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The Wines

young Syrah (av age 15 years) from clay-limestone, galet stone soils on Les Chassis at Mercurol, notably Thalabert, destemmed, 5 day pre-fermentation crop cooling at 8°-10°C, 14-18 day steel vat vinification at 25-28°C, pumping overs only, aged 80% steel vat, 20% 4-7 year 228-litre oak casks 6-7 months, unfined, filtered, first wine 2011, 15-23,250 b

2018

dark robe; the nose is fuelled, brothy, grilled, shows overt reduction, rubber, has a wild side, flirts with Volatile Acidity. The palate bears rolling cherry frit with supple tannins, is an in the instant offering, fragile and a bit on the edge. The finish is rather sudden, a clamp that halts it there. This is a vintage affected, rather hollow wine, suggests challenges in the cellar. 14°. 2022-23 Nov 2019

2017 ()

full, dark robe; the bouquet rumbles with accentuated ripe fruit depth, has southern oiliness, a note of black olives. The palate is very much in the here and now, picks up the fat, rich baton, and extends with a sure, steady hand. This is plump Crozes, with some perfume through the dark fruit, a leaning towards prune and southern warmth in the flavour. It is obvious, will please. There are salted, deft touches on the finish. 13°. From spring 2019. 2025-27 Dec 2018

2016

full robe. The bouquet verges on the copious, comes with prune and crushed blackberry fruit airs, a note of grilling and damp leaves. The palate is quietly robust, holds weighted, soaked content, supple and plentiful tannins attached. This is more scaled than most 2016 Crozes reds, is a definite sit-down à table wine for lamb, stews. 13°. 23,250 b. From mid-2018. 2023-24 Nov 2017

2015 ()

very dark red, purple rim. The nose is marked by reduction, so decant this. There is an air of black berry fruit with a swirl of ripeness around it, a tender sweetness. The palate gives a gourmand, also direct black-fruited content with licorice and a late note of raspberry adding extra interest. The mid-palate is commendably full. This is a full drink, better for la table than solo - red meats ideal. 13°. 15,000 b. €6.20 export. 2023-24 Oct 2016 Previously Apr 2016 ***(*) bottled last week: shiny purple-black robe. There is a soft swirl of black berry fruit, coulis in style, on a nose with purity in it. This runs with easy to like dark fruit, a shade of reduction in it. It finishes on gummy tannin, a minor tannin tightness there. The content is pretty suave. Decant this, drink from October 2016. 13°. 2020-21 April 2016

2014 ()

red robe. There is gentle advance on the nose, the strawberry jam aroma coming with some dampness, a funky side; a little licorice also shows. It is varying now, already. The palate is softly spiced, has an easy roundness, is a wine of immediate access. I find it a wee bit sticky, the sign of its chaptalisation. 12.5°. To 2018  April 2016

2012

deep robe, black tints. There is an air of black berry fruit, but it is largely blocked by its oak panel front door; this should be a fruity, not oaky, wine. Without what seems like oak this would be a good-fruited, wavy-fruited wine. The attack gives a primary black fruit, raisiny effect.  But the aftertaste, for example, is very tarry, in excess, has a black chocolate flavour. Disorder. One cannot drink much without reaching for the water. Use of wood chips in a vat?? Strange events. 13°. 10,000 b. €5.20 ex cellars. To 2017  Nov 2013

2011

sumptuous dark robe, promising. Beefcake, farmyard, reductive air – Mr Big Pong here; rather stylish blackberry behind, in the second layer. The reduction is really strong. The palate travels widely and rolls with purpose. A big scale, sit down Crozes-Hermitage, thoroughly deep, and abundant in its fleshy matter and flowing fruit. The aftertaste is grilled. This isn’t an easy, simple drinking wine because of its ample spread, so match it with red meats, for instance. Triple decant to lessen the reduction. Bit of a Wild Child. From mid-2013. 13°. 4,000 b. 2017-18  Nov 2012