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The Wines

1936, 1947, late 1960s Syrah, partly destemmed, crushed, 3-week open concrete vat vinification, cap punching, daily pumping overs, malo done in oak, aged 40% new (new % falling), 60% 1-2 year 225-litre oak casks 18-20 months (100% new oak until early 2010s, down to 40% in 2015), egg white fined, filtered, 12,000 b

2018

(casks) dark red; the nose has a relaxed depth, blackberry fruit central to it, with licorice, has good width, promise. The palate entertains on the attack, is full of juice outside its sève [sap], with flexible tannins well inside. This is up there in quality, mixes good body and fresh elegance. From 2022. 2037-39 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) bright, dark red. The nose holds cards up its sleeve, has a firm foundation of black fruit, a hint of licorice and black olives, carries sun in its ID. The palate has a quietly sturdy start, bears thorough juice, the fruit clear, in the house style. It has an impressive second half that sustains well. This is pedigree St Jo. 13°. €19.60 export. From mid-2020. 2034-36 Nov 2018

2015 ()

(casks) deep, shiny robe.  The bouquet is a large event – it is scaled via beefy airs, with a hum of insistent power from some deeply set black fruit jam. It needs prising open over time. The palate is also very tight, filled and packed with black fruit, stone fruits, and a prominent set of tannins that bring a firm conclusion. This is St Jo with southern climes and strength in its veins, a bold style for the longer term. From 2019. 2034-36 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) dark colour. The nose has a rambling hedgerow berry fruit aroma, a note of sweet herbs. This sets off with a joli fruit-gras combo, and extends with a sure hand, bringing in licorice and black cherry towards the finish, where there is a degree of punch. This has character, will interest drinkers. 13°. From late 2016. 2026-27  Oct 2015

2013

(casks) dark, full robe. Has a sleek, polished nose – here are oak and modernism in the glass, a black fruit couch within. The palate delivers a berry jam aroma, a charge of dark fruit that really builds momentum, tannin and impact as it goes. Old vines may be at the heart here, hence the late depth (tasted blind). 13°. 12,000 b. Allow until spring 2017. It will show well thereafter. 2030-31  Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark, shiny robe. Has a sleek black fruit air, possibly close to acetate, a searing nature in the black cherry. The palate continues the sleek theme – the fruit becomes peppery as tannins close in around it. There is a display of northern zone St Joseph pepper clarity on the finish. Rather racy, what the heck! wine suited to drinking by a metropolitan market. The length is sound. Wait until mid-2015. Decant this. 2026-29  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark, quite shiny. Has a deep-seated black berry fruit aroma – this is a promising nose with a bonny freedom about it, a classy roll of fruit, a little mineral content, too, a note of pine tobacco. There is also maturity on the nose that comes from later cropping; the palate has good style – there is flair and purpose in its expressive, still restrained, mature-style fruit. The tannins are fresh, buoyant, and fit in well. It needs two years to polish its second half – drink from 2015. There is a touch of dryness late on. 2026-28 Nov 2012

2010

handsome dark red; spiced, oily bouquet that suggests ripe power within, mulled berries, oaking. This is a modern treatment St Joseph, oak notions in its black berry fruit. Has the northern zone snap on the finish, a crackle of unfinished business there. Needs to fuse its late acidity and its oak, which renders the floral aftertaste a little dry now. The core fruit has juice in it, so it can get there. 13°. From 2014. £35 in GB – no I wouldn’t. 2027-30. Nov 2012  Previously Nov 2011 ***(*) (casks) dark, full robe. Serenely scented, an apt term once I see what the wine is – violet top air, a plus underlay, mulled black fruits, with some black raisin-chocolate and game notions. The palate holds squeezy black fruit – there is a refined style to this, lots of savoury, juicy, fleshy black fruit. It lives rather a lot on its ease of texture. Has good upholstery, the tannins are ripe, Its open, supple features will please. The fruit is very ripe, so freshness is not part of the deal here. Balance is OK. From mid-2012. 2026-29 Nov 2011

2009 ()

bright, full robe. Reserved, slightly muscled air on the bouquet, which has layers of raspberry fruit, offers future variety, ends on smoky licorice. Sleekly fruited palate, a good sequence along it, with the potential to be shiny and pleasing. The fruit is round and smooth at the end, and actually conceals some of its thorough depth. Good poise, a well-collected wine. From late 2012. The heart from its very old Serine fruit contributes to its assured depth and elegance. 2025-28 March 2011

2007

(casks) dark robe with legs down the glass. The bouquet has a smooth heart of black cherry fruit, and has a good “darkness”, reflected by rich soil and chocolate airs. The palate is a tight affair, with mineral-tea notes and a late edging of oak. This holds clean, ripe fruit in the modern style. Length is OK, the aftertaste oaked. Modern, rather spotless wine. From late 2010. 2022-24 March 2009

2006

(casks) full, quite intense robe; The bouquet veers on the opulent, a full blackberry here in a wide, slightly fundamental aroma – bath soap, talc powder are on the limit for my Syrah appreciation. Violets are in the flavour, a perfumato wine is served up with some black berry fruit within. From the long maceration or soaking school of winemaking – “let's get opulent” is the cry. The aftertaste is scented, it sustains OK. Low acidity – drink relatively early. 2018-20 Dec 2007

2005

soaked, black fruits nose, with a lithe backdrop of tea and mineral. Good early grip on the palate, displays really clear black Syrah fruit, which is typical of the northern Saint-Joseph zone. Runs with a lithe texture, but is rich in an understated way. Very beau for a northern Saint-Joseph. There are grilled, nut notes on top of the hidden black fruit. Is still finding itself – may be a bit overtreated in the cellar for what is a naturally rich year. Going through an unexpressive phase, but can emerge, no doubt. 2022-24 June 2007

2003 ()

inky, full bouquet, tightly packed. Clear, clean, nicely worked fruit, touch of end sweetness. Oak hints, the sweetness is beguiling. Has plenty of gras and good length. Will close up. 2007 on. 2021-23

2002

firm, wide nose; marked cassis, good length. Decent; fair amount of tannin. 2012-14

2001 ()

sleek, overt cassis liqueur nose; ripe fruit, full, quite potent. Quite chewy, good length. Can run. 2007 on. 2019-21

2000

violets, stewed cassis/bacon nose, was drier; clear black fruit, can handle the oak. Tarry, heated end. From 2005. 2015-17