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The Wines

Syrah (early 1980s) from hard granite 8 hectare vineyard on top of Brunieux lieu-dit, destemmed, crushed, 24-26 day vinification at up to 30-32°C, pumping overs, cap punching, aged new 228-litre François Frères oak casks 10 months, unfined, unfiltered, first wine 1999, "drink with red meats in sauce, stewed game dishes, mature cheese", heavy bottle, 40-45,000 b

2018 ()

(casks) full, dark robe; the bouquet produces oak with ripe, “high” black fruit, is a bit of a formula style. It’s wide, shows some grilling, too. The palate is sweet and savoury, holds fleshy content, sweet oak, layers of fruits, with not much room for freshness or light. This comes pounding at your door. It’s a heavy weight St Jo – we’re in sipping territory here. The finish is extracted, whoosh, in comes the dryness that I thought went out with the ark. €16. From 2022. 2029-31 Nov 2019


(new casks) dark robe, black centre; the nose has a wide aroma of stewed black fruits such as cassis, with oak varnish, pork scratchings, grilling attached. It’s a cellar-induced start. The palate holds thick content, black fruit leaning towards prune, the fruit soaked in style. The oaking isn’t properly assembled with it, so there’s a sense of painting by numbers here, too much obvious effort. The finish dries, as the fruit fails to carry. Wait until 2021: there will be a little progress - if that comes on cue, it can be ***. 13.5°. 2029-30 Dec 2018

2015 ()

(casks) dark red with black tints. The nose is overtly oaked, backs up with a savoury, ripe pile of black berry fruit, is like a fire waiting to be lit before it goes into orbit. The palate is weighty on the attack, bears coated, ripe content, and prominent, ripe tannins that introduce a note of tar-rubber. This is full, obvious, has oak on the aftertaste. I’m not sure how much I would want to drink. 14.5°. 45,000 b. From 2019. 2025-26 Oct 2016


(casks) very dark; oak, nuttiness, here we go, on the front nose – this is the dominant influence. In behind, there is an air of plush black berry fruit that has a near prune ripeness. The palate is a modern cocktail, still on the cellar workbench – it holds quite juicy, open black fruit, with the oak appearing capable of entering into it. There is a licorice, cassis, decisive finale. From mid-2016. 2021-22 Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark robe. Chocolate, rather vegetal first air, oak fatness, blackcurrant liqueur present in a still raw bouquet. The palate has a hesitant delivery of in and out fruit, lacks continuity, and ends on pebbly textured, the fruit very much ion behind. The finish reflects oak and a knuckle of pebble grit, a little black fruit. Internationally constructed, rather clumsily. The fruit inside the oak is OK. From late 2014. To 2018  Nov 2013


(casks, bottling in early 2013) dark, thick robe. Has a spiced, Indian tea aroma, along with clove and walnut airs, crisp black fruit, black pepper. The palate is also spiced, and taken over by its oak after half way. Overtly modern, has a sharp run of fruit, but struggles to contain the oak towards the finish. The fruit is fluid, mildly scented, so there is the chance of balance emerging. From 2015. Decant this. 2021-22  Nov 2012


(casks, bottling in early 2012) dark, thorough robe; has an oaked outer air, a bouquet with a square shape and a sweetness of ripe fruit in behind, red stone fruits such as plums here: not together yet. The palate suggests it is from the middle to the south of the appellation thanks to its red fruits, while tar from its oak comes in. Shows smoky, straight, clipped late stages. The blackberry juice later on helps it to travel, showing up in patches for now. A modern school wine – there you go, bang. Has decent wire and drive. From mid-2013, and drink especially around 2016. 2020-21 Nov 2011


(casks) dark red-black robe; there is a gentle curve of black jam on the nose – blackberry, sweet tea, violet notes. The palate is oaked, and thus the fruit is crunchy, lives on the grain of the cask. It ends upright, and shows the influence of an austere cellar over a leafy vineyard. There is some gras or richness within, past the oak smoke-filled outer. From mid-late 2010. 2014 March 2009


WHY IS THIS IN A MEGA HEAVY BOTTLE – BOO. Full robe, black, some purple. Sweet, fruit gum style bouquet – softly scented red fruit. Reasonable black fruits with mineral in them lead on the palate, as if granite plays a role here. It ends with a rounded carry, and can drink once the oak is inside – in another 15-18 months, thus mid 2009. The tannins are soft. The early fruit is a bit low-key, but this gives sound drinking. 2014-15 Dec 2007

2005 No Rating

full robe; pungent, packed berry nose, but very reduced and rather sweaty. Palate shows signs of reduction and volatility – very hard to judge. Big and brewed by design of the maker, but not a clear wine. Tasted Nov 2006


reduced, warm bouquet - veers towards black fruit jam or pastilles. Oily, minted palate - fair harmony. Warm, not demanding. Black jam on finish, but overall worry is that is a little taut, notably with air. From 2006. 2011-12

2000 ()

smoky, upright nose; red fruit/oak mix. Dry end, not sure if enough matter for the oak.