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The Wines

late 1990s Syrah from 1.5 hectares at Ardoix in the central Saint-Joseph zone at 300 metres, destemmed, 2-3 week vinification in open vat, twice daily pumping overs, aged 50% vat, 50% 2-10 year oak 11-12 months, light fining, unfiltered, 5-8,000 b

2018

shiny dark robe, black with purple. The bouquet shows style and purity in its black fruit aroma, with a side of oaking that should infuse. The palate runs with expressive, well cut black fruits, gives good droplets of detail, the oak on the finale orderly. This is calm, well made St Jo, good with white meats, for example. The finish collects blue fruit, and that coolness serves it well. 13°. 8,000 b. €15.50. From mid-2020, can be decanted. 2030-32 Nov 2019

2017

quite a full red, with purple. There’s mild reduction on the nose, a red fruit-cherry aroma, mixed herbs. The palate bears lissom red fruited content, tannins with grain/fibre on hand. The length is decent. It’s a bit workmanlike, maybe under its bottling. 12.5°. 2023-24 Nov 2018

2016 ()

(4 year 228-litre cask, bottling early Sept 2017) big purple robe. Has a bold blackberry air, thick, coulis style fruit, is lightly floral, very primary for now. The palate runs with free fruit stoked up with crisp, clear tannins, ends juicily. There is licorice within. This has more substance than in the past; it’s full of fruit, a good CHR Café Hotel Restaurant wine. 2020-21 July 2017

2015

(cask/vat) dark colour, very full. The nose gives a broad, oily, saturated black berry fruits aroma, with a note of damp vegetation. It’s a plush, southern climes styled opening. The palate delivers suave gras with fleshy content, plump blackberry. There is a suggestion of good Volatile Acidity which helps its roundness, and a note of reduction. This is fat, open St Jo, all on gourmandise, for a leg of lamb, a convivial setting. 12.5°. 8,000 b. €8.20 export. From 2018. 2024-25 Oct 2016

2014

plum red robe. Peppery, plum fruit aroma, rose hip – it’s singing well. The palate gives soft red fruits, spicing, an envelope of charm. It is a bit straight, and drifts a little on the finish. Lunch wine. 12.5°. To 2019 July 2017 Previously Oct 2015 **(*) pale red; plum, raspberry fruit, also toffee show on the nose. This has a simple red fruit pastille flavour, is light wine, easy, a bit simple. 12.5°. 2018-19  Dec 2015 Previously Oct 2015 *** quite a full red robe. The nose gives a baked fruit aroma, crushed and mulled strawberry-red cherry. The palate has a red fruited flavour with an underlying acidity that is just a bit on the outside. There are gummy tannins and a little raspberry flourish on the close. From spring 2017. 2021-22  Oct 2015 

2012

sober, quite dark robe. Has a juicy, darkly fruited, lightly floral air, with attractive spots of mineral in the aroma. The palate offers suavely textured black fruit, has a good and running style to it; it ends on a dark, black cherry fruit, close to the inside of the grape, and is clear there. An early drinking St Jo, with life and obvious fruit. It tightens on the finish, leading into a chiselled finish. 12.5°. €7.50 export. 7,000 b. 2017-18  Nov 2013 Previously Dec 2013 * medium depth red; gummy air that isn’t clear-cut, is baked and lacks precision. There are dry tannins on the palate, brief and unconvincing fruit. Dry tannins and acidity again on the finish. Not for me. 12.5°. Bottled Sept 2013. Dec 2013

2011 ()

purple tinted robe; mild, slightly sweet blackberry aroma that has a baked, brioche bread undertow. This gives correct Syrah authenticity of fruit from granite. The palate is medium-plus weight, has a facile spot of sweetness in it. Shows red jam towards the finish. Just bottled, and not really open on the start. It is simple, but has enough depth to be fine with grills, sausages. Better than his Saint-Josephs of the late 2000s, with the vines growing up. 12.5°. To 2016  Sept 2012

 

2010 ()

dark, spritzy aspect to the robe. Has a supple fruit aroma, rather in a Crozes-Hermitage manner, shows violet, scented airs, melted chocolate, blackberry. The palate is sweet-noted, has pliant but limited scope fruit, is static in style. It drinks accessibly now, is orderly but not inspiring. Once opened for 2+ hours, it becomes a bit stretched. Has been bottled in August, though. 12.5°. To 2016 Nov 2011

2009 ()

quite a dark red; scented, floral red jam air, as if from warm sandy granite soils, also tar – reflects 2009 correctly. The palate is curled up on itself, has an inward-looking red plum fruit flavour, a “high” note, ends on a chicken entrails or stock note, rubbery airs. This demands food, since it has a stretched, rather a taut nature. Try decanting. Bottled already. Just about ready. 12.5°. To 2016. Nov 2010

2008 ()

soft red robe, a little light purple. Reductive, but accessible nose, a fine, rather floral scent on it. Has a mild palate that is not deep at all – a simple red fruit start here, but it barely carries along the palate. Ends on a quiet roundness. Rather lives on its acidity. To 2014. Dec 2009

2007

bright, young red robe with some violet in it. The nose displays blackberry fruit that is a touch “high”, although the middle bouquet is supple, with smoky edges and baked stones around it. The blackberry fruit on the palate has a live and nicely grainy nature, and tightens as it goes, becomes more pebbly as it proceeds. This darts around on its fruit, is a live affair. More settled from spring 2009. 2012-13 Dec 2008 Previously June 2008 *** (cask) bright, cherry red colour. Has a pretty brisk aroma, with attractive fruit. This fruit continues on the palate, which works well with the bouquet. This wine contains more depth of matter than the 2006, and is less floral. Has a good, live end, is a wine with a sense of direction, no hanging around. To be bottled end August, promises to be w.o.w. 2012-13. Exceptionally, this year there are 7,800 b, due to Vincent having the use of a 1986 plot of uncle Robert Michel's for just this vintage. “Drink this within five years,” V.Paris. June 2008

2006

largely red robe; the aroma is of hung fruit, very ripe indeed, with reduction present, and some red jam within. The palate skips along, its red fruits have life in them, and some late, cherry fruit clarity. The aftertaste is scented – flowers, violets there. Sound wine. To 2012. Dec 2007

2004

fresh bouquet, shows quite direct raspberry and an upright shape. Palate a little firm, fruit and flesh are thin on the ground. Needs time to round and gain extra width. "September 2006 will be its time," V.Paris. From 2007. 2010-12 Dec 2005

2002

(vat/cask) peppery aromas; light, simple fruit, could be stern. Time will help.

2001

black fruit/smoked bacon nose. Live, springy, red berried fruit, quite fine, charming. Decent length. Easy to drink.

2000

light, roasted nuts, smoked meat aroma; grainy black fruit, direct, light. Some violets. Dryish end. To 2007