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The Wines

Syrah (1990) from 1.4 hectare on granite soils on Les Rivoires at Chavanay, hand harvested, light crush, half destemmed, 20-24 day steel vat vinification, pumping overs, cap punchings, aged 15% new, 85% used 228-litre oak casks 18 months (since 2008 reduced from 24 months), unfined, unfiltered, first wine 1998, “drink with red meat, game”, 7,000-7,500 b

2019

(casks) purple-black colour; the bouquet assembles sweet and appealing Morello cherry fruit, with a nod towards liqueur. The palate strokes its way along, furnished with suave content, well judged ripe tannins, all very savoury. It’s elegant, restrained St Jo, gives the slight impression that the new owners are feeling their way via a tired vineyard and a safe vinification. It will be ready soon, the balance correct. The fruit quality is good. 14°. 7,500 b. From mid-late 2021. 2028-29 Dec 2020

2010 ()

(casks) dark, oily, shiny robe. Compact , mineral-linked air, centred on black fruit with a touch of truffle and earthiness under it, also pepper and cocoa. The roll of black fruit on the palate has a crisp side, and a good, firm line of tannin as its spine. It ends on tar, licorice tannin – firmly. Good structure here. From spring 2013; the finish will be softer around 2015-16.  2019-20  Nov 2011

2009

(casks) matt robe, quite dark red. Brewed, gummy black fruits nose that is wide and not closely definable – resembles ripe, mulled raspberry maybe. The palate carries gummy, reductive black fruit – a wine that coats the palate, has a solid presence, especially after half way, ending fully. The fruit isn't live, but has a ripe potential. Decant this. Smoky bacon aftertaste. Food such as lamb ideal. From 2012 spring. €19 at the cellar. 2019-20 Nov 2010

2007 ()

(casks) bright, quite dark robe; a black jam aroma has a soft layering; this has a supple blackberry air, while oak circles it on the outside. The palate holds a black jam flavour laced with a little mint and violet taste. It ends on the tar of its oak for now. Patience best for this overtly oaked St Jo – it can fuse, so leave until mid-2010. 2014-16 March 2009

2006

(casks) black in the red robe; slightly edgy nose – varnish, “polished” black cherry in a modern, me-too style – nuts and oak in behind – there are questions to answer here. Cellar-provoked intensity in the black fruits on the palate – the fruit empties out early, and leaves a dry, oaked finish. It is taut, and unless the oak integrates, it will be a shifty so and so. Excess oak at the heart of the matter here. Try in mid-2009, and cross fingers on its behalf. 2014-15 Dec 2007

2005 ()

very dark; black fruit carries a mineral tang from its oak, the fruit has been picked notably ripe. Black berry fruit on palate, with good continuity. Well-structured wine, the tannins are ripe and arrive on time. Mineral towards the finish. Good flow in this, has a nice local feel. Esp 2008 on. STGT wine. 2014-16 Nov 2006

2003 ()

full robe. full, also peppery nose. Palate has plenty of black fruit with a sweet side, is full and tasty. Good length. Beau vin in the traditional mould, tannins are ripe. Esp late 2006 on. 2011-12 March 2005

2002 ()

some density on the bouquet, is well-knit. Brewed fruit that gains some bite on the finish, shows a coffee style tightening. Some warmth here. Esp 2006 on. Is a little out of balance, but drinks OK. 2009-10 March 2005 Previously (cask) cooked fruit, mid-weight nose; plum fruit flavour, decent amount, fair length. 9-10 yr wine.

2001 ()

(cask) southern, garrigue, olive/nuts nose; sustained black flavour, strong/upright. OK tannins. 2008 on. 2014-15

2000

scented strawberry, elegant aroma; reserved, elegant jam flavour, pretty. From 2006. Bit dry end. 2011-13