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The Wines

100% Syrah (1924, 1970, 1972), southern sector site of Maison Rouge, combines sand, granite and heavier soils in two plots, destemmed, 3 week vinification, pumping overs, 1-2 manual cap punchings, aged 30% new, 70% 3-4 year oak 24 months, aged 40-50% new, 50-60% 1-3 year oak 24 months, unfined, filtered, 5,000 b

2013

clear, dark red. An aroma of supple black cherry fruit floats above the bouquet, which is pinpoint and salted, has lardon, chopped pork airs. The palate delves into more black cherry, has a cool thread through it, and a knuckled finish, some savoury gras there. This is quietly concentrated. From 2019. 2031-33 Oct 2016 Previously Dec 2015 **** dark red. The bouquet is settled, but obscure, rather brooding for now. It implies blackberry, mulberry fruit, some fat in the ripeness. Licorice is also on the go. The palate bears juiced blackberry fruit with supple tannins, before a crisp, still on oak raising, sign-off. The flavour is led by black cherries, a little intensity in them. This takes an elegant path, is smooth and consistent, has more density and is more obvious than the Blonde de Seigneur 2013. There is suave, fluid juice here. It is cool late on. 12.5°. From late 2017. 2028-29  Dec 2015

2012

healthy red robe. The nose has smoky rivets buttoning up its blackberry fruit aroma, the heart of the nose not yet detectable. There is a definite implication of depth and more to come, though. The palate is brightly fruited, the red fruit bearing a constant cone of flavour, that persists. This is till very young. The tannins are fine grained and still obvious. This is stylish in the making, and will display good, aromatic qualities. From spring 2017. 12.8°. 2028-29  Apr 2015

2011

dark red; the nose is wide, reserved, gives a tremor of several layers of finely presented red fruit, has a cherry stone darkness about it, with smoky, rocky implications. This runs with a sleek, lightly jam quality run of red fruit, has a little toffee tannin around it towards the finish. This isn’t obvious, but it has scale and ingrained reserves of depth. The juice is still compressed, quite solar, on the finish. The length is satisfying. Decant it. From mid-2016. 12.5°. 2029-30 Apr 2015

2010 ()

quite a full red robe. Smoky, 1930s night club elegance on the nose, its mystery good – jazz and smoke, ash airs, red berries at its heart, touches ofProvenceherbs. The nose is subdued now. The palate has a flinty thread, a fine spine, with a stealthy development of its inner strength towards the finish. It shows the finesse of the southern zone, but has good, intrinsic depth and will move well. Good balance here. A wine with character, is precise, and shows affinity withBurgundy, Pinot aspects. 13°. From 2015 – no hurry. 2029-30  Nov 2013

2009 ()

dark red. The nose has an attractive hub of dark berry fruit, an expansive frontage, with a pure density achieved. Airs of soaked cherries indicate the sunny ripeness of the crop. The palate bears a thicker texture and fruit than the post 2010 vintages, accentuates red cherries, has a fluid, near liqueur quality. The finish si still grainy more than rounded, with a sprinkle of tannin there. Going well now. 12.5°. 2027-28 Apr 2015 Previously Nov 2013 ****(*) comfortable red colour. Smoky, deep bouquet, one that provides an appealing accumulation of cassis and blackberries, gives flinty cut and a wee note of peony. The palate has a rounded, full debut, a closely packed style. It takes on more pebble-mineral touches as it ends. It is moving into shape, the fruit and texture softening. It ends on fluid red cherry fruit. A good 2009, is deep, carries well. I can taste some warm lands in it. decant this. “2009 was the first vintage I vinified in oak and also 15-20% whole bunch crop was used. I prefer 2010 to 2009 for its profound but also delicate qualities. 2009 is flattering, round, ample, and gums the palate,” Christine Vernay. 12.5°. 2023-25  Nov 2013

2008 ()

agreeable, restrained Post Office red colour, which skims at the top. There is a sense of a curve on the nose – it is tight but has fine red fruit aroma, a Burgundian subtlety. The palate engages soundly on the attack – it bears fine-tuned, rather supple red fruit, has the class of good Côte-Rôtie in its refined, polished delivery. It offers very clear drinking, which is to be applauded in 2008. It is suited to chicken from Bresse, for instance, not big, rustic flavours. Tight grain tannins feature on the finish. Sound length. Upmarket quality; very wine for restaurants, fine flavours. 12.5°. 2022-23 July 2011

2007

dark red robe, a little sombre. The nose is evolving – an air of coconut, yes, with prune and a sweet ripeness of stone fruit present, a little black tobacco. There is also an aroma of licorice and mocha. The nose is now giving definite second stage associations. The palate serves a dusted flavour led by red cherries, raspberry, and is even at rather a dumb moment on the palate, which is behind the nose in its advance, its expression subdued. It ends on a compacted plum juice. 12.5°. 2023-24 Apr 2015 Previously Nov 2010 **** steady, quite full red robe; rich, oaked, tar debut to the bouquet, which has a dense interior, licorice follows. Decant this for more aroma. Has the soft nature of the southern zone, with a little rose hip in the flavour – it is fine, ends roundly. Nice tannic lining – extra vivacity provided by that. Oak re-appears on the aftertaste, has nice length. A slow developer. From 2013, say. 2022-24. “2007 is between 2005 and 2006, - it has the structure of 2005 and the gourmandise of 2006,” C.Vernay. Nov 2010

2006 ()

bright, raspberry red colour, mauve within. The nose is harmonious, compact – the overall impression is that there is more to come in an orderly, not extreme fashion. The main aroma for now is red jam, with incipient fragrance. There is good style in the palate's red fruits – this has a tasty, soft Syrah nature. The length is good, with refined persistence. Really good juice in this, as if it is has come straight from the grape, recently. This will sing a bonny tune as it ages. You can drink this on its delightful fruit early on. The oak is measured, the balance good. 12.5°. Bottled 1 week ago. 2018-20 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) 1) (1 year oak) **** black-mauve robe; tight-knit on nose and palate, some raspberry. Black fruit within with oak and some tannin. Extends, has late reserves, quiet class and authority. 2) (new oak) **** sustained berry fruit, with oak, on the nose. Good, cool tone to the palate, some sinew in the black fruits, are clear-cut. Overall: 14+ years of life, with sufficient richness to show well early on. Jan 2008

2005

dark robe with black tones. Smoky, rather smouldering nose with traces of oak that repeat on the palate, especially the attack. There is more to come on the bouquet. This is wide and well-installed on the palate. Its oak is quite vigorous for now, which makes it tarry late on. It's full enough for the oak, but leave it until 2010 for it to absorb. Its richness has no excess – has not been forced. This is richer and riper than in previous vintages. 2021-23 Jan 2008

2003

the red robe is advancing. The bouquet shows fungal, red fruit aromas such as plum, also mint – and some reduction pong. The palate is on a second stage of evolution; its flavour is of dates, mature fruit jam and is woven with a spice, cinnamon, cocoa theme. Where is this going? It tightens after airing. 2014-15 Dec 2008 Previously Dec 2005 *** charming bouquet, expresses ripe fruit, a little earth, truffle and some raspberry that lifts it. Filigree, delicate fruit that is black and peppery on palate, is a locked up, pebbly-grainy wine. White pepper, licorice finale. From 2008. 2016-18. Dec 2005 Previously *** (cask) full, chocolate/raspberry bouquet, is broad, hint of oak. Pretty, scented berried attack; tannins grow, oak/licorice at end. Has some cut. Smoky aftertaste. From 2009. 2019-21

2000 ()

striking, pepper/floral/cassis bouquet; tarry, stewed plum/strawberry fruits. Very clean, nice end richness, where red fruits flourish. Elegant, good definition. Esp 2005-06. To 2012-13

1999

full colour; simmering blackcurrant fruit aroma that is soft and has a small end note of spice. Pretty black fruit that persists well on the palate. Elegant wine, with some oak present. There is good definition on the fruit and a clear tone to it. Fine now - has advanced to absorb its tannins. 2011-12. October 2004, New York Previously **** aromatic, floral, elegant bouquet; very clean, typical floral/stewed red fruits flavour. Tasty, has nice sinew. Pretty wine, tannins need till 2006. 2010-13 Previously March 2003 **** floral, quite ripe fruit bouquet. Very suave, sympathique wine, has soft fruit, squeezy, rounded texture. Elegant, with lovely warmth. 2010-12 March 2003, Ampuis

1998 ()

crisp, brisk black berry fruit on the nose, with a little vanilla underlay; is still fresh even given its nine years of life. The palate is also still fresh, carries the cut of this vintage. Comes in an upright shape, but pursues it s course well. Tangy, brambly fruit here. Length is OK. Nice sinew in it. 2014-17 June 2007