Syrah (early 1990s) from loess, limestone soils at Serves, whole bunch fermentation, 2 week vinification, twice daily pumping overs, aged 3-12 year 228-litre & 600-litre oak casks 10 months, unfiltered, 3-7,000 b
(casks) dark red colour; the nose has mildly Southern airs that include black olives, and some black fruit jam density, a note of oak and nutshells in the background. The attack is tasty, rather stylish with a run of berry fruit that persists discreetly. It is less pumped up than several this year, which is to its benefit. There is a sprinkle of fine grain tannin in the texture, and it ends with solid resolve. It’s a genuine Crozes that reflects the northern sector well. It stands its ground well, and can be decanted. From mid-2021. 2030-32 Nov 2019
some matt shows in the dark red-black robe. The nose is on the sweet side, crushed red berry, mulberry, with nutshells and a sense of dustiness. The palate is compact, a little stubborn, holds red berry fruit with tannins that are a touch rugged. It’s not yet an ensemble, carries diverse elements for now. The fruit carries pretty well, so it’s the finish and its rockiness that needs to fuse. Bottled already. From 2020, can be decanted. 2028-30 Dec 2018
(casks) healthy dark robe, black with crimson. The nose presents black fruits such as cassis and blueberry in a fine register. The palate links well to the bouquet, holds stylish black fruits with free, live tannins that add energy and length. This is a clear drinking Crozes, with engaging pockets of flavour and pebbly cut, minerality, as it ends, gently. 12.5°. 4,700 b. From mid-2018. 2022-23 Nov 2017
quite a dark red robe. Smoky, licorice and cooked plum, raspberry fruit show on the nose with a note of reduction. This gives the discretion that is typical of the northern zone, crisp red berry fruit, along with puckish, rather dry tannins on the close. The nose is more orderly than the palate. Try from spring 2016. 12.5°. “It is spiced,” Nicolas Fayolle. 2019-20 Dec 2015
sound red robe. Hedgerow, wild berries, smoky bacon airs. This is unreconstructed granite Crozes-Hermitage, holds red fruit at its heart, has a traditional, gummy thickness in its tannin. It ends on a mineral, rocky tang that sits outside its main frame. Very typical of Serves. 12.5°. To 2019-21 Dec 2013
steady red robe; soft nose – simmered red berries, raspberry, an easy air overall. Red cherry fruit leads on the palate, also high tone and game. The length is OK, and there's a little late tannin. Traditional wine, OK. To 2014. Dec 2009
mid-level red; red fruit with some bosky airs on the nose, the odd strip of tannin. Direct red fruit leads the palate – its texture is not that settled. Pebbly, dry finish. Dec 2008
there is a quiet red tone to the robe, and some turn on it, too. The bouquet gives restrained, scented red fruit, and gains a little momentum if you linger. The palate holds soft, easy red fruit that has a clear enough tone. The length is correct, ending with some tangy pepper. It is just a bit dry on the finish – that is a pity, and reflects the vintage if you weren't careful. Lamb cutlets good with this. 2009-10 Dec 2007
low key red colour; the berry fruit is tangy on the nose, but escapist. The palate starts in a limited way – this is a drink early wine, its red fruit typical of the granite. Has quiet length but lacks body, and the end tannins are pebbly without comfort around them. To 2010 Dec 2006
soft red fruit nose. Fair red berry fruit, some spice on palate. Fair harmony. Touch end tannin.
prickly berry fruit aroma. Tender, granite style wine; finish is dry-edged. Could I have more body, please?