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The Wines

97% 1979 Syrah, 3% Viognier, from 0.4 ha on site of that name, 3-week vinification, submerged cap, cap punching, aged new 600-litre (before 2014 228-litre casks) oak casks 35-39 months, unfined, first wine 1997, “it’s not my most spectacular vineyard since it’s not that steep; it can be worked mechanically, but the vines are too narrow for my caterpillar, so it has been worked by horse since around 2010”, 1,200-1,800 b

2019

(cask) very dark red; the nose accumulates depth in precise layers, isn’t a mass of ripeness, gives hints of black olives. The palate holds great streamlined, full content, has a purring quality, serious depth, with freedom. The tannins are full, ripe, the close tarry. This is manly, firm, with graphite, lead pencil on the finish. It has stately authority, pedigree, zip, thrust. From 2028. 2055-58 Feb 2020

2018 ()

(cask, bottling 2022) dark robe. There’s blood, width in a good vibration nose, a burst of blackberries, a note of black olives. This is great – off we go! It’s bouncy, well filled, fluid, has good energy-drive, lots of life. The black fruit, cherry fruit is upbeat, as are the tannins. There’s good mineral thrust, the oak not intrusive. From 2026. 2050-52 Feb 2020

2017 ()

(cask) quite a full red; the nose is low-key, red fruit, raspberry, sweet oak, floral airs, iron smokiness. The palate is becoming more gentle on the start as it evolves, with a little intensity in the red fruit. The second half is very full of iron-crunch, has a real rocky exit. It’s naked, brooding now, wiry and muscular, cussed, needs time. From 2025. 2048-51 Feb 2020

2016

½ bottle: this was bottled early December, 2019, two months ago, and it shows. dark red. Has a slightly grilled, raspberry jam or coulis aroma, touches of smoke, crispness. The palate is unformed as yet, is a mix of sweet oak and crushed red berries, the second half a gentle powder-floral presence. This is fragrant and rocky Rôtie that finishes with squeezy gras, oak part of the squeeze. Beyond the oak, the fruit is pure, crystalline, so the promise is there for a good unfurling, with vintage respect. From 2023. 2044-46 Feb 2020 Previously Mar 2018 ****(*) (600-litre cask) dark red. Has a brooding, typical Grandes Places nose, blood and crushed red fruits, a safe width; you can almost smell the rocky soils. The palate presents a more measured stream of red fruits, bright redcurrants, cherries. There is muscle and fibre in the tannins, a good contribution from them. This has good class and authenticity, will impress. There is oak on the finish. From 2022. 2039-41 Mar 2018

2015

(cask) red robe. Has an aroma of soaked red fruits, very liqueur in style, a New World style, raspberry and red cherry. It is nowhere near Les Grandes Places, is Syrah varietal and sun wine. The palate is well charged as expected, clad in coated red cherry, blueberry fruit, cool notes, licorice. It is full throttle wine without being wild. The finish is sustained, where its degree appears. It’s an acquired taste. Only 1,200 b this year. “I underestimated the yield this year – it was a very small crop, and the harvest ended at around 16°,” Stéphane Montez. From 2022-23. 2041-43 Mar 2018

2014

(600-litre cask) quite a dark red. The bouquet is neat, with an air of oak-toast and simmered berries, soaked red cherries or griottes. The palate has a shapely form; this is a mild, gentle year, with rolling red fruit, a Pinot association, very pure fruit, quiet tannins. It is very elegant. Its length is quietly insistent, the finish lightly spiced. “Because it is a tender year, I used 600-litre oak casks – the usual 228-litre Burgundian casks would usually round the tannins more than the demi-muid size of 600-litres, but there wasn’t much tannin present in 2014.” 2032-34 Oct 2015

2013 ()

full, dark red. Reduction and mulled fruits aromas feature in a brooding nose, meat stock, peat, prune; it has a southern depth, is wide and sure. The palate rumbles on tightly ingrained mineral-red fruit insistence, with local iron in its flavour and texture, a blood aspect. It builds well into an impressive finish. Has good length, cool fruit. From 2021-22. Received 39 months of raising. Decant it. 2033-36 Mar 2018 Previously Oct 2015 ****(*) 1) (new 228-litre cask) ****(*) full, dark red. Black cherry fruit sets up the nose, which has a creamy top, good depth. The palate runs with black fruit which is clear and pristine, reaches out a long way. Its oak fits in quite well. 22 years 2) (a second new 228-litre cask) ****(*) dark robe. The nose combines violet, black cherry, oak, is deep. The palate gives crisp fruit, is meaty, comes with a full charge, runs solidly. Has a manly, square shape, is strong and long. 23 years 3) (a third new oak 228-litre oak cask, no SO2 added) ***** dark red. Cool blueberry, black chocolate, black raisin show in a firm nose. The palate runs with packed, knit black berry jam, a coated flavour and fruit. Long, sustained, very good. 24 years. “The tannins were austere at first, and the oak clashed with them. Just now they are starting to integrate,” Stéphane Montez. 2035-37 Oct 2015

2012 ()

½ bottle, bottled Aug 2015: dark red colour. The nose centres on brambly hedge fruits, cooked plum, licorice, a hint of date. There are red fruits and even a hint of peat. This is cosily well-knit, holds concentrated blackberry fruit juice within, and delivers almost herbes de Provence, spice on the late stage, rosemary, menthol, clove, laurel. 13°. “It will live well,” Stéphane Montez. From 2019. 2031-33 Oct 2015

2011 ()

(casks) dark red; the nose has an attractive concentration, confirmed depth of ripe, raspberry fruit, a note of vanilla and nut from its oak raising. The palate has good grip, right from the off – the fruit is modern, in the black cherry style, with notes of licorice, scented tea, violet. Good quality fruit, content in this stylish wine of good pedigree. It has the close-knit grain of the northern zone, and an expressive aftertaste of black fruit and enticing floral drifts. Long wine, very good. Decant this. Released Jan 2015. From 2016. 2026-28  Nov 2012

2008

full red; the nose has a spicy intensity and concentration, a fat ripeness in it, with chocolate and sweet treacle, date notes. The aroma runs across the glass. There is a big charge on the attack, wide and profound. There are oily notes, savoury, chicken stock, a darkly-fruited finish, with tannins running there. Oak is absorbing gradually. Not a terroir wine as yet. A little scented prune features. Not a whole wine as yet. From 2015. Good effort for 2008. 13°. 2025-27  Oct 2012

2006 ()

red robe, some lightness at the top. Has a big, funky nose, prune fruit with a generous sweetness, damp forest and soil – it is pretty extravagant. The palate delivers toasted red fruit coulis of wild berries, with cool, menthol moments on the finish. This has much character, ends on black fruit lozenges with perfume, rose hip. I really want to drink this. The finale is rich and satisfying, with tea leaves and scenting, its oak fusing well. “A very beau September helped,” Stéphane Montez. 2025-27 Oct 2015

2005

(casks) dark robe; big and bold bouquet with a square jaw – has a rich interior, reflects menthol and some damp woods (sous bois). A wine of extraction, but successfully done – is punchy and virile. Serves up a sustained, red berry fruit with an oily, lush texture, runs in a gourmand lane. Chocolate on the finish – so big is this. Full by design, a “let’s go, lads” wine. Raspberry fruit break out on the aftertaste. From 2010. 2021-24 Nov 2006

2004

full robe, very dark. Cocoa, brewed raspberry, evolving air, with discreet scenting above its intrinsic richness – drifts of violet, the boudoir. The first stage of the palate’s life is just over; now it’s down to business – so it has a grounding, firm flavour, a really good stretch of dark, grilled notes that ends in charcoal-tar, black raisin. The main fruit flavour is spiced plum. It still shows oak through it, and offers garrigue, rosemary herbs late on. This has force in its veins. 13°. 2026-28  Oct 2012  Previously June 2008 ***(*) quite a sustained red robe; violet or peony flowers aroma leads the nose, while there are black fruits here, too – as it ages it is just showing signs of secondary, more damp aromas. The palate is at a crossroads – there is still youth, but the first indication of game and earthiness has come in, before a clear ending and persistent tone of black fruits. There is decent spring, life on the finish. It is about to show well. Esp mid-2009 onwards. 2018. Bottled Sept 2007 June 2008 Previously April 2006 (casks) ** dark robe. Firm, backward, chocolate, grilled and international aroma, brewed black fruits. Dense, not easily definable flavour. A lot of oak walls here, no local imprint. Leave till 2008/09 - I hope it will taste well then - there is some richness within. Bitter, burnt now - leave alone. 2014-17 April 2006

2003

(cask) pretty, floral-edged bouquet, will amplify. Stylish fruit on palate, lot of broad matter then a tannic thrust. Good structure, chewy finale. esp 2009-10 on. 2018-20

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001

(cask) quite earthy, berried/mint nose; some rich early fruit, nicely full. Has gras, ends drily. Can come together. 2014-17

2000 ()

(cask) ripe black fruit, overt oak; dark-tasting wine, subdued fruit, some raspberry. Quite tight. Licorice, then violets aftertaste. From 2006-07. To 2011-13

1997

floral notes on bouquet, a lot of prune, is pretty. Bouncy, live fruit on palate, tannins just a little dry. Broad enough through the palate, sympathique wine. 2012 March 2005