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The Wines

85-90% Syrah (1987-2005), 10-15% Viognier (1997) from a 0.35 ha plot on Montlys that runs across the hill from South-East to South-West, 90% destemmed, 5 day cooling at 14°C, then 3-4 week vinification of both varieties, part vat emptying/refilling, pumping overs, aged new Tronçais (since 2019) 228-litre oak casks 27-30 months, unfined, filtered, first wine 2003, 2,000-3,000 b

2019 ()

(cask) dark robe; the bouquet suggests a stylish, serene future with an undercurrent of meatiness and feral depth, has inner charge, really deepens if you study it. The palate is closely sealed, moves with a sure hand, the richness appealing, well sustained. The finish is on a full curve, the oak gradually entering. There is inner harmony here, with elegance in its fullness. The finish is long, on thorough fruit, no pauses. From 2026. 2048-50 Dec 2019

2018 ()

(cask) thorough, dark red; the nose has a red meat intensity, a firm setting for its closely packed red berry fruits, raspberry, wild berries. There is essence of the fruit, a quiet concentration. The palate holds red fruits, with iron threads through it, overall is consistent in flow, with nerve in the tannins, a smoky, spearmint finish bringing lift, ping. This will hunker down on its oak, then re-emerge, so is a long-term affair. It carries good clarity, tips its hat to Burgundy. It's just ****(*). 14.5°. From 2025. 2043-45 Dec 2019

2017

(cask) dark black-toned robe; the nose has a smoked bacon air, a keen line of small black fruits, licorice, blue fruit. There’s a hint of graphite. The palate gives attractive black fruits that gleam well, carry well established freshness, the late stages nicely free running, wavy. There’s good potential for a wine based on charm, more 2016 than 2015 in vintage style. The fruit is pure, clear. The aftertaste is tarry. From 2024. 2042-44 Dec 2019

2016 ()

dark red; there is a cool take on the nose, wild raspberry, a hint of licorice, black truffle, low-key violet. The backdrop is oaked. The palate flows with stylish fruit, red fruits, raspberry, with a clear presence, and mild tannins. The Viognier renders the texture squeezy towards the finish, gives it a gummy nature. There is a fine shaft of late iron on the aftertaste. It’s in a holding phase now. Decant it. 14°. From 2022. 2039-41 Dec 2019

2015

very dark, brimming robe; there is firm strength on the bouquet, a good layering of black fruits, blueberry, with sunshine that is nicely funnelled, black olives in the mix, the South. There’s a hint of reduction. The palate bears a rich, oily, well fuelled content, appeals with a lingering, handsome richness, the tannins rather melting, very well inset. The finish is sustained, nourishing. This is good. It will hold its density for some time to come. From two years, 2022. 14°. 2043-45 Dec 2019 Previously Apr 2016 *****(new 228-litre cask) very dark. There is an aroma of stylish black berry fruit inside the bouquet, which has an oaked, grilled outer, black cherry, the fruit clear, some nutshells also. This is sleekly fruited, with crisp tannins, mineral, vin de terroir within the oak. There is a close link between nose and palate. It drives along on a smooth route, presents very fine juice. Graphite and close-knit juice appear on the finish. “It is square, runs straight down the line, has graphite, minerality,” Christophe Semaska. GB £348 6 b i/b Clarion Wines info@clarionwines.co.uk www.clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069. From 2024. 2043-45 Apr 2016 

2013

full robe. Has an oak-charcoal top aroma, a discreet display of cassis, graphite and lead pencil over blueberry. The palate fits together closely, gives an expressive run of black fruit, a little late sweetness. The tannins have a chocolate quality. It ends largely rounded, lip smacking. It is upright in shape, but has flesh, and there is plenty of juice to work with. Bottled Jan 2016. From 2020. 2032-33 Apr 2016

2012 ()

shiny, full robe. The bouquet has a meaty first air, with grilling, an inlay of oak, black prune fruit, a buttery sweetness. The palate gives spiced, soaked fruits, near kirsch, has live but supple tannins that come roundly. It is textured and smooth on the finale. Its gras is bundled together in a rather rich ball. From 2019. 2031-33 Apr 2016

2011

sober dark red. The nose is dumb, in transition with a latent blackberry and mulberry, lamb stock and menthol. It will vary well. There is a Pinot moment on the attack, red berries such as strawberry present with a good energy in the tannins. This is promising. There is good, well sustained and joli juice within. From 2018. 2029-30 Apr 2016  Previously Nov 2012 *** medium red robe; cigarette smoke, red cherry fruit under it in a subdued nose. It is potentially attractive, suggests freshness. The palate bears bonny red fruit, runs freely, has a pliant texture. The tannins are soft, easy. The juice lasts pretty well, and there is a floral hint on the aftertaste. A neat little package for early drinking, a dependable wine with no big horizon. Fluid, would go with dishes such as veal, and will be w.o.w. around autumn 2013. 13.5°. To 2019.  Nov 2012

2007 ()

(new oak cask, malo not yet finished) red-plus colour. The aroma has red fruit with a certain hold in it, pretty secure. The fruit is live, quite assertive in a mid-weight plus register. The length is sound. This is not a big, charged wine, but can be harmonious. All destemmed this year after the hail in June. I wonder if it will get a vegetal note as it ages. Has a menthol end. A concentrated, but not flamboyant wine with a fragile structure, but there is wine here. 2020-22 Jan 2008

2006

(cask) bright, quite dark robe; black cherry and cassis with some intensity on the nose. There is a definite style in this domaine`s wines – blackcurrant, with licorice. Late on, it has a tarry nature, but there is gras within. Has a better foundation than the regular Montlys. The length is sound, and it shows pretty red fruit, mulberry, with its oak. From 2010. The 2005 is richer, with a little opulence in it: this is more decisive. 13.2° natural this year. “The tannins are elegant and fine, and the fruit is more obvious this year than the 2005,” C.Semaska. 2022-24 Jan 2008

2005 ()

dark robe, with black traces in it. The nose reveals black fruit, that is a little oily and waxen – there is some intensity, a clean jam aroma and maybe some crème de cassis, or blackcurrant. The palate holds sound primary fruit, with a marked oak core. The ensemble works well if it is left until 2010 or even 2011. The matter is quite rich, and it holds more obvious richness than the straight Montlys wine. The length is good, but can improve further. A well-mannered wine, it needs time to develop variety: its raw material is promising, and clear-cut. Has character, and Christophe`s vinification is getting better. 2,000 bottles this year. 2022-25 Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2006 (cask) **(*) dark robe; brewed, rather chocolate, raisin nose – comes in a formula way, weighty by design. Quite rich on the palate, with a flattering roundness, comes in a gourmand style, has supple tannins. Possibly a low SO2 wine. I suspect a modern advice wine from the oenologue, so the wine is gourmand and fleshy. Oak touch at the end. Lacks some soul, wears make-up. Has some Viognier scent on the finish. From 2008. 2016-18 Nov 2006

2004

the red is tiled in parts on the robe. Has a soaked raspberry air, sweetness attached, brioche baked bread and grilling. There is a soft delivery of red fruits, strawberry, then a lithe inkiness of depth on the finish. The finale is sweet, and oak is still apparent on the exit. The oak-fruit balance is questionable. It is OK, but isn’t an ensemble, and the fruit is receding a little. 2022-23 Apr 2016 Previously March 2005 (cask) *** cooked, brewed aroma, earthy and pungent. Grilled taste, fruit understated. Fair elegance. Oak a bit severe at this stage. Esp 2009 on. 2017-20. Last tasted March 2005.

2003 ()

well-knit bouquet, calm black fruits, has an earthy side, has lost its oak. Brewed, spicy, good depth here. Little sweet on finish. Tannins mean it should be left until 2007. Less "inky" than before, is gaining poise. 2014-17. Last tasted March 2005 Previously 2003 (cask) **(*) brewed black fruit, some oak, but fair harmony on nose. Quite full, chocolatey flavour, but clear-cut; broadens towards finish, end is purely new oak. "Inky" wine. 2013/14