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The Wines

Syrah (1965-70) from Les Diognières, whole bunch fermentation, 2 week vinification, twice daily pumping overs, part vat empyting/refilling, aged 8-10-plus years old 228-litre oak casks 15 months (before 2005 was 10-12 months), filtered, 1,300-4,100 b, also some sold to merchants, known as Domaine Fayolle, pre 2002

2018

(cask) dark red colour; the nose has a stewed red fruits’ aroma, a fruit pastille sweetness, is a bit reduced. The palate shape is rounded, with a squeezy content, damp notes, aromatic seasoning until a sudden surge of grainy, thrusting tannins that dry the late stages. There is a rather extracted feel to it late on, which is disconcerting. Further raising can only help. There are around 1,000 bottles more these days [rest used to be sold to merchants], which is also having an impact on the in bottle domaine wine. 13.5°. 4,065 b. €29. From late-2022. 2039-41 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) steady, dark red with black robe. The nose is dark, dense, on woodsy, bosky elements, crunchy style black fruits, black cherry and blackberry present. The palate has a cool tenor all through, weaves along with freshness, the tannins have cut, the fruit likewise. The finish is smoky from the oak, which is excessive. The oak-tannin part is not yet a combination. This could be richer, but it will settle further with time; it’s a bit raw for now, especially for a Hermitage. 13°. From 2021. 2037-39 Dec 2018

2015 ()

(casks) shiny, full robe. The nose presents cassis, licorice, a healthy depth of black fruit, has lift. Oaking hovers around it. The palate bears suave, well-founded content, a good wheel of silken gras with juicy touches here and there. It’s promising, and will develop a bonny rounded shape. The finish is clear, well prolonged, has munchability. Authentic, STGT Hermitage here, has good heart, is genuine, gets marks for character. 13°. 1,800 b. €19.50. From mid-2019. 2034-37  Oct 2016

2014 ()

the red robe has a slightly pale rim. The bouquet has a crushed raspberry air, is sweet and a bit floral, is advancing, which is also evident on the palate. There’s a lack of freshness, an oxidative style here, a palate on red fruits, squeezy tannins, for drinking now. It ends rather suddenly. “It’s very spicy”, Nicolas Fayolle. 13°. €27. 2024-25 Dec 2018

2012

quite a dark plum red robe. Blackberry coulis and prune fruit aroma appear on an agreeable ripe and rounded bouquet. The palate delivers spiced strawberry fruit, its texture squeezy, the fruit scented. It ends on low-key crunch tannins, and is a traditional, unrefined wine with a quiet insistence and a finale that is a shade dry. 13°. 2025-27  Dec 2015

2011 ()

mottled plum red robe. Cassis and bud of cassis show on the first aroma, which has brisk detail in it. This is hunky, grounded wine, delivers a thick gras richness, red fruit jam. It is more dense than the 2012, and carries on mulled red fruts with some panache to the finish. 13°. 1,300 b. 2027-29  Dec 2015  Previously Dec 2013 *** dark red, legs down the glass. The bouquet is a shade funky, has a dark, black soil air, a black cherry centre, is pretty close-knit, smoky with a hint of rose. The palate delivers black berry fruit with smoky, crisp, mineral tannins along its sides. It ends clearly, a bit like a good Crozes-Hermitage. From now it drinks OK, but will be more together from spring 2015. It is a bit seared, taut late on. 13°. 2025-27  Dec 2013

2010 ()

healthy, full red. Smoky, meaty, fundamental notes on the nose, the essence of soil, the fruit of oily raspberry. Acetate features in a rather powerful attack; tannins swiftly close in. This has a wild side, drive. The tannins could be more sleek, but has a traditional character. The vegetal side from the stems will drop back over time, but its content can handle that largely. The nose and palate are chunky. From late 2016. 13°. 2030-32  Dec 2013

2005

solid red; herbal, red fruits nose with some mineral in it. The palate has a black fruits debut, a steady fruit heart, and ends on tannins that still need leaving until mid-2010. Has enough structure to advance; its fruits are “dark”, its texture a bit dry. Decant this. To 2020-22. Dec 2008

2004

evolving red robe, stable enough. Upright, rather yeasty, mulberry fruit nose, hedge fruits, flowers in it. Earthy, compact palate that doesn't express freely now – this needs brighter fruit to go with its tannins. Ends solidly. 2018-20 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2006 *(*) fair red colour; has a ripe, jam aroma of scented, sweet and open appeal. The palate starts with jam, the flavour is plum with some marzipan sweeping up after it. Facile wine, whose tannins are a bit dry on the finish. 2014-16 Dec 2006

2003

the colour is still quite a full red; has a scented red jam aroma with an oily nature, towards liqueur. It is reduced and rather foxy, as if detached. On the palate, this is a big boy, an enforcer, with tannins that are prominent and which tend to be demanding. There is an oiliness of content in this, but it is rather severe now. When will its “harmony” take shape? Good question. 2015-17 on this showing. Wait until 2009 mid-late, and decant, and hope Dec 2007 Previously (cask) *** soaked raspberry coulis aroma, wild berries also; simmered jam flavour, is a meaty wine. Decent content within. Hints of Syrah reduction present at this stage. 2006-07 on. 2019-22

2001

clear fruit nose - violet/game black fruit. Simple, straight fruit flavour, some prickle. Tender texture, some tannic gain near end. Simple, but quite agreeable. Maybe more variety in 2005-06. 2018-20