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The Wines

1965-66 Syrah from clay-limestone soils on Les Diognières, destemmed, 20-22 day vinification with maceration in new 600-litre oak casks, a little cap punching, aged 1-2-3 year 228-litre oak casks 12-16 months, fined, filtered, 1,200-1,500 b

2018

(cask) bright, dark red; the nose is discreet but broad, shows wild black berry, oak-toffee, has feminine charm to come, will round out well. The palate has an easy, supple texture, good centre in its gras richness, nice and assured, with a development of content and strength after half way, Hermitage sunshine on that second part. I like the fine pockets of detailed red fruit here, shows an accurate Diognières typicity in that respect. €32.85 export via Thorman Hunt, GB. From 2023 or so. 2040-42 Nov 2019

2017

(casks, bottling Jan 2019) dark red; has a nicely effortless, elegant nose, raspberry fruit with an appealing purity, has sunshine curves. The palate is supple, facile, works on a smooth, silken texture, presents a neat bundle of tannin on the finish, a joli welling up of juicy gras there. It can display more depth with time. 13.5°. From 2021. 2038-40 Nov 2018

2015

(casks) deep robe. The bouquet is broad and well filled, with an inner richness of soaked, thick coulis of blackberry. There is a hint of violets and their perfume above. The palate works well on its silken texture, comes along roundly, with its tannins well moulded into its sphere. It’s a stylish Hermitage without quite the stature and drive of the leaders, but will drink well and give pleasure. From 2019. 2029-31 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) dark red, black tinted robe. The bouquet has a meaty, beef quality, is lined with smoky dark fruit, oak prominent, light drifts of flowers. The palate drinks suavely, lacks the real depth and engagement of the best 2014s. It rather sits on the sidelines. The finish rustles up some drive, and tannins that require another two winters of ageing. 13.2°. 1,500 b. From mid-2017. 2025-26  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(casks) dark red. The nose is on the go already – raspberry fruit that is freely delivered, a tiny sweetness that enhances its appeal, and access to the pulp of the grape. Has a low vegetal note. The palate is fleshy, has a near immediate appeal, with soft tannins and sound length. Good, accessible Hermitage. The finish is a bit tough for now, with some heat, so wait until 2017. 2026-27  Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark colour; firm, solid nose that has a muscular style, has pretty dense pockets of prune, ripe fruit, mulled fruits. The palate is rather dumb, but has padding, a close-knit content. It is slightly low on pedigree, so doesn’t reflect the West end of the hill (tasted blind), is more from the alluvial soils sector. It holds some richness, and moments of dark red fruit appear. Decant this. There is a little tenacity, persistence on the finish. This can move forward over time. From 2016. 2026-27  Nov 2013

2008

(casks) toned down red robe; brisk top air in the bouquet – it combines kirsch, Marmite (Vegemite in Australia is a lighter version), salt and prune. The palate has fine fruit running through it, the fruit not especially fresh, but has a pliant, slightly squeezy texture. Not bad length. The oaking is considerate. Likeable balance, the maker has not reached for the stars this year (tasted blind), so the wine is drinkable and friendly. Esp from early 2011. 2018-19 Dec 2009

2007 ()

dark red; prune, ripe nose, a good pure air. Sympa black jam with a sweet final air, prune there. Good tarry black fruit debut on the palate, there is cocoa in the flavour, with a good, tannic roll through it. Has a 2007 finesse, with fresh tannins. A fine style of wine, rather ripe black fruit and soaked plum at its heart. Authentic wine. From mid-2011. 2020-22 Dec 2009

2004 ()

good full robe. Pepper, stewed fruits aroma from the milder, central-east area with its supple texture, prolongs well. Broad attack, partially open, then tightens and the oak and immature side take over. Is well structured. Elegance above all, more than punch. Sound fruit thread here, nicely styled wine. Esp 2008-09 on. 2018-22 April 2006

2002

quite dark black fruit, tar/violet nose. Clean texture, gentle middle flavour. Some oak/fungal notes at end. Low key but pretty, some style here. 2006 on. 2014-16