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The Wines

from Saint-Joseph site (core is 1920, av age 60+ years), 30-40% whole bunch, 60-70% destemmed, 3 week open vat vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 1-6 year 228-litre oak casks 11 months (can have 20% new oak), fined, filtered, 3,250-4,500 b

2017 ()

(steel vat, Lieu-dit Saint-Joseph, sugars and malo completed) dark colour. Has a concentrated black fruit air, a suave style beyond. The palate has a chunky shape, the lees apparent. This is thorough, grounded wine, with good heart and a square finale. It’s very long. Chocolate on the aftertaste, black raisin and licorice. There are warm vintage signals – the density and thickness. 18 years, so 2034-36. Nov 2017

2016 ()

(casks) dark red. There’s an interesting mix of red and black cherries on the nose, good spark within, true freshness and the detail of the 2016 vintage, later red fruits coming along with spice, black pepper. The palate holds blueberries, cleanly struck fruits with a suave debut to the tannins before a crunched close, real rockiness. The fruit engages well, is pure. It releases thick juice towards the finish. I am amazed this is 15°. It’s wholesome, full, gains richness as it goes. €25 export. “2015, 2016 and 2017 for the Berceau red are three years close to each other in expression,” Fabrice Gripa. From 2022. 2037-39 Nov 2017

2015 ()

the robe is essentially black, with a crimson rim, a rich aspect it has. The nose is amply filled, but achieves a graceful wander out of blackberry fruit, licorice and blueberry within its mass. There are pockets of detail, clarity, wee grilling, black olives. There an intense black coulis aroma at its heart. The palate is oily and inky, a continuous run of scented notes, violet present, butty black fruit with drive in the tannins, foot stomping from them, leading into a firm close, some glow on the aftertaste – the 14.5° on the label is apparent. This is a deep, rich sudiste/southern St Jo, with scale, more than a free drinking wine. Leave it until 2024, since it needs to loosen and vary. It’s atypical – 2010 has more clarity. The final tannins are firm and full, very compact. “I compare it to 1998 with perhaps a bit more heat. 1998 only became good around 2012-13. Berceau is typically good with a boeuf bourguignon,” Bernard Gripa. This will evolve only slowly. Drink with game, pheasant casserole. 2035-38 Nov 2017

2014 ()

dark red. There is good intrigue on the nose, cocoa-mocha, essence of black fruits, mulberry, some husky, grounded influences, buffed leather, prune. The palate has a spicy debut, puckish blackberry fruits with go in them. Bright tannins add freshness and length. This is interesting, has touches of silk within its freshness, and ends cool, menthol-inspired. There is a good detail of elements to come together, it has further to go. Freshness is a key factor, leading the fruit towards blueberry on the aftertaste. 13.5°. From spring 2019. 2029-30 Nov 2017

2013

dark robe. Has a good, open bouquet, comes with airs of expressive black fruit, plenty of flair. Bacon fat, sleek black cherry also feature. It has an open attack also: this gives lively fruit that captures St Jo well, a note of violets to accompany it. There is good breeze in its ripe tannins on the close - an all round enjoyable drink here. It is fresh as it ends, touched by a nice saltiness. The tannins can tone down over the next couple of years. Close to w.o.w. in style, and drink it especially with grills and bistrot dishes. 13.5°. Bottled 10 days ago. €31 ex cellars is quite high. 4,500 b. From mid-2015. 2022-24  Jan 2015

2012

still dark red robe. The nose is settling down well, has a meatiness, with expressive black berry fruits that are clear and rolling, a bit of Indian ink here. There is some reduction, so decant it. This is gracious, a good example of 2012, a beau spread of dark berry fruits with fine tannins, a little crunch from them, tar and coffee on the close. This has a handsome make-up, good glint in the fruit. It persists well, the aftertaste a touch floral. 13.5°. 2028-30 Nov 2017

2011

the robe is still a dark red. There’s a touch of mushrooms on the nose, a game aspect, a murmur of blackberry fruits within – they are discreetly there. It starts to clarify quite fast, has mocha and smoke, a twirl of beef stock. The palate is into a textured phase, a charming souplesse, has a stream of small blueberry and black berry fruits towards the finish. There is beauty here, real tasty and interesting wine. It grows and amplifies with air, really gets going, ending fully – it’s expansionist wine! 13.5°. 2028-30 Nov 2017 Previously April 2016 **** red robe. Has a smoked, small red fruits aroma, along with licorice and herbs. The palate is softly fruited, extends a sure hand. It has wire, iron in it. It is discreet and fresh. The aftertaste is smoky. From spring 2017. 13°5. “We had a large crop of 40 hl/ha, and it wasn’t that ripe,” Fabrice Gripa. 2026-28  April 2016

2010 ()

red robe with a little advance. The nose is beguiling, has an air of damp soil, prune, the airs of a major vintage – that depth. There are trails of licorice, inky squid. The palate gives cooked plum fruit, southern ripeness at its heart; it lengthens on some latent power, is very long, glows on the end. It is gradually entering its second stage, as there are pepper, animal, iron touches. Mineral is shaking out of it, and it is tightening as it airs. This is complex, very good. 13.5°. 2031-33 April 2016

2009

full robe, lots of depth. There is a licorice fullness in the nose, comes with a close-knit black berry air, is very packed together, has weight and a steady pulse. Encircled black fruit on the palate, with tar/oak fencing for now, the core is very deep, profound and uncompromising. There is a lot of oily late fruit running hither and thither. Lots of wine for the money. Over 14°. It seems a Big Boy, but is not overdone, nor jammy, just has lots of dimension. “I wasn`t technically up to speed in 2005 to achieve this sort of wine. For me, this is the furthest I have gone in getting what I want. 2001 was good, but less precise than this,” Fabrice Gripa. Esp good around 2018-19. 2024-26 March 2011

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

dark red with some black and purple in it; has a smoky aroma with some intensity in the blackberry fruit – the ripeness is secure. The palate is compact, and there is a slightly crisp note on the black fruits, with healthy mid-palate heart. Its juice comes out beyond the slight oak tar effect late on. This is a little upright now, but is an interesting wine of some hidden corners. From early 2010. 2016-17 Dec 2008

2006 ()

red-black robe that is bright. The nose is ripe, with honey and fruit such as soaked cherries (griottes) and raspberry with lots of life and sunshine in it. Has a fleshy, round but still fresh attack – the fruit is exuberant and sustained. The tannins are ripe. This is a three-quarter weight wine that will drink with pleasure around 2010-11. Can be drunk earlier than usual because of its easy ripeness, very much in the eye of the vintage. 2017-19 Dec 2007

2005

dark robe; smoky, berry fruit aroma that is tight-knit, full of potential with its rich interior that also combines mint and violet – there is plenty here. Holds intense, sustained black berry fruit, with an oak mingle at the finish. The tannins are evident, but are ripe. Will show less oak from late 2009 or so. There is a little mineral energy within – this emerges towards the end. Lots of variety and interest to come. 2018-20 Dec 2007 Previously April 2006 **** (part of it, from 8 of the 13 casks) dense colour. Very clean tone to a solid bouquet, is brewed with chocolate aspects. Chunky, tight-knit palate, this is dense and thorough. Evident but accomplished tannins. "2005 is like a mix of 1998 and 2001 - the 1998 tannins, the 2001 balance - it will be a keeping year, provided the tannins don`t dry." Fabrice Gripa April 2006

2004

berried, laden aroma with a sappy fruit presence, backed by tea and maybe coconut. Alert, crisp attack, with good fruit filling - the fruit very clean and lots of matter around it. Very orderly through the palate, the tannins on the end are agreeable and lend good support. Length is good. Beau, classy wine. Esp 2007-08 on. 2014-16 April 2006

2003

complete, black-fruited, warm bouquet. Good depth on palate - cocoa, coffee with black fruits. Locked up by some ripe end tannins. Good wine, genuine depth, intense and a touch sweet. 2013-14

2002

(cask) quite wide nose; cassis fruit, end tar/tannin, pretty.

2001

full blackcurrant, light pepper, floral nose. Delicious! Lots of fruit, plus spice, tannins well set. Mineral/chewy. Esp 2007. 2015-17

2000 ()

black fruit, pepper in a live, nicely earthy bouquet. Good quality of fruit on palate - with sinew and cut, plus dark edging from the tannin. The flavour is well set, drinks well and hasn`t shifted much - is just a little off its top fruit freshness. I like the sucrosity and fruit here. 2012-14 "This was always good to drink, without complication," Fabrice Gripa. April 2006 Previously *** animal, reduced aromas; broad black flavour, gradual upping of tannin/width. Fair depth, mineral, true. 2006 on. 2012-13

1999

cooked black fruits nose, potential; suave, fresh black fruit, peppery tannins, interesting; can close up. 2014-16.

1998

a magnum: still very dark robe, a dark red, makes an impression. The nose features meat stock, inky pulp, black berry fruit behind them, a note of coffee beans. This rolls with lithe content, coats the palate well, has a real steady step. It gives powdery fine grain tannins on the finish. It could have a bit more lift on the close, the tannins could be more refined. The aftertaste is aromatic. This was made from all whole bunch Syrah. 2024-26 Apr 2016 Previously Apr 2006 ***(*) robe still full and bright. Pretty amount of freshness on nose, young still, with a leathery nature. Open, declaring fruit set in a clear, pebbly way on palate, nice nerve here. Elegant fruit and absorbed tannins - this is on song now. Has shaken off its reduction that came and went when younger. April 2006 Previously ***(*) earthy/inky/fungal bouquet. Brown earth, big-scale wine, planted feet, strong local feel. 2010-12

1995 ()

still has a nicely full red colour; there is a pretty, pebbly thread in the nose, still is fresh, and there is good grip in the black fruits. The palate has a well-measured, upright shape – one is straight in to the vintage with this – it is a wine of spine now settling into a comfortable phase. It is still fresh enough – there is no coffee or cocoa in the flavour, the length is OK and quite herbal. This has held up well, is still quite brisk. “It was very dry until one year ago . . my fear is that it has been a bit late to come together,” Fabrice Gripa. To 2014-15 June 2008