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The Wines

70% northern or Brune sector, 30% Blonde, from 6 suppliers of crop, 100% purchased Syrah crop, destemmed, cold maceration then 20 day vinification, pumping overs that calm down, then light cap punching to finish, aged 16-18 months in 30% new, 50% 1-year, 20% 2-year 228-litre oak casks (2003-2009 was 60% new, 40% 1-year oak, until 2003 was 15% new, 85% 1-year oak), unfined, lightly filtered, some magnums, 10-28,000 b

2018 ()

(casks) dark red; the bouquet gives a direct line of black cherry fruit, with a wide panorama around it, ripeness in the grapes evident. There is a floral undertone. The palate is scented, rather rich, holds rounded matter, lip smacking moments, is a succulent style of Rôtie. Oak shows on the aftertaste. It’s well lined, and will be an open glass in four or five years. There is a touch of mineral in the final stages, a little iron that helps its movement, while the tannins have edge still, but can move into line. From 2022. 2041-43 Nov 2019  GB £305/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017 ()

(casks) dark robe; oak varnish and blue fruit twin on the nose, which is lucid. The palate serves blue fruit, cassis with a clear run, picks up tannins that are oak-influenced, so the finish is a shade dry from them. The strength of the oaking means that this must be left until 2022, the longer the better. It has a cool sense of purpose, the aftertaste close to spearmint. It will age well, but the oak is strong. 13°. 100% Syrah. 2036-38 Dec 2018

2015

(casks) full, dark red. The bouquet gives attractive, oily cassis fruit, with a curl of sweetness, and some toffee from the oaking. The palate bears stylish black fruits with a fresh and elegant run of tannin. This is a Burgundian take on Côte-Rôtie, with polished content at its heart. The finish is juicy, fluid. The fruit has style, but the wine leaves the feeling of wanting more in this grandiose vintage. 13.5°. 10,000 b. From spring 2019. 2035-37 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) dark robe. Has a meaty, brewed black berry, light raspberry fruit aroma, notes of grilling prominent. The palate holds some lightly scented dark fruit, with a supple moment towards the finish. Hasn’t yet got its centre sorted out. There is a slight sense of roasting and vegetal, and it lacks precision. From 2018-19. 2027-29 GB £180/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015   

2013

(casks) dark robe. This has an enclosed nose, a rather solid depth in it that involves prune, dark tea, blueberry. The palate is also backward: its closely sealed nature belies the fact that it holds good, consistent matter, is well weighted. There is just a hint of stems and cut that for now step out of line. Further raising in cask a definite help for this. From mid-2017. 2031-34 GB £220/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark red, sober hue. The nose pushes out, is centred on cassis liqueur, crushed black berries, a light extra ripeness that is liqueur-like. It is pretty full, brightly floral. The palate gives an attractive wash of black berry fruits, supple tannins going with the flow. Oak traces emerge after half way. It leaves a tar-licorice finale, drawing to a firm close. It is capable of elegance, for now is upright, still in the cellar. Has decent length. A slow gain wine that doesn’t quite reach out. Question about how much stuffing it really has. From 2016-17. 2029-32  Nov 2013

2011

(casks, bottling April 2013) pretty dark red; Indian tea, near curry powder air, cooked and spiced plums in the fruit. The red fruit is typical, has a nutty grain about it. The palate is close-knit on the start, enclosed around its spiced berry-prune flavour. It isn’t giving a lot, and the finish falls back. There are round, fairly ripe tannins. Lacks nuance, mystery. From 2015. 13.3°. 2027-29  Nov 2012

2010

matt, dark red. Smoky, dark berry bouquet that shows the depth and mystery of a schist origin. There are light floral touches, smoky bacon, a subtle concealment. This is STGT wine, big time; the tension in this is good. It bears potential a-plenty, is rather shutting down now. Its tannins are fibrous, and can ease, meld into it. A beautiful example of a northern zone , schist-led wine from the 2010 vintage. From 2015. Great in the period of 2016-19, for instance. 13.5°. Awarded the Regional Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards. 2033-35  May 2013  Previously Nov 2012 **** dark red with a slight tapering of depth at the top. Prune fruit, sweetly coated nose with a spice-toast air, black raisin and a note of damp soil. The palate delivers a thorough gras, has a real fat centre. Ripe, suave tannins border it with some dynamism. It is coated throughout. More definition from 2015. Doesn’t quite ignite me. 13.5°. 2031-33  Nov 2012  Previously June 2011 ***** (casks) full, thorough robe; expressive nose that mixes ripe fruit with an air of delicately scented tea, raspberry fruit – it allows for mystery. The palate has red berry, a stately display of creamy red fruit with a quiet insistence. This is a rich Côte-Rôtie; it is a sensaround wine without any OTT (over the top) elements or heaviness. Its abundance is very well constituted, and it is a long, long wine. It will show well early in its life, strutting its rich red fruit. “The acidity is nearer 2006 than 2007 or 2009, so it is better balanced than them. It has good, but not big acidity, and I worry it may fall down,” Jacques Grange. 13.1°. 2029-31 June 2011

2009

mottled red colour, with dark notes. Has a mild blackberry air, subdued from its bottling recently – the bouquet shape is curved, has honey and light sweetness. The palate blackberry fruit is nice and chirpy, expressive, with light floral scenting. Very pure fruit continuity here. Delightful wine. It tightens at the end, draws itself in discreetly. Good balance, good length. 13°. From mid-2012. 22,000 b this year. 2032-34 June 2011 Previously Nov 2010 *** (casks) purple robe; the bouquet volunteers well – offers sweet black berry fruit aromas, jam, has a squeezy air about it, while polished leather, game notes add substance. The debut is well-fruited, and matches the nose well. Has a supple texture, and clear, open fruit. It is ripe, to the extent that that I find a tiny volatile acidity element, not upsetting. Licorice on a free finale that dips a little into dry zones. Has decent balance, offers the fruit rather than the mystery, but is local. From mid-2012. 2028-31 Nov 2010

2008

modest, not very inspiring nose. Soft, smoky, floral aroma, a Burgundy appeal, along with some local Côte-Rôtie graphite (thanks, La Landonne, which is included this year). Has a quiet, woven palate of red fruit with clear lines. Oak prevails on the final stages. This is a “gradual progress”, take your time wine. Has a wet stone finish. From mid-2012 – no hurry. 12.7°. This is a more confident wine than the Marquise Hermitage 2008. 2022-25 Nov 2009

2007 ()

sensible, quite full red robe; oak-toffee first hit on the nose, with sweet style red fruit behind, a little of the simmering red berries, and the sense of ripe crop. There is an iris-peony scenting in the mild red fruit on the palate, but the wine has body and consistent depth to the finish. Is lying low post-bottling 6 months ago, and it will be more distinct, offer more cut and pzazz, from 2011. It ends on the La Landonne style – graphite touches there. Holds good, consistent flavour and depth, has volume, is helped by the presence of La Landonne this year – Landonne was hit by bad hail in 2007. 13°. 2026-28 Nov 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *(*) (casks) quite a dark robe; the bouquet is oily, high tone, has a top layer of blackcurrant fruit, with the strum of an iris floral note – it clarifies with air. Scented, soft and mild black fruits start the palate, the flavour seasoned by tea and cocoa elements later on, richness attached to them. This will play its cards early enough, but I sense the risk it may dry after maybe eight years – the finish is a touch dry or curly for now, but it has not yet been bottled. From 2010. Worth a revisit after bottling. 2026-27 Dec 2008

2006 ()

(cask) dark red, some black – a robe that looks ripe. Black fruit with a clean air and a touch of oak comes off the bouquet – shows smoked meat such as chicken, toasting from the oak, and fruit that is ripe. The palate leads with smooth black fruit, a nice cassis – is promising, with some late restraint from the oak and tannins. The fruit is good and thorough. Has sound length, although it eases up a little on the aftertaste. A solid performer. From 2010. 2027-29 Jan 2008

2005 ()

dark plum robe with a matt hue. The nose has a core of quite crisp, young black fruit, black cherries – reflects the northern zone here (loosely termed Brune by the locals), and is laced with some spice. The palate gets off to a bright start, and takes on a certain ease further down the line, as it gains a more smooth, slightly oily nature. Is balanced and quite refined, and just before the finish becomes more peppery and live in its tannins. It drinks well already, but the tannins can absorb a lot more and offer a real rounded, pleasurable finish if you wait. From 2010. 13°. 2029-31 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ****(*) overtly oaked bouquet, but if aired the oak subsides, and violet with some light grilling and ground coffee, chocolate aromas come through. Suave richness on the palate, plenty of flow in it, here the oak is more assimilated. There is a nice generous, rich and oily moment before the finish. Not a terroir wine just now. From 2010. 2023-25 Dec 2006 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) (casks) quite a dark robe; tarry, black fruits on nose – the bouquet comes in a straight, obviously youthful shape. Densely made wine, with the oak bringing a chocolate import. Is a full-on wine with a modern, smooth texture. Plenty of tannin from this vintage and oak. Sound length. Leave until mid-2009. 2027-29 Nov 2006

2003 ()

(cask) brewed black fruit, coffee bouquet, some width. Black berries, tar start, lacks some middle. Sweet tenor. Licorice/pepper finale, fair length. Big, not so succulent as 1999. 2007 on. 2020-23

2002

some cooked fruits, smoke/floral touches. Supple vanilla/red fruit flavour, soft wine. Starts gently, fleshes, spices a little, then some tannins. Low-key, but agreeably knit. Now to 2015-17

2001 ()

still full robe, good consistency. Has a good, authentic bouquet – lightly stewed black fruit, leather, a floral top note: there is depth of aroma, plus the potential for more, and greater expansion. The attack grips well; ripe fruit, clean winemaking here. It straightens with plenty more to give, the structure is in line with the year. The texture is elegant, derived from temperate climes and breezes. There is a slight Syrah gaminess, so can be decanted. It is good now – harmonious, still quite young. 2020-22  Bistrot Ruby, Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Jan 2006 Previously (cask) *** quite full, sappy nose, game aspects; finesse wine, fairly full, tannins sit outside as yet. Can become varied, integrated. From 2007. 2022-24

2000 ()

plain, light cooked fruit nose; some raspberry, bit dumb. Gentle cooked fruit flavour, lacks nuance. From 2005. 2019-21

1999

cooked garden fruit, truffle aromas, potential; solid wine, more than usual. Latent richness, chewy, masculine. Tannins at end, with raspberry. Powerful, but no excess. 2024-26

1998 ()

smoky, swirly dark fruits aroma, upright; dry outset, then plenty of matter, fleshy end. More the inky Brune style. Chewy finale, length OK. 2020-23

1997

quite full, expressive nose, fruit/woods; pleasant fruit, bursts out at end, good length. Drinks well 2003 on. 2017-19