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The Wines

65% from mica-schist soils on 0.6 hectare on Côte Brune (high up, late 1940s-early 1980s), 20-33% from Moutonnes (early 1980s-early 1990s), 15-20% from 0.3 hectare on top of Côte Blonde (late 1940s-early 1980s), 100% Syrah, av age 35 years, destemmed, 10 days skin maceration at 8-10°C, wild yeasts, 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punchings, aged new 228-litre oak casks 36 months, can be filtered, “drink with partridge, pheasant, beef tournedos”, La Garde is a brand name, 500-4,500 b

2017

(new casks) handsome dark red colour. The bouquet has an oily intensity, is charged up with oak varnish, licorice, vigorous black fruits, cassis included. The oak is a little stiff. The palate delivers bustling black-fruited content, backed by pretty ripe tannins, has structure and a cool ID, stands its ground. It’s still very much in the cellar, with oak on the finish, so leave until 2022. There is the potential for a handsome wine in time. Decanting advised. 100% Syrah. 2038-40 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(new cask, bottling Oct 2019) shiny red robe. Has a great nose, immediately provocative, raspberry fruits, soaked red cherries; it is fascinating, has a musky curve around it, a wee note of meatiness. The palate is on sensuous trails, with textured, pliant content with soft richness and rose airs. It goes well long, in serene fashion. Way to go Rôtie here. It has a red fruit coulis flavour, but also very precise freshness, cool threads towards the finish. It lasts very well. From 2022. 2037-39 Mar 2018

2015

1) (new 600-litre cask, bottling Oct 2018) ****** bright red robe with a full centre. Bacon fat, smoked red fruit airs on the nose, soaked red cherries, a hint of violet, with licorice, coffee. This is full and rolling, a good fluid palate with expressive, lissom textured red fruits, raspberry and strawberry snugness of the garden. Clear, mineral tannins bring increased lift. The mineral presence is striking. This achieves depth and movement in impressive tandem, and is very long. The aftertaste juicy gras richness, the real deal. 2042-44 2) (new 228-litre cask) ****(*) full red; the nose is reserved, gives red fruits, raspberry in a cautious display, the fruits carry a sexy roundness, are graceful in presentation. There is a near dried herbs presence. The palate is tight, all together, has inner compact depth, doesn’t reveal a lot of nuance. It ends on steady gras. This is rather southern, a reserved wine that is compact and less striking then the 600-litre cask version. 2039-41 March 2018 Previously Oct 2016 ****** (cask) dark, sustained robe. The bouquet is ripe, rich, hidden for now. Prune fruit comes with some freshness, and it will be impressive and imposing in time. The palate is muscular, has inner strength, blood in its veins. The mineral thread is prominent, the terroir talking well. The finish assembles red berry fruits with a little floral generosity. This is complex wine for measured drinking, pondering about its ways and wares. Its subtlety allied to its innate muscle is most compelling. Decant, serve in a large glass, only top friends admitted. 13.5°. 3,000 b. €65. From 2020. 2039-42 Oct 2016

2014 ()

red robe. Raspberry, lucid fruit airs on the nose, a touch of mineral coolness; it has a neat self-sufficiency, control, is more airborne than of the ground. The palate is delicate, soft, gives a note of iron after the mid-point, extends with a steady length, late grip. It lacks the usual depth, is soundly together, though, comes on a reduced register. There are lightly rose-aromatic moments in with some tannic rockiness. Good from 2020, say. 13°. 2030-32 March 2018

2013 ()

(casks) full robe. Liqueur blackberry aroma with low level scenting implicit in the nose; it has a tarry note and a coffee-cedar touch from the oak. The palate is quietly muscular, the fruit resembles blueberry, comes in lagging mini-waves, irregular bursts for now. It holds good, live tannins. The oak pushes forward on the finish. There is plenty of material here for the future. Has the reserve of the northern zone (tasted blind). STGT wine. 13.5°. 3,000 b. €33 ex cellars. From 2018. 2036-38  Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark colour. Black raisin, mulled fruits, oak caramel, roast chestnuts in the nose – this bouquet is broad, a bit grilled. The palate mixes a constrained outer with some squeezy, gummy red fruit content. Very much still on the raising, but there is definition to follow. Has promising elements, length. Plenty of wine, it is full on the finish. Patience will be rewarded. From 2017. 2033-35  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark red; the nose promises to be harmonious, mixing well its oak and its red berry fruit. There is a supple curve of ripeness that is encouraging. The palate presents a red berry flavour with a touch of thyme and coriander in the seasoning. It ends on nutty tannins – there is work to do there. It has a pretty future ahead, and is more northern zone than southern, a manly sort of wine. It ends compactly. Has a nimble, Burgundian style, and is mild, if a bit limited. From mid-2014. 2028-30  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) dark-tinted robe, full, indeed very dark. The nose mixes smoke-oak and the gras of ripe black berry fruit, shows hints of violet, and there is some light charcoal which will disappear. The palate is nice and wide, off it goes; here the fruit comes with a salty touch, and is fleshy, free, has an orderly abundance. The length is savoury, textured, persistent. Tea and coffee notes appear on the aftertaste, all about its raising now. There is good fruit at its centre, and a spine of fresh tannin. Dark, intense, balanced wine, with a lot of matter right through it. From 2015. Release Jan 2014. 2034-37 Nov 2011

2009

(casks) shiny, full robe; the bouquet is full, wide and measured for now – it is led by smoky tea airs, wee tar, and has oily black fruit influences – something of the caged tiger waiting to pounce. Potential and variety beckon here. The palate gives hints of a fruit bomb – there is smoky oak in the black fruit. The texture is enjoyable, the wine juicy and mobile in the mouth. It ends on squeezy fruit, with ripe, still concentrated tannins. The length is good. From 2013. I would want this to settle and take on more poise, so esp from 2017 for that. 2035-37. 35 hl/ha this year. Release Jan 2013. Nov 2010

2008

(casks) quite shiny, not deep red; has a soft tread nose, delicate red fruit, with a breezy, white pepper surround. The palate holds grippy red fruit with a focused line of approach. Straight, upright wine but capable of bend. Will make gradual progress. Its end red fruit is clear, is a slow burn, very Burgundian wine. Just 13°. 2022-24 Nov 2009

2007

(new 228-litre cask) quite an intense red; confident, quiet red fruit traverse across the glass – hay and a few herbal airs accompany it. Striking red fruit on the palate – it bustles along, is fresh and vivacious, more backward than the Viallière 2007 – is only just starting out. Holds well-woven, pebbly tannin, is a fine-boned wine of good length. Its oak still needs to settle in. From 2013. 2029-32 Nov 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ****(*) (casks) sleek, dark robe; the bouquet has a polished black fruits air that comes with a suave curve of appeal, also tea and a lingering blackberry fruit scent – it has class, and shuts down with air. The palate black fruit delivered with touches of meaty, elemental forces, is really beau. The length is good – this is a wine of standing, with very good cohesion. The fruit is fulfilling and lingering. The aftertaste combines black cherry and oak. A polished wine of good heart and matter. The oak surges forward with air, but this has definite promise. From late 2010 or 2011. 2028-31 Dec 2008

2006

pretty red; there is a persistent line of red fruit in the nose, comes with a tight surround of oak, works as a whole, and indeed is very elegant. The palate is still upright but stylish; its secure red fruit keeps moving steadily along. It ends tar and burnt toast, the finale is wrapped up for now. A clear cherry red flavour emerges, and is very persistent. There is a Burgundian style in this wine of good poise. From 2013. Bottled Aug 2009. 2032-34 Nov 2009 Previously Nov 2007 *** (casks) dark robe verging on black cherry. The bouquet holds tightly-knit black fruits, with a touch of damp leaves, earth and damp soil, is a little mineral. “Clean”, spotless style black fruit on the palate, black cherries, some of them soaked (our old friend griottes) and blackcurrant. Is all pretty orderly, with the oak largely infused. Has tidy length. A polished wine, with everything in order. There is good fruit that is nice and clear, with a little sweet seduction about it. Esp 2010 on. 2031-33 Nov 2007

2005 ()

(casks) dark robe; compact, promising bouquet – oak mixed with black fruits, has a dense nature. Brewed black fruits with some reduction on the palate. Can become smooth and bonny in time, has a compact berry flavour – as it should coming from the Blonde sector, with its gourmand appeal. Savoury towards the finish – there is some scale in this wine. Esp 2010 on. 2030-33 Nov 2006

2003

(cask) complete, full bouquet, with expressive black fruits, promising. Stylish, well-formed fruit on palate, long and elegant. Suave texture, with grip on finish. Nicely upright now. Esp 2008 on. 2022-24 March 2005

2001

solid, balanced nose, chocolate aspects; nice matter here, has gras, discreet still. From 2007-08. 2026-28

2000

the robe is advancing. The nose is at an intermediate stage – coffee, crisp red fruit, grainy, pebbly touches. The palate holds red cherry, typical Cote-Rôtie style fruit with a late marzipan, broadening effect. This has interestingly woven fruit and live tannins, with an end pocket of gras. The length is sound. “It resembles 2006,” Stéphane Carrel. 2023-25 Nov 2009 Previously **** wide berry fruit aroma, some floral also; refined black juice, raspberry flavour, olives too. Ripe grapes deliberately, has restraint. From 2006. 2022-25

1998

well-held red robe, a little turn at the top. Coated red fruits, jam leaning in the nose – cocoa and slight game airs, as well. The palate gives textured, attractive red fruit with a mineral, tea-scented grain, and a run that is secure to the line. It ends a little dryly, but has only just been opened and is served cool. 2024-26 Nov 2009

1997