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The Wines

100% Syrah (late 1960s) from sandy-lime, some gravel, shallow soils from Saint Jemms at Mercurol, 30% whole bunch fermentation, 3-4 week vinification with the 1st week semi-macération carbonique, pumping overs every 2-3 days, 1-2 foot cap punchings, SO2 only added after malo, aged 4-5-year 600-litre oak casks 10-12 months, (2010, 2011 also raised vat 6 months after 8 months cask), unfined, filtered, first wine 2010, organic wine, 2010, 2011 called Aux Racines de Saint Jaimes, "drink with sauced red meats, game", 3,000-4,000 b

2018

(casks) thorough dark robe; the nose is wide, has a chocolate intensity, backed by ripe, stewed black fruits, prune and cocoa. The palate bears iron, with a live delivery of berry fruits, a note of licorice and a violet presence all mixed in the late stages. There’s rather a lot going on, not sure I can keep up! It carries potential, is the child of a warm vintage, based on generosity. The finish sustains well, is lip smacking. 13°. €30. 4,700 b. From late-2020. 2028-30 Nov 2019

2017 ()

(casks) dark red robe. The bouquet is clear and up, on a stream of black fruits, cassis, with a hint of reduction. It will benefit from air. The palate drinks easily now, offers blackberry fruit in good quantity, darkens as it nears the finish, leading into more blue than black fruit, and tar notes. The length is secure, a note of pebble in the tannins. 13°. 2024-26 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(casks) dark red colour. The bouquet crowds in, close up and personal, has a spontaneous delivery of black cherry, busy fruit, licorice attached. The palate is energetic, holds a free run of black fruits with little pebbly tar tannins and oak coming through on the late moments. This is full of life and vivacity, is still on its raising, the fruit sparky, mineral dash on the close. 12.5°. From mid-late 2018. 2022-23 Nov 2017

2015 ()

(casks) dark colour, black centre. Oak toast leads the nose, some pine, ahead of a grilled, black berry setting, black olives – a glimpse of the south is given. The palate bears savoury black-fruited content, with oak pushing through on the finish. It needs another 15 months to settle and integrate. The tannins are ripe, gummy. 13°. 4,000 b. €18.50 at the cellars. From 2018. 2023-24 Oct 2016

2014 ()

dark red. The nose has a sultry quality, evocative of scented boudoirs. The red berry fruit mixes in with flowers and pepper. The palate holds supple red berry fruit with spicing through it, and develops a little crunch as it finishes. This has character, doesn’t conform to the sleek norm. The finish is rocky for now, so drink from mid-late 2016. 12.5°. 4,000 b. 2020-21 Oct 2015

2013

sober dark red robe; this has a sweet-noted nose, gives a soft air of red berry fruit, is open, doesn’t have much variety. The palate is also on the sweet side, has an easy texture, a red fruited flavour, supple tannins. Straightforward drinking – now. 12.5°. €18 at the cellars. 2,000 b. To 2018. Jan 2015

2012 ()

quite dark robe; mulled blackcurrant fruit liqueur air at first, plums of the mountains present, too – a broadly fronted nose. The palate flirts with acetate in its black cherry fruit, has a steely, tight side from that. An unusual style, as if visceral, entrails here. Drink with steak and kidney pie, hare ragout, to correspond to that. An elemental wine for la table. There are dry notes, raw moments, on the aftertaste. 13°. 3,000 b. 2017-18  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) healthy dark red. Crackly, snappy, grilled aroma, gives black berry, cold tea, nut. There is definite ripeness in the fruit – the smoky raspberry also has “high” notes in it. The palate fruit is juicy – this is here and now drinking that slips along. Modern style, has a black cherry flavour. The fruit could be more secure, and it has a rather seared, stretched nature. Not sure. To 2016. Nov 2012

2010

(casks) full, currently dull robe. Has a creamy style bouquet – curvy black fruit, not especially varied as yet, almost suggests residual sugar. The palate is a bit brewed, a bit stretched – its black fruit lacks conviction in its length, seems OK, but its foundation is questionable. There is a small taste of licorice on the finish, then a scented aftertaste. Not sure about its acidity. A bit taut – check after bottling. From mid-2012. 2016-17 Nov 2011