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The Wines

1960s-1995 Syrah, destemmed, 3 day pre-fermentation cool maceration, 2-3 week vinification, pumping overs, aged 50% 1-5 year 400-litre and 228-litre oak casks, 50% vat 10-12 months, unfined, filtered, formerly called Les Nobles Rives, “drink with red meat, poultry, cheese”, 240,000 b

2018 ()

full, dark red; the bouquet is ample, charged with grilled airs, soaked black berry fruits, notes of black olives, is markedly Southern. The palate is rich from the off, bears plentiful, layered black fruited content, ripe and munchy tannins in the wheel. There’s lots in the glass, which will go down well with drinkers, even if it is sweet and Southern, just a bit rustic, in style. 14°. 2029-31 Nov 2019

2017

the robe is dark red, deep. The nose presents a broad front led by raspberry with a leaning towards jam via its ripeness. There’s a back note of pork scratchings, oak. The palate has the brothy nature of 2017, ripe black fruit present, sweetness on the agenda. It is perfectly acceptable, should be well received due to its sweet, obvious format. It ends roundly, some oak there. 13.5°. 2027-29 Dec 2018

2016 ()

attractive dark red. The nose is inky, with an oxtail element, sweet oak, crushed black berries and a floral hint. The palate bears black cherry fruits, loganberries, with sizzle in the tannins that aids its sound length. It will merge together nicely over the next 18 months. 12.5°. From spring 2019. 2025-26 Nov 2017

2015

(vat/casks) dark robe. The nose gives a mild aroma of blackberry, a safe package without igniting the drinker. The palate also offers a steady run of blackberry fruit with some fine grain tannins, has the blessed supple nature of the southern sector of St Jo this year. The aftertaste is slightly gummy, but it does continue OK. 13°. From late 2017. 2024-25 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) strong dark red robe. The nose is nicely unrestrained, goes for it via an open air of raspberry, low-key sweetness adding to its appeal. A good start. The palate also comes forward with racy, tasty red fruit; a neat spot of tannin adds a little tar and a good full stop to the sentence. This is w.o.w. St Jo that runs with good drinking potential, and will be very good in convivial moments and in the restaurant trade. From mid-2016. 2020-21  Oct 2015

2013 ()

mottled dark plum colour. Immediately open, rounded aroma of red berry jam, without especial hidden nuances. A plain speaking St Jo here: the palate gives supple red fruit that skims rather than dives, isn’t that full. A low-key grainy content from the tannins shows, so drink with food. It is quite aromatic along the palate, delivers peppery moments late on. Drinkable now. 12.5°. 2018-19  Jan 2015

2012 ()

quite a dark red, not especially bright robe. Blackberry liqueur, simmered berries first air here – a nose of simple, a touch sweet appeal. The palate reflects the nose – it gives a straightforward run of slightly spiced black fruit, offers no real emblem moments, the length only fair. It is possibly in a post-bottling pause in expression of its fruit, but lacks real depth. 12.5°. 2017-18  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 *** (casks, malo not yet) sound red-purple; reductive, leesy air, but has a sweet fruit, shows aromatic blackberry, has potential. The palate is working, still on the go. There is a lissom, direct run of fruit, and it ends securely. A Solid Operator. 2020-21  Nov 2012

2011 ()

healthy, purple-tinted robe. There is a good charge of spiced black berry on the nose, has licorice present, and a feed-in of reduction, animal under that. This is an abundant, fleshy style of Saint-Joseph; there is a floral fusion with its black berry fruit, extra darkness at the end in the form of mocha and coffee. A good, approachable St Jo with tasty pastille juice in it. Has supple, bendy tannins. May need decanting. The length is good. 2016-17  Nov 2012

2010 ()

full, maturing red. Roasted, roast pork, with a good simmered, coated raspberry aroma; the bouquet is wide and shows the ripeness and sweet fullness of the southern St Jo zone well. The palate has drive, a good, wild side to it with the roast notes again, an oily texture: unfinished business here. It is a little dumb now, retreating before its second stage. The flavour combines blueberry, tar. Decant this. I am confident that its depth will last to 2017 or so. Has a good lip-smack, spiced, cinnamon finish. 12.5°. 2017-18  Nov 2012

2009 ()

dark robe; sunny, rounded blackberry air with nutty, baked implications behind, also leather: I find it a bit stretched from its oaking. The palate black fruit has a little pepper in it, is crisp, a shade mechanical and direct, with oak brought into the mix. Less oak would not harm this. Has a tar, blackcurrant aftertaste. From mid-2012. If the oak absorbs well, it can move to 3 stars, and more soul may come through. 13°. 2018-19 Nov 2010

2008 ()

dark tints in robe; oak-tar-game mix on nose, oak and varnish in the lead, is rather firm. Bundle of oak and licorice, has a tar flavour, cassis fruit and a nudge of violet bring up the late stages. Mild Syrah with oak support. Is rather burnt, constructed. Less oak from spring 2011, but oak remains an issue. 13°. To 2013. Nov 2010 Previously Nov 2009 * quite dark robe; overt oak, with vegetal airs, pebbles, licorice on the bouquet, one that lacks true fruit. Stiff debut to the palate – it tried hard to make a good impression and the mid stages offer a little black fruit and jam. It ends on tar and oak, the aftertaste dry from its oak. This has started life on the wrong foot – less oak in this vintage, please. Go for simplicity. 13°. To 2012. Nov 2009

2007 ()

full, dark red; the first immediate aroma is one of oak, with sweet black fruit lying behind it – it is ample enough. Has an oaked, modern, “I'm from anywhere” start – is even a bit Retro, with the oak placing an obstacle between the drinker and the vineyard fruit. From mid-2010 for less oak; this is a technical wine. 2015-16 Dec 2008

2005

quite a full robe, with measured black tones. The bouquet shows mulled red fruit with a light jam aspect, and a touch of clarity. The palate has some rather piercing fruit at half way. This is unformed as yet – its tannins are a bit bony, and the granite brings some mineral tension towards the finish. The length is fair, since it retains some fruit there on the finish. From the spring of 2008 for more ensemble, and a shade more, and necessary, roundness. 2012-13 June 2007

2004 ()

dumb nose, a little red fruit peeks out. The palate is upright, with a hole at mid-way. Some red jam flavour turns up late on, but the finish is rather dry. Hmm. Certainly not showing with the potential or form of six months ago. Dec 2006 Previously April 2006 ** bright, black cherry robe. Sleek, cherry fruit aroma, shows kirsch, some toasting, even some southern plains - garrigue. An imprint of bright black fruit plunges out on attack, with grilling from its oak. Not sure where this is from. International style, with cherry-blackcurrant fruit. Tar on finish. Runs in a straight line. Maybe more varied and also local from mid-2007. To 2011. April 2006

2003

violets, some sweet, doused fruits in a measured bouquet. Red fruits, plums, even quince jelly flavour - is pretty, and persists fine. More approachable early on than most other St-Jos, the tannins come in a toffee style, but are not especially structured. From 2006. 2011-13. Dec 2004

2002

easy black jam aroma, compact, a bit vegetal. Fair black fruit, some dryness in the middle. Can develop some tannin towards the finish. Not yet integrated. Esp 2006 on. 2010-11

2001

Les Nobles Rives: dry-toned fruit, light pepper nose; fair stewed fruit, lacks core, tucked up, maybe more character by 2005. Clean, plain stuff.

1998

Les Nobles Rives: some spice on nose; notably spiced, good Syrah typicité - main feature, chewy, bit tannic on the end, could hold more fruit. 2006-07

1996

Les Nobles Rives: wild fruits, myrtilles, mint; fine bone, veritable, quite firm tannin young. Respects vintage and place.