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The Wines

95-97% Syrah (1986-87), 3-5% Viognier from 0.4 hectare on schist soils on La Brocarde running from the village up to two-thirds of the slope upwards, 70-95% destemmed crop, 15-18 day vinification, twice daily pumping overs, manual cap punching during the maceration, part vat emptying/refilling at end of fermentation, aged 100% new 228-litre French oak casks 26 months, 3-4 rackings, unfined, filtered, “I planted this vineyard when I was twenty years old”, first wine 2000, 2-4,500 b

2018

(cask) dark, thorough robe; the nose clusters around a firm aroma of black cherry fruit, with mineral notes, oak, blood. It is more sparked than soft. The palate carries iron, a good mineral thread, has stylish content either side of its spine. It’s expressive, full, lengthens well, maintains a relative freshness into its rocky finish, which suggest the northern sector [tasted blind]. It will benefit from further raising, and time in bottle; its fruit and content are stylish, with a little discreet softness. From 2023. 2045-47 Nov 2019

2017 ()

(new casks) shiny, thorough black-purple robe. Oak is the immediate guardian of the nose, bang, up come chocolate, crushed nutshells on the radar: there is some sleek small black berry fruit within, but you have to seek it out. After the scale of the bouquet, the palate is cool, oaked, presents smooth flow black fruits, a superior blackberry coulis-liqueur, a late note of blueberry. The oak robs it of charm for now. This is grounded Rôtie, with grilling and cellar emphasis. The only option is to leave it until 2023 because it won’t please before then. The aftertaste is a little charged, also. 13.5°. 97% Syrah, 3% Viognier. 2037-39 Dec 2018

2016

(casks) dark, full robe. The bouquet comes forward with a sweet curve of black fruited aroma, a plump, near plush display of soaked black cherries. There’s a backdrop of oak and light grilling. The palate presents bright, easy flow fruit on the attack, has a soft middle, ends on a mild roundness. This has a quietly elegant manner, is a wine that will charm. From mid-2020. 2031-33 Nov 2017

2015

(cask) shiny, dark red, purple, with black robe. The nose is profound, not yet clearly defined, has a broth of blackberry and black cherry fruit with some intrinsic sweetness. There are hints of licorice. The palate is broad, well filled with a roll of black berry fruit and tannins that pucker the front of the mouth. The centre is coolly fruited. It’s the finish that is exerted for now, which is the one concern. The aftertaste shows spearmint. 14°. 2,000 b. €35. From 2019. 2032-34 Oct 2016 Previously Apr 2016 ****(*) (cask) shiny, dark robe. The nose bears good potential, has airs of wavy dark fruits, berries, mineral present – an accurate picture of its schist origins is given. The palate sets off well, holds accumulated juice of dark, smoky berries, with oak prevailing on the end. It is long, and ticks over very well. It is serious, but can play a tune in time. 30% whole bunch this year. 39 hl/ha. 2,400 b. From 2021. 2037-38  Apr 2016

2014 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED: WINE INTO LES ÉLOTINS

2013 ()

quite a bold red, legs visible. This has a very Brune style air – smoke, graphite, cordite, chocolate. A real mineral factor is high on its agenda, also a wee note of herbes de Provence. The palate expresses through refined red fruits, with smoky sidekick tannins, a touch of griottes (soaked cherries) in the fruit. The length is good. This has stylish potential, is serious. It grips tight on the finish. This is real rock force wine, a Smoking Joe here, crunchy times. There is an STGT heart to it. Its oak will absorb. 13°. Bottled Dec 2015. From late 2018. 2032-34 Apr 2016 Previously Jan 2015 ***(*) (casks) dark colour. Licorice, oak, tar, blueberry fruit are mixed together on the nose, a note of smoked bacon, varnish. The bouquet will be pretty generous in time. The palate starts openly, dark, prune style fruit at the helm. The tannins are supple, so it ends roundly, with a slight sweetness from the oak. It is perfectly comfortable in its skin, a really steady Côte-Rôtie that offers pleasurable drinking in the future. 13°. 2,000 b. 3% Viognier. €45 at the cellars. From mid-2016. 2026-27  Jan 2015

2012 ()

½ bottle: dark red with violet tints. The nose has a prune, damp forest aroma, sizzled bacon, a mixed bag in a bouquet on the move, mulled red fruits. The palate has a simmered red berry, strawberry flavour, with a near rosemary herbs presence on the end. The tannins have a bendy quality before a more upright sign-off. This will be great with lamb Provençal. It doesn’t give a lot of juice, but is cool and fine. It delivers itself pretty openly. It is very different from the 2013, the role of the vintage. 2012 is more a product of the terre, than being de la terre. 13°. “It is quite soft, even moelleux and sauve, more Burgundian on the palate. It isn’t a big keeping year, but will be good in three years,” Christophe Billon. 2025-27 Apr 2016 Previously Nov 2013 ****(*) (casks) shiny, dark purple-black robe. The bouquet is wholesome and promising – it serves up a wide, prolonged aroma with plenty of potential. There is a light nut air from its raising, a tickle of mineral and iron. The palate’s fullness is attractive, well-shaped, well-sculpted. A proper layer of smooth black fruit runs all the length of the palate, and it finishes completely, too. This goes further than many other 2012s, covers more ground, and is heading for an impressive, scented harmony, beyond its current oak, which shows on the aftertaste above all. Fine fruit, fine acidity; this will be a steady gainer over time, is precise, a wine of finesse. 13°. From 2016. 95% Syr, 5% Vio this year. 2027-28  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) rather dark red; oily, meat stock aroma with crunched up red berries and dust from warm stones. There is a suggestion of cooked bacon, and some feral-animal airs. The palate is scaled-up, the fruit ripe and almost high. There are soaked red cherries at its core, and a confirmed spot of gras richness just before the finish. It needs to climb down off its constructed pedestal and ease and mingle with the ordinary folk. It has a big, charry, smoked tea ending. A wine of big depth, a real offering here. It ends with some style, has potential; for now cellar rules over vineyard. From spring 2015. 2024-26  Nov 2012

2009

clear, full and dark robe; Oak and licorice combine in its modern bouquet, comes with raisin airs. It is not noticeably Côte-Rôtie yet, shows just a hint of floral at the end. Is pumped up, not relaxed. The palate delivers supple black fruit with tar on the edges, chocolate and prune in the flavour. A cellar-led wine for now. It ends on oak tar, roundly enough. Allow this time to regain its sense of place. Has tightened and gone on to its oak and raising in the last 12 months, not surprising. Base content is good. From late 2014. Release Dec 2011. 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier this year. 2021-24 Nov 2010 Previously Nov 2009 ***** (new cask), is touching 14° this year. Dense, full black robe. Raisin, black fruits, cocoa, big and biscuity nose. The palate is rich all through – it has a really dense, complete fabric and ripeness, its tannins are well rounded and lie well within it. A big, booming Côte-Rôtie – is a vintage more than a terroir wine (similar to 1999), but it shows the heat of Brocarde correctly. Not overdone at all. 2025-28. Nov 2009

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED – “the wine lacked concentration.”

2007

steady red, some advance; the nose shows a gentle evolution, moving to dried red cherry fruit, has a dark side in it, is well together. The palate delivers gummy red fruit, with notes of vanilla pod and flowers, all in a good harmony. Probably a bit further developed than I might have imagined. A wine of good character. 2017-18  Nov 2011 Previously Nov 2009 ***(*) (cask) good, full red robe; smoky, rather mysterious nose – grilled airs, red fruits oiliness, vanilla – plenty going on, black raisins, a note of scorching. There is a subtly oily texture underlying this, with an outer surface of wild red berry, mulberry fruits. A true local Côte-Rôtie, no Fancy Dan stuff here. It lengthens steadily with a fresh, almost spearmint finale. Its tannins are largely ripe. It becomes a bit up and down on the second half of the palate, I note: “this was hailed on in July, at 10 pm one evening – the plane trees in Ampuis lost most of their leaves – the Brocarde is almost opposite the Mairie (Town Hall),” C.Billon. From late 2011. 2019-20 Nov 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *** (casks) bright, pretty dark robe; the first aroma is toffee-caramel, then mild fruit , and a larger influence of raisin and menthol: the bouquet is varied, but not fruit-led. On the palate, this is a wine of noticeable heart – it comes with length and body, the level of fruit is steady. It is tightly, fully packed, without excess forcing in the cellar. The length is good, the aftertaste is lip-smacking. A wine that hides its jewels for now, one that promises to open around 2011. 2020-21 Dec 2008

2006

½ bottle: red with a little turn in its hue; mocha, scented nose, with gamey airs also – it is rather wide, a little “hot” and peppery. Red fruits with a fungal note in them start the palate: this is a grounded wine with a serious nature, tannins gathering at the end. There is a clean strike of fruit within. It widens late on, becomes really broad there, and signs off with a flourish of red cherry, soaked griottes. 2021-22 Nov 2009 Previously Nov 2007 (casks) ****(*) (casks) quite a dark red, subdued black cherry colour; reserved, black fruit nose of some pedigree, comes in good style and suggests a good vineyard site. There is plenty in the bouquet for the future, some “dark” fruit, a little menthol, oak and a nice purity overall. The palate reveals it may be a northern zone wine, since it shows blackberry fruit that has bone in it, good poise and holds together well. Ends clear and crisp. Very good cohesion and flow, this is stylish. The oak has been well handled, its texture is excellent, and it carries a Burgundian finesse. STGT wine. From mid-2010. 2021-23. Due to be released from December 2008. Nov 2007

2005

(casks) pretty red-black robe; the bouquet is charming – cherry, olive fruit with some southern zone flesh, plus sleek, obvious oak. Great fruit on the palate, with a very refined heart and a graceful texture. The tannins are wrapped around it successfully. Lots of promise for elegant drinking, and beyond the oak lies typicité of terroir. There is just enough matter for the oak that is prominent now. Burgundian style of wine. A big wine for this cuvée. From 2010. 2019-21 Nov 2006

2004

the red robe is ceding a little ground at the top. Has an aromatic, very wide open bouquet that is criss-crossed with floral notes, has a lot of charm and is very typical Côte-Rôtie. It is smoky, a little damp, and suggests the start of its second phase. The palate is still upright, by contrast, finding its way. The oak is on top given its content depth – the red fruit is wrapped in its oak, although its grain within is clear, the fruit pure. Sound length. With less oak, it would be right on the button. Try around late 2009 and hope its oak is receding. 2014-15 Dec 2008

2002

(cask) even, stewed fruit aroma; tasty, easy palate, some flesh, tender stone, plum fruit. Fair length.

2001

(cask) sleek raspberry, iris bouquet, fair depth; clear cut, pure flavour, elegant plus a quiet kick. Raspberries. Length good, oak works fine at the end. 2012-14

2000

nose shows some advance, game/violet with raspberry. Palate starts quietly, earthy, chewy texture. Red fruit, but bit stern on end. From 2005 so oak lessens. 2010-13