minutes following decantation, the oak shows on the nose, and the finish brings out chocolate. Suddenly it is unmasked as a wine in its second stage. Then, after two hours of air, it becomes dry, astringent and undrinkable, suggesting excess extraction and oak in the making and the raising. Conclusion: open and drink! To 2010, for example. 13°. Sept 2007, Copenhagen Previously *** frisky black fruit jam/tar nose. Tight, straight black fruit attack, some end tannin. Clean, with some heart.