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The Wines

mature, well-ripened Syrah (1950s) from sanded granite soils on Les Mazards, Champelrose, Les Côtes, La Côte, 95-100% destemmed, 3 week steel/concrete vat vinification at 28°C, regular pumping overs, 1 part vat emptying/refilling at start of maceration, aged 33% new, 67% 1-2 year 400-litre oak casks 19-20 months (until mid-2010s 100% new oak), unfined, filtered, comes in a wide bottle, first wine 2003, “drink with red meat stews, sauced game dishes, dark chocolate”, 15,000 b

2018 ()

(casks) full, dark red. The nose is led by close-knit, packed in black berry fruits, with a sweet, sunshine vintage curve to it. It’s a harmonious, if full, opening. The palate coasts along on a suave roll of markedly dark, black fruits with a little cut, drive in the tannins late on. They leave a smoky, oaky aftertaste, which keeps going well. This is a large cocktail, with vigour in the closet still, a definite muscular drive that is kept under wraps for now. This is Cornas of inner energy, and much connection to its ground. Decant it. 5% whole bunch fermentation this year. From 2023. 2042-45 Nov 2019


(casks) full, dark red colour; the nose is lusty, leads on dense blackcurrant fruit with pushy oaking, toffee from that. It gives a wide panorama. The palate is fat, holds sustained richness, a solid centre to it. The finish is on tar, oaking, a little of its black juice present there, the aftertaste smoky. It’s rather concocted, and it will be best to leave this until 2024 so more of its local influence can creep back in. 2034-36 Dec 2018


(casks) serious, sober dark red robe. The bouquet comes with an oiliness of well-set black fruits, and a meat stock depth, oak in the background. The palate garners compact black fruit content with lithe, firm tannins and their firm clench after the mid-point. The shape is square for now, and it finishes firmly, no gaps there. This has sound inner strength, a genuine weighting, and will emerge as a sturdy, convincing Cornas from late 2020. 2030-33 Nov 2017


(casks) full, dark red. The bouquet is vigorous, leads on oak varnish with a concerted aroma of black cherry fruit in behind. The palate is tightly packed with blackcurrant fruit that is supple and pretty suave. The oak and tannins combine to bring extra depth to the finish, which for now is gummy. There is a good, cool intensity in the palate fruit. 13.4°. From mid-2019. 2029-31 Oct 2016


(casks) dark red, full robe. The bouquet is sturdy, brewed, has an air of closely packed blackcurrant, blackberry fruit with attendant oak-pine varnish. The palate releases suave, stylish black fruits with a swish in their delivery. The tannins are ripe and pretty smooth. A well packaged, pretty stylish Cornas with sound 2014 depth, not the big vintage body. The finish is lip smacking, has its dark, wavy fruit moments. From 2018. 2025-27  Oct 2015


(casks) healthy dark red. Offers a good, clear aroma led by liqueur black berry fruit with good ease, a low-key sweet ripeness; there are suggestions of violets, too. The palate is scented, the content supple, the feel agreeable. It gathers a neat moment of tar as it ends, with increased darkness and good clarity there. The fruit lasts rather well. Not a big Cornas, is well orchestrated, though; good detail here. It persists with quiet resolve. Leave until late 2017 for the oak to absorb. 2023-24  Jan 2015


(casks) sombre dark red; oak-vanilla airs feature in front of a sunny, red fruits aroma, also black cherries. The bouquet has sound depth, can go on, shows a minor note of thyme and vegetal. The palate is a complete ball of mild fruit, sleek tannins, oaking. It is very self contained now, a tablecloth not laid out. Fair heart; it has the 2012 rather fragile nature, is a touch meagre. From mid-late 2015. 13°. 2022-23  Nov 2013

2011 ()

dark robe. Has an inviting black berry fruit aroma, a liqueur appeal about it, dark cherries and licorice mixed. The palate starts on a typical 2011 plumpness, an immediate sphere of black jam fruit, its tannins rolling with the gras and the fruit. Decant it if drinking it now, but best to wait until mid-2015 to secure more nuance and crispness, even though it may close. Oak and char show on the aftertaste. Its richness holds up rather well. It can sing a tune, especially around 2017-20. 13°. 2023-24  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 ***(*) (casks) pretty dark red. Has a ripe air of black berry fruit, an under air of violet with a curry, beef stock backdrop. Coffee, powder and tar also show through – this is a varied nose of some stimulation. The palate offers a steady, gras richness-textured roll of black berry flavour, and a supple infill of tannin. It has a little Cornas grain at the finish. It is giving an open show already, is drinkable now, with a sweet touch on the finish and a tar, elderberry style finale. From sprung 2014 for its first flush of fruit. Decant this. 2022-23  Nov 2012

2010 ()

dark red, with a rich aspect. Has a toasted air, full-on blackberry with a dense, simmered style; roast pork, smoke and tar are young airs present also. The palate is notably rich-hearted, sustained and stylish. Lots of abundance – its shape is good, and its evolution is rewarding, will pick up plenty of nuances. It ends on charcoal (oak), and dark coulis of cassis. The oak needs three years. A lot to get stuck into here. has a lip smack, oily aftertaste. 2028-29  Nov 2012  Previously Nov 2011 ***** (casks) dark robe, with a ripe, oily aspect. The nose is quite scaled up and tarry – it bears slightly soaked black fruits, berries being simmered, a touch of animal in there. Minor oaking lies in behind. It implies that it is rich enough to easily handle its oak. The palate has a good running start, the fruit is live and juicy, avoids being gushing. There is a creamy overlay, a precise sweetness with it. It moves into what I term an iron style minerality near the finish. There is a sign-off of cassis fruit and oak-toffee. This is set to do well; there is a lot of wine, including on the finish. From spring-autumn 2014 – let the oak absorb. 2026-28 Nov 2011


still a full red robe; the nose has gamey airs, wild red fruit hedgerow fruit airs – it’s a Rock n’Roll opening, with notes of blood also. The palate has a granular thread through it, red fruits with crispness, moves well along its path. I’d like the fruit to go a bit longer, but this is cool Cornas to its credit, the juice relatively fine. Menthol allows for a fresh aftertaste. There is oak late on the nose, and on the palate still. This was raised 20 months in new oak, which is still noticeable. 11,330 b. 2033-35 Cornas, Dec 2019 Previously Nov 2011 ***(*) ample, dark robe. This has a full-scale nose – it is wide and outward facing, has a chunky profile, bears deep-seated plum red fruits, is rich and backed by smoky tar. The palate is wide, rather imposing. It ripples across the palate, but I can’t help feeling it is manoeuvred in the cellar to be “impressive”; the classic Cornas 2009, albeit oaked as well, is more natural. It shows some of the gras richness of the central Cornas vineyards, and finishes fully. There are signs of advance in its fruit, with very ripe crop used, I suspect. From late 2013. 13.5°. 2022-23  Nov 2011  Previously Nov 2010 ***(*) (casks) full robe. Cassis black fruit is forward in the nose, along with smoke and soft licorice. The palate goes straight into harmonious black fruit with simple, correct lines, no fussy side notes. The fruit runs securely to the finish, shows a minor late saline-tannic note. Polished, clear wine, with a wee bit of Cornas on the finish, a mineral moment. From late 2012. 2025-27 Nov 2010

2008 No Rating



bright, dark robe; roasted, ground coffee, pork crackling aromas – the nose is just turning to a more mild, sweeter phase, and has blackberry fruit in behind that is waiting to advance. The palate has a supple start, which is a surprise after the relative briskness of the nose. It takes on a clamp of oak and licorice and tar after the mid-palate, and ends on a demanding note. From 2011 it will be less oaked and more funky. A modern, slightly got-up Cornas, but one that will please modern taste drinkers. It is denser then the Cave's regular 2007 Cornas, and also has much more oak. 13.5°. To 2017-18. Nov 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *** full robe; coffee-mocha front air, with some black fruit at its heart, which is soundly ripe. Today oak is in the driving seat. The palate is oaked throughout; the fruit inside is juicy and the texture live, ending clearly. The oak needs to absorb – this isn`t a local wine for now. The fruit persists quite well. Leave it so the cellar influence backs off. From spring 2011. Esp 2013-15, can run to 2020. Dec 2008


(casks) quite a dark, full robe; has a crisp, rather high tone black fruits nose – shows licorice-tar-oak in behind. There is an even hit of black fruit at the start of the palate, then a growing kick from its oak as it moves along. Modern wine, running along a streamlined path. The fruit frees up for a moment before the late oak. From mid-2009. Ends quite comfortably – hence there is a decent future here. 2016-18 Dec 2007

2005 ()

sound, quite full red robe; the bouquet is reserved, but presents red stone or brambly hedge fruit aroma, is quietly broad, and some leather-beef stock pesk it up well. The palate red berry fruit is clear-toned, with the entrance of tannins past half way. Has a leather-tar tingle on the finish from its tannins. Holds good, crisp fruit with a live nature. 2017-19 August 2007, London Previously June 2007 *** there are black traces at the heart of the robe; the bouquet is ripe and serious, and oaked – shows raisin, coffee, mocha, with notably some Cornas violet. The palate continues the theme of toast and oak, so here there is a raisin-Dundee cake taste, more so than any brisk black fruit. This is a mature style of wine that is broad enough all through. There are no tannins sticking out. There is some lift on the finish – is a measured wine with a tarry finish now. From mid to autumn 2009 for harmony, especially on the finish. 13.5°. 2016-19 June 2007