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The Wines

100% Syrah, destemmed, 3 week vinification, wild yeasts, part vat emptying/refillings, aged 33% new, 67% 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 22-24 months, filtered, 2,000 b

2018

(casks) dark robe; the bouquet has a little style, is subdued post bottling. There is a neat air of black berry fruit, a leaning towards jam density in it. It’s not yet varied, but can develop. The palate bears close-knit, rather concentrated matter with an eking out of black juice towards the finish. It’s well buttressed by firm tannins, the frame sure. It carries good freshness, and there’s a note of menthol on the aftertaste. 13.5°. From 2022, decant it. 2040-42 Nov 2019

2016 ()

(barrel/casks) shiny, good looking black-dark red robe. The bouquet comes with a soft, neatly sweet blackberry and raspberry aroma, a note of vanilla from the oak. The palate proceeds with a serene run of smooth content, tannins in sync with that feel. There is a core of dark red fruited juice such as mulberry that continues at a leisurely pace. It ends on a little oak toffee sweetness. This has a fine nature, is a reserved, careful Cornas that seems to hold back more than I would like. 13.5°. From mid-2019. 2029-30 Nov 2017

2011

dark robe. Quite intense, enclosed aroma, with grilling in the air; but it has lift in its fruit, notes of sweet tea. The palate presents fluid, rolling fruit with a light crackle of freshness. This can be drunk now, though its sparky, crushed stone finale could settle in a little more. Uncomplicated wine, low on mystery. 13°. 2021-22 Nov 2012

2008

dark-tinted robe, subdued red robe. Oily fruit, pine aroma here, leaves a pine resin little trail, is pitchy like the old Roman vinum picatum ofVienne. The palate attacks with steely black fruit, and then builds up an oiliness in its texture. Modern cellar work and oaking brings a shininess in the fruit. It has been rather got together by numbers, the formula, I feel – it drinks pleasantly enough. Tar is prominent, and it isn’t very Cornasien. It goes well with spaghetti alla matriciana which brings out red fruit and fine grain oak tannin. The oak of 2 years is a strong raising in a more tricky year such as 2008, when the crop wasn’t pristine. 13°. To 2019  March 2012

2007

full purple, black centre. Juicy blackberry fruit aroma with a low-key mineral and oak overlay, all nicely ensemble. It suggests that it will open and round out in the next 2-3 years; there is sandalwood from its oak. Sleek Cornas on the palate – a varietal rather than terroir prime influence. Light late toasting from its oak. Fashion rules over place, but it is agreeable, if rather me-too. Strong oaking here. The oak has to fuse, disappear. Cellar 1 Terroir 0. From 2014. 13°. 2020-22 Jan 2011

2006

(casks – for bottling in 2-3 weeks) bright full red; there is a touch of tar along the sides of the bouquet, along with olive and menthol. The rounded black fruit on the palate is mature and ready to go, comes with a pretty length. This drinks well now – it is an ample and steady wine. The length is OK, not flamboyant, and the finish is crisp and peppery. From mid-2009, although it may tighten after bottling. 2014-15 Dec 2008

1996

compact loganberry/violet nose, with potential; cooked fruits, latently chunky on finish. Minted end. Can become wholesome. 2005 on. 2014-16