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The Wines

Syrah (1971-72), purchased crop from 0.8 hectare on Les Vercandières, west end, bottom of hill, destemmed, 21-25 day vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 3-year old 228-litre oak casks 24 months, unfined, filtered, heavy bottle, 2,500-3,500 b


(casks) dark, black-tinted robe. The bouquet is inky, holds very dark small berry fruits with oak-vanilla and coffee beans airs thrusting forward. The palate has a cool, mineral glint, a good, “sparkling” quality derived from its freshness, perhaps some carbonic gas, and granite tension. This has iron in its soul, is an interesting, highly stylish and intricate wine that will unfurl gradually, carrying multiple nuances. There is real granite ping on the close, a spearmint style clack of freshness. From 2020. 2035-39 Oct 2016

2012 ()

dark, full robe. The nose gives menthol, toasted oak, blueberry, licorice – it is young but is settling into its stride. The palate sweeps along offering a cherry flavour and a suave texture, has plump filling, is all pretty serene. Texture plays a role here. It is compact wine, with gradual unfurling to come. There are coffee-oak elements on the finish. 14°. Bottled 11 Feb 2015. 3,500 b. 2026-27  Dec 2015

2011 ()

dark robe. The bouquet gives an aroma resembling syrup of blackberries, blueberries, licorice also. The nose is well rounded, has some reduction. The palate holds squeezy black berry fruit with a little lift and cut in the tannins. It is coated, quite full, has some animal in it, so decanting a help. It ends on oak charcoal. It is a safe Hermitage, without the grandeur of the best West end sites or climats. It is thicker than the 2012, and reaches out well. 14°. 2025-26  Dec 2015


dark, full robe. Has a nicely brooding nose, with reserves in it, attractive roundness, elegant black berry, an oily intensity. There are also dabs of primrose and flowers, a little damp soil. This is svelte and round on the palate, is authentic Hermitage, has generous tannins and plump, meridional gras richness, with graceful, genuine Syrah at its heart, carrying well to the finish. The flavour centres on cooked plums. It is lightly fresh on the close. 14°. 2027-28  Dec 2015


healthy dark red robe; has a pebbly-meaty aroma that is solid, masculine and reticent, shows some blackberry. The palate is similar – close-knit, holds good dark fruit and comes with light leather and herbal sources, fruit jam, smoke and a little oak. It is elegant within its solid make-up. It is an unusual wine since it has a westerly pedigree (west side of the appellation) and tastes like a cross between Varogne and Bessards almost. Marc Sorrel has a plot here. Decant this. From 2014. 14°3, 3.75 pH. 2024-26 “It was a lot more austere at the start of the fermentation, unlike my Crozes from les Chassis, which shows immediate fruit,” Gilles Robin. Feb 2012