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The Wines

1990-92 Syrah from a total of 1 hectare on La Bouvate et Les Rennes at Larnage, northern sector, destemmed (2017 50% whole bunch, 2018 100% whole bunch due to great ripeness), 2 week vinification, cap punched, vat emptying/refilling, aged 4-10 year oak casks 12-13 months, then 3-6 months vat, unfined, unfiltered, 3 bottlings – March/April, May, end of June/July, 3,500 b


(used 228-litre cask, malo completed) has shiny black robe. The nose bears a sweet fat in its raspberry fruit, lardon or pork cuts, is a bit grilled. The palate links closely to the nose, is on expressive and immediate black fruit, is really tasty, and the tannins are ripe, adding extra layering – they upholster it well. This is a real pleaser in the best sense. There were only eight instead of 12 casks – not because of mildew, more because of a poor budding. “This is the first time I have used whole bunches – I kept half in 2017. 2018 is a bit ahead of 2017 – it has more matter, length, a lot of fruit,” Marc Sorrel. 13°. 2034-36 Nov 2018  GB £112/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017 ()

(used 228-litre cask, bottling April 2019) red robe, some intensity. There’s a vegetal-peppery spark on the nose, raspberry, white pepper – it’s a bouquet with go in it. The palate gives a running stream of red berry fruit, notably raspberry, is vivacious, the fruit pure and beckoning; it carries musk-rose notes into its graphite finish. This has good life and expression. Destemming only 50% instead of the usual 100% this year, since the crop was so ripe. 2028-30 Nov 2018

2016 ()

(used 228-litre cask, racked yesterday) decent red robe. Has a gently aromatic nose, raspberry with low-key spicing, a snap of blackberry also. The palate presents enjoyable, free run raspberry fruits, pure and clear. It takes on a touch of delicate tannin. This has good clarity, drinkability, is w.o.w. wine that captures the essence of the vintage – it’s absolutely a wine for one’s friends, naked and agreeable. There’s aromatic finesse on the close, a little spur of rockiness there. 2022-23 Nov 2017


(228-litre 3rd year François Frères oak cask) sugars completed, malo not fully completed) dark red robe. Has a stylish black cherry nose that is full and polished, gives lots of young, clear appeal. This attacks really well – there is immediate gusto, and it holds black cherry and blackberry fruit with light oaking. It is salty on the finish. It is well balanced. This is ruddy good. From 2018. 2027-29  Dec 2015


(228-litre cask, bottling May/June 2016) fine red robe. The nose is appealing, gives a strawberry aroma with pepper, the fruit having a nice clear, coulis style about it. Thhis has a fresh style, presents a good run of spiced red fruits, some gummy tannin. To my ancient palate, it feels chaptalised (the gumminess), which turns out to be the case, by 0.7° to take it to 12.7°. It is charming, nicely wavy and easy to drink, serves bonny juice at the end. A neat do. To 2020  Dec 2015


(cask, bottling in 1st bottling April 2015, last bottling June 2015) bright dark red; peppery, clear cherry aroma that gives an appealing fruit pastille effect. The palate has its usual naked qualities – its dentelle, toothsome clarity speaks accurately of the northern zone of Crozes. Juice peeps out after half way. It is more strict than joyous but has quality of its own. Has a tight finish, is a tight wine. To 2019  GB £90/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com GB £81/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 2015  


red robe, ruby rim, slight advance. The nose is reduced, on damp soil, red berry jam, a hint of roses. Has a genuine country wine nature. The palate gives red fruits, menthol on the attack, is slightly cagey, dries early, with acidity that is up and down. This will benefit from air, which will render it less rustic. The tannins are chewy on the finish. The fruit is bright enough. 12.5°. 2024-25 May 2018 Previously Nov 2013 *** (3 year cask, 1st bottling April 2014, last bottling July 2014) has a bit more colour, fuller red, than usual – a healthy, bright red robe. Peppery, attractively free red fruits air, redcurrant jelly, black pepper present in the nose. The palate fruit is racy, upfront, with dash, drinks solo, is more collected and clear than many of his red Crozes’ wines in the past. Drink in wine bars. There is good essence of young Syrah here. Clean lines, no excess flesh, nice and naked, w.o.w. wine. Its cherry fruit lingers with small droplets as it ends. “This year I did two harvestings, 2 weeks apart, the last on 15 October – it was a question of exposure of the vineyards,” Marc Sorrel. 2018-19  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 ***(*) (fibre glass vat) sound depth of red. Blackberry, raspberry, peppery air, nice depth, shows licorice. Has butty content, is close-knit, ends long and compactly, the fruit rising again on the aftertaste. Bright acidity. Good, clear fruit. 10 years.  Nov 2012

2011 ()

subdued red; has a smoky, red liqueur fruit air, one of three-quarter depth, graphite, ash-smoke, a light raspberry. The palate is in transition, but isn’t especially profound. There are spots of red fruit, strawberry jam, with cut and pebbly dash towards the finish. It could be wider. A wine for simple dishes, la table, it is a quiet drink. It finishes on fine notes. It has some quiet nuances. Try from mid-2014. 12°. To 2018  Nov 2013 Previously Nov 2012 **(*) (used cask, 1st bottling April 2013, 2nd bottling July 2013) fine red colour. Red jelly, cherry overt and bouncy nose, light licorice. The palate is a Spruce Dandy, like sucking a red fruit pastille, is very drinkable. This is easy to drink, CHR or bistrot wine, a wine of pleasure. It lacks depth at the finish, but has the merit of freshness. There is a tiny bit of grain on the aftertaste. Simple, appealing., Can be drunk solo. Chaptalised from 12.25° to 12.5°. €9 export. To 2018.  Nov 2012


(cask, bottling March 2012) medium depth red. Has a nicely pure red berry, raspberry nose that is open, and associates the usual peppery undertone. Easy red fruit line the palate, with a pocket of gras emerging. The pepper is a habitual Larnage feature, and its soil is better for whites, I consider. It holds fine grain tannins, the finale is fresh, there is some late glow. Can be drunk early. “It was quite acidic, but the malolactics have rounded it well. It is less rich than the 2009,” Marc Sorrel. To 2016. Nov 2011

2009 ()

(cask) dark red, full, purple. Nice, creamy black fruit aroma with welcome roundness. Brisk, easy fruit that is good and direct. Holds plenty of fruit and more depth than usual, its tannins are ripe. “It is very dark, like 2003. Its tannins are present, but need to absorb,” M.Sorrel. A good ensemble between nose and palate, has a confident depth. 13°. STGT wine. 2019-21 Nov 2010


(cask) pale red; openly peppery, bustling aroma, a light air of redcurrant. The first feel on the palate is chaptalisation – in effect 0.5° has been added to the 12°. There is thus a sugar-style implant, with notably light red fruit around it, and a bit of late pepper and spice. To be bottled April 2010. 60% of crop lost this year. 2012-13 Dec 2009

2007 ()

red, light purple colour; reductive, fine red cherry fruit aroma, notably raspberry. This starts on alert, fine red fruit – it is easy to drink, and has a little pepper and spice to perk it up. The final moments are supple. Going OK now. Conforms to w.o.w. status. “Its robe is a little darker than the 2006's,” Marc Sorrel. To 2014. Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) (cask) see-through red robe with purple touches. Has a very overt, pungent red fruit aroma, v lively, almost burnt in its intensity. The palate gets off to a live, agile fruit start – it has abundant life and pretty fruit, with an interesting thread of tannin running through it. I like its end fruit – this is really good drinking wine, no messing, a get on and drink w.o.w. wine. It will surprise people, it is a rocker. If you want to age it - 2013-15. “This may keep quite well – I don`t usually keep my red Crozes, but this could live for five years. My sole really grand Crozes-Hermitage along the lines of a mini-Hermitage was 2003,” M.Sorrel. Dec 2008


(steel tank, to be bottled March 2008) the usual raspberry red colour; the bouquet has a very spicy top, with some red jam underneath, is fresh-toned and reminds me of 2004. The palate is nice and direct, is a wine with sound flow, possessing peppery red fruit. Finishes cleanly, but a touch dry. Food such as stews best. There is a wiry weave in the red fruit. To 2011. Nov 2007


pebbly, quite weighted aroma, prune/plum within the cherry stone. Broad, expressive palate, with well-founded fruit that is very clear, and runs nice and straight. Savoury, refined wine, local feel. STGT. I rate this his most distinguished red Crozes so far. 2015-16 April 2006


light red cherry and nut bouquet, floats across - isn't deep. Nice, direct fruit on attack, slips along nicely for early drinking. Expressive, barbecue wine, the finish is floral and red-fruited. Ideal for summertime. 2010-11 12.8°, chaptalised a little. April 2006


big, cherry colour; black berry aroma with a lurking note of game in the background, and violet. I compare this to a Cornas nose from the north around Les Arlettes, where there is some limestone. The palate bears black stone fruit and also chocolate and raisin in the flavour, with a tar, Christmas cake nature. Has a lot of matter, this is good, its core is rich. A one-off, way to go wine, a real rocker, with no easy box to place it in – so much the better for that. Has some mineral clarity on the finish, with pepper. 13°. 2016-18. “It can live – it is atypical: it is the only time I have made a Crozes red that resembled a Hermitage red,” M.S. Only 1,750 bottles this year – 50% down. Nov 2007

2002 ()

(cask) quite wide, peppery nose; mid-plus weight, sweet black flavour. Early wine.

2001 ()

light stone fruit aroma; upright, white pepper, bit taut. Cherries, but rather vacant end.

2000 ()

nice fresh aroma, live hedgerow fruit; delicious fruit on palate, really delivers. Frank wine, an early drinker.

1999 ()

quite spiced nose. Fruit-led palate, black fruits, pepper. More dimension than 2000, drink in first three to four years.