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The Wines

1900s, 1960s Syrah, mainly whole bunch fermentation, some cap punching by foot, aged aged 4-6 years and up used 228-litre oak casks 18-24 months, no racking, unfiltered, 6,000 b, rose to 7-8,000 b from the 2007 vintage

2018

(Tézier, Moser, old Syrah, used 228-litre cask) has a vibrant robe, black-purple. The nose is upholstered, layers of black fruits, large blackberries, loganberries the image given. There’s a touch of VA. It’s profound and stylish, has crunchy airs. There’s an aromatic, snake hips run of black cherry fruit along the palate, before it moves into powder grain tannins. The fruit is most engaging, is cool, precise, and there’s plenty of it. It’s very lucid, and drives well on the finish. From 2023. 28+ years Dec 2018

2017

1) (a mix of Vieille Côte, Le Bois/Tezier (1930s-1940s), Moser (1970s), Les Saveaux, sanded soils, very decomposed granite, used 228-litre cask) ****** dark robe, a black heart. Black cherries, roasting, toasting airs, cassis liqueur feature in a very deep bouquet of doughty strength. There is light grilling. It’s profound, an iron fist in a velvet glove. The palate strikes out on iron-filled, juicy strength of black fruits with a burst of black juice on the end. The black cherry fruit is engaging. I like its coolness, precision, in with the close packing of stylish content. Fine powder tannins bring up the close. This breathes quality, has great balance. From 2023. 30 years 2) (Reynard, ex Noël & Louis Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah, used 228-litre cask) ****** dark, thick robe; has a sweet-noted black berry fruit aroma, a rich style, crushed black fruits, warm lands in the frame. The palate presents black cherry, beguiling, cool fruit that comes with a serene, smooth flow, and hints of perfume, ending roundly and layered. It has substance, is hard to get into, carries mystery. It has a very rocky granite presence, a mineral spine, strong tension. The nose is more sunny than the palate. It has a code that will be cracked only slowly over time. 33 years Nov 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ***** 1) (a mix of Vieille Côte, Le Bois/Tezier (1930s-1940s), Moser (1970s), Les Saveaux, sanded soils, very decomposed granite, used 228-litre cask) ***** bright dark, black-tinted robe. Has a Marmite yeast extract, beef stock, crunchy aroma, black cherries, a nose of real depth and clarity. The palate holds snug fruit, great lustre, the finesse of the sand, the fruit beau, with violets, precise detail. There is the most elegant black fruit here – delightful. It picks up intensity, really darkens. This is great stuff, classy, and very long. 23-25 years. 2) (Reynards, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah, used 228-litre cask) ***** very dark robe. Has a well prolonged air of black fruits, smoke, nice, sweet ripeness, cassis, blueberry, has a good circular feel, curve. The palate is stylish from the start, gives a continuous and seamless run of blackberry fruits, late coolness and bite from the tannins that are more prominent than those of the 2016. “The tannins are more hard from the weather this year. More wine-yield would have softened the tannins,” T Allemand. The palate is aromatic, with a floral finish full of rockiness, charge, vegetal presence. It ends with a round up of all suspects – vegetal, mineral, granite, tannins all put in the police van. The tannic impact reminds me of 1988 – “although in 1988 I punched the cap twice a day, and now just once,” T Allemand. Time is needed. From 2024-25. 28-30 years 2044-47 Nov 2017

2016

rather dark red, purple tones. Smoke, black fruit, blueberry, mulberry, licorice mix on the nose. Granite tension is present. The palate moves with a sturdy inner, a little reduction, has fine, rich gras, southern tendencies, is well filled with no ounce of excess. It’s very precise and stylish, its ripe, fine tannins well within. The fruit is ripe, but precise. This is Burgundian in style, with layering of the South. Bottled one week ago. From 2023. 2043-46 Nov 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ***** 1) (a mix of Le Bois (1934), Chaillot, Moser (1970s) and Genale, 1920s, 1960s Syrah, used 228-litre cask) ***** attractive dark robe that mixes black and purple. The nose is sensuous, holds discreet detail, black pepper, cloves, black cherry, a floral shimmer: it has a brilliant, literal clarity. The palate rolls on suave sap or old vine sève, picks up intensity and throttle towards the finish, but is never hurried. It’s a serene wine. The close is firm, decisive – there’s stylish gras there. Its juice is shapely, enriching, most enjoyable and prolonged. Good lift – up we go – on the finish. 24 years 2) Reynard, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah, used 228-litre cask) ***** this is close to six stars: the robe is dark. There is a bright air of violet above black fruits aromas. It’s more curvy, different to the first part, is restrained, has  sweet areas, coulis style fruiting, sun in the glass. The palate bears typical finesse of Reynards, a sumptuous middle; it prolongs with silken purpose into a good clench of rocky tannin – it gives a true Cornas kick there, a granite signature. Violets criss-cross it, the tannins dance around. This is ace, Grand Vin. 26 years OVERALL ***** Great style here, high, sensuous appeal with accomplished tannins and a true exposé of old vines textured gras richness. 2043-46 Nov 2017

2015

1) (old Syrah near Le Pigeonnier, includes Le Bois, includes old Syrah on Chaillot, clay influences, 228-litre cask) ***** purple-black colour. Mystery is on the agenda in the bouquet. There is an air of black berries, has a cool tenor. The palate holds suave, well-founded gras richness; its supple and lissom tannins are abundant, nicely ripe. The finale is fine – this is excellent late on. 28 years. 2) (Vieille Côte, granite-sand, Thiérry’s first plot) with (Tézier, the sandy, lower part) with (old Syrah on Genale, granite sand) ***** this is marginally ahead of the previous wine – shiny dark red; blackberry, good life, heart in the bouquet. Floral airs mingle with dark red berry fruit, soaked cherries and some graphite. It holds back with a suave appeal. The palate gives close-knit red fruits such as raspberry. The early red fruit is striking. It has a little sweetness and also inner strength. 29 years. “The malolactics in 2015 occurred at about the same time as the sugar fermentations. The Volatile Acidity level of 0.22 I have never known so low. The Reynard lacks VA to make it perfect!!” 3) Reynard, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s, 1950s, 1960s, av age 80 years Syrah, south facing, strong granite) ****** intense black-purple colour. Has a peppery, bright and lifted nose that offers a frontage of red fruits, with multiple cards to play behind. The palate is peppery, tangy – overtly so. Crunch tannins come through on the second half. Red fruits lie at its centre, with a close wrap-around of sparky tannins that rule the late roost. Very pure fruit at its heart, a joy. 32 years. OVERALL this must be bordering on a ****** wine. It will be immensely stylish, prolonged and will lighten any drinker’s day or evening. 2046-50  April 2016

2014

1) (Chaillot, 1930s-1940s Syrah, granite with 15% clay) ***** dark robe. Sexy, appealing sweetness, a lovely roundness on the nose, entertaining, plum fruit present, a graceful affair it is. The palate moves with supple appeal, snugly present tannins, Pinote on the go, the texture plump. This holds floral appeal, is an excellent, “climb aboard my shooting star” wine. The fruit lasts extremely and graciously well. “It is Burgundian,” T Allemand. From 2024. 22 years 2) Reynard, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah) *****(*) dark robe. There is a good charge of blackberry, inner density on the nose, a note of licorice. It is stylishly enclosed.  The palate combines mineral influences with knit, close red fruit and sparky tannin. There is very fine juice in some quantity on the aftertaste, that comes out from under wraps. The exit is fresh. 22 years 2036-39 April 2016 Previously June 2015 ***** 1) (Chaillot, 1930s-1940s Syrah, granite with 15% clay, so a more feminine effect) ****(*) shiny, dark, purple-black robe. The bouquet is a classy affair, silky, elegant black fruit residing within it, a note of bacon, liqueur fruit, a dense rose petal. This streams well on the attack, which delivers more silky fruit and pedigree tannin. This is complete and stylish, the tannins are beau, fine and persistent. Good acidity and freshness come along towards the finish, and it doesn’t stop running as a result. 20 years. 2) Reynard, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah) ***** black-purple robe, a true Cornas colour. The nose is filled to the brim, very tightly packed, shows some raspberry, a hum of violet, a small reduction. This is very thorough, and elegant. The palate bears bright, assured, silken black cherry fruit, with crisp grain tannins; it spreads some floral effects as well. It goes long, and has plenty of reserves for 25 years, for example. This is a really closely packed wine with plentiful tannins. It is a bit of a screamer in a polite way. Its freshness is admirable. “It shows a lot of Zan licorice on the palate,” Thiérry Allemand. OVERALL ***** another excellent 2014 from the boy Allemand: he has cut to the purity and filling of the fruit from old vines, and managed to conserve both freshness and density. A major player in this vintage where some of the wines may just be a little light. 2037-40 GB £370 6 b in bond A & B Vintners +44(0)1892 724 977 www.abvintners.co.uk GB GB £345/6 b in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Jun 2015

2013

dark, lustrous robe. Reduction hovers on the nose, with airs of tea leaves, piled high blackberries; there’s s light noble Volatile Acidity, savoury and fleshy styling. There’s a lot here, a lot going on. This is suave, fleshy; old vines gras prevails over the freshness and grip of the year. It bursts with rich content and soaked black fruits, with a bonny hover of iris flowers. It’s violet and rocky, savoury, very Cornas on the finale. Stylish, well balanced. 13.5°. 2035-38 Oct 2016 Previously June 2015 ***** 1) (Chaillot, 1930s-1940s Syrah, granite with 15% clay, so a more feminine effect) ****(*) dark robe. The nose presents a winsome, knowing smile – it gives a beckoning aroma of blackberry fruit, rose and peony, has a stylish depth. The palate picks up on the floral theme, casts an elegant run of dark fruit, with sweet-noted moments. It combines freshness with sun. The balance is good, more so than the Chaillot’s in 2013. The fruit washes widely here, and the finish is complete and orderly. 21 years. 2) Reynard, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah) ***** dark, full, shiny robe, has a purple rim above the black. Has a blackberry, floating aroma that is well poised, running airs of red berries, mulberry, and notable scenting of violets. This strokes the palate – it is a well cast combination of dark, fruit, spice of the south, and a stream of tannins, tasty and fine ones. Handsome wine: it has a proper frame, and well-toned content. The juice is dense that density comes from within. 23 years. OVERALL ***** the portents are good here: there is elegance, but also a well centred depth, the low yield no doubt contributing to that sense of concentration. It will manage southern fullness with a relatively airborne feature thanks to the old vines and their noble sites. 2036-38  Jun 2015

2012

dark red. Blackberry and raspberry feature in a deft mix on the nose, which has a 2012 inner generosity. It will be a spherical and compelling bouquet. The palate delivers a cool line of red fruit with gusto, herbes de Provence on the finish, thyme with menthol and gradual clarity, uncomplicated generosity. 2033-35 Oct 2016 Previously June 2015 ****(*) dark and inky robe. Black cherry, suave, well sustained aroma – the nose is shapely and nice and stable, well set. Rays of sun lie in its warm roundness. A light prune ripeness is evident. This is shapely, rounded wine that builds depth from within; it carries a stealthy concentration, is juicy and well sustained. It develops tannin as it airs, gummy tannin, and they also bring more crunch and zing to the party. Violets feature on the aftertaste. It is well assembled, appealing wine that goes long in a reserved way. It will sing well and expressively in five to six years, say around 2020-21. The tendency here is towards Pinote, the Pinot Noir influence. “It has always been stable,” Thiérry Allemand. 2033-35  Jun 2015 Previously Nov 2012 ***** (tank, Reynard, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah) dark, shiny, vigorous dark red robe. There is a warm spread across the nose which offers inviting fruit, tempting berry fruit – the nose has lots of life and carry. The palate delivers fine fruit, is compact and long, finishes freshly. This has notably fine tannins. Great fruit – wow, this is striking. En route to 6 stars. 24 years. (tank, a mix of Chaillot, Tezier, Moser and Genale, 1920s, 1960s Syrah) ***** dark robe, a shiny black-purple. The nose is oily, capacious, wide and sustained, shows licorice, black cherry fruit. The palate is close-knit, has the chunky, mineral of Chaillot, a strong Chaillot tenacity with the flowers and the tang combined, gunflint, a lot of crisp and active tannin. Max STGT wine. 23 years.  Nov 2012

2011 ()

because of the large crop, there was a Reynard and a sulphur-free Reynard this year. This one holds 1 gm of SO2 in it: dark robe, red and black mixed. Has a sweet-noted nose, supple, open showing well, the fruit ripe, “high” touches to it. The palate strikes out with inky veined content, the fruit full of pep. It travels with purpose, is good, lively, surging wine, has raspberry and floral elements, and fine, granite-based tannins, is STGT, goes nicely long. “It is coming back now after being closed,” T Allemand. 13.5°. 2034-36 April 2016 Previously Nov 2012 ***** 1) (60-70 year Syrah, oldest 1934, near Pigeonnier, used cask, always very ripe, low acidity wine) ****(*) deep robe. Black fruit and violet mix in a weighty nose that shows reduction, the fruit combines blackberry and cassis, it seems. The palate has a thick, consistent fabric, with round, intense, gummy tannins that retain a floral, lighter note. Charming on the finish. Not a Big Boy Year. “It is round, structured, but not in a mineral style,” Thiérry Allemand. 22 years. 2) (a mix of Chaillot, Tezier, Moser and Genale, 1920s, 1960s Syrah, used cask) ***** thorough dark purple-black robe. Has a floral-violet air, a big floral presence with a gleaming blackberry fruit alongside it – an inviting bouquet here. The palate has an orderly, sweet touch flavour with sparky tannin entering towards the finish, taking up a mineral baton. This has very good central palate fruit, with flair and lift on the violet, mocha finish. Good wine – pedigree, style. 21 years. 3) (Reynard, ex Noël Verset, 1908-09, 1930s Syrah, chunky granite) ***** full, dark robe. Square, robust aroma with a roasted outer air, good, deep blackberry fruit present. This is the heart of the wine: it holds racy fruit, has a full couch of tannins with crunchy definition and smoked, bacon-style moments. There is good gras here, and a deep note of beef stock. Fresh and abundant wine. 24 years. OVERALL ***** plenty to get tucked into here: the wine has good core, a true lining of tannins, and is fresh - pretty good portents, thus. It will take its time to meld and will be showing extremely well around 10+ years of age. It will live well: to 2034-37. 13.5°.  Nov 2012

2010

dark, sustained deep red robe with purple and black trimmings. There is a graceful intensity on the nose – black olives, nutshells, elegant soaked black cherries. It is warm, not in excess, plumply centred, has a touch of noble high tone. The palate glides along but is properly insistent, bears smoothly filled content leading to a fine close, light salt drops with delicacy on the finale. It is very complete, captures the vintage with its finesse and stylish depth, and a sun-mineral finish. The balance is primo. The inner content is both refined and persistent, has inner forces at work. 13°. From 2021. 2039-42 April 2016 Previously Nov 2012 ****** (tank, bottling in two weeks) shiny, purple-black robe, very bright, very dark. The nose is a big bundle – cocoa, chocolate, black olives, a southern tendency in it, has scents of the Mistral wind, garrigue airs, violets, with crisp notes and polished leather here. Deep black cherry, cassis starts the palate – the fruit is really deep and bright, stretches out very well, and has a grain in it that is authentic. The tannins accumulate enough to become chunky. Aromatic wine in the making, high style. From 2019, say. 2038-41 Oct 2012  Previously March 2011 ***** (steel tank, sugars, malos done, half the wine) ***** very full robe; the bouquet shows a floating elegance, with profound cassis airs, and earthiness inherent. Plenty of dash, drive on the palate, firm fruit with shiny tannins which contribute to its extra depth late on. Good balance and sequence. Very clear, precise wine, with a straight line of sleek quality matter. 23 years. (used 228-litre cask, second half of the wine) ****** dark cherry colour; black fruit that is smoky, shows bacon and grilling. Generous, full start on the palate – this bounds out, there is flair in the fruit, which is buzzy. Active tannins aid its length, leading to a blackberry aftertaste, spreads well there. Succulent wine, but one with spine as well. 22 years. OVERALL ***** tempted to say 6 stars, but we need to wait until post-bottling. High quality, complex, and satisfying. Very, very good Cornas from the young maestro. 2032-35 March 2011

2009

(Chaillot old vines, used 228-litre cask) ***** dark robe; crunchy black berry fruit aroma, smoked bacon hints, black cherry. There is the crunchy, grainy note of black fruit here on the bouquet, which is square and firm. “I find violet and peony here in the past 4 to 5 years, and this is similar to what I found in 2001 – it doesn`t come every year,” Th Allemand. I agree with the violet and peony influences; there is a mix of silk and iron in the fruit. Good drive and length, is a complete wine, with lots going on. Finely scented aftertaste, violet encore there. From 2015. 22 years. (Reynard, 9 hl barrel) ****** big, thorough robe. Notable nose on this – classy fruit such as blackberry, plus a reductive note. The palate is also lodged in the suave, well-mannered groove on the attack, then goes through a more muscular phase, and picks up deep-seated tannins. Very typical, STGT wine. OVERALL ***** STGT wine in this hot year – that takes some achieving. This is a mighty Cornas, one that will get the close-pursuit drinkers getting all jiggy-jiggy. Will live, and impress, for a long time, and will be very satisfying. From 2016. 2034-37 March 2011

2008 ()

Victoria plum colour. Here we go on the Pinot trail on the bouquet, a deft plumpness in its red stone fruits; it is curvy and serene, comes with light grain rock notes. There is a good, close link to the nose from the palate, which is joli and floral with clear late detail, has a dainty nature. This can actually be drunk on its own, so well-tuned is it. If you blew this up, you would come close to a 1991. Wheels of Pinot here; it is highly tasty, yum, yum, and the balance is good. 2029-31 Oct 2016 Previously Dec 2009 ***(*) cask 1 ***(*) dark robe, bright top rim. Has a pretty, floating black jam aroma across the glass, polished leather and licorice also. The palate holds inset black fruit, olive style extras, lengthens and extends on spice and a sunny couch of matter, ending on a toffee moment. This is more grounded than Chaillot, has interesting length, is a subtle wine. 15-17 years. Cask 2 ***(*) bright, purple-black robe; bacon fat, blackberry nose, wisps of volatile. The palate is broad, has a chunky, tight end. It is not that deep, but is well contained, is a wine from the rugby scrum rather than one flying down the wing. 17 years or so. OVERALL ***(*) definite promise. I recall, and still enjoy the 1993, and a mix of Cornas and Thiérry in a lesser year is a good combination. To 2025-28 Dec 2009

2007 ()

bright, quite dark robe; has a wide stretch of aroma, poised black fruits that are potentially very lingering, and offer plenty of future variety. The palate has a buttoned up quality – its black berry flavours are fresh and end on a mineral grip. A good, thorough wine, of good heart. As it lengthens, it brings in pepper, cocoa and raisin – more mineral influences. 2026-28 Bottled 5 days ago, note. Dec 2009

2006

steady, dark and thorough robe. The nose is more varied and complex than the Chaillot 2006 – it reflects damp airs, tea, black fruits and an earthy trail, along with violet – an intriguing do. The palate has a scented, violet start, with fine tannin and good, expressive length, is very fine. Really good length on this, a striking wine. Very beau fruit, old, traditional rose petal at the end. Notably fine Cornas. 13.5°. 2026-28. €43 at the cellar. Dec 2009 Previously June 2007 ***** (a 1998 cask) dark robe; well-set black fruit aroma, round but clear. Is oily, shows a little cassis and blackberry liqueur, maybe some garrigue herbs, too. Palate starts with a good fruit strike, has a really ripe cherry flavour. The tannins are still composing themselves, so it is a little bitter on the finish. Nice breadth, good cut in this. Has the air/mineral aspect of Cornas towards the finish – the fruit and light. From late 2011. 2029-31. To be bottled Nov 2008. June 2007

2005 ()

dark plum colour. Red fruits, soaked cherries airs show with some savoury, noble Volatile Acidity; it swoops in on a coasting run of mulberry. The palate attacks on raspberry, and still holds the fibre of this tight vintage. It has an excellent fine finish, with droplets of juice, saltiness and subtle gras. It lengthens on tannins more than content into crunch time on the close. From 2019: wait for this, is refusenik now. “It was very tight, tannic, not nice to drink,” T Allemand. 2033-35 Oct 2016  Previously June 2007 ****** (old cask) very dark, black tones in robe; the nose has a sweetness of air, with black fruit and licorice evident – is classy. Crisp and wide, a full palate here. Mixes licorice and crunchy black fruit, and has excellent balance, great persistence and flow, with a virile heart. Has a firm, clear black fruit, mocha end. Its primary fruit will be great in 2008, but that would be a pity since it would take out all the later complexity that can come along. “I find spice, licorice and cloves on the palate. It may close in the bottle, around mid-2009, and come back again, more open around 2013,” T.A. 2028-30 June 2007 Previously April 2006 ****** (cask) dark robe. Closed, brooding nose with a silken elegance about it. Plenty of heart and potential. Wide and clear-cut fruit on attack, with a lot of matter circling the fruit, bursts of black fruit break out. Powerful wine that reflects the granite - the tannins are solid, patience needed for its tannins to integrate. 2026-29 April 2006

2004

(cask) nice dark robe. Black fruit jam, spice, licorice on bouquet. Darting fruit on attack, plenty of reserve behind it, peppery edges, licorice again. Evident tannins appear on cue. Good, wholesome wine, more complete and masculine than Chaillot. Has a mineral length from the granite. Esp 2009 on. 13.6?. 2023-27 April 2006

2003 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED AS REYNARD: JUST ONE WINE WITH NO SUBTITLE, 8,000 b. “The old vines part [Reynard]  took 18 months to ferment. The highest vat came in at 17.5°, while the average ended at 15° to 15.5°,” Thiérry Allemand.

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED AS REYNARD: JUST ONE WINE WITH NO SUBTITLE

2001

(cask) some oak on nose, nicely intense black fruit. Good structure, wine with grip. Fruit is tight-knit, has clear texture. Tannins here, too. Unusual oak due to a one-off purchase of casks this year. Esp 2009 on. 2016-18

2000 ()

2 bottles tasted, 1st bottle is corked. Bottle 2: there has been a slight shift in the robe towards a plum colour. There are secondary airs, crunchy airs, peony on the nose, which has the flattery of 2000. Ground coffee beans, buffed leather feature; there are more external influences than fruit in it. The palate is juicy all though, charming, holds undemanding tannins, with supple delivery, ending roundly, slightly fat, with some mineral on the aftertaste after a cool second half. It has a plum fruit, tasty heart. “it has never closed,” T Allemand. 2035-37 Nov 2018 Previously Nov 2010 ****(*) dark robe; deep bouquet, shows slight acetate and has a powder keg of expression, locked up potential. Smoke, black cherry, bacon – this is very varied and full of future promise. Very orderly, even restricted palate that is tight and confident. It has fine juice, very fine fruit with a late easy appeal. The finish is broad, shows menthol on the aftertaste, a very correct clarity, along with violet. True Cornas on that signing off. The tannins are soft, as was always the case in 2000. 13.5°. Has done very well in not a star year. 2028-31 Nov 2010 Previously **** full purple; rather medicine, cleaning polish bouquet, like the Chaillot in a way, more compact. A lot of chewy matter on palate, well-structured. Tannins show from the start. Direct wine, a good example of Cornas and its mineral side. Leave certainly until 2006 or so. 2023-25

1999 ()

red plum, still well in the game robe. The nose reveals a Pinote influence, cooked plums, suave and round, cosy depth, brambly red fruits, white pepper, still enclosed. Decanting a help. The palate shows its vintage, is still masked by the sun, offers scented red fruit berries with still upright tannin. It finishes on close-knit content, still wrapped up. It goes long, develops well. There is a touch of prune in the flavour. 13°. 2031-34 April 2016 Previously **** very dark, purples. Reserved bouquet with potential. Broods a little, also has a polish, wax effect. Good sinewy fruit on palate, a varied flavour of berries and stone fruit. Some violet on the aftertaste. Tannic. Quite long. More robust than the 2000. Leave until 2007 or so. 2018-23

1998 ()

1st bottle with marked cork taint. 2nd bottle: the robe is still well sustained, has a plum centre. The nose holds floral, cooked red fruits, Pinote influences, is curvy, rather generous, wax and cooked plums in the mix. The palate is spiced, darkly fruited, comes with fine, genuine tannins in tune with its aromatic red fruits. It spreads widely, is long, has good energy. The second half produces mineral, saltiness. The content at its core is delicate. “It’s still fruity, has good balance,” T Allemand. 2028-30 April 2016. Previously *** dark colour, dulling a bit as it evolves. Taut, upright bouquet, woody hints, brambly fruit also. Overt chewiness and dry-edged texture. Quite austere. Has some flesh, but maybe not quite enough. Demanding wine - leave until 2007 and cross fingers it will unwind and broaden. 2016-20

1997 ()

soft, but nicely full bouquet, is tender. Nice rondeur, quite a fat palate, the tannins are very easy. Quite "delicious", dark fruit, drink this before his 1995 and 1996. 2008-10

1996

dark red robe, with a plum centre. Entrails - here we go! - on the nose, rubber also. There is a Pinot influence – it is a bursting basket of explosive juice, Grenache airs also. It’s everybody into the police van time here. The palate holds stone red fruits with gliding fullness, and a sense of vintage darkness as it ends, the firm tar of the tannins, a burst of menthol from them. This is Rock n’Roll wine, with arrows flashing at you from every which way. The close is aromatic, rose-infused. Compelling Cornas. “1996 had ripeness, but was closed, a bit vegetal, and the acidity rendered it hard to start with, a taste of bell peppers,” T Allemand. 2031-34 Oct 2016 Previously ***(*) spiced bouquet, fair depth; solid, good bone, with a nice, peppered finish. Fruit thread is clean. 2014-18

1995

full, quite dark robe; big and broad nose – black fruit and licorice mixed into it. With air, it turns towards more funky, soaked fruits. The palate is really full and delicious, big and bold, with black fruits, and great clarity in its texture. It gains extra mineral elements after two hours' air, and has ways to go. This is spot-on with its vintage. Very well sustained through the palate. To 2019. March 2007 Previously ***** good berry fruit bouquet; clean, very good Syrah expression on palate, is very pure. Good amount of tannin on the sidelines. Finishes with a touch of pepper. Overall impression is of clean and quiet richness. 2013-17

1994 ()

I loved this early in its life – and it is now a feminine wine. Dark robe, sombre hue to it. There are violet and “up” aromas here, nothing in excess, offers red meat and graphite, a fascinating combo. Its sweet, slight volatile acidity air is a hallmark of traditional Cornas in style, gives a pliant appeal. There is a tangy, graphite debut to the palate, with a gain in dimension, and a blossoming, sweet-floral, honeyed black fruit finale. Lovely wine – in the zone now. There is very good texture of tannin, which perks up the finish, add a little grainy bite. “I liken this to 2000 and to 2012; it won’t close – never did. People went for 1995, but that is a large but not grand vintage,” T Allemand. 12.5°. 2019-20 Nov 2010 Previously Nov 2005, California ****(*) the bouquet is very tight for its age – black fruits, olive, a little of the usual waxiness. The fruit on the palate is well woven – black fruit that is firm, solid. There is good tension in the wine, and plenty to come. Has good grain and a peppery finale. 2016-19 Berkeley, a wine from Kermit Lynch’s cellar at chez Panisse Nov 2005 Previously ****** very dark; very intense bouquet, weighty but stylish. Attack is very full, is robust and has plenty of depth. This is a big scale wine, the strong flavour runs surely all through it. Good breeding and length, again the richness is quiet, not overt. 2015-18

1991

the red robe is still on form. Has a wide and lingering nose – blackberry, with mineral reserve, black olives, is very grounded – and is a true reflection of a good, full vintage bouquet. It is more full than the 1994. The palate is direct, has sinew, leather-tannin notes, lengthens steadily. This is masculine Cornas, compact and terrestrial, with firm tannins and a solid finish, even at nearly 20 years. It is not even quite on the mark yet, could be better around 2012. Really wide late on. 12.5°. 2025-27 Nov 2010

1988

Thiérry served this blind: the robe is evolving, has a ruby top, a plum centre. The bouquet is on fungal airs, damp forest, cooked plum, cloves, spice, black olives. The palate isn’t quite clean, has husky, mineral, menthol notes, the shape square, with red meat notes and a grounded moment before the finish. There are tea leaves aspects with a little savoury note, and a hint of cork. “It’s a problem I have with old vintages – a poor cork supplier; Robert Michel had the same supplier,” T Allemand. Nov 2018 “At 17 years, it was undrinkable – very tannic, very hard. 1999 was more ripe, less on terroir, while 1998 was very hard, tannic, unpleasant. In the last three to five years, it has been starting to be more fine, elegant, complex, with good leather, wax notes,” T Allemand, April 2016