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The Wines

Syrah (1970s) 70% from Sauman, 30% from Reynard (early 1970s) until 2017, from 2017 100% from Sauman, 50-70% destemmed, pre-fermentation crop cooling 4-5 days at 10-12°C, 4-week vinification at 28°C, wild yeasts, twice daily pumping overs, 2 part vat emptying/refillings, aged 2-3-4-5 year old 400-litre oak casks (before 2010 was 228-litre oak casks) 12 months, filtered, 2,500-5,500 b

2018 ()

(casks) solid, dark robe; the nose is fulsome, comes out on ripe, mature black stone fruit, prunes notably, has the vintage roundness, and a floral touch drifting above. The palate continues the ripe theme, holds blue fruits that engage well, with good cushions of content, easy, ripe tannins buried within. There is a Cornas hint of iron on the extended close, a little smoked cut there. It’s a 2018 in style – the sun, the generosity – but is well put together, not overdone. 13.5°. 5,330 b. €32. From 2022-23. 2041-43 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) dark robe. The nose is plush, sweet, perfumed, has a little volatility, shows blackberry coulis, mulled black berries. The palate is fleshy, supple, obvious, holds dark berry fruits with a note of rose petal. It’s a bit limited in scope, could carry greater structure and freshness, but does keep going. It caters to the wider audience. The tannins are mild. From mid-2019. 2029-31 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(casks) sober dark red. The nose has airs of brandy cake, mocha, crushed blackberries, a sweet tenor to it. The palate gives a suave and supple delivery of gras richness, with a perfumed leaning along the second half. I find a little Volatile Acidity. The finish is spiced - cloves with an orange zest there. This has a quiet make-up, a steady, unshowy delivery with some granite grip on the slightly dry closing stages. The tannins are a tad bumpy. I reckon it will be better after bottling: this sample is raw. It’s a traditional wine, marked on its future, of course. 13°. From mid-2019. 2028-29 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) shiny black-tinted robe. The nose is comfortably deep, centred on cassis and blackberry fruit, some lozenge style ripeness on display. The palate is tasty, generous – the gras has a most juicy quality, and the tannins fit like a glove. This will be a real, genuine pleaser. It ends on some dainty raspberry fruit. It’s very long, well balanced, an impressive wine. 13.5°. 4,000 b. €16. From 2019. 2031-33 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) dark robe. The bouquet has a cosy, rounded quality, the mulled fruits on the way to liqueur, combining raspberry and a ripe, crushed mulberry. The palate is most enjoyable, with tasty red berry fruit on the go, and some bright tannins adding to its lift and late crunch. It is sunny wine with plenty of entertaining fruit. Good for restaurants. 13°. 2,500 b. €25 at the cellars. From spring 2017. 2025-26  Oct 2015 

2013

(casks) dark, magenta colour. Has a cosy, floral-inspired, aromatic nose that also gives a little high tone: it is very much centred on pot pourri, dried flowers airs hovering above blackberry fruit, and is rather tender overall. The palate also shows a little acetate; the cassis fruit runs freely and loosely, and trim tannins are in place on the finish with a nudge of licorice there. It leaves the palate fresh, has just enough substance – this glides rather than stakes out the territory. Modern style, earlier drinking Cornas. From spring 2016. €25 at the cellars. 2021-22  Jan 2015

2012 ()

shiny, dark robe. Sweet cassis, jelly fruit style air, a slight off beam note about it, some basil and roasting in the bouquet as well. The palate proffers a flavour of elder and cassis or blackcurrant, easy fruiting; there’s a light grain gain and pick-up towards the finish. Its acidity isn’t wholly convincing; the fruit moves around, and it’s a bit wild. Time will help. 12.5°. From mid-2015. 2022-23 Nov 2013

2011

rather dark red. Rounded aroma that reflects chicken stock, earthiness, raspberry fruit at its centre, a note of black raisin, licorice and crushed rocks. This is genuine, rather fleshy Cornas, has the politeness of the southern zone (tasted blind), has aromatic, gummy tannins, and is wide enough to hold the palate well. Traditional in the good sense. The fruit is tasty. Nearly ready, STGT wine. From 2014. 2020-22  Nov 2012  Previously Nov 2011 *** (casks, malo completed) plum colour, quite dark. Creamy, round ed softness on the nose that has a supple curve, the red berry fruit comes forward, is open, and has a spot of vanilla showing through as well. The palate is already easy to drink, its roundness is taking. There are light violet touches. All very ensemble and soft, a w.o.w. wine in style, not exaggerated at all. Balance is good, facile drinking here. 13.2°. To 2016-17 Nov 2011

2010 No Rating

(casks, 2 samples) thorough, dark robe; has a high, rather feral air and TCA. 2nd bottle: similar nose, palate has more oiliness and shows a rustic, old oak manner, Brett across the dry final stages. Nov 2011

2009

dark robe, legs down the glass. Oily, nutty aroma of depth and potential. It is quite square-on for now, has black berry fruit present, but isn't showy for now. There are meaty, roast lamb aspects in the bouquet. The palate has ever-present tannic coating around it, a pretty rich heart. It is rather stretched on the finish, the fruit under pressure there. From spring 2012. 2023-25 Nov 2010

2008

different quality bottles here, one is *** bright, quite full red; oaked, alert black cherry, licorice aroma, modern sleekness, is a bit grilled. Free-going black cherry fruit , a wine of some cohesion, and clear snap, the oak controlling the later stages. From late 2011. Can be drunk early. Decent length, fruit re-emerges. 13°. 2016-17 Dec 2009 The other, tasted at the Market of Cornas is ** red robe. The nose is hidden due to its bottling two weeks ago. There is a fine point of red fruit discernible. The granite restraint lies on the palate red fruit, has wire in it. The red fruit eases towards the finish, the whole is upright in shape. The second half becomes more thin than I would like. Limited horizon wine – a bit more from late 2010. 2015-16 Dec 2009

2007

full red, some black hues. The bouquet is reserved, offers a hint of black fruits – it is a tight operator for now, has a touch of the damp woods and game about it. The palate flavour is black jam with the freedom to keep moving – there is a steady richness, an olive tinge in the taste. It ends on black fruits. The length is decent. It is robust for now, and was bottled only three weeks ago. It can open and expand. Nae bad wine, this. From 2010. 2017-18 Dec 2008