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The Wines

Syrah (mid-1980s) from 6 hectares on S facing clay-limestone slope soils, hand harvested, destemmed, 12-15 day closed steel vat vinification at up to 30-32°C, pumping overs, cap punchings, aged 33% each new, 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 16-18 months, fined, filtered, 18,000 b

2018

(cask) dark robe; the bouquet is furnished with ample, sleek, soaked black cherry fruit, oak attached. There’s a Southern note of ripeness, black olives. The palate is a swell do, right on the racy fruit of 2018 on the attack. It reaches out pretty well into a late assembly of violets, oak. It engages well, is modern, attacking St Jo, with crisp touches and clarity from the limestone. From mid-2021, the fruit holding pretty well. 2031-33 Dec 2019

2017 ()

regular red robe; the nose is sunny, shows sweet herbs, oak, thick raspberry juice or coulis, soaked red cherries or griottes, mulberry – much red fruiting, with a light powdered element. It’s not yet ready. The palate declares well, has the feel of old vines sap [sève], and is thorough to the finish, which shows some late glow. The context of mulled, rather plush fruit sustains along its path. There is a hint of rose hip. 13.5°. From spring 2021. 2031-33 Feb 2020

2016

(2 year 228-litre cask, bottling March 2018) dark red. Cassis-blueberry, smoky oak, bacon airs feature on the nose, which is still challenging, but very bright. The palate is tight, linear, gives fruits such as mulberry with fine juice, then corrals soft tannins on the end. A toffee flavour comes from the oak. The palate has potential gourmandise right at its centre, a near Pinote moment. This drinks well. From spring 2019. 2026-28 Nov 2017

2015 ()

full, dark red. The bouquet is deeply set, a good packing that reflects meatiness, black olives, black jam. It will take time to open and blossom into greater elegance and definition. The palate is sturdy, compact, bears a thick matter that includes deep, ripe tannins. There is a southern leaning to this, the sign of its sun-filled vintage. The finish collects some of the chalkiness of its soils in a brief, pebbly burst – interesting. It has good length. Take your time here: from spring 2019. 14°. 2028-30 Nov 2017 Previously Oct 2016 **** (casks) dark red. The bouquet is wide, has a confident depth, notes of roast beef and prune, black berry jam present. The palate doesn’t hesitate, sets off on a well-ripened, compact path of black berry fruit, the fruit coming with a slightly “high” side. The tannins are munchy, gummy, and it ends on a note of tar. Has savoury qualities that will appeal. From 2019: it has work to do to fuse and then expand further. 13.5°. 18,000 b. GB £246 12 b i/b Clarion Wines info@clarionwines.co.uk www.clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069. 2028-29 Oct 2016

2014 ()

(casks) dark robe. The nose has a grilled outer air, a soft fruit within, cosy black berries. It will be harmonious and attractive. The palate is more reserved, though the fruit quality is high; it runs with decent abandon, a pretty unleashed spirit. It is modern, just a little clinical, produces some juice within the late tannins and oak. The aftertaste is powdery, chalky. It can gain some flesh late on. From 2018. 2023-24  GB £83/6 b in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013

dark colour; the nose combines toasted, roasted airs and a prune fruit, black jam inner. The palate gives red berry fruit with a mineral clack, limestone thrust. The finish is indeed grainy, very much on the tannins, although the fruit-content mix hangs in there. The aftertaste is on licorice-tar for now. A serious, potentially interesting St Jo, for la table and after time has assembled it together more closely. 13°. From late 2017/2018. 2024-26  Oct 2015

2012

good red robe. The nose is appealing, has an aroma of violet and plum fruit, a serene style. The palate offers good, clear, running fruit with peppery moments late on and smooth red berry gras. This can expand its finish in the next two to three years. The balance is good, and it is going well. Still shows some oak. 13.5°. 2025-26  March 2015 Previously Nov 2013 ***(*) (casks) dark surge on the robe; cassis-blackberry, an appealing prominent of fruit on the nose, with a well judged sweetness and ripeness, licorice evident. The palate has a full brim of black berry fruit, light garrigue, herbs, seasoning; its abundance feels manoeuvred, from the cellar. A clear, round finale has an oaked inlay. A swish-swell St Joseph out of the modern drawer. Metropolitan drinkers will like this rather flashy, open, somewhat clinical wine. From spring 2015. 13.5°. €13.60 ex cellars. 2020-21  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark, promising robe. Good, compact blackberry aroma that still show the nuttiness of its cask raising. There is an air of licorice and an attractive, supple middle to the fruit, a hint of meat substance here. The palate promises to hit its stride around mid-2014. Its polished, clear fruit sweeps along well and cleanly – this is a good example of Saint-Joseph. It is long, shows a spot of oaking, the tannins have a mild salty tone and some grain from decomposed granite. The finish brings in black olive ripeness. Modern style, has very good, near Burgundian, poise. From mid-2014. 2021-23  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) big, shiny dark robe; the immediate nose is salty, leathery, has black fruit which is quietly scented, shapely, clear-cut in the modern vein – a well-organized start. The palate reflects oak and its raising more than most features now: international style wine, fruit and oak. The black fruit has decent juice in it. It ends on tea leaves, minted black jam. Lacks charm: it is effective rather than personal. From 2014 or 2015 if you want more local and more interest. 2020-22 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(casks) pretty dark robe. The aroma is wide, has a dense, solid nature that brings in chocolate, black raisins, oak. The palate is full, with a sense of push in the cellar, a hands-on wine. The black fruit has some freedom, is not static but overall it feels full-on. There are pebbly late tannins, oak inflexion. It is a bit arm's length, but will be good, especially around 2014-18. From 2013 will be OK. 2021-23 Nov 2010

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

(casks) full, dark and bright robe; the nose bears streamlined black fruit with oak or charcoal infused, also mints. The palate holds supple, juicy black fruit – this has a very tidy and promising start. There is clean modern fruit with the oaking around it reasonable – it renders the finish nutted, not more dogged than that. The oak helps its length, but obviously still needs to enter, so leave until 2011. This wine is a little arm's length, a bit pristine, but will please if given time, notably drinking it 2011 to 2014 or so. Can live to, say, 2016. Dec 2008

2006

notably full robe; soaked, black fruits aroma, with licorice and a mineral tang, the air of black olives. Scented, soft palate, where the mix of black berry and plum-prune fruit is absorbing its oak. Has coffee tints in the flavour. Right there now. The finish is supple, juicy, scented, delivers violet suggestions. Going well. 13°. 2017-18 June 2011 Previously Dec 2007 **** black berry and red mix in the colour; the bouquet holds up well – blackberry with some spice and menthol, is pretty broad and sustained. Has a good quality fruit start, that is well-cut, well-defined. Good flow and harmony in this structured, rather sophisticated wine. Its persistence is very good, and I like its clean lines. Shows a light tannic entrance late on, and its oaking has been helpful. From 2009. 2017-19 Dec 2007

2005 ()

quite full, quite dark robe; toasted top to bouquet, with cherry- griottes (soaked cherries) underneath, plus some earthiness and licorice. Sleekly fruited palate, with tannins curiously already softened out. Is a bit technical, over polished and a lot of smoothing work seems to have been done already. From 2008 or so. 2014-16 Dec 2006 Previously Nov 2006 *** quite dark, matt robe; brewed, bit fungal aroma from some reduction – pretty rich and ripe underneath, the fruits are darkly toned. Savoury, full, easy start to palate, its richness soft and supple. Gains a bit of licorice at the end, where red fruits are prominent. Its oak needs two years to settle – so drink from late 2008. Round wine in the making. 2015-17 Nov 2006

2004

expressive red robe; bright, mulled red berries aroma that is approaching its second stage, with the arrival of more dusky airs. The palate mixes up black fruits, a little cocoa, even charcoaled meat. Some richness returns late on, past the coffee and cocoa tang. To 2011-12. Oct 2007 Previously April 2006 **(*) bouquet shows a mix of flowers and minerality, is elegantly wide and can vary and show more. Softened fruit on palate with a classic feel, red fruits carry the style of the southern St Jo zone. Friendly wine, not demanding, though tightens and dried on the finish. The fruit worries me - it isn't fresh or assured. On this showing, don't keep it for too long. 2010-11 April 2006

2003 ()

quite a full red, though matt present. Toffee, caramel nose, almost crushed grape pips in it. Has a sealed-up jam flavour, with ripe plum fruit flavouring, what resembles a Grenache ripeness – this extraordinary vintage has stamped its stock. The mid-palate has a firm point, the aftertaste is rounded. Drinks well now. “The bouquet is very atypical – almost fig, dried fruits, “Laurent Courbis. To 2014. Oct 2007 Previously (casks) *** grilled, meaty aroma; crunchy black fruit, cooked and tight-knit. Solid wine, firm end. 2014-16.

2002

quite dark robe; smoky, oaked, grilled, upright black fruit - modern style. Cool cut on the palate black fruits, some richness at end boosts it. Oak dries it a little. Sinewed, peppery wine, some refinement. From 2006. 2014-15 Dec 2004 Previously *(*) grilled black fruit, square aroma; dark flavour, a bit forced. Touch burnt/tough. From 2006.

2001 ()

elegant, floral nose; upright texture, stewed fruit with raspberry end. Tannins, length sound. Elegant, from 2005. 2011-13

2000

smoky red fruit and bacon nose; open, compacted red fruit flavour, raspberry and damson jam, OK length. 2010-11

1999 ()

bounding stewed fruits/plums bouquet. Scented attack, full and elegant. Ends richly, tannins too. Good structure. 2010-11

1998

very dark. Dark promise, faint cherry aromas. Firm start on palate, good matter here. Dark blackcurrant, longer and livelier than the classic wine. Tannins need time.

1997 ()

dark robe. Stewed ripe fruit, confit, jam-style, on bouquet. Plenty of extract on the palate - dark fruit, with oak hints at the end. Length is fine, some tannin. Best around 2002.