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The Wines

1940s and 1960s Syrah from the end of Greffieux where the soil is still that of the east of Bessards (hence the title of the wine), whole bunch fermentation, 18-21 day vinification, cap punching, pumping overs, aged 1-10 year 600-litre casks 18-20 months, unfined, light filtration, first wine in 2015, also made in 2016, has a red capsule, two bottlings of 725 b each time, 1,450 b

2018 ()

dark red; the nose is copious, so far from a normal Bessards – there’s max plush fruit here, California in the glass. The palate is fleshy, has a little direction, fat present with touches of iron on the second half, violets on the aftertaste. It can prosper, because the fruit emphasizes well as it goes, increases. It’s inky, and isn’t overwhelmed by tannins on the end, tannins with salt, cut, black olives on the close. From 2028 – bang, not before. “Three months after the malo, it started to re-construct itself and come back towards shape,” Bernard Faurie. 15.2°. 2054-56 Dec 2019 Previously Dec 2018 ****(*) (new 600-litre cask, the other one is 10 years’ old) shiny full red-purple colour. Red cherry, raspberry feature in a stylish nose, unusual Bessards accessibility, but it carries rock smoke and hints of violet as per Bessards. The palate debut is voluptuous, oak-toast attached, a serious run of cherry fruit with lasting rock-stones close. This is wild wine – it’s a Bessards de la Noche, a friend of Serge Gainsbourg, keeps moving, a rolling splish splash either side of it, dispersed fruits over a wide area. This is a one-off; it should get together, but does demand time. 15.2°…. From 2027. 2050-53 Dec 2018

2016 ()

this has been bottled for the Marchés de Cornas and Chavanay, Dec 2017 on the 314th day of this year, 10 November, eight days ago: ****(*) full red robe. Cherry- soaked cherries aroma secure depth of red fruits; it’s juvenile, gleams out, has a smoke and lead pencil presence. The palate is fine, attacks on good style red fruit with the gradual easing into the picture of dense, ripe tannins that add layering. It is a bit under its bottling, has heart and after half way gains momentum, travelling droit au but, straight to the goal [allez l’OM, Olympique de Marseille, droit au but] on a cluster of red berry fruits. It’s rock and rolling on the finish, whoosh, with neat crunch, grip. This is intricate. It has been raised in a 2014 cask. From 2021-22. 2038-40 Nov 2017 Now, the second bottling, a 2012 600-litre oak cask, bottling spring 2018, “the malo completed on this wine later than the first cask,” BF ****(*) full red. The nose is promising, round and giving, parading raspberry fruit liqueur depth, sunny, floral notes. It’s open for now, persists well. This is on the Pinot trail on the palate, holds pure red fruits with a hint of power, lees [it’s on its fine lees]. It’s compact within the outside glamour of the fruit, delivers a crunch assertion on the close, has a knuckle, mineral exit. Patience is needed, but it’s got potential and there is style to come. “It can be super interesting, has great finesse, it will be a joli vin in 10 to 20 years, a good bottle,” B Faurie. 13.5°. 2037-39 Nov 2017

2015

the second bottling ref L17052, of Feb 2017: ****** dark red, crimson tints. The nose is rich for Bessards, shows a pure and stylish raspberry coulis, a soft richness, a steady heartbeat. The palate parades Bessards more obviously, has a good granite glint right through it, a crisp line of smoky rockiness, with stylish fruit both sides - very pure and elegant waves of that. There is great “sizzle” uplift here – it’s handsome and beau, holds the 2015 richness at its heart. This is Grand Vin – eat your heart out, Bordeaux, The balance is right on the button, the finish is tender, rounded, deep. There are magnums of this. From 2023. 3046-48 Nov 2017 Now the first bottling ref L16333, of Nov 2016: ***** crimson red robe, bright. Floral, rose airs hover over a simmered raspberry, mulberry fruited nose, shows Pinot leanings, is tender and graceful, has inner depth, comes with herbes de Provence. This is more crunchy than the first bottling – it starts on that, has rock outcrops through it, unlike the second bottling; it’s less structured than that. It holds fine juice, tight gras. It has less all-round depth and provocation than the second bottling, though I suspect it’s going into its shell more than the previous wine. It has varied, loose elements on the finish, particles of rock. From 2023-24. 2045-47 Nov 2017