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The Wines

100% Syrah (1987) at 250-280 metres, until 2004 was 94% Syrah, 6% Viognier, 90% destemmed, crop not crushed, 5 day cooling at 14°C, then 3-4 week vinification, part vat emptying & refilling, pumping overs, aged 40-50% new, 50-60% 2-4 year 228-litre oak casks 24 months (was 70% new, 30% 1 year oak until 2011, 30% new then 50% new before 2005 18 months), unfined, filtered, first wine 1990, up from 16,000 b to 20,000 b

2019

(casks) full, dark robe; the bouquet has an oily density, gleams with ripeness, is nutty-oaked. The fruits have a stewed nature, but there is a fluid note that helps. The palate commences with a stream of wavy black berry fruits, is polished in texture, with refinement in the delivery, the tannins ripe, rather alert. This is a good ensemble in the making, a solid quality Rôtie. There is a neat freshness that is right in place, not on the outside. From 2024. 2044-46 Dec 2019

2018

(casks) dark red colour; the bouquet gives blood, a murmur of violets, has a ripe oiliness in the air, carries detail, which is a good achievement in 2018. There are oak-coffee beans’ airs also in it. The palate comes with a stream of black fruits, appealing iron through it, which isn’t too assertive. The fruit is clear, with soft floral notes. This will be harmonious, and shapely. The juice gathers well in a neat late ball, red berry there. From 2023. 2039-42 Dec 2019

2017

full red; the bouquet has an oily air, smoked bacon, black berry jam notes, a quietly sturdy interior, more to come. The palate leads on a purposeful stream of black berry fruits, cassis, blue fruit, with nerve on the second half, before a revival into raspberry fruit, some tenderness, on the finish. It’s authentic, clearly defined, represents the northern sector accurately, graphite in the mix. “It’s a bit closed now, will open,” Christophe Semaska. 14°. From mid-2021. 2035-37 Dec 2019

2016 ()

dark red; the oak is prominent in a streamlined bouquet, seems in a second stage of consolidation. Coffee beans, graphite, young cassis feature. The palate bears cool fruits, blueberry, has smoked tannins with nerve in them. It ends on rocky grip, but juice within, so that effect is benign. It’s a cool, upright Rotie that can gradually furnish itself, is lucid, comes with spark. “It has a lot of acidity, will take on aromatic expression; we had a rainfall of 35 mm (1.4 in) on 18 September which helped it to complete its ripening. We started the harvest on 25 September,” Christophe Semaska. 13°. 20,000 b. From 2022. 2035-37 Dec 2019

2015 ()

(50% new, 50% 1 year cask, an example) dark, sustained, full robe. Broad, grilled, profound nose with several layers of black fruit, a touch of sweet flowers. The attack strikes boldly, goes zap via the delivery of running black fruit, live energy tannins, a lot going on. It is coated, but has the mineral of Montlys on the end. It is ample, but travels with direction. Forest, soils, game elements feature here. It goes long, and is very persistent. “There is a multitude of things here, a lot of fruit,” Christophe Semaska. GB £180 6 b i/b Clarion Wines info@clarionwines.co.uk www.clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069. From 2021-22. 2038-40  Apr 2016

2013

dark robe. There is a mix of smoke and oak grain on the bouquet, with raspberry, cassis, snap, roses and flowers. It is a nice and lucid bouquet, gives a good basket of aromas. The palate gently delivers raspberry in coulis and simmered form. It is still on its raising. Redcurrant and a tangy graphite come through on the close, with a little floral uplift. There is plenty of lip smack on the aftertaste, the length good. It is firm and fresh. Decant it. From spring 2018. Bottled Sept 2015. “The spring was cold, and I harvested between 7 and 15 October. By comparison, I harvested on 30 September in 2010, and 7 September in 2015. The 2013 took 30 months of raising to come together,” Christophe Semaska. 13°. 2028-30  Apr 2016

2012 ()

dark robe. Has a cosy, close, rounded blackberry aroma with curvy appeal, latent dark black soil. It isn’t a very open nose. The palate gives a charming floral strike of mulberry fruit, some gourmand tannins riding on its finale – they are squeezy. It ends with a hint of flowers. This is a sound 2012. Decant it. 13°. 2025-26  Apr 2016

2011 ()

dark, filled robe. The bouquet is perfumed, sultry – it has an aroma of simmered raspberry, mulberry, has a closely packed sweet notes and honey airs, is obvious. The attack is on red berries, raspberry with supple tannins. It tightens at the end, with hints of cassis there. Chunky wine. On the finish there is a fluid element, a touch sugared, then comes the clack of cassis bud and tannin. “it was a hot year, with a spike of high heat at the end of August,” Christophe Semaska. 13°. 2024-25 Apr 2016 Previously Nov 2012 **** (casks) steady red colour; wide, rather beefy aroma, suppressed air of cooked red fruits, smoke and pine – this has “grunt” depth factor. The tight-knit red fruit runs well and broadly across the palate, the texture firm but mobile. Promising wine, shows harmony. There is a little snap of schist on the aftertaste, resembles rubbed stones, graphite. A beefy wine of potential, has its terroir also. From spring 2014. 2021-22  Nov 2012

2010

sober, quite dark red robe. The bouquet has reserves, for now is on raspberry, with light sweet spice, flowers, a hint of game; it is just starting to evolve. There is a smooth entry on the palate, holds cushioned red fruits, with spring out tannins and a fine powder in them. It ends roundly, is still making its way minerally. Its precise red berries are well installed – there is a lot going on inside. “It has balance and finesse, fruit and freshness – it is the mark of Montlys. It will live another 15 years with no problem, and won’t budge until 2020,” Christophe Semaska. 13.5°. From 2018 for more expression. 2029-32 Apr 2016

2009

dark plum colour. This has a mulled berries aroma with a deep interior, a hint of fame, soaked raspberries, leather from the heat of the year. The attack is delightful, comes with dried flowers, red berries, is textured. It is lovely and expressive, offers generously, has a joli sweetness. This gives a very accurate vintage expression. It is enjoyable and entertaining. There is lip smack gras on the finish. Good with lamb. “It is gourmand”, Christophe Semaska. 13°. 2026-27  Apr 2016

2008 ()

the red robe is thinning a little. White pepper, spice show on the outer bouquet, its fruit moving to prune. It isn’t 100% obvious. The palate delivers fresh red fruits, strawberry and raspberry and spice, with a still close-knit, fine tannin, then a little gras. It is in good shape. The aftertaste is a little on its own, with green pepper. It drinks well now. You can sense Côte-Rôtie on the nose. It is gentle, clear, a bit floral. “It was a cool year, with a rainy September; drink with chicken in cream sauce, blanquette of veal”, Christophe Semaska. 10.8°. 2021-23 Apr 2016

2007 ()

(casks) full robe; the bouquet bears ripe fruit – prune and plum jam combined. The palate is scented, starts in a pretty manner, with an inlay of secure black fruit. The length is good, the finale is rounded, making progress. There is still a touch of late tannin. 2017-18 March 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) (casks) full, dark robe; the bouquet is bound together, enclosed: has smoky, oily, tar airs, along with blackberry and prune, and a lighted match as well – it is punchy, right there. The palate is tight fitting, like someone clad in black leather; the taste combines black fruit and charcoal, with mocha on the finish from its oaking. Has the potential to integrate and soften. Tasted blind – its snappy nature suggests schist, the northern zone. Good length – I like its end freshness. From 2011. 2018-20 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ** (new oak cask, malo not yet completed) fairly sound red robe; bright, quite open fruit in the nose – not very deep. The palate fruit is clear, and floats easily: a mid-weight wine that is less full than the 2006. It struggles for its length. There is some roundness, but not depth. 2017-19 Jan 2008

2006

cask 1 **(*) (new oak cask, 20% of the wine, picked 30 Sept) sound, quite dark red robe. Has an open, red fruit-cherry aroma with a supple side to it. There is immediate, quite crisp fruit with life and local appeal on the palate: this is true to the schist. There is a lot of freshness and zappy black fruit. From mid-2009. 2021-23 Half a degree of chaptalisation this year. cask 2 *** (new oak cask, 80% of the wine, picked 24 Sept) black traces in the robe; broad style of bouquet – with some animal, black fruit and mineral in the aroma that is rather closed up today. The palate has good content, with a surprising depth which expresses itself firmly after the more reserved nose. I like its honest, downhome appeal: it holds a good core, and will go well with Cask 1 that is better cut. Overall: a 12-15 year wine of solid quality. Jan 2008

2005

quite dark red-black robe. The bouquet carries a crunchy black fruit, cherry aroma with oak present – is quite energetic and expresses terroir. The palate has a black fruits start, with plenty of initial content, then it straightens and gains a licorice, oak tendency towards the finish. It is a little pointed at the finish. The attack is live, with pretty clear fruit, and the wine is in young condition. Upright shape to this, and its parts are not completely ensemble. From 2010. 2023-25 This has clearly come a long way since its inauspicious start. Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2006 * (casks) quite a dark robe; grilled, three-quarter weight nose, has some pungent raspberry fruit with a floral trim. Clear tone on palate, reflecting the northern sector, but the fruit moves in an angular way, and puckers at the end. Is rather burnt, not at all sorted. Lacks flesh. From 2008. On this showing, pre-bottle – drink till 2013. Nov 2006

2004

evolving red robe. The nose has toffee, loose strawberry jam, a bit of prune and fig. The palate links to the nose; it holds soft, squeezy red fruits, fine tannins. It ends on grain and strawberry jam notes, a touch salty. “It was a cool year, but it didn’t rain in September, unlike in 2008,” Christophe Semaska. 12.5°. 2022-23 Apr 2016

2003

(pre-bottle) floral scents drift on the nose, light pepper appeal. Tender wine with supple appeal, coffee touches on finish. 2012-13. Last tasted March 2005, to be bottled April 2005. Previously 2003 (cask) ** tar, flinty bouquet. Fresh dark berry fruit, fair middle and length. 2011-13

2002 ()

light black jam aroma. Firm texture, with oak (60 per cent new) there at the end. Fresh cherry, black fruit. A northern wine, not a sunny one. Drink esp around 2007. 2011-12

2001

(cask) gentle, quite ripe fruit nose, some spice; soft, plump palate, runs on well, gains quiet flesh at end. Violets here. Authentic wine, oak not evident. 2011-13