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The Wines

from south of Saint-Désirat to the southern end of the appellation, (until 2005 was 80-100% northern sector, can have 20% southern sector), destemmed, 3 week vinification at up to 30°C, wild yeasts, many part vat emptying/refillings at start, raised steel vat on lees 3 months, then aged 228-litre oak casks or large barrels 12 months (before 2007 aged large barrels 12-24 months), unfined, filtered, 16-37,500 b

2018

dark robe; the bouquet is making its way, shows a rounded aroma of cooked plums, a patient density in it. The palate links well to the nose, holds squeezy richness, cooked red stone fruits, is generous on the second half, the finish munchy, savoury. It’s a natural, unforced St Jo, will go well with boeuf bourguignon, wild mushroom [morilles] risotto. 13.5°. From spring-2020. 2029-31 Nov 2019

2016

(vat/barrel) black-centred robe, purple rim. The nose has a floral, graceful style, attractive black cherry fruit at its heart. The palate links well to the nose, offers enjoyable, cosy richness that rolls well all along, has a little darkness from its tannins and oak on the finish. The black fruit is tasty, pure, and this is a fine, w.o.w. St Jo, very good in restaurants, bistrots thanks to its easy access. It’s very elegant. From mid-2018, not far off ready. 13°. 2022-23 Nov 2017

2013 ()

(casks) has a dark, shiny aspect. This has an upfront, rather bold aroma led by blackberry fruit, comes with an oily swirl of depth and airs of licorice, sizzled bacon in its youth. The palate has a covering of varnish and pine from its oak, and for now that rather sets the agenda. The fruit has a fleshy quality, so fusion is on the cards. The palate fruit is cool, more northern zone than southern. It has a degree of gusto as it finishes. Decanting not a bad idea. 13°. 20,000 b. From mid-2016 - this is a pretty open St Jo. 2023-24 GB £23.99 Louis Latour Agencies www.louislatour.co.uk  Jan 2015

2012 ()

healthy purple, scarlet robe. Broad, pretty open nose, has a rolling air of berry fruit with a smoky note present, a coulis-style ripeness, sound packing with oak notes. There is lively fruit here! Blackberry and licorice run in tandem; there is a brisk note to the tannins as the wine lengthens on a fresh clarity. Small pockets of oak are present, give a slightly dry effect on the outside. So leave until 2015 or spring 2016, though it can be drunk now if direct fruit, a crisp texture and small oak touches are the desired package. There is good quality, good flow fruit inside its oak, which tends to be rather heavy. Clean, swish, modern wine. One has to hope the oak will take a back seat, and it is rated accordingly. 37,500 b. 2019-20  Nov 2014

2011 ()

dark, shiny robe. There is lots of life in the nose – it gives blackberry fruit, light airs of nut, iodine – it is very inviting, suggests get on and go thanks to its fresh and crisp abundance. There oak notes, modern styling. The palate is full of free running black fruit – this swishes along with panache thanks to its trail of fruit and clear finish. Has enough depth to accompany red meats, while a little dark tannin on the finish ensures a second stage of evolution. Drink for its verve now. It sizzles along now, has fresh length and is an early style wine. 13°. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2009

swirly, dark red robe. Supple black fruit with a light top grain from its tannins, mild black fruit jam within, with wee mint and a little leather and earthiness for depth. The palate starts on a fine mineral note – granite conveyed in the glass. Easy texture, fine tannins ride in the back. This isn’t a big horizon wine, but provides safe, honest drinking. Has the snap and crunch of the northern zone of St Jo in its make-up. Now OK; it will be a shade softer on the finish from autumn 2012. Drink with food rather than solo. 13°. To 2018. Dec 2011

2007

steady, quite full red; expansive, bright raspberry and cassis fruit mix aroma, laced with road tar, and a mild floral influence. Tasty wine – yes, off the bat. This rocks along well, delivers lively cassis/blackcurrant fruit, and is also nicely long. Has a clear, grainy, satisfying finish. Good authenticity, w.o.w. wine that breezes along, grand solo drinking or great with country foods, versatile with flavours. Balance is good, this is really gluggable, and can be drunk cool rather than warm. Fresh, uplifting wine, shows a touch of late pepper. Great with rich chicken-pear barley-root vegetable soup. 13°. 2016-17 Jan 2011

2006 ()

quite a full red; smoky, black fruits here, a supple blackberry aroma that comes in an easy style. There is a touch of oak apparent on the palate, a soft middle, and then a little tightening and a rather early ending. It is nearly OK to drink now, maybe will be more ensemble from spring 2009. There are dark notes in its Syrah. To 2012. Dec 2008 16,000 b, way down from the old 60,000 b, and the southern not the northern sector now predominant – so big changes.

2005

black berry fruit in a restrained bouquet – more open around mid-2008. Red berry fruit start with peppery outcrops that one expects from the northern zone. Gets edgy late on, and dry-toned. Not in great harmony today. The length is fair, so try from 2008 for better showing. 2012-13. Bottled Jan 2007. June 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ** mild red colour; soft, low-key bouquet, suggestive of red fruits. Palate is also low-key, not that full. There are simple red fruits, the deal is to drink this early, even as an aperitif. Has some length. To 2009.

2004

mineral aroma, with latent black fruits and some sous-bois (underwoods/damp forest). Attack carries clean fruit but is a little taut overall. Stops short and acidity asserts - makes it difficult on the finish. Lacks clear, rounded fruit late on. Try in a year, cross fingers. 2009 April 2006

2001

light jam fruit nose, bit of pepper; fair sweetness on palate, jam with some spice. Bit short.