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The Wines

1976-82 Syrah from Coteau de Rochecourbe at Malleval (the top of the hill), Limony (1950s, 0.9 ha, the oldest domaine Syrah) and at Saint-Pierre-de-Boeuf (the bottom of the hill), can be 100% destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, cap punching, aged 10-15% (down from 33% new into early 2010s), 85-90% 1-4 year 228-litre casks (until early 2010s 33% 1-year, 33% 2-year 228-litre oak casks) 14-18 months, unfined, filtered, 27-45,000 b

2019 ()

1) (the middle of the Rochecourbe hill, 4-year 228-litre cask, the base of the blend, sugars, malo both completed) ***(*) dark robe; the nose gives an engaging blackberry sweetness, a note of cassis liqueur. The palate carries the thoroughness of the sun on the attack, a pile up of blackberry, rich content, ink spots in it. Powdered tannins, violet drifts mingle on the close. It’s borderline “too much”, but the second half has definition. 13.8°. From 2022+ 14 years 2) (the bottom of the Rochecourbe hill, 4-year 228-litre cask, sugars, malo both completed) *** dark colour; the nose is well curved, sweet at its centre, on prune, blackberry liqueur – very evident sun factor here, a note of licorice. The palate is a bit plain, holds plenty of dark fruit, crushed berries, is more solar, less nuanced than the mid-slope wine. The exit is lip smacking. The tannins are ripe, munchy, show some linear shape. 12 years Feb 2020

2018

shiny dark red colour; the nose bears a pepper-clove aroma, red fruit, raspberry liqueur sweet notes. The palate has a smoky debut, holds young, lucid red fruits, grippy tannins that have a chalky element, some sizzle. It’s still in the cellar, is direct, a bit pared back. The finish is challenging now, chewy, only slight juicing present there. It was bottled yesterday, note. 13°. 45,000 b – the volume is on rise. From mid-2021. 2031-33 Feb 2020

2017

(steel vat, sugars, malo completed) very dark. Has a thick set aroma of black berry fruits, licorice. This has a sturdy heart, good richness, is tasty and full, the length good. It covers the ground, is good, has structure and depth. “good fruit, good acidity,” Anthony Paret. 2029-31 Nov 2017

2016 ()

bottled one week ago: dark red. Has an easy, curvy nose, beef stock, black berries, raspberry. It’s a touch stewed in nature. The palate delivers instant black berry fruit, mild tannins, is supple, even plump, quite easy to get into. This is straightforward St Jo, a bit workmanlike, OK – but in its defence it has just been bottled. There is tiny late graininess, powder. “It’s good for the restaurant trade, will keep a few years, but can be drunk early,” Anthony Paret. 13°. From spring 2018. 2023-24 Nov 2017

2014

bottled one week ago: red robe. Has an airborne, light red fruit, spiced aroma, right there. The palate gives a direct burst of blackberry, then a sleek tannin, a light crunch finale. Very easy drinking. It gives a gradual increase in fruit depth as it goes. 13°. 35,000 b. To 2019  Oct 2015

2005 ()

very dark robe; has an intense nose, led by dark chocolate, with pretty soaked cherries and a sprinkle of black pepper. The texture is suave, and the fruit travels quite fast without leaving a great imprint now. Tastes of black pastilles at the end, where it is nicely clear. Has quite a pepper, mineral aftertaste. 2015-16 June 2007

2004

stewed, minted, already advancing bouquet. Palate fruit has decent definition, holds together well and continues well - taste is red berries. Sympathique wine, is generally wholesome. Just a bit short on finish. Texture is fresh. 2010-11 April 2006

2002 ()

(casks) drinkable, mid-weight, with tannins. Fair middle palate content here. 2009.

2001

leathery, woods aromas; clear-cut texture, oily/peppery. Honest, local wine, fair weight. Esp 2005 on. 2010-11

1998 ()

soft bouquet; palate is quite facile, but OK. Drinks early. To 2005-06