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The Wines

1980s back to 1900s Syrah from granite soils on Saint-Epine at St Jean-de-Muzols, southern sector, 20% destemmed, 2-3 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 3-4-5 year 228-litre oak casks 10-12 months (down from 15-18 months until late 2000s),fined, unfiltered, name & label changed from Vieilles Vignes to l’élegance in 2018, 20-23,000 b

2018

dark red; the nose is nicely together, gives a murmur of floral, rose scent, backed by mulberry, raspberry fruit, is a calm and natural opening. The palate attacks on more obviously ripe fruit, thick juice, with tannins swiftly present, meaning munchy late moments with rose, peony notes. It gathers a cluster of red fruits and fine powder tannins towards the finish. This is country wine of character, not evident, and you have to concentrate on it and its nuances. 14°. Bottled Nov 2019. From mid-2022. 2037-38 Dec 2019

2017

dark red; has a typical St Jean de Muzols nose that is powdered, floral, gentle, centres on plum, blackberry. There is good purity of fruit, blueberry, refined, light powder tannins, and a nice floral, steady close. This is natural, unforced, STGT wine, very much of its place. Refinement is its central axis. This is well balanced, has character. Though it’s nice now, it will amplify a little over time. 13.5°. €15. 2026-27 Dec 2018

2014

bottle 1 is corked. Bottle 2: shiny dark red, full robe. The nose offers a stylish air of simmered black berry fruit, with a joli hint of violets. It is nice and broad. The palate bears handsome, assured black fruit with a bonny gourmandise and fleshy appeal. This is good, rounded, natural St Jo from noble terroir (tasted blind). The length is prolonged. STGT wine, true and natural. 13.5°. 20,000 b. 2022-24  Oct 2015   

2013

sober dark red colour. Has an engaging, rounded bouquet, a southern sector of St Jo red berry presence (tasted blind), with a smoky, lead pencil and rose-hip drift hovering above. This is genuine, local, unforced on the nose. The palate is slightly stemmy, vegetal, on the attack. These green notes stay with it, a pity. A floral undercurrent adds appeal, and the length is OK; it ends on a pumice stone, rocky note of grip. Not a wine for the white coats. Perhaps ***, since it is true to its place, even with some faults. 13.5°.  Allow until mid-2016, see what happens. 2023-25  Jan 2015  

2012

sober, quite dark red; has a traditional air – game, stewed and mulled fruits with an extra violet density. The palate is making its way, isn’t yet a whole. There is some floral influence from the granite, and delivers fluid, simmered black fruits, notes of prune and fig jam. Interesting, not mainstream, has technical faults, dries towards the finish, but is OK, suited to country foods. 13.5°. From mid-2014. To 2022-23 Nov 2013

2011

full robe. Has a plump bouquet that bears a simmered, rather fat aroma like a fruit compote or black berry jam with vanilla and toffee present. It has some ground force, damp forest and reduction. The palate fruit is brighter, more mineral infused than the nose would suggest. The length is decent, and the red fruits are typical of southern Saint-Joseph (tasted blind). A drift of violet comes through in the late stages. A wine of discreet delicacy, its attributes aren’t obviously on show. One for connoisseurs – there is more to it than meets the eye. Drink this with clear-flavoured foods – roast lamb with sage and rosemary. Good and genuine. From mid-2013. To 2023. Nov 2012

2010 ()

dark red; slight air of pine needle, along with leather, black fruit on the nose. The fruit is laced with tar and dark influences on the palate; has a fine, evident acidity, and shows a late glow. Has just been bottled. From mid or even late 2012 to settle and organise, but the raw materials are present. 13.5°. 2022-24 Nov 2011

2007

dark tints on the robe. Blackberry front to the bouquet, then a dash of licorice, mineral, slight gaminess. The palate fruit is evenly spread, but a shade withdrawn now. The finish needs 12 months to develop, come together. Entering a dip now – the fruit isn`t that bright currently. Decant this. 12.5°. 2018-20 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) (casks) bright purple-black robe; the bouquet is refined – its fruit has been left to ripen markedly, towards excess, but there is a finesse that works well – this noble site comes into play. Prune, violet and blackberry airs mingle. There are nice fresh sides to this – the core fruit is cleanly cut, and minted in with the blackberry and its late tang of licorice and pepper. It ends quite firmly. From spring-mid 2010. 2014-15 Dec 2008

2006

shiny black-purple robe; refined bouquet – there is good gain in its cherry, a little smoky licorice, suggests a cool terroir. The palate has a clear-cut texture – this is a wine that grows as it goes, with a steady edging forward of matter. There is good purity in the fruit. The wines here are much cleaner, more ensemble than in the past, more stylish. From spring 2009 to allow the tannins to round a little more – there is a murmur of late, ripe tannin now. This can show a good second stage, and has developed well since last year. 2018-20 Previously Dec 2007 *** quite a full red with some black traces. There is latent black jam in the aroma, with smoke, licorice and a little game in behind. The palate`s black fruits have a fairly tight tannic grip around them. The wine runs on with the mineral and acidity of its hillside – a fresh tenor. It expands towards the finish, and is more complete than many years at this domaine. Drinks OK now. 12.5°. 2016-18 Dec 2007

2005 ()

dark robe; pebbly nose with restricted width – there is black berry here, a mix of smoke and tar and some mineral. Black fruit start, with a definite sense that this has been pushed in the cellar. The oak imprint is strong, there is tar on the finish. Raw, and not a terroir wine, is rigid and peppery. Too much oak. Wait till 2009 and hope it settles. 2016-18 Nov 2006

2004

soaked berry, ripe style of bouquet. Berry flavour reflects long hang time on the vine, is soaked, shows mature fruit. Rather dry towards the finish. A flash of typicity, but then dries as the tannins come through. OK - it`s only one month in bottle, but I am uneasy. Dec 2005 Previously (cask) **

2001 No Rating

(Mikael`s wine) - No Rating: prune, ripe aroma; dry flavours, intrinsic warmth. Dry, light pepper end. Stretched, balance questionable.

2001

(Michel's wine) gentle, violet and soft pepper nose; genuine flavour - violet, soft, quite interesting fruit. Sinewy, fair length.

2000

black fruit/leather/tea nose. Cooked black fruit, dark flavours, with sinew. Touch damp at end, sound length. 2012-14