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The Wines

1947 Syrah from La Sabarotte (S-E facing, fast draining sandy granite soils), destemmed, crushed, 3 week steel vat vinification at up to 30-32°C, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 100% new 228-litre oak casks 16-18 months (until 2004 65% new, 35% 1-year oak casks), malo in oak, egg white fined, filtered, 4-5,000 b

2018 ()

(cask) bright dark red, black tints.  The bouquet comes with black cherry fruits, licorice, a note of sweet herbs, sage-rosemary. It carries a nicely natural richness. The palate reflects the class of Sabarotte, gives a sève-filled run of content, strokes with its texture, is wide and continuous. The sun is present, but doesn’t overweight the wine. It finishes on ripe red fruits, and flexible, ripe tannins. It’s generous, and in keeping with its place. From 2024. 2043-45 Dec 2019 £222/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017

this is lightly corked, but the basic reading of it is as follows: handsome dark red, a purple rim. Has an aroma of sunfilled, stewed berries, mulberry, licorice, violet and the note of cork. The attack is expansive, gourmand, spreads widely, has a lush centre. Its juice is thick, and the tannins are firm on the inside. It’s directly connected to the vintage for now. The finish is a little dry from the cork, the major problem. In essence, it’s a big, sunswept Cornas from the heart of the vineyard on La Sabarotte. There is caramel-oak in it, so allow five years for that to integrate. 14°. From 2025. 2045-47 April 2020

2016

(3 year 228-litre cask, bottling Feb 2018) dark, bright red robe. Has a blackberry, nicely thick coulis air on the nose, which holds potential, has aromas of raspberry liqueur, is curvy and charming. The palate pleases via its joli richness, an easy flow, is relaxed and true, tasty, yum, yum. The length continues with sève [sap] and concentrate of red berry juice up to its usual standard. There’s a note of licorice on the aftertaste. Aromatic, serene Cornas. 2034-37 Nov 2017

2015

bursting dark red robe, a handsome start. The bouquet has some of the immediate Sabarotte richness, a black berry coulis air with salty touches, and a most strim hover of violets. It’s an extremely charming start. The palate comes with soaked fruits, a tasty middle which continues into a prolonged suave finish. The old vine sève or sap is its heartbeat, providing the silken route and the smooth flow. Delightful, balanced, true STGT Sabarotte here. There is a wavy flavour of mulberries, raspberries and plums on the aftertaste, a tickle of mineral and coffee from the oak there. 14°. From late 2019. 2036-39 Nov 2017 Previously Oct 2016 **** (casks) shiny, deep robe. The nose is filled with soaked black berry fruit, sweetness on the cards; it will be an attractive opening in a few years’ time. We’re on finesse rather than power here. The palate also bears polished, perfumed, suave black fruits with a pucker of grainy tannin on the close. This will sing a good tune, has been carefully made: drink from 2019, and it will accompany well a modern cuisine take on old favourites. The length is steady. 13.5°. 4,000 b. GB £495 12 b i/b Clarion Wines info@clarionwines.co.uk www.clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069. 2030-32 Oct 2016

2014 ()

(casks) full, dark robe. This is a very good bouquet – it captures the depth of the old vines, and their layered harmony. The fruit glistens with wellbeing. There are even some near southern suggestions such as black olives. Oak is in the second tier. The palate is rounded, supple, gives an effortless canvass of rolling black fruit, smoked by its oak. Very good heart here. Lovely Cornas from the prime, front stalls seats. It is still rolling smoothly and fully on the aftertaste. From 2019. 2029-31 GB £165/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015

2013

very deep colour; the nose is wide, produces an air of roast pork, bay leaves, suave black berry fruit, warm tea. This is going to vary and stimulate. The palate presents a wall of close-knit, really thorough black fruit with a winning curl of sweet complexity in it. The tannins grandstand for the moment, but their essence is ripe, even if they are weighty. There is some oak in the late moments. This has a lip smacking intensity, is pretty mighty Cornas. 13.5°. From 2019. 2030-33  Oct 2015

2012 ()

plum red, legs visible. This is a bouquet that impresses – it has really secure depth, has an air of old vine fruit richness, along with pepper and licorice. The palate is suave and continuous – this is a well-filled glass of wine, has Cornas tingle and cordite as it ends. There is a floral dab there also, with licorice. The depth is stylish, really well founded. It is the sum of many little nuances, and the balance is good. 13.5°. 2029-31  March 2015 Previously Nov 2013 ****(*) (casks) dark robe, a full black colour. Smoke-oak, licorice, darkly fruited air – the nose is modern but also has a local grunt factor, a true depth. Primary, nutty airs dominate for now. The palate presents a swish black cherry, berry fruit with good, floral moments as it travels. The finish is round and stylish. A polished, good Cornas, its depth the result of superior lieux-dits (sites) and their mature vines – its quality comes from within. Its fruit is juiced all through. Its quality is strong, all elements in order. It is long, and full of beans on the end. This isn’t a big vintage, but it presents stylish, ripe fruit. From 2017 to allow the oak to integrate. 2026-27  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark robe. Graceful, lightly scented nose, soft tread blackberry fruit, mild oak behind – this is an elegant start. The palate is also based on elegance; there is a good swirl of aromatic fruit, pedigree Syrah from a prime area, well-ripened. Tar and oak clinch the finish. It is on a good track, even if the oak is charry at the end now, and it ends more squarely due to that. Can unfurl well. From late 2014. 2022-24  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) very dark, inky. Its full bouquet declares ripeness and bounty with tar-oak sidebars – this is deep, promises style and elegance, longevity, too. The fruit is pronounced, with a lean towards fruit bomb. The palate holds an attractive amount, comes as really drinkable, fleshy wine. It is well enveloped in its tasty sweetness, and floral touches lend a refined, airborne garniture around it. It pursues a determined path, no deviation. It is fat Cornas with proper length and bundles of fruit. Balance is good. From 2014. 2027-28 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(casks) very dark black-purple. Smoky-mineral air, then black cherry fruit with indications of slightly sweet ripeness and sweet tea: the bouquet has solid depth. Definite width of matter on the palate, with the black cherry liqueur style fruit threaded all through it. It ends on a patch of gras richness, cleanly and ensemble, with a little glow there. It is relatively fine, and its fruit appeals. Feminine style of Cornas, ripeness accentuated, with the Sabarotte serenity. From 2013. 2022-24 Nov 2010

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

(casks) full robe; has a hovering, mineral aroma with blackberry fruit underneath it – there is a quiet air about it – a mix of violet (soft) and snap from the mineral. Black fruits that are ripe and live start the palate – these run along well, with an inlay of tannin. It is a touch gummy, but overall is good. It is a stylish, accessible Cornas from the clean school. There is oak at the end, and it will be more local from late 2012. Can be drunk from spring 2010. 2019-21 Dec 2008

2006 ()

dark robe in the middle. Oily black fruit, a soft aroma with a damp leaf influence, prune also – plenty to come. Textured, rich debut to the palate, that ends on licorice, a pebbly grain. Good fleshy interior. Modern Cornas – drink from 2012. Oak on aftertaste still. 2020-22 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2007 (casks) *** dark, dense robe, towards matt in hue. Broad, quite oily, wholesome and pretty aroma bearing densely layered black fruits – has a little bite in it, quite a lot going on here. The palate starts with a clear strike of black fruits that are harmonious and expressive. Shows some late violet, and its tannins are present and well melded. Is well balanced, can provide appealing drinking. Has plenty of tannin and oak towards the finish, so best left until mid-2009 or so. 2019-21 Dec 2007

2005

has a later-picked crop, ‘smooth’ aroma, with the Syrah in an extreme, sappy state. Gourmand, rounded wine on the palate, comes in a fleshy, fruit pastilles style. Starts from a very ripe, ‘I am never going to be a crisp wine’ premise. Great for some, not for others who like clarity and mineral cut in their Cornas. Is a rather full-on, sipping wine with its velvet, mushed blackberry taste. Late appearance of oak. From 2009. To be bottled April 2007. 2019-22 Dec 2006

2004 ()

quite a dark red, with purple present. The bouquet expresses stylish fruit, with a hint of oak, coffee, grainy pepper. There is a good, direct start to the palate, whose fruit is vibrant – red fruits that have a brisk appeal and merge into a late bout of richness. Peppery, licorice length on this. “Decant this – it has moved on since September this year,” Laurent Courbis. It is less charming, more on the move than when I last tasted it. To 2018. Oct 2007 Previously Dec 2006 **(*) black jam aroma in the very ripe crop manner, is a bit sappy, and shucks on down with its sweetness and mix of animal and sweet tea. Weighty, rather sweet for the vintage, carries prune and jam flavours. I would like more cut if it is to be a very good wine. Is too fashionable, too much in the eye of the oenologue as it now stands, rather a fruit bomb. May regain Cornas character around 2009-10, but isn’t there at all now. 2018-21 Dec 2006. Previously April 2006 *** macerated black berries aroma with pepper edging, and a little varnish. Good fruit strike on attack, nicely rich black fruits that are clear cut. A tannin-oak combo prevails beyond mid-palate, but has enough content to settle by, say, 2009. Clean winemaking, this is modern Cornas, although has some late earthiness. Some concern that its extraction has been pushed, has that feel. 2018-21 April 2006

2003 ()

oily, full, ripe bouquet, cassis with a warm interior. Succulent palate, black-fruited with a clear texture. Pebbly, herbal finish, some end tannin. Esp from 2007 on, but drinks OK now. 2014-17 Previously (cask) **** oily, scented fruit aroma; notably ripe flavour. Violets, good warm matter, with finesse. Grilled end, good absorbed tannins. 2008 on. 2017-20

2002

toffee style, raisin bouquet, some depth. Black fruit with some gras. Soaked fruit texture at end, is a bit stretched, macerated a long time. Oak dries it at end, isn´t very calm. Was more savoury and fresher. 2006 on. 2015-17

2001

ripe brewed fruit nose, silky violets; wide matter, oily/tannic pep second half. Blackberry/game mix. Grilled/oak end. 2007 on. 2018-21

2000

1999

oily, soaked fruit nose. Rich, cooked fruits, full with more to give. Clean, mineral end. Not quite as fleshy as 2001. 2013-15

1998

very purple; bouquet mixes fruit with animal aspects. Has a masculine density. Probing black flavour, good depth, tannic support. Good length, some final heat. Gutsy, promising. 2013-15

1997 ()

dark, black at its core. Nice degree of finesse on bouquet - softly-cooked fruit, hints of mint and brambly fruit. Good mix. Good, peppered surge of fruit on attack. Tannins last well, are true. Three-quarter weight year. Fruit pure, lasts well. 2010-12