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The Wines

92-95% Syrah (1987, 1999), 5-8% Viognier from Coteaux de Semons, Bassenon (33%), Lancement (33%), Maison Rouge (33%, included since 2011), destemmed, 3 week vinification, pumping overs, 1-2 manual cap punchings, aged 25-30% new, 70-75% 1-5 year oak casks (20% 600-litres, 80% 228-litres) 18 months, the three different plot wines assembled at the end of the ageing, unfined, filtered, 8-10,000 b

2015 ()

the robe is jolie, a lustrous and bright dark red with purple. The nose promises much, couples abundance and charm, soaked black cherries with come hither sweetness, licorice and the rock face really declaring - the granite: that is the most striking part of the bouquet. The palate runs with tasty, energised black fruits, clear tannins closely knit within. Quiet, rounded gras strokes the palate, and it lengthens with an increase in darkness, tannin, grip. It achieves a good crescendo. Florality is never far away. There are pedigree elements in the glass; this is a Thinker’s Wine, very good. 12.5°. Bottled one week ago: 95% Syr, 5% Vio. From 2019. 2035-37 July 2017

2014 ()

red robe. Raspberry features with lurking reduction and a neat fat in the fruit on the bouquet. The palate gives a tight red cherry tenacity, holds dark, lithe tannins that fit in, are very closely attached. This is till dumb post bottling. The length is steady; there are pepper notes with peony in a clear finish. This needs to amplify. 95% Syr, 5% Vio. From 2019. 2030-32 Oct 2016

2013 ()

bright, nicely full red robe. The bouquet is interesting, with pockets of mystery, and definite potential to be stylish and charming. Sleek, suave cherry fruit is in the lead for now, and it also suggests flowers. The palate produces finely juiced fruit, with a moment of squeezy gras richness. It has fine detail, spreads widely in a running, fluid fashion. It builds extra depth on the finish, where licorice, a note of mocha are present. A clear, Burgundian Côte-Rôtie of light tread, a tip-toe approach. It has a “sparkling” clarity. Serve in a large glass, decant it. 12.5°. From 2018. 2026-27  Dec 2015

2012 ()

has a confirmed red robe, magenta notes in it. The nose gives a broad swirl of cherry fruit, with a laurel/bay leaf hover, and low level pepper within  – this is a good start. The palate bears stylish red fruit that has a coulis, fluid quality, and extends with a rounded roll. The tannins glide along effortlessly. This is a precise Côte-Rôtie with quiet persistence of its fruit. It is a tune singer in my glass. It is showing well now, on its open youth, so will go down well in Paris. The balance is good. It can open up its finish and expand in time. 12.5°. 2029-30  Apr 2015

2011

sensible, medium+ depth red. There is a rather sunny air on the nose, which offers an aroma of liqueur style red fruits; it is still held in check post bottling in July 2013, is very young. There are also some smoky, dark airs with herbs such as thyme. The palate outpaces the nose, develops a very likeable swish of red fruits, tasty and clear, free running, really liberal. It flows well. Its length is precise, nicely detailed and clean. Charming, neatly packaged wine. This is the first year that it has some Maison Rouge in it. From mid-2014. 12.5°. 2023-24  Nov 2013

2010 ()

medium red colour, wee purple tints. There is a rather confident, sustained underplayed spread of red fruits across the bouquet, that has a soaked but clear quality, and a hint of licorice snap. Still waters run deep style, has potential and reserves. The palate starts tightly, is all close-knit, fine grain, with the fruit just starting to get going – there is a splash of that on the finish, which is clear. A fine theme of mineral and lead runs through it. Very juvenile wine, both on nose and palate. It is still so young that its canvas of character and palette of flavours, nuances are still subdued. There is the basis of a fine wine here in a Burgundian, slow burn development manner. I would want more serious depth in time, and as such, the northern zone and its overt schist has outperformed the southern sector this year. From spring 2015 – no hurry. 12.5°. 2024-26  March 2013

2009

pretty, nice full red, legs down the glass. There is a generous lean in the red cherry fruit aroma, also a honey-caramel sweetness, all in abundance: a broad and accessible bouquet. Red jam, sunny confit influence on the palate: it is gummy in texture, and you would need to decant it to waken it. Has a sweet, juju bonbon appeal that is not in excess; it can be drunk solo thanks to its malleable tannins, bendy ones. Finishes roundly, rather full. From late 2012, but can be drunk now thanks to its round shape. Has a good, juicy and aromatic aftertaste – a strawberry flavour, with tannin in it. 12.5°. 2020-22 July 2011

2008 ()

shiny, full red with some black traces. Date, sweet black raisin air, blackberry jam at its heart – nice freedom in the bouquet. Has a clearly fruited palate that rides along well with a precise, grainy tannin on the end. It is almost a drink solo wine, one with crystalline qualities. Good purity, a fine licorice flavour at the end. This can be drunk young, on its live elements, but can age soundly as well, move into a second stage. Good length. “It is complex, subtle, persistent,” C. Vernay. 2019-20 Nov 2010

2007 ()

full red, mauve top. Pepper-pebble dust top air, carries sealed-in black fruit aromas below, and is about to get interesting, has a layered depth. The palate black fruits have a clear tone, but also inner weight. It runs steadily to the finish, is just not out of its shell yet. It will become loose-limbed as it ages. There is three-quarter weight stuffing at the end, and a black pepper aftertaste, prune mixed with a touch of sweetness. 2021-22 Nov 2009

2006 ()

red with some mauve in it; the outer aroma is somewhat reductive – but there is a steady, harmonious layer of black fruit within, brambly black fruit and a touch of the fundamental earthiness form the reduction. The palate has a southern sector softness – this wine has well composed black fruit with some late licorice and grip. The tannins are mild. It will be more together, more expressive and deeper from late 2009. Good, discreet persistence in this, a thinker's wine. Decant. 12.5°. 2018-20 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** (casks) 1) Lancement (new oak) *** dark cherry robe; clear black fruit lies beyond its reduction – a secure aroma. Brisk cherry fruit, widens a little, its gras is low-key. 2) Lancement (1-year oak) *** chocolate from the oak, fairly rich black fruit underneath. Stylish, rounded start, good little fruit ball at its heart, length is good, and clear, too. Good for 10 year vines. 3) Bassenon *** (2 year oak) some mauve in the robe; distinct aroma – round, mulled, blackberry jam in style. Wide palate, careful fruit, the fruit lasts with some delicacy – and is ripe by design (later picking), which translates into the smooth style texture. 4) Bassenon (new oak) oak renders the nose tight, has black fruits here. Pretty fruit with the oak mostly absorbed on the palate. There is good heart to this, beau vin. Good length. OVERALL ***(*) can live till 2019-21, and sing around 2011-12 on. Jan 2008

2005

bright, quite dark robe; red cherry fruit with a little jam in the style of the aroma, and a smoky top note: is still primary, shows some reduction and some lardon, smoked bacon also. The palate is reserved, but its fruit is stylish, without great depth of matter around its spine. Is a refined mid+ weight year. Can evolve evenly over 10-13 years. Drink esp from mid-2009. The length is correct, and there is a fresh finale. Bottled May 2007. 2015-18 Jan 2008

2004 ()

gently brewed fruit aroma, compact and beautiful.. Palate mingles dark fruit, licorice and its clarity is pretty. Holds an appealing soft, but live texture, is very elegant and makes a harmonious, delicious early drink. Good width towards finish. Persists very well, this is classy. STGT wine - good local feel. 2014-16 April 2006

2003 ()

the fruit aroma is black berries - some jam, with violet and a little game - reflects the indecision of the year's ripening. The black fruits on the palate come in a rather tense form, black cherries now. The flow stops and a sudden pepper/licorice burst appears on the end. Leave till 2007 for more roundess, but I'd like more flesh. 2014-15 Dec 2005

2002

(cask) light floral/mineral/oak aroma; med-weight red fruits, light, fair style. Tightens at end. 2011-13

2001

mottling red robe. There is a red cherry, griottes or soaked cherries aroma with some herbes de Provence, a gradual depth in the nose; it also shows licorice, peony flowers, gunsmoke, is varying well now. The palate bears fine red fruits with plenty of mineral clack, intensity, some damp vegetation. There is a note of coulis styled fruit late on. 2024-26 Oct 2016 Previously (cask) *** crisp, pepper/black fruit nose, some floral; suave attack, then tannins come. Stewed black fruits/olive, fungal bits at end. Quite pretty. Esp 2005-06. 2012-14

2000 ()

gradual evolution in the red robe. The nose is moving into inky spots, with very light rose undernotes, a fragrant black berry jam aroma. The palate bears an engaging, fluid coulis, thick fruit berry flavour, mulberry with a kick of spice. The depth is mild, gives a quiet closing grip. This is a wine of finesse. It is true to 2000 also. The flavour centres on a strawberry coulis style. 2023-24 Oct 2013