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The Wines

from Cuminaille (1981, east-facing) at Chavanay, light sanded granite, 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 30-40% new, 60-70% 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks 18-20 months, malo completed in the casks, oxygenated every 4 months, unfiltered, 12-16,000 b

2017

(casks) dark red; the nose leads on its oak, right away, has an elegant sense of raspberry fruit below, with a stream of licorice. The oaking is in control. The palate bears suave, rolling blackcurrant and blueberry content, the fruit cool and pure, a note of flowers helpful. The oak is never far away. This has style, and will be a polished, elegant St Jo around 2022 onwards, the fruit persisting well. The cool aftertaste reflects its granite origins faithfully. 2038-40 Dec 2018, northern Rhône Previously Nov 2018 ****(*) (casks) good, shiny dark red robe. The nose is on oak fatness, hence caramel, which masks the red fruit, raspberry and mulberry, carries a hint of lead pencil. The palate in interesting, entwines cherry fruit with iron and near iodine notes. It currently holds dispersed parts, but can fuse, show character and its place well. It continues with detail, and winning fruit in a neat ball as it ends. This is very good, and the price is very fair given its quality. A rebound to the old Glory Days of Cuminaille here. From 2021, say. 2039-42 GB £182 per 12 b i/bond H2Vin quintessentially@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 073 6655  London, Nov 2018

2016 ()

(casks) quite a dark red. The nose sits quietly, has a blackberry jam aroma, a note of black olives. The palate offers a tasty, rounded ball of gras, a little spicing in the black fruits. It runs cleanly, has mild tannins that give a springy layer to the finish, which is a little sudden. It could have more flair, but the fruit quality is good. From mid-2018. 2030-33  Nov 2017

2015 ()

(casks) dark robe. The bouquet has a savoury quality, inner sweetness in its black cherry fruit, reflects the sunshine of the vintage, is oaked. The palate gives a shapely run of black fruit coupled with mild tannins, all parts in working order. It’s sleek, clear St Jo with a trim bearing, the oak prominent for now. 12,000 b. €11.10 export. From 2018. 2032-34 Oct 2016 GB £165 12 b in bond H2Vin www.h2vin.co.uk info@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 478 7376

2014 ()

(casks) bright red. Smoky bacon, red cherries, soaked fruits appear on the nose, which is quite brisk. The palate offers lively red fruit, is peppery and open, holds fine tannins that give minor crunch late on. The red cherry fruit is sleek. There is a touch of garrigue, mixed herbs on the exit. From spring 2017. 2027-29 GB £156 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk GB £65/6 b in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Nov 2015

2013 ()

(casks) red robe. There is some mystery, but also potential, in the bouquet – shows mulled dark berries, a wrapping of licorice. The palate is stylish as usual, just in a lighter than normal register due to the vintage conditions. It flows well, showing oak throughout, but that will settle. Has a Burgundian style. There is good quality, very clear fruit within, and it also ends on the up. 15,000 b. €20 at the cellars. From spring 2017. GB £84/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  £150/2 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2029-32  Nov 2014

2012 ()

(casks) dark colour. Roasted, grilled first hit on the nose – liqueur cassis beyond licorice, and a sweet overlay of ripeness. The palate has chocolate density derived from its oak raising: this is certainly not a “drink young” wine: the cellar impact is strong for now. From 2017 to lessen that effect, and to clarify the wine. A snatch of wee late mineral is encouraging. 2027-29  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark robe, shine in it. Has a careful nose, expresses oak and a potentially deep mulberry, big berry aroma. Nutty and white raisin hang around on the edges. The palate has a violet, oily black fruit flavour, and very mild 2011 tannins that support it well. It sets off with a likeable richness, is grounded and genuine. Good now with roast beef, for instance, yum yum, a rib, for instance. Good length, a hearty style and still a little raw. From 2014. 2026-28  Nov 2012

2010

sober red; smoke top note to its loganberry, blackberry aroma - a young nose, with potential, shows lardon or bacon bits, and a light note of southern garrigue herbs as well. The palate bears a smoky cassis fruit which shows discreetly, has a fine length, and a plum, red berry, iris scented aftertaste. Good acidity within it - allowing it to move with clarity. Nothing overdone here. Fine Saint-Joseph. From mid-2013. 13.5°. 2028-30 Nov 2012  Previously Nov 2011 ****(*) (casks) dark robe, small matt traces. Crisp, leathery bouquet – raspberry and mulberry, nice depth, marked vanilla pod; it has lift and persists, has style and potential for the future. Smoothly textured black fruit runs en finesse along the palate; good, supple content, with fine tannins, and correct oaking that leaves a singed note for now towards the finish. The core, and its fruit, are good, as is its balance. Promising wine that bears elegance more than weight, but its mobility is good. Esp drink around 2016, although can be started from 2014. 2027-29 Nov 2011

2008

(cask, to be bottled March 2010) healthy robe - dark notes, bright purple. Blackberry is prominent on the nose – blackberry jam with an earthy layer. The palate grips tight, has tannins early on, tannins that are very enclosed, and then give way to late granite cut. There is a good burst of raspberry across the palate, which is nicely juiced. Has matter for the future, but the tannins need 2+ years to settle – the oak encourages them. 2020-22 Nov 2009 Only 10,000 b this year.

2007

(casks) bright, dark robe; the first air on the bouquet is smoky – the charcoal brigade has assembled here, with ripe, smooth black fruits under that. The sleekness of fruit continues on the palate, while the oak contributes a nutted, crisp late texture, as if southern influences such as pistachio and tapenade are present. Interesting wine. There are mineral traces in it, as per its location. Classy – its fruit persists well. From late 2010 or even 2011. 2023-25 To be bottled April 2009. Dec 2008

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. 2019-21 April 2006

2003

lightly oaked, stylish nose, elegant width, some tar. Interesting, well-defined fruit, earthy support, some complexity. Tannins need till 2007. Good style, with a red fruits finale. 4 months less cask this year to gain freshness. Esp 2007 on. 2020-23 April 2005 Previously Nov 2004 (casks) ***(*) raisin-prune, jam, stewed black berries aroma - although potent, is quite well integrated. Smoky, dark fruit on palate, with oak presence that gives it cut, grip. Stylish wine in the making. Licorice on the finish, pretty good length. Rich enough for the future, can get interesting and varied. From 2008. 2020-22

2002

(casks) sappy, southern black fruit style aroma, toasted also. Some weight, not very big. Fair juice, with oak presence. Hmm. 2014-16

2001 ()

plum red robe with evolution in it – but still quite thorough. The nose is showing very second stage aromas – the fox hits town, bears game in it, but there is rather muscled red fruit behind. The palate is fresher than the nose, with a good ensemble of fruit and maturing tannin. Is in something of a sweet spot now – the fruit is berried and fine, and ends on floral, sweet tea notes. 2019-21 Nov 2009 Previously **** lots of bounding fruit energy on bouquet - prune/leather. Oily, black flavour, southern style, herbal, heated. Tarry/licorice finish. Has some of its typical minerality. Good, assertive wine. Esp 2005 on. 2015-18

2000

violet, smoked, oaked nose; some flesh, struggles with the oak overlay. Dry finish. Leave, hope. 2005 on.

1990

very successful and shows good longevity. Good, elegant middle fruit, surging blackberry bouquet. Berried fruit prickle on palate, top gear.