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The Wines

85-90% Syrah, 10-15% Viognier from Fongeant, Viallière, (both northern sector) Cote Blônde (southern sector), destemmed, 5-7 day pre-fermentation cooling at <10°C, 4-week vinification at 25°C-30°C, then 30°C-35°C at the end, daily pumping overs, 1-2 cap punchings, part vat emptying/refillings, with maceration at 30°C, aged 30-50% new, 70-50% 1-3 year fine grain Allier & Nevers oak casks 18-20 months, with malo completed in the casks, oxygenated every 4 months, unfiltered, 20,000 b

2017

(casks) fine red robe; mulberry, red berry fruit with a hint of flowers, rose shows on the nose, along with rocky airs – it lasts OK in a tender setting, will be redondo. The palate starts on red fruits, with immediate iron threads, a mineral line, through it. This has subtle complexity and character, is natural, too. The fruit is fine here. Decanting advised. From mid-2021. 2039-42 GB £350 per 12 b i/bond H2Vin quintessentially@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 073 6655 Nov 2018

2016 ()

(casks) mainly dark red robe. The nose is broad, has a prune and raspberry liqueur association, a note of beef stock that brings inkiness. There is a siding of crème de menthe. The palate holds open content, am immediate bounty of sweet-toned flavour, the tannins smoky, mild. It’s a bit flashy as a style, has been made for early drinking, but will please for its uncomplicated, open doors policy. From late 2018. 2032-34 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) dark red robe. The nose is typical, bears charm via its mix of red berries, raspberries, and floral airs, has a light dustiness that works well, a notion of oak. The palate issues pure black cherry fruit backed by tight, crisp tannins, leaving the finish clear as a whistle. This is stylish, has suave potential, and very good cut. The oak is sensitive, not over the top. 20,000 b. 90% Syr, 10% Vio. €20.55 export. From 2019. 2035-37 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) clear red robe. Blackberry, smoky, rounded aroma on the nose. The palate is crunchy, holds Morello cherry fruit, the tannins polished, licorice on the finish. It is a little faint hearted in its depth, but is all very clean overall, has a little Rôtie scenting. From mid-2017. 2028-30 £284 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk GB £120/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com  Nov 2015

2013 ()

quite a full red. Has a reserved nose led by red berry, strawberry fruit that is a bit indistinct. A minor note of menthol and leafiness accompanies it. The palate is subdued, has gras, and develops that towards the finish. It doesn’t stride out, seems a little tired. In bottle already, hmmm. This vintage offers more lift and rock n’roll than this can muster. Post bottling blues possibly. 13°. €37 at the cellars. From 2016. 2026-28 GB £150/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  Jan 2015 Previously Nov 2014 ***(*) (casks) decent red robe. Violets of Vienne, as in the Roman descriptions, show on the nose with raspberry airs and vanilla from the oak. This is a good, clear-cut nose. The palate holds expressive fruit, with enjoyable dentelle – toothsome – qualities, tasty and precise. The length is sound, as is the balance. There is a wee spot of red jam on the exit. A wine in the quiet scale of the vintage. 10% Viognier. From 2017. £272 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2027-29 Nov 2014

2012 ()

(casks) dark colour. The nose is reserved, offers obscure black fruit, simply doesn’t express; it has grounding, shows some black olive, nutshells, licorice. The palate is hidden; it bears bramble fruit, dark tannin, with no stretch of it in the clear. Has just one toe out of its shell so far. The finish shows some fluid gras, so there is hope from that. Its fruit is sleek. From spring 2016. 2031-33  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) fair red; soaked black cherries aroma, with grilled, smoky bacon airs – the bouquet is wide and well-set, and shows something of the South – herbs, flint. It is well scented and has an air of racy licorice. The palate is compact, with oak traces through it; the shape is upright, unresolved. The fruit is clear-cut, low-key for now. Fast forward 3 to 4 years for a crisp, free style of Côte-Rôtie, with mineral in its veins – this is not a fat wine. 2026-29  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) shiny, quite dark, mottled red. Has an interesting red jam, wild berry aroma, berry good ripeness with nothing forced, has a toffee backdrop. Soft red fruits – patient, not a pushy bouquet. The palate is wholesome, juicy, works across and along. It is still under its oak-toffee raising. Its gras richness is very well established. Fatness and richness are the main impression, with a long aftertaste on that bubble of sweetness. Has aromatic, quiet qualities, keeps going well. From summer 2013. 2030-32 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(casks) good, dark red-plus robe; the bouquet is rather raw and robust for now – shows grilled, meaty, smoky first airs with a well tucked-in red fruit present. It is wide, consistent and can act as a good launch pad. Probing plum fruit lines the palate, a touch enforced, over-insistent. It ends on grilled, baked notes, the cellar approach has been firm. This also reflects the dry, hot conditions of the late summer. It needs three years to ease and find its tune. Dried fig, toffee aftertaste. A worked-on Côte-Rôtie. 2026-29 Nov 2010

2008

(casks) full red robe, with some dark traces. There is the suggestion of roundness on the nose that carries red berry fruit with floral airs attached – it is quite knit together. Has a fine red fruit debut to the palate, with a Viognier softening as it moves along. It is a wee bit pushed, has a red jam finale, depth contrived in the cellar. The length is OK. From 2013. “I lost 50% of the crop this year,” P. Gaillard. 2023-25 Nov 2009

2007 ()

(casks) dark red plum colour; has a sealed, compact red stone fruits aroma that comes with a late trail of sweet tea. The palate has a pliant texture – the red fruit is ripe, mature and a little low in acidity. The length is OK. There is a slight lack of focus: this shows the sweeter tendencies of the southern zone. To 2020-23 March 2009

2006 ()

(casks) matt-toned red robe; red berry aroma that comes in an already mature rather than fresh style, holds suggestions of prune and dates. The palate has red-fruited, rather pointed start, with a little sharpness in it. The texture is pebbly, and it ends more on a down than up note, in a somewhat feral way. Its tannins and oak seal it a little. The flavour now is nutty, and there is a lack of body in it. 2021-23 Nov 2007

2005

(casks) dark robe; soft bouquet but ripe, has some classic black fruit with marked Viognier scent inside, is harmonious and relaxed. Well-poised, thorough and well-founded flavour, led by red berries. Plenty of gourmandize to come. Lots of charm, flows well. Esp 2009 on. 2024-27 Nov 2006

2004 ()

good, broad and full bouquet, smoky black fruits, lots of potential. Chocolate, then raspberry, brewed flavour. Thick stuffing, the fruit nicely authentic, oak well woven. Persistent, has good nerve in it, and good structure. Very expressive, punchy and modern. Esp 2008 on. 2025-27 April 2006

2003 ()

(casks) soaky, black fruit aroma, well-knit from the oak. Mix of extract and oak on attack. Has clean flavours, rather a cellar wine. Bit vacant, dry on finish right now. 2007-08 on. 2020-22

2002

smoky, black fruits/floral aroma; brewed prune fruit, some richness, compact, mid-weight, some tannin. Length correct. Safe and sound wine. More variety 2006 on. 2019-21

2001

nose mixes floral, light meat, ripe crop, some fungal tones; cooked-up black fruits, prune flavour at end, tannins too. Some gras, but seems bit stretched, and dry at end. Esp 2005. 2020-22