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The Wines

4-5 sources, esp from Les Pins (gore soils, 1999, 2000 Syrah), Chavanessieux (grey granite, feldspar) at Crozes-Hermitage, Pé de Loup, Les Bâties at Larnage, whole bunch fermentation, pumping overs, aged used 600-litre oak casks 11-15 months, unfined, unfiltered, two bottlings, Sept & Nov, black label

2018 ()

(bottling in a week) dark red; perfumed-floral airs, ash smoke, “shiny” raspberry – it’s a joli, inviting bouquet. This has a safe and supple attack, good immediate fruit, a lip smacking second half, cut in the tannin, a grainy late texture. It needs another 18 months, since the fruit shows here and there, and it isn’t as one yet. Be patient, thus, decant it. 2030-32 Nov 2019

2017

shiny, quite dark red colour; the bouquet has an iodine front air, the seashore, cherry fruits, some ground coffee. The palate hands out a juicy, bonny delivery of red fruits with fresh purpose, far from the hot weather of summer. It has spine, and pursues a good, direct route. Fibre and nerve are present, has a character of its own, gives red fruit – raspberry and cherry – on the close, with smoky tannins. It’s moving into shape. Bottled Sept 2018. From spring 2019. 2028-30 Nov 2018

2015

(Les Pins & Chavanessieux, 600-litre used cask) dark red robe. There is reduction but lively depth in the nose, mulled berries, good packing. This has carbonic gas, is direct: the tannins are crisp, the fruit punchy. This is nuggety, palate cleansing, STGT wine of character. Good grip and fresh length complete the route. 10-11 years. Dec 2015

2014 ()

quite a dark red. Curvy, round, polished air of suave red fruits, a note of licorice, a shimmer of flowers, peonies, mulled raspberries. The palate is peppery, more direct than expected judging by the nose. It has fresh instincts, is airborne and dentelle, toothsome, not quite ensemble yet. It projects live red berry fruit that goes ping, and it then delivers a crunchy, stone fruited exit. From mid-2016. 2020-21  Dec 2015

2013

red+ robe. This has a rockabilly bouquet – pepper, flowers, rose-hip, pot pourri dried flowers – zap, it goes, is very exuberant. The attack is joli, gives a very close link to the nose with its peppery edginess. It rocks on, offers black fruit lozenges with crisp tannins. This is a real Road Runner, a w.o.w. wine that is fresh as a daisy, and has lots of character. 11.8°. The second bottling, raised 15 months. “It was closed until June 2015, then opened. It had been restrained by its acidity. It has a lot of nerve and pep,” François Ribo. 2019-20 Dec 2015

2009 ()

(old 600-litre oak cask, from Les Bâties at Larnage, sugars finished) *** good purple robe. Slightly leesy air to this – but a good inlay of wine, blackberry and a touch of flowers on the nose. Grippy black fruit debut – this backs up really well – has structure and potential. The length is good, and it is very consistent through the palate. Its tannins are live, have energy, are helpful. (used 600-litre oak cask, from Les Bâties at Larnage, but older vines – 1987, 1950s, sugars finished) ***(*) rather intense robe; wrapped up black fruits, smoky bouquet. There is good, vigorous fruit here, grand clarity and length. Very good access to the Syrah. “This has the structure of red wine we like – it is very long, very rich, and full without big tannins - just good quality ones – there is a tension in it – it isn't flat at all,” F.Ribo. 2014-16. Nov 2009

2008 ()

gentle red, a little purple. The nose is forward – offers immediate black fruit, blackberry jam, licorice, and ends on a curve rather than going straight down the line. The palate shows lucid black fruit that comes with a tasty run, reaches out well, ends on a clear note. Has a mineral, fresh granite texture at the end, a nice zing. Good true juice in this. Has a Zan (French licorice) aftertaste. “This is more 2008 vintage than Dard & Ribo. We chaptalised 0.5° this year,” F.R. To 2013. Nov 2009

2004 No Rating

pale robe; high tone, acetate aroma that is piercing. The varnbish continues on the palate; the sense is of crop that is not that clean or healthy, with a long maceration, resulting in a bitter outcome. April 2006

2002

light leather/fungal aroma; red fruit, damp undertones, some end chew. 2008-09

2001 ()

open, juicy aromas, violets/sweets; fruit with core, flesh and pepper end. Stylish, suave. Tender, subtle; chewy finale. Drink soon.

2000

(casks) cooked plum style aroma, interesting, some cut. Red berry flavour, gentle tannin presence on finish. Finishes clean, simply. 2006-07