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The Wines

100% Syrah, 60% from Chavaroche (1940s), 40% from Mollard, Côte brune, Côte Blonde (1978-80), whole bunch fermentation, 3 week vinification in 50 hl concrete vats, cap is immersed, twice daily pumping overs, held at 29°C aged 30% new, 70% used oak casks, barrels 24 months, egg white fined, unfiltered, called La Chavaroche in USA, 6,000 b

2016

dark robe; the nose gives black cherry, filled-up fruit, mulberry-damson, with drifts of violet, also licorice. There’s plenty more to come. The palate offers a slinky flow of dark, smoky fruit; there’s interesting life in the tannins – this has good structure - the tannins serve it well. It holds good quality juice with some stroking fineness in its depth. This is good, true, traditional, will do well over time. 13.2°. Bottled end Oct 2018. From 2022. 2039-41 Dec 2018

2015 ()

(used 600-litre cask) dark robe. Has a cussed, firm nose, with piccolo spots of black pepper, attractive black berry, a sense of red meat, discreet flowers. The palate starts with a firm issue of dark berry fruit, with encased tannins that drive its late stages. It is pretty impenetrable as it stands, but is a bucket load of fullness in the glass. From 2021-22. 2039-42 Apr 2016

2014

(29 hl large barrel, bottling Sept or Oct 2016) shiny dark red colour. The bouquet wells up and offers rose hip, game, cooked plums – it is a classic nose from here. The floral nature helps to bring curve to nose. The palate has a tasty, expressive attack, bears cooked red stone fruits with some definite charge on the finish, a clack of smoky mineral. The aftertaste is dry for now. There are late notes of game and musky flowers, dried herbs. There are shades of the north, old fashioned Pinot here. Take your time with this, to soften and fuse the tannins. 12.5°. From 2020-21. 2033-35 Apr 2016

2013 ()

sober dark plum colour. Has  a spiced, cooked blackberries aroma, a line of menthol clarity behind. This is proper traditional Côte-Rôtie, musky floral scents included. The palate attacks well, reaches out on a prolonged run of dark berry, crushed stone fruits that lean towards prune. The second half is full of life and vigour, rocks along with a carefree, I don’t give a damn fullness. This is highly expressive, genuine Côte-Rôtie  with no make-up. I like its good strength. 12.5°. 2034-37  Apr 2016 Previously Dec 2015 ****(*) red robe. This has a highly aromatic first nose – there is a real silken quality of fruit and flowers, classy red plum fruit. It is a most inviting bouquet. The palate also holds red fruits such as raspberry, flows smoothly, then builds plenty of spice and dash with crisp, rock-filled tannic punch on the end. The fruit is pure, and there is much charm, plus a little southern kick on the late stages. Classy, true, very good, traditional Rôtie. “It is very balanced, has good complexity, and after the sorting and discarding, it worked out well. You had not to hurry your harvest this year,” Bernard Levet. 12.5°. €30. Bottled early Oct 2015. From 2019. 2032-33 Dec 2015

2011

dark red robe, a lit of lightness at the top. Has a really dark, tarry, intense cassis liqueur aroma – this is really prolonged, a nose of great depth, full and obvious. There are criss-cross airs of violets, pot-pourri dried flowers, pine needle and tar. The palate starts in similarly tarry fashion, holds a mulled dark berry flavour, with some late crunch from the tannins that are just a little dry at present. The length is sound. This is very much a no holds barred Côte-Rôtie, one of character that isn’t in the mainstream or in the pristine Burgundian school. A good winter dish would take care of the tannins. There is a definite oiliness of richness – this is a wine that comes forward, shows a lot early in its life. It glows on the finish. 13°. 2026-28 Feb 2015 Previously Oct 2012 ***** (cask) very thick, dark robe; the nose is more intense than that of Maestria 2011, has a real granite crunch in it, a strong sense of the rock, the mineral from it – it implies that it comes from a place short of soil above the rockface. There are some game, interesting notions, meat and coffee in this broad bouquet. The palate sets off with delightful fruit – this is an excellent traditional style of wine; it keeps going, is complete. A few spices creep in. The texture is lissom, savoury and the finish is tasty. Long and persistent, there is a floral mix on the finish, with touches of tea and mineral there. A brooding wine, with tannins sweeping across the late moments, but the finish on flowers and mineral is jolly good. What a treat. From 2018. 2032-34  Oct 2012

2010

dark red, darker than the Améthyste 2010. The nose presents simmered black berry and soaked black cherry fruits with wild, hedgerow, pine and basil touches. The bouquet is very deep and rather mysterious still. The palate is striking – there is a near southern climes richness in its fruit and content. It extends with a steady purpose, is closely packed, ends on black berry and cocoa, coffee notes. Very thorough. A wine of character. Black truffles and spice appear on the aftertaste; this has some ways to go, yes, indeed. From 2018. “It is more mineral than the 2010 Améthyste,” Bernard Levet. 12.5°. 2033-35 Dec 2013  Previously Oct 2012 ***** (cask, bottling in 5 days) healthy, full robe; this has grilled, nutty, licorice airs, Brazilian cafezinho, and ripe cassis at its heart, along with loganberry, vanilla and a light note of hung game. The palate has a spiced and interesting debut, and takes the shape of an upright, waiting wine, one of real structure. This is a vin de garde, a keeping wine, par excellence – it has the nobility of that. Tannins are well present, go up and down and offer steel to the wine. From 2018. It has more class on the finish than Maestria, which is more of a country boy in the final reckoning. STGT wine – lovely harmony in mid-palate. 2034-36  Oct 2012

2009

bright, dark, black-purple robe. The bouquet has a grilled intensity, is smoky, has dark cherry airs. Cherries, soaked cherries and violet feature, with an STGT typicity here and there on the nose. The palate starts on dark, black fruiting with spice and bosky touches. This is a big wine with prominent tannins, is rather a Force of Nature. There is a scented run through the palate, but with a powdery, dusty, sunswept distribution of the scent. Has a solid, unshowy, complete finish. No hurry here – from 2016-17, and decanting advised. It is grounded, more so than the 2010 – 2010 is more nuanced, 2009 is thicker. “I would drink the 2010 Péroline before the 2009 Péroline,” Nicole Levet. 13°. 2031-33  Oct 2012

2007 ()

STGT wine, delightful: rather thick red robe with a smudge of ruby evolution on its top rim: this looks good. The nose is clear, combines flowers, spice and notably mineral, with dust and tar undertones. This is a big nose potentially, and a compact, well-knit one. The palate is real STGT, traditional Côte-Rôtie from my youth in the 1970s: it has black berry jam with a smoky graphite fuse through it. It ends on dusty, “up” tannins that give it life, has a float of violet on the aftertaste. There are typical Levet notions of game on the later palate. This is moving into shape, and collecting its troops together. Genuine wine, with a becoming fullness. Delightful, spiced and floral flair on the finish with roast pork, the finish lovely and long. A wine of rugged quality with fibre in it. Air increases its weight and foundation, and starts to soak the palate well. Has bags of character. 12.5°. 2026-28  Sept 2012

2006

dark enough robe; hearty nose, with mineral in the air, along with earthy, coffee notes, violet and iris flowers, brewed coffee, black jam. The palate has a supple, nicely full and natural way about it, while there are lines of black pepper here and there. Good STGT wine with the snap of the Chavaroche mica schist and poor soil in it. Lovers of traditional wines will dig this. It ends a bit dry, but not if you eat food with it, comme il faut. Has good fruit; needs until mid-2011 to really get going. 2020-22 Dec 2009 Previously Jan 2008 *** (casks) quite dark, darker than the Maestria 2006 from La Landonne. The bouquet bears steady, simmered black fruit aromas, but there is a touch of a sweaty or downhome nature in it as well. There is plenty of wine on the palate – it fills out, and shows evident tannins from half way. The length is OK, but it dries a bit at the end. It needs to come together and soften – it is taut, quite possibly from its grainy rock on Chavaroche. A little aromatic moment on the palate gives hope for its softer future. From 2013. 2024-26 Jan 2008

2005 ()

dense, full robe; there is plenty in the bouquet – black fruit with a clear tone and a thorough couch below it – it isn`t yet out and about. The palate starts with quite crisp fruit which is ripe at heart, with a sense of acidity and marked tannic punch late on. The tannins are active, live. It needs time to settle and co-ordinate, say from 2014. If it comes together, it can be 4 to 4.5 stars. For now, it ends on late heat and power. I like this, it is promising. 2032-35. “A very hot July made the wine this year – August was a more ordinary month, then the heat got going in September again,” Nicole Levet. Jan 2008

2004 ()

signs of advance on the bouquet that is in transition now – there is a hint of animal on it, mixed in with the simmered red fruit that has floral airs about it as well. The palate`s black berries are sweet are first, before a gradual pepper and licorice influence comes from the tannins that slide in quietly from half way. The finish is along a quite rich vein: leave this until late 2010 to allow the tannins to work into it, and its black fruit will then still be expressive. 2022-23 Jan 2008

2003 ()

dark, black cherry-plum robe. The nose is sealed-up, not giving a lot, but there is plenty here. There are airs of prickly hedgerow fruit, a little mineral. The palate holds solid, sustained black fruit, has a tight but rich core. The length is good. Expect this to become gamey later. Thorough wine which can make it over time. From 2009.  Bottled Feb 2006. “The classic Côte-Rôtie is always more floral than La Péroline,” Bernard Levet. 2019-23. April 2006

2002

scented, black fruit bouquet with potential. Round attack, more complex towards end, mixes red berry fruit/spice. Refined. Lasts nicely. Esp 2007 on. Has evolved consistently. 2015-17 April 2006 Previously Nov 2005, New York **(*) scented, open, mineral and floral-inspired nose, gives a vegetal, stalky note, is peppery on top. This is quite handsome, rounded and elegant in a low-key vein. Slight end sweetness, red fruited, calm finale. Burgundian delicacy here. Drinks well now. There is a sign of chaptalisation at the end, a wee sweetness, a touch of tackiness. 2009-10  Nov 2005, New York

2001 ()

the robe shows a little advance, a softening of its red. Has a well-woven, complete bouquet that gives violets – it is broad, has a nice tinkle of freshness, adds a suave feel thanks to oily hints of ripeness. The palate is tight-knit, has sinew in it; certainly has the potential to develop. Good weight, good grip, a good fruit thread. There is a touch of burn or tar on the finale, which is live. Will declare more from 2007-08 onwards. 2018-20 Nov 2005, New York Previously March 2003 (cask) *** tight nose, tarry, potential; compact red fruits, more spice than 2002, grows towards a chewy, mineral finish. Very clean. 2014-16 March 2003

2000

broad, peppery nose, gives gummy, earthy, raspberry fruit, a pure cut of raspberry indeed – the nose is live, has a wild side to it. This is three-quarter weight wine, has sinew and berried, brambly fruit, live and sound length, the acidity to live. Has a definite raspberry character with some underlying breadth – the raspberry fruit bursts along well in mid-palate. This is stylish, a fundamental wine whose tannins are ripe but present. It is laced with elegant potential. Especially good from 2006. 2014-16 Nov 2005, New York Previously Nov 2003 *** reserved, plum fruit, light spice nose; tight-knit, well-wrapped flavour with good depth of matter inside. Stone fruit, tannins arrive at end. Will become very round. From 2006. 2015-17

1998 ()

La Chavaroche: game, downhome aroma that features brewed fruit, a black soil earthiness, but one laced with violet. 30 minutes of air renders it more interesting, and brings pebbly, buffed leather notes. This is all shoulders, big wine, at this stage, with its finesse relative in a context that is chunky. Has a brewed black fruit, chocolate flavour. Curious and rather compelling mix of soil and a flutter of flowers. Is a sweaty agricultural worker style wine that is now harmonious, the length good. Comes from the Old School but is attractive, and wonderful with a pork chop served in a spicy barbecue sauce at Etats-Unis restaurant, 242 E 81st St New York, 2014-18  Nov 2005