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The Wines

33% from Pont de l’Isère (southern zone, alluvial soils), 67% from Erôme, Crozes-Hermitage, Gervans (northern zone, granite, loess, clay soils), Syrah from 1940s–late 1990s, 95-100% destemmed since 2004, 15-20 day vinification in wood vats, no SO2, daily foot punching of the cap, one pumping over every 2 days, aged aged 50-100% steel & concrete vat, 0-50% 2-5 year 228-litre oak casks 7-8 months (until 2004 was aged 100% used large barrels and 400-litre oak casks 12 months), unfined, filtered, organic wine, “drink with a good cow’s cheese”, 15-60,000 b

2018 ()

very dark robe; the nose is sweet and slightly reductive, gives mounds of cooked black fruits, has a thick insistence. There’s a little oak caramel present. The palate is full bodied, grounded, with capacity to fill the glass. It lacks definition, is a mass of jumbled dark fruits and savoury content. We are into crowd pleaser territory here. There is no escaping its overt ripeness, so you have to like that style of wine for this to work for you. Decant it. 14°. From 2022. 2031-33 Nov 2019

2017

(vat/casks) dark red hue; the bouquet is beefy, gives a plunge into smouldering, brooding airs of entrails, soaked red cherries and raspberry liqueur, fruit that has a sweet tenor. The palate picks up on a theme of red fruits, raspberry notably, delivered with abandon, no restraint at all. This engages by the force of its personality, has a slightly northern sector take, with pedigree smoky tannins on the prowl. Big marks for character here. The finish is salted, on iron tang. When I see the ID, it’s STGT Crozes, very true to its place. From mid-2019. 2030-32 Dec 2018

2016 ()

dark robe. The bouquet has a well-filled black fruit aroma, with an inner sweetness. The palate runs in the same vein, marked by sweet, plump content, black fruits that have mild tannins attached, all in a rolling sequence. There is a late note of rubber, the old association of the 1970s in the northern Rhône, and the aftertaste is lip smacking. This drinks well now, is a fat and obvious Crozes, good with steaks, stews. 13°. 80% vat raising. To 2021 Nov 2017

2015

(concrete vat) bold dark red, inky colour. Has a black cherry aroma in a supple, well-filled bouquet that is sensuous and clear, has a nice little crunch in it. The palate gives stylish black fruit with great harmony of tannin, right in step, all nice and ripe. The length is steady, assured. This is beau, has good weight, and also freshness on the close. “Since I started in 1998, 2015 is my best quality crop, and for a wine from the granite, I am not used to that colour. It’s also concentrated. It was a year of tranquility for vinification and the wine from it,” Laurent Habrard. 2023-25  Dec 2015

2014

dark red robe, a little transparent. The bouquet is softly fruited, centres on plum fruit, wild raspberry, latent spicing. This has an easy texture, is easy to appreciate. The flavour runs on cooked plums, with a fluid, fresh menthol thread after half way. It finishes quietly. It has attractive scenting, is very easy to drink, works on texture and spicing. The length is sound. 28,000 b. Bottled 4 Sept 2015. To 2019  Dec 2015

2013 ()

there is a subdued hue in a quite dark red colour. The nose is attractive nose, has a bonny roundness and a good, naked feel to it – unfettered, natural Crozes red berries from the northern sector; there is also a note of the rose-hip style flowers so often found in granite wines. The palate rolls with a squeezy, enjoyable run of hedgerow, red berry fruit, is scented in a delicate manner, and holds chalky tannins that do not exclude the drinker as it ends. A very calm, precise wine, one for the enthusiasts, à table rather than in a busy bar. There is a bonny succulence, a fruit pastille moment before the finish. It is nearly ready. 12.5°. 60,000 b. €7.40 export. 2019-20  Jan 2015

2012 ()

dark colour; nice, wavy and scented black fruit aroma – this is an inviting glass full of bouquet. Peony, floral rose scents feature in the red fruits that are rather mulled in style; they develop a bite of grain and iron at the end. It is close to ready, has a good mix of berry fruit and smoky cut. It continues well along the palate. 13°. From mid-2014. 15,000 b. To 2019  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark robe. Round, sweet n’fat fruit air, has a macerated, coulis style and a drift of licorice, rosemary – the nose is big and broad. The palate has a fat constitution, gives smoothly textured fruit, comes in a modern style, so is pristine, a little arm’s length. There is a scented theme on the finish, where tannins fit in. The sign-off is charry, with accentuated, acetate style notes. |It lasts well, needs to sort out its unruly finish. A wine of grounded intensity. From spring 2014. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2010

(casks, assemblage of all the casks, done today) good, shiny, full red, wee purple tints. Has a jolly, creamy red fruits air that is curvaceous, has the fine air of the northern zone, is sensual. The palate fruit is rounded, bright, clear, sweet-noted, has give in it. Very likeable, very drinkable. It is long, and the aftertaste is scented. A rounded, unforced Crozes that has red fruits to the fore, with low key acidity keeping it en route. STGT wine that reflects well its Gervans origins. From spring 2012. 2017-18 Nov 2011

2007

north and south tasted: (cask, the northern, Gervans wine) mild red robe; red cherry, quite stylish bouquet in the making, with wee reduction now. Fair content on palate, has sound flow, and the tannins clamp a little late on. Interesting. Malo and sugars all done. 5-6 year wine. (steel, the southern, Pont de l’Isère wine) red+ colour. The nose is downhome – red plum fruit and bit earthy. Carbonic gas present, but past it lie live black fruits, with tannins largely within. Good length, and promise exists here. Fair late richness. 5 year wine. OVERALL a comfortable ***, with life till around 2014. Dec 2007

2006 ()

even red that is not very deep; soft, cleanly fruited nose that reflects black cherries above all. Good northern zone typicity on the palate, with some of the usual Syrah tar effects and some good tension in it: this fruit is pretty, with a good, clear nature. The fruit is nice and effortless, while there is good life in its ripe tannins. Good stuff. To 2011-12 Jan 2008

2005 ()

full, promising robe; broad, well-set bouquet of berries and ripe fruit that has not been driven to excess maturity. There is a good strike of raspberry fruit on the palate, which flows well and has clean sides. This has an STGT leaning. The fruit is true, local and delightful – it shows red berries with a little white pepper and tannin, the white pepper tone in the fruit a real sign of its mainly granite origins. Classic fidelity to its place. Now to 2010-11. Nov 2006

2003

well-knit bouquet; raspberry fruit has a Larnage feel to it. Black jam fruit flavour, some sweetness. Tidy wine, length is good. Herbal, southern-climes end. 2010-11 Last tasted March 2005 Previously (casks) *** solid, full bouquet, some cut. Juicy wine, wholesome, with tannins present, southern style. Prune flavours, ripe wine here. Esp from 2008. 2014-17

2002 ()

soft, undemanding nose. Palate weaves along, fine-boned with northern zone nerve in it. Pebbly tannins. Needs to be drunk in autumn/winter times. March 2005 Previously (casks) ** smoky, black fruit aromas; red fruits flavours, elegant, some spice. 2010-11

2001 ()

some earthy, fruit gum aroma; peppery, grainy flavour with some tannin - granite side of Crozes. Funky, tar aspects like a St-Jo. Tannins evident on finish. Has character and has got more angle to it than before. 2009-11 March 2004 Previously *** harmonious red jam aroma; gentle red fruits, stylish, some upright complexity. Dry, minted end. Tannins more within by 2005. 2009-10 May 2003

2000

crabapple, supple, stewed nose; soft, strawberry style jam flavour, suave, easy, can sing. Fine, typical of Gervans. 2008-10