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The Wines

85-95% Syrah, 5-15% Viognier, young vines, from mainly rented vineyards on Le Combard (Ampuis, late 1990s) is 80% Blonde, 20% Brune/St Cyr wine (until 2005 was Montmain (1989), Les Bercheries (Tupin, 1998), Bons-Arrêts (Tupin, 2005-08), 75% destemmed, 3-week vinification, cap punching, aged new oak 580-litre casks 19-24 months, unfined, has risen from 5-6,000 b to 11,000 b

2019

(new 580-litre cask, from Combard) dark robe; has a ripe, curvy, inviting nose, red fruits, licorice. The palate gives crisp red cherry fruit, sweet undertones, lots of near eau de vie depth, iron on the aftertaste. There’s plenty here. It’s backward, firm. 28-30 years Feb 2020

2018

(casks) dark red; has a curved, slightly sweet air, raspberry on a ripe-liqueur trail, a hint of black cherry, red berries, a little rocky snap. The palate is compact on debut, has style, plump notes, good swell moments, sun generosity, munchy tannins. There’s a hover of fragrance, pot-pourri dried flowers – it’s dark and fragrant, has solid quality. It’s pretty genuine, up tempo, modern, gives iron threads, nerve on the aftertaste, good terroir, lead pencil. The oak is firm at the end, and from 2024-25 it will be further inside the wine. 2042-44 Feb 2020

2017

dark red robe; the nose is settling down, centres on raspberry fruit with a touch of dried herbs, bacon fat. It’s a little reserved, sudden for now, but has potential to blossom. The palate projects a firm agenda, is closely packed from the warmth of the summer, hasn’t yet picked up the Rôtie nuances, and detail. It’s a compact affair with only a little quite thick juice released as it goes along, the finish seeing that juice clenched between rocky sides. The oaking shows on the aftertaste, thickening a little. It’s a structured, upright Rôtie that demands patience – drink from 2025 or so. 2043-45 Feb 2020

2016

(cask) bright red. The nose has a smoky top, is elegant beyond that, offers floral-rose airs, drifts of red berry jelly, raspberry, soaked red cherries. The palate is clear and decisive, stripped back, with iron and its mineral influence from the mid-point. It lengthens with an increase in richness. This is moderniste, crystalline Côte-Rôtie that can assemble and expand, in a Burgundian vein. From 2021. 2037-39 Mar 2018

2015

dark red. Has a pretty classic Côte-Rôtie bouquet - strawberry, red berries, with neat, floral-rose notes within; it’s nice and juvenile. The palate gives a scented tick tock of red fruits with musky sidelines, and gummy tannins that add a layer or two towards the finish. There is a raspberry flavour with some late crunch, vegetal. This holds an in-built sweetness from the vintage. Mineral is out on its own on the finale. “There are 25% of the stems included to restrain it; I leave them at the bottom of the vat, also, which helps to temper the degree,” Stéphane Montez. 13°. 11,000 b. From 2021. 2035-37 Mar 2018

2014 ()

(casks) dark red. Pine and oak show on the outer nose, stewed fruits within, mulled red berry, a note of hay and herbs. There is also a rocky tang, lead pencil presence. This is tight, but fluid fruit lies at its centre. It finishes on oak-charcoal, and is a searching wine for now. There is fine, aromatic red fruit at its heart. 13°. From 2019. 2028-29  Oct 2015

2013

dark red. The nose gives an aroma of mulled red berries, sweet pastille notes. It persists steadily, will vary and flourish. The attack is supple, squeezy, has a good red berry density which pushes a good, long way. There are gummy tannins at the end, with a chink of rocky clarity. Plenty of wine here. It is structured to live, especially given its rocky, very typical 2013 finale. The finish is red fruited, cool. 13°. 2029-31  Oct 2015

2012 ()

full robe; the bouquet is curvy, rounded, pretty broad and open – it gives airs of simmered black berries, traces of damp woods, raspberry jam, a fine violet, and dried herbs such as thyme. The palate leads on red berry, raspberry fruit with a tender debut, then – wham – in come the tannins, with a little juice in them. This is set to open and flower. The finale is aromatic. The palate is rather pacy, running directly at first, with fine juice within, which ticks over. It gives Côte-Rôtie fragrance on the aftertaste. 13°. 2025-27  Oct 2015

2011 ()

(casks) quite dark red; the nose is supple and aromatic, led by soaked black cherries, with violet across it, a snap of licorice – the bouquet is scented and airborne. The palate is perfumed, holds suave, gentle fruit, has a fleshy nature and a good run of blackberry flavour, damson plums and licorice. Its oak is fitting in well for now, giving it a late burst of tar. It is set to do well, in a moderated, feminine style. Has good length. From mid-2014. 6% Viognier this year. 2024-26  Nov 2012

2010

red robe, three-quarter depth. The nose combines red fruit and a red meat droplets note, shows its ripeness, and has a cocoa, low-key floral and iris, treacle sponge air. It is good and wide, with a wee mineral liberty present. The palate is wavy, has layers of red fruits that are tasty and prolonged. The gras richness performs very well, is really well installed. Young wine that ends on nutty, drier tones. Combines depth and style. It draws together tightly on the finish, is real long-lived wine in the making. This will be great at 10-15 years’ old, for instance. It concentrates on the finish, is dark there, with black raisin, spice snap and oak in the mix. 13°. From 2016-17. 2030-32  Oct 2012

2009 ()

dark red, darker than the 2010. The nose is moving into shape – a spiced red jam air with some dark depth about it, is a muscular bouquet that has a low-level tinkle of graphite in it. The palate is led by red berry, is a typical Côte-Rôtie on the debut, is more traditional than sleek, and is nice and genuine. The elements fit well, with tannins in control at the end. Has a real sense of purpose, a thorough red fruits taste, with some scenting on the second half. 13°. 2027-29  Oct 2012

2006 ()

mid+ red robe; soft, scented plum aroma with some confectionary sweetness. The palate is squeezy, has pliant red fruit with sweetness in it, before the oak tightens it up. I would prefer less severe oaking, then it would be more openly enjoyable – and its roundness could be captured all through. The length is OK. The red cherry fruit hangs around quite well at the end. Esp from spring 2009 onwards. 2016-17 June 2008

2005

full, quite dark red; the nose is well-set, compact and full – there is a tight packing of berries in it. The palate black fruits have a muscular nature, and energy from half way; its terroir is crisp to the end, this has nice cut. Good wine with real flow, and the oak doesn`t stick out. It holds, sustains very well through the palate. “It has always been generous,” Stéphane Montez. Great fruit and good, live character to this. 2017-19 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **** (casks) full, ripe nose with a rounded, jam air and some game/gibier in the back – suave and promises future charm. Red fruits on the palate with tannic trimming – has a rather cellar-worked nature, so it`s not easy to capture its sense of place. Ripe, raspberry fruit towards the finish. Soaked, but quite generous wine. Not very punchy, but charm in the making. Oak fringes on the finish. 2009 on. 2019-21 Nov 2006

2004

(casks) nose reveals brewed fruit with delicate floral top note, oak traces - is promising. Pretty fruit start on palate, hedge berries. Has nerve and sinew, and local character. Bit tarry, sharp on end, is taut at this early stage. Decent future ahead, is loosely constructed at present. Esp 2008 on. 2014-17 April 2006

2003 ()

(cask) oily, almost pure southern bouquet, olives and flowers mixed. Round, rich, soaked fruits, has plenty of gras; warmly textured. Likeable floral underlay, tasty, ripe tannins. Esp 2007 on. 2014-15

2002 ()

prolonged, prune, black fruit aroma, fairly elegant. Mineral-edged wine, black fruits, violets with an earthy, almost truffled presence. Shows acidity, but can settle. Promising. 2007 on. 2013-15.

1999 ()

red robe; there is a soft air of violet on the nose, which has toned down its oakiness. The aroma is broad, shows red fruits, is coming along nicely. The palate red fruits tuck in well, also express themselves rather widely. There is some stuffing, and this veers towards a degree of finesse, cooked fruit, the style of the southern sector of Côte-Rôtie. The length is fair. From 2005 for a good, open expression. 2014-17  Nov 2003