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The Wines

80-85% Syrah (60% 1896, 1902 Serine, massale, 40% 1988, clone), 15-20% Viognier, from Coteaux de Semons, aka Bassenon, southern sector on gneiss soil, degraded mucovit granite, 20-25 day co-fermentation by maceration carbonique and semi-carbonique (one pumping over open to air), no cap punching, aged 5-8 year 228-litre oak casks 16 months, no SO2 used, unfined, unfiltered, first wine 2006, 2,400 b

2019 ()

(cask) bright, quite dark red; the nose shows reduction, isn’t out, comes in several parts today, raspberry, herbs, cordite, vegetal airs. The palate is also intricate, on nerve, sinew, with fresh purpose, is a touch raw, holds quite firm juice within, the length is secure. This has hidden pockets, red fruit lying deep within. The aftertaste is on red fruit after a stretch of vegetal. “The 20% old Viognier firms it up; the grapes were very small, and there was millerandage, hence a dry side to it,” J-M Stéphan. From 2022-23. 2044-46 Dec 2019

2018 ()

(cask) dark red; the South comes North on the bouquet which shows ripe raspberry, soaked red cherries/griottes, is cleanly struck, if firm. The attack is close-knit, threads of clarity running through it, a little nudge or two of mineral-iron. It develops strength and depth after half way, takes on volume, hits the line with perfumed vigour, holds fine quality juice on the aftertaste. This is complex, high interest Rôtie. “Bassenon adapted better to 2018 than Tupin, which is excellent in fresh vintages; the stones and quartz on Tupin give a more solar effect than the sand of Bassenon,” J-M Stéphan. From 2023. 2041-43 Dec 2019

2017

(used 2002 228-litre cask) dark red. The nose gives interest, off we go, neat strawberry fruit, raspberry also with some wee grilling; it’s well mannered, on the spot, accurate, has very good focus. The palate holds tight, mineral content with good flow and uplift. The tannins are firm. It gains in darkness, darker fruits towards the finish where there is blood-iron, raspberry, and the finish is excellent – “aided by the Viognier”. “This is harmonious,” J-M Stéphan – I agree. From 2021. 2034-35 March 2018

2016 ()

dark red. The nose is reduced, has an aroma of stewed red fruits, plums, violet here and there, hints of black olives. This is spinal, clear and cool vintage Rôtie, will please the Thinkers. There are different parts to it to fuse, and the aromatic flourish on the second half is most pleasing. The tannins are a bit spartan for now. 13°. From mid-2021: it shouldn’t be drunk much before 2025 in reality. 2036-38 Feb 2019 Previously Mar 2018 ****(*) (used 228-litre cask, bottling Sept 2018) shiny red robe. There is quiet reduction on the nose, which features raspberry coulis, crunch-vegetal airs; it will be serene and together, stylish. The palate is closely wrapped, sinewed, with fresh verve after the mid-point. It carries well, the length delightful. This is pure and winning wine. The aftertaste is salted. The fruit persists extremely well, is detailed all the way. From mid-2020. 2035-36 Mar 2018

2015 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2014 ()

(used 228-litre oak cask) dark red. The nose is reduced, but the aroma is good and thick, shows peony and clove, cooked raspberry. The palate starts briskly and well, offers a juicy mid-palate, then tones down on the finish, giving more crispness there. This handles the Viognier well – it is very well integrated – better than in 2013. Its juice is fine, precise. Promising, very good. 13 years. Dec 2015

2013 ()

dark plum red robe. Gentle, cooked strawberry, cooked pear aroma with a liqueur aspect, sizzled bacon behind. This is soft, tender, squeezy. It develops a spiced kick towards the finish; its texture is oily from the Viognier. The flavour centres on raspberry, which becomes intense late on. Its tannins are slightly detached. It needs to fuse. Rounded white fruits, cooked pear and violets show on the finish. “After three weeks in bottle, it had an aroma of flowers and orange peel on the palate,” Jean-Michel Stéphan. 12°. 2024-25  Dec 2015

2012 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED: WINE IN THE CLASSIC CUVÉE

2010 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED – loss of 55% crop across the domaine

2009

(steel tank, malo finished, but still 11 gm of sugar to go, esp given the large amount of Viognier) bright magenta; leesy, solid, ample nose – it flourishes its wares, shows ripe grapes. The palate is full of gras richness, within a firm setting. The balance seems good – this is promising. 15 years life. Nov 2009

2008 ()

(cask) bright red, magenta robe; clean-cut aroma – red berry, alert cherry airs. There are dark notes in a languid palate, one that lacks true fat, and wafts on the later stages. A bit frail, but drinkable. The end tannins are quite chewy. From 2011. 2017-18. To be bottled Sept 2010. Nov 2009

2007

dark tints at the centre of its robe, which shows some evolution, but is shiny. There is a gentle, maturing intensity on the nose which shows a note of meat inside its plum fruit aroma. The palate is embarking on a stage of transition, with aromatic nudges here and there. It starts cautiously, with noted tannic lining, and is becoming more focused and mean as it changes. Has a firm, underplayed finish. Decant this. From spring 2013 now – best left along for a while. 2021-23 Feb 2012 Previously Nov 2009 ***(*) red, magenta colour; subdued nose - a bit of a fungal aroma mixed in with red fruit jam, but it is quite alert, has possible high tone, varnish in it. The varnish element emerges again on the palate, fruit on the turn, not crisp. It is rather weighty, its tannins woven into it. Not really out of itself yet. Decant this – it is reductive. From mid-2011. “This was very gourmand and explosive when young, but since August has been more timid,” J-M Stéphan. 2019-21 Nov 2009 €65 retail at the cellar, wow – that is expensive.

2006 ()

bright, dark plum colour; the nose is interesting – it is smoky, as if sizzled bacon, with a good depth of ripe fruit, but it is also clear. There is a nutty start to the palate, that has good grip in its black fruit. It runs along well, with tannins surrounding it and lining it. The finish is crisp and clear. No SO2 at all is used on this wine. 2015-16 March 2009