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The Wines

Syrah (mid-1980s) from granite soils at Sarras, central zone, 80-90% destemmed, 2-3 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 1-6 year 228-litre oak casks 16 months (40% new oak used until early 2010s), filtered, "drink with lamb cutlets, ewe cheese (brebis), 5-6,000 b

2016 ()

(casks) shiny, deep robe, a handsome announcement. The bouquet is wide, has a blackberry fruit presence that is accompanied by soft violet airs, a cosy note of perfume, mild oaking. The fruit leaves a good, long trail. The attack is flamboyant, a real instant, forward affair, the palate juicy, bountiful, rolling well with its slightly spiced black fruits, the tannins on the finish clean and decisive. There is plenty to like here: it’s a wine with good heart and style, even flair. 6,000 b. From 2019. 2025-26 Nov 2017

2015 ()

(casks) full, dark red robe. The nose is sultry, perfumed, musky: the fruit is brewed, black berries on the agenda. There is a grapey, just out of the vat presence. The palate holds plump black stone fruits with easy going, soft and squeezy tannins backing it. The shape is curvy, and it will drink well from spring 2018, just a few more steps needed. This gives access to the inner pulp of the Syrah in interesting fashion. The finish tightens a little, stealthily bringing in some darkness in the tannin and a note of oak. It has serious length. 6,000 b. €12.20 export. 2026-28 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) full, dark red colour, black tints; the nose offers crushed berries with a sweet, savoury aspect, an inviting depth of liquid fruit, a little mixed herbes de Provence. This attacks on very enjoyable, entertaining black cherry fruit, is open and gourmand all through. The finish is neat and rounded. Absolutely w.o.w. wine for grills and roast meats. The harmony and freedom of expression are impressive. 12.5°. 6,000 b. €12.20. 2020-21 GB £73/6 b in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013

(casks) dark robe, full. The bouquet is potentially full, but is reserved for now. Black cherry and oak mingle on it, the oak rendering it upright. The palate holds a comfortable depth of flavour, with a blackberry-blueberry jam centre. This is nice and long, and the authority of the content speaks of mature Syrah vines. Tasty moments now bode well for the future. Very good northern St Jo red, ahead of many of its local peers in its freshness and imagination. 12.5°. €12.20 export. From mid-2016. 2024-25  Jan 2015 

2012 ()

(casks) rather dark robe; blackberry coulis in a ripely centred nose, some savoury dollops of black fruit here. There is northern zone crackle in its abundant black berry fruit, a touch of rose adding perfume. It ends on round tannins; getting into shape, will drink easily. A little cool, blueberry fruit comes along the finish, and lasts. 2019-20 Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark, shiny robe. There are round ripples of black fruit on the nose that has a grain-spice interior, black pepper with it. Tasty, approachable fruit appears on the palate, with a quiet finesse. It takes on a little tannin to dust up the finish, ending on that grain. It is almost clear enough and pure enough of fruit to drink solo, or with saucisson, salami sausage, the moment it has been bottled. It has w.o.w. potential, and really does what Saint-Jo should – offers drinkability. Bonny wine. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) dark robe. Bacon fat, smoke, polished leather, southern airs with herbs in the fruit. There is an oak-nuttiness leave-behind. Oily debut to the palate, with give in the textured fruit. It reaches out well to the finish, rolls out nicely. The oak needs leaving for two years. Its bright fruit is attractive, the length secure. From spring 2014. 2019-20. Nov 2011

2006

the red robe is quite full; red cherry, smoky, gummy airs on the bouquet, that is still quite tight. Oak runs through the palate, but has red cherry fruit around it. Modern school, low terroir wine that is perfectly OK in its way. Drinks now, best with grilled meats, for instance. 13°. To 2012-13. Dec 2008

2005 ()

black cherry robe; sleek, pretty ripe black fruits nose with a pebbly and oaken backdrop. The palate fruit is fleet of foot, gets on and goes, has even sides and is suave. Flows direcly, and is straight in shape now from its oak. Seems to be from the mid-north zone stylistically. From mid-2008 on. 2014-15 Nov 2006

2003

dark wine; gummy fruit, reduced bouquet, some oak. Potent core on palate, alcohol circulating. Cassis style jam fruit, quite opulent. Oak brings down the curtain. Not bad, bit plain. From 2006-07. To 2014-15

2001 ()

black fruit, prominent oak bouquet; some black fruit flavour, is a bit taut, narrow. Dry. Must lose the oak. 2009-10.

2000 ()

fair cassis leaf/smoky aroma; orderly black fruit, some gras. Violet/oak end. Stylish. From 2004. To 2008-09