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The Wines

95-100% Syrah (1925, 1970s, 1981-85), 0-5% Viognier (all on east part, rising sun, of Mollard), combines northern and southern sectors is 50% Le Mollard, 20% Fongeant, 15% La Viaillière, 15% La Landonne, 80-85% destemmed, 2-3 day cool maceration at 10-12°C, 3 week vinification, cap punchings, a little pumping over, aged 65% large oak fermenting barrel (new in 2006), 35% 550-litre and new 228-litre oak casks 12 months, then 228-litre 1-6 year casks (total 15-20% new oak in the final wine) 12 months, unfined (since 2013), unfiltered (since 2013), the only Côte-Rôtie until 2013, 9-15,500 b

2016

dark red; this has a violet-infused raspberry bouquet, a touch of licorice. The palate presents soft, squeezy red fruited content, lovely tasty tannins. It’s very good, aromatic, fine Côte-Rôtie, an unhurried wine with a Redondo close. There’s a touch of powder in the tannins, and the fruit streams along very well. 13°. €31. From mid-2020. “I kept 25% to 33% of the stems,” Xavier Gérard. 2035-37 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2017 **** (casks) dark colour. The nose gives an aroma of treacle tart, prune fruit, is ripe, has mass in its fruit. It’s a dark, smoky start for now. The palate runs with style, holds engaging, tasty black berry fruits with live, minted tannins that prolong it nicely.  The late fruit is free and pure. This has good heart, and will do well over time, fusing its elements successfully. From late 2019. Decanting advised. 2030-33 Nov 2017

2015 ()

dark red; the nose has 2015 reserve, plays a waiting game, the aroma compact, on mulberry, raspberry. The palate is wrapped in a cosy bundle of savoury content, red juice around it, lengthening on ripe tannins that are layered, squeezy, the length sound, the aftertaste lip smacking. This is more on the vintage than its terroir. Half the stems retained to absorb the alcohol. 14.5°. €31 is very fair. From 2021-22. 2037-40 Dec 2018 Previously Oct 2015 **** 1) (used 228-litre cask, Mollard) ****(*) bold dark red robe, black tints. There is some reduction but real depth on the nicely unforced nose, airs of dark berries, mulberry. This stretches out well on the palate, and there are live and super tannins, real tasty contributors that add a lot to the wine, energising it. It is long, and its fruit is dark, smoky. 14 years 2) (228-litre cask, Mollard, a little Viaillère) ****(*) dark robe. The nose is compact, layered with tight red fruit, raspberry, a lot within – this will be a big bouquet. The palate is expressive, full of pace, runs liberally, also holds good, tasty tannins. Very good bright and coherent wine. The aftertaste is grainy. 16-17 years 3) (20 hl barrel, La Brosse Syrah with Viognier from Mollard) ***(*) dark robe. Smoky, blackberry, raspberry fruit aroma. The palate is supple, fat, rolling, based on mulberry and raspberry. The tannins have grain, crunch, powder in them. This is the most open wine thanks to the Viognier (12%). 15 years  Oct 2015

2014

3 parts tasted 1) (20 hl large barrel, Le Mollard) *** fine red robe. Has a pure red fruit, reductive but natural bouquet. There is a swift occasion here – it doesn’t have proper depth, is a floating wine, so drink it young, enjoy its simple fruit. A restaurant-bistrot, early wine. To 2021 2) (used 228-litre cask, some Mollard with la Brosse, La Viaillère) ***(*) bonny bright red robe. There is appealing red cherry on the nose, strawberry, very light pepper. The palate gives attractive juice and purity, good continuity, has a bit more foundation than the previous Mollard only wine. It has Burgundian aromatics, is delicate. This gives real good access to the fruit of the grape. 2022-23  3) La Landonne (used cask) *** red robe. Smoky pork, sizzled bacon, cooked fig, raspberry, very smoked aroma. There is crisp fruit on the debut; this has spine, dark fruits, a fresh exit. It is a bit tough. This has 67% stems in it. It is 6% of the blend. To 2024 Oct 2015

2013 ()

the robe is still a dark red; there is a lot of raspberry, a liqueur concentration on the nose, a hint of a second phase, rose and clove notes. The palate is spiced, has a red berry, iron, vintage cut presence, is spinal, with crunch in the tannins on the close. It is ferrous, spinal wine for the enthusiasts more than passing trade. The juice within is thick, sturdy. It was Xavier’s first vintage on his own. 2033-35 Dec 2019 Previously Oct 2015 ***(*) quite a full red robe. The nose offers nice depth and elegance, an air of black cherries, salt; it has a little sheen of wellbeing. The palate runs with peppery fruit and gives a gradual increase in weight and structure. Berries and smoked, sizzled bacon mingle in the flavour towards the finish, where it takes on a good crunch, aided by 15% inclusion of the stems. The debut is brightly fruited, the finish crunchy, which works well. Natural, unforced Côte-Rôtie. This was 100% Syrah this year, with the Syrah ripening very late, and leaving too much of a time interval between its ripeness and the Viognier’s ripeness. 33 hl/ha. Bottled end Aug 2015. From spring 2017. 2028-30  Oct 2015

2012

quite a dark red robe. This has a peppery front nose, with a neat red berry aroma within, cloves and licorice. The palate bears harmonious red fruit. It is an open, clearly-fruited Rôtie, very Burgundian. It isn’t very deep, but drinks easily and enjoyably. “2011 and 2013 have more structure than 2012,” Xavier Gérard. This was father François’ last vintage before his retirement. 12.5°. 2021-22 Oct 2015

2011

(Mollard, 228-litre used cask) ***(*) bonny red; supple red cherry, jelly style fruit air – the bouquet is “up” and aromatic, lasts well, can vary, with ease from flower scents to come. Good and tight, precise fruit features on the palate, which is as one with the nose. There are minor tannins at the end. Harmonious, free running wine, may lack a bit of structure. Very aromatic, though, and strong on fruit. 10 years. (Mollard, 1 year 228-litre cask) **** shiny, quite full red. Crunchy first air from the oak, red fruit combines with smoke, some mystery in it. Interesting depth of red fruit on the palate, has dark, elegant notes, the length is sound. Has more to it than the previous cask, and runs into a crisp finish. 13 years. (Mollard, older cask) ****(*) sound red; vanilla, raspberry, lightly simmered red fruit air, some granite smoke, a few mixed herbs. Red berry fruit on the palate, hint of soaked red cherries; it grows stealthily. This is good, has a lot in it without being obvious. Tannins show on the end, need 4 years, not more. OVERALL **** will be shapely, will offer singing fruit around 2017, and life to 2026-27. An aromatic wine. Oct 2012

2010

(pre-bottling, bottle in 1 week) quite a dark, shiny red robe; the nose is full of spring in its step, raspberry fruit, live action, a bit of smoky bacon, tar and peony flowers. The palate holds extremely pure fruit, is really crystalline, dentelle style, toothsome. From half way spice comes in, and it widens, spreads. Smoky, flint or silex style late tannin appears in good fashion, and there is a cocoa-licorice moment on the end. Lovely, a wine of impressive truth. A pure wine for the purists. 13°. 2025-27. 11,000 b this year.  Oct 2012

2009 ()

sturdy red colour; the nose is intricate, dense: it mixes bacon, southern herbs, thyme, brioche, plum fruits, has a smoky depth. There are firm tannins around the palate, notably on the finish. There is plenty here, has a red berry jam finale, with brioche baked bread there, too. It lacks the supreme grace of the 2010, but is working its way into shape. Wait for this – the tannins need leaving until 2015 or so. Decant this. This bottle open 4 days. 13.8°. 2027-29  Oct 2012

2007 ()

3 contributors tasted: (1. Mollard part of the wine, from the southern sector, represents about 50%) bright red cherry robe; the bouquet is set in on itself – red fruit whose air persists pretty well. The palate fruit is active, then displays a measured manner late on – has a very clear grain. There is a weave of tannin in its red fruits, maybe plum. 2) 4-year cask, 40% Fongeant, 30% Viaillière, 30% Landonne, from the northern sector) red-plus, bright robe; the nose is secure, the fruit clear and rounded with spice present – has more depth and is darker than the Mollard. The palate fruit is cherry, with traces of licorice, has a beau length. These 2 parts can complement each other well. The fruit is bright, and has decent stuffing around it. The tannins are on the case, and have a constructive pep in them. 3) new cask, also 40% Fongeant, 30% Viaillière, 30% Landonne) the nose shows less oak than the palate. There is a worthy heart within the palate, richness of some weight. This is good and pure, with tannins that need leaving for 2 to 3 years. From late 2010, I would suggest. 14-16 years of life or so. Jan 2008

2006

gentle red robe; reserved nose with that glint of schist in it, pepper traces, a flint stone style snap, with raspberry fruit behind – all very logical given its source. The palate has a grainy texture for now, holds clear fruit and the finish is interesting – it gains width and gras richness there. One for the purists, not the Muscle Drinkers. Has a graphite-style aftertaste, the length is OK. From 2010. 12.8°. Bottled early Sept 2008. 2016-18 “It had mature fruit aromas from the word Go, its malo had been done by early November, so we clarified the wine early on, and they have gone on from there,” Xavier Gérard. Dec 2008

2005 ()

the robe is still quite young, with some dark traces. The bouquet shows the density of the year – this has the mineral glint of the northern sector. Red fruit with a firmly set couch of matter in sound support starts the palate. The length is assured. This is a beau vin for late 2009 – its tannins are still firmly on parade. Has late, snappy clarity, a touch of the lead pencil. 2018-19 Jan 2008

2004 ()

quite a bright red, not that dark. The nose has red fruit with a honeyed air, with some licorice and spice. The palate is scented, the fruit middle weight, gains some weight as it goes. This is very Burgundian in its progression through the palate. The tannins are quite fine and supple – there is belle finesse here, the length sound. As a charming wine, choose the dish for it carefully – not necessarily game, but chicken in sauce or roast meats. “I find it reflects the southern sector this year, with its mature red fruits,” X.Gérard. 2012-13 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2006 **(*) soft red robe; there is a little uplift in an upright nose, the fruit mainly cherry with traces of mineral and pepper. Refined fruit that is quite clearly cut on the palate – this is all about fruit rather than stuffing. Has a pebbly, licorice end, with crisp red fruits there. OK to drink now. I detect an improvement in the quality of the fruit here. To 2010. Filtered this year, unlike the 2003. Dec 2006

2003

reticent nose – latent fruit gum aroma that is baked and a bit downhome. Brewed red fruit on the palate, which is reductive and gummy - not clear. Decant this. 2010-11 Dec 2006

2001 ()

light raspberry aroma, woods/tar also. Mid-weight, not especially deep. Has some style, and tannic thread. Fresh - softer by 2005.

1999

½ bottle: a little advance in the top of the red robe; the nose is even – has red fruit turning to a little ground coffee, has a low-key little sweetness. The palate is at a good stage, its red fruit has a clean richness, the tannins are still shaping and work well, even if there is a little late tar. I expect a whole bottle would be more rounded on the finish. This is still very much on the go. It is a touch rustic, but there is good fruit in it. 2015-16 Jan 2008