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The Wines

from oldest Syrah at St-Jean-de-Muzols (can be organic crop), Vion, Arras, Glun, Tournon (1950s-1960s), destemmed, 4 week vinification 2-3 weeks until 2004), malo in oak, aged 50% new, 50% 2-4 year 400-litre oak casks 14-18 months (mix of 228 & 400-litre casks until mid-2010s), unfined, filtered, first wine 2001, 25-38,000 b

2018 ()

(casks) handsome dark red colour; the bouquet is full, broad, immediate, involves beef stock, savoury airs with prune, black stone fruits. The palate is ample, up front, with a copious filling of black fruits, and layered tannins. The mid-palate is full of weight, vigour. It’s still turned in on itself, and will extend its length successfully over time. There are notes on mineral along its path – nudges of terroir putting up a good show in the face of the vintage onslaught. It’s not a wine for youthful drinking if you want anything like the best out of it: from 2024. 2040-42 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) ample, full red robe. The bouquet has an inner richness beyond its frontal oaking, raspberry, mulberry fruits with southern notes, Tanche black olives from Nyons. There’s a touch of violet perfume across it. The palate runs with consistent black berry fruits, layered tannins adding depth. It’s helped by a little coolness from the granite before the finish, which is good and long. It’s a bit in the cellar, on the production line, for now, so allow until 2021. Decanting advised. 2034-36 Dec 2018

2016

(casks) bright, convincing dark red robe. The nose is broad, deep – black cherries mingle with oak, shows licorice also. The palate is full of beans, its black fruits entertaining and free running, with a good layering of tannin towards the finish. The fruit continues well. This is a wholesome St Jo, with good freshness and well-judged body. 13°. From 2019. 2029-31 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) dark red, bright and attractive robe. The nose has a good, probing density, carries soaked cherry airs with a hint of violets, and an appealing freedom of expression. The palate is stylish, with a set of black berry fruits that have a charming softness, the tannins snugly inset. The finish is wavy, well juiced. A wine of some class. 13°. From 2019. 2032-34 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) dark red. The bouquet presents a basket of some bounty, pretty copious panel of black berry fruits, with a discreet flowery note, licorice and oak-varnish in behind. This elegant, holds scented, soft richness and trim tannins, works as an ensemble. The fruit has a clear quality; this will be an enjoyable glass, a good granite Syrah, with a little spark on the close. From late 2017. 2025-26  Oct 2015

2013 ()

(casks) full, dark red. The nose is pretty deep, shows oaking, the black berry fruit compact, has a savoury, touch floral angle. The oak is prominent on the palate, but there is a bonny attack of fluid fruit and gras, a liquid richness, to handle it. This typifies some 2013s that have just enough depth to cross the frontier into supple territory, rather than being too jagged. The late palate is fresh, a bit on the wire for now. From mid-2016. Has a tarry, oaked sign-off. Decanting a help. Down to 25,000 b this year. 13°. 2026-28 Jan 2015

2012 ()

dark plum red, rather matt in tone. Blackberry-cassis aroma, with a cool, rather chalky aspect, a lining of licorice, light grilling; the nose also shows reduction and some oak. The palate is marked by fleshy, almost “high” fruit at first, the fruit liquid, pretty generous. This has good grip and length. This is always one of the best wines from the Cave, a genuine St Jo red. It ends with fine clarity, a small tasty spot of red berry fruit. Joli vin. From spring 2016 to allow further oak infusion. I like the 12.5°, too. 2027-29  Jan 2015  Previously Nov 2013 *** (casks) bright, dark red. Sizzled bacon, tar, light fragrance in its simmered black berry, blackcurrant fruit aroma; also licorice and cocoa present in the nose. The palate mixes roundness of black fruit with a rectangle of tannin-oak fencing. Hence it is young, upright overall, and is still very much in the cellar. It doesn’t want a lot more oak given the relatively quiet depth of its content. From mid-2015. 12.5°. 2024-26  Nov 2013

2011 ()

quite a thick red colour; black cherry liqueur, waxen-oliy aroma – the bouquet is deep, dense, and one can ponder its possibilities. The palate runs more freely on the attack than the nose would imply – blackcurrant fruit, a rich texture; it builds into a solid, replete finish, oak the last sensation. Modern, rather swell, likeable wine, drink from late 2015. Leave it to allow oak infusion – its fruit persists pretty well. 13°. 2026-28  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 **** (casks) quite a full red; the nose gives an aroma of liqueur Dijon cassis, which is ripe and rich, so holds the oak in check. There is a strong air of polished black leather, cocoa. The palate  is fat at the start, with mulled berry fruit at its centre, and a tar, tangy licorice on the finish. This has an oily style. It is moving steadily forward. Has a gourmand 2011 centre, tasty and easy to appreciate fruit that is liqueur in nature. From mid-2015 for more cohesion, less oak. It is flatteringly open and suave for now. 2025-27  Nov 2012

2010

quite a full red. The nose is broad, still on its potential, has a choice mid point of red stone fruit, ripe raspberry. There is a wee note of reduction and hence game. It has good granite typicity, smoke. The palate is wholesome, gradually unfurling, holds red fruits with a grain note, its lining well embedded. There is good mass on the finish, where it still goes strongly, together and well. Take your time wine, especially good between 2015 and 2019. Decant. 13.5°. 2027-29 Sept 2013  Previously Nov 2012 ****(*) full, coated plum red robe. Oily, full raspberry-soaked red cherries air in a corpulent and abundant bouquet that is wide, engaging, and promises to vary well. The palate has good flow, good life, and hasn’t yet backed off into more complicated, secondary areas. Its blackberry fruit has good cut and dash, with positive, helpful spice notes. Has a live action finish, good grainy cut. Authoritative Saint-Joseph. The oak ending will be reduced around 2015. Very good; shows lots of vintage and terroir features. “Bring me a flagon of this for my feast, Bula.” 2026-28  Nov 2012  Previously Nov 2011 **** (casks) dark colour. Oak-smoke outer air, but good, well-set black fruit within, juicy fruit at its heart, along with pipe tobacco. The palate is starting out on oak and suavely textured black fruit, all going well so far. The tannins are ripe and well congregated around the finish. From mid-2014 – let the oak slowly absorb. Has definite potential, and will be a harmonious wine, one with a good spine to allow it to evolve. 2024-26 Nov 2011

2009 ()

full, thorough robe; wide, oaked nose that has a rich centre, a mass of aroma rather than specific notes, is rather chocolatey from the oak. Big construction wine on the palate, has a compressed, full heart with drier late textures - the hot vintage's skins and tannins. This has a deep interior, a good centre of gravity. From late 2012. 2024-26 Nov 2010

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007

dark, black centre to robe; oily, but contained black fruit aroma – licorice, black raisin. The palate starts carefully, the lithe black fruit bordered by oak that invests a chocolate taste at the end. The nose needs air, decanting, time to clarify and to become more precise – it is starting to evolve there. The palate is nearly ready, if you accept oak on the menu. Food will take away the oak finish, so beef or roast lamb, for instance. 13°. To 2019. Nov 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *** (casks) dark robe; curved black fruits aroma with charcoal wisps from its oak. This bouquet is pretty full, but note that the oak may grain ground in the next year as it is not yet bottled. The palate has a well-knit, smooth depart, carrying a live bubble of blackberry fruit. The length is sound, revealing an oak outcrop on the finish. A promising wine, provided the oak raising doesn`t become excessive. 2017-18 Dec 2008

2006 ()

(casks) stone fruits with a little floral, rose air on the outside of the bouquet – there is some scale to this, which has a considered density. The palate holds streamlined black fruits, with pretty good flow. The fruit has a little bite, a positive nerve in it. The length is good, and the fruit ends on a clear, close to brisk black pepper note. You must allow 18 months here for the tannins and oak to settle. 2019-21 Dec 2007

2005

quite dark; suave black fruit aroma, with decent heart – has a smoky, touch violet top. The palate has an upright shape, with some briskly cut fruit in it – blackberry is the taste; the tannins are mostly ripe. At present the oak and tannin leave the finish a bit dry. Has some of the Saint-Joseph iron in it from the granite. I suspect that the crop could have been a tad riper. Esp from mid-2009; this will be agreeable especially around 2010-11. 13°. 2018-20 June 2007 Previously Nov 2006 **** (casks) quite dark; obvious, immediate oak but a rich tone to the bouquet and the scope for more to come underneath the oak. Rich matter on palate, the texture is rich, too, even with its oak that is most apparent on the finish. Fleshy, black fruits that combine well with the oak. From mid-2009. 2017-19 Nov 2006

2003 ()

quite a dark robe; the bouquet is souped up – saturated by black cherries, with some licorice present. The palate is still close-knit, but there is some evolution as the black fruits turn to prune. Tapers a bit towards its pebbly finish. 2013-15 Dec 2006

2002 ()

mid-plus red, a little darkness. Some jam aroma with white pepper, is upright, rather tense. Peppered, live start of direct black fruit, gains a gummy side towards finish. All quite clean, has fair depth but won't ever achieve real roundness. 2009-10 March 2005

2001

harmonious, pleasant soft black fruit, olive/nuts. Tightens with air. Suave, quite intense black fruit, more oily with air. Soft centre, not like a major granite wine. Toasted, tarry; drier, more roasted with air. 2014-16