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The Wines

98-100% Syrah (1982-83), 0-2% Viognier from from 1.3 hectare on schist soils on Besset, 80% destemmed, 3 week vinification, 50% submerged cap, pumping overs, light cap punching, 1 part vat emptying/refilling, assembled after the malo, aged 50% new, 50% 2-3 year 228-litre oak casks 18 months, fined, filtered, is the best one-third of the casks of Besset each year which are selected at the end of the raising, 1,500-2,430 b

2019 ()

(1 year 228-litre cask) bright, dark red; there’s a black olives, Sudiste/Southern tone to the nose, a thick black fruit aroma, black jam, raspberry, hints of airborne precision that shows how good this vintage is. The palate gives a good fruit strike, neat rows of blackcurrant fruit with very joli length, tasty fruits. It has a real good back palate, a fine iron-floral presence. 32 years Feb 2020

2018

(1-year 228-litre cask) dark red; has a jolly cassis aroma, a coulis version of it that invites. It has good serenity, roundness, clarity, comes with bacon fat and herbs. The palate debut is sturdy, fuelled, holds black fruits with drive, a pick up of concerted content, the depth oily. It finishes firmly, stoutly, with busy tannins, chocolate, intense black juice. It’s a solid wine. From 2025-26. 29 years  Feb 2020

2017 ()

full red; the bouquet has sweet depth, blackberry-cassis fruit, damson plum jam, some pork scratchings, herbs. The attack shows mineral, is a rather graceful opening with refinement in the juice. It’s the most refined of the three 2017s, has good poise, is articulate, the juice delicate, and trim iron notes. It needs time to fuse, but has achieved Nordic clarity in a hot year – good. It’s worth studying. “Even when it was still in the vat, you could sense the finesse”, Maxime Gourdain. 13.5°. 2,430 b. €64 at the cellars. Bottled July 2019. From 2024-25. 2043-45 Feb 2020

2016 ()

dark robe; there’s a sweep of soaked black cherries, griottes noires, across the bouquet, the sweetness well judged, is very primary still. There’s a note of licorice, smoke and graphite. The palate transfers well from the nose, holds curvy black fruits with saline lines of engagement, the length good, the fruit very assured. This is wholesome, comes with lovely juiced depth, is a winner. It has tea leaves, mineral notes, lots of accumulated juice and depth coming in gradual layers, is a wine of definite interest. 13.5°. 2044-46 Feb 2020 Previously Nov 2017 ****(*) (casks) bright, very dark robe. The bouquet presents an elegant stream of black fruits which are fresh and clear-cut, accompanied by smoky oak that is still assertive. It’s a confident start. The palate is stylish, tunes into very good, pinpoint tasty black fruits, cassis and blueberry, with the smoke of the oak and its charcoal on the closing stages. This is set to show very well, has its Burgundian finesse and calm approach in its favour. It is long, well sustained, a right gentleman of a wine. 13.5°. 1,520 b. From 2021. 2040-42 Nov 2017 Previously Oct 2016 **** (vat sample, sugars completed, malo not) handsome full red colour. Has a raspberry fruit, nicely plump aroma with a sing-song in style, is very curvy. The palate has a serene debut, its gras round; this drinks with delight, has purity at its heart, is spherical, rewarding, silken. Mulberry and raspberry feature. It is harmonious. From 2020-21. 2037-39 Oct 2016

2015 ()

dark red; the nose gives black fruits, earthiness, licorice, the aroma sustained, comes with hints of raspberry liqueur, mixed herbs. The palate shows terroir, iron notes inside its thick complement of red cherry fruit. The tannins are defined, more so than those on the 2015 Coeur de Rose, and have fresh touches. It finishes with salt, breeze, strength. It’s complete, has good structure and an adroit mix of terroir and vintage. 14°. From 2026. 2048-50 Feb 2020 Previously Oct 2016 ****(*) (casks) very shiny, handsome red robe with black at its centre. The nose has a snug raspberry and loganberry fruit aroma, shards of licorice – it is a really bright debut, really rocks. The palate gives virile red fruit and content, and is more muscled than the nose would suggest. It grips tightly, and gives concentrated juice in gradual release. The finale is savoury, has a rounded depth there. The aftertaste is fresh. This is genuine, very good, shows herbes de Provence on the close, and has a southern climes leaning. Two of the casks are new this year – 40%. From 2020-21. 2041-43 Oct 2016

2014

dark, plum-coloured robe. The nose mixes up flowers, smoke, bacon with a winning depth of blackcurrant and violet well mingled. The palate bears nice quality juice that has a thick but fluid style. It travels on suave gras richness with supple, sustained tannins. It has good inner depth, is gourmand before the close. The juice revives on the finish, well. This is silky, genuine, persistent. 13°. From 2019. 2029-31 Oct 2016 

2013

(casks) very dark robe. Overt oak and sleek black cherry fruit show in a stylish nose, an air of buffed leather as well; the nose has good density, and gives a suggestion of violets. The palate attacks on clean, clear black fruit, has high quality freshness and definition. This reaches out well to the finish, which is full of running. It is complete from start to finish, with style and grace. It delivers a spot of spice, a spot of tar as it ends. The finish is full, long, impressive. 13°. 1,500 b. From mid-2017, take your time. 2029-31  Jan 2015