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The Wines

Syrah from Tartaras (1997, schist), Bonnivière (2001-02, white clay, some schist), Champrond (1967,1982, clay), above Cognet (late 2000s, 1 ha, schist), above Les Lésardes (late 2000s, richer soils), all just within or outside Côte-Rôtie appellation zone, min 90% destemmed, 2-week fermentation, aged 6-12-year casks 10-11 months, can be filtered, 18-20,000 b

2016

quite a dark red. Attractively rounded blackberry aroma, along with raspberry, graphite. The palate produces iron, local imprint in its red fruits that flow with purity. This is en finesse. There’s a close link between nose and palate. There is a good, late rush of pingy, clear fruit. It can expand beyond its current direct run, is an aromatic wine. “It has very, round matter, will be better in spring 2018, it is fresh, and the tannins are very round, silken,” Jean-Paul Jamet. 13°. From 2019. 2026-27 Nov 2017

2015

1) (used 228-litre cask, Les Lésardes, several plots) **** bright red. Reduction on the nose, with violets, low-key black fruit. It is waiting to happen, with variety to come. This is mini-Côte-Rôtie, floral and spiced. The close is tight, assured, backed by grainy, powdered tannins. This is very good, and interesting. 16 years 2) (used 228-litre cask, Cognet, Tartaras) **** dark red robe. Has a bold blackberry fruit aroma, grape pips, licorice, barbecue smoke. This bears varied, floral and stylish black fruit, with a free mineral close that is clear, and invites a second glass. The length is well sustained. 20 years. This is under 13°. 2033-36 Apr 2016

2014

½ bottle, bottled early Nov, one month ago: fair, bright red colour. Violets, wood smoke show in a nose that beckons well, has graceful airs of red fruits. The palate delivers tasty, crisp red fruit with a mild texture, gummy tannins. This is expressive, has a aromatic appeal, the length sound. It ends with low-key rocky tang, a touch of salt. Authentic, attractive, w.o.w. wine, suited to restaurants, bistrots. It is gentle and true. 12.3°. To 2020 Dec 2015 

2013 ()

½ bottle: red robe, light purple. Has an interesting nose that combines a salty raspberry, red berry fruit with a low note of flowers, along with a schist style tang. This spreads with promise along the palate; it picks up its red berry fruit which has fresh tingle throughout. This is a good half way house between simplicity and slight strictness of vin de pays and Côte-Rôtie. Grapey pulp and pepper appear in the late moments. This has good, naked qualities, will be expressive, and has its own intricacy. STGT wine. From 2018 – the wait will help it come together, and amplify. Bottled Sept 2014: 15,000 b this year, low. 2025-26 Apr 2015

2012

½ bottle, bottled Sept 2013: healthy, quite dark red. There is a floral weave in its sleek berry fruit aroma, soaked black cherries in the air, with wisps of gunflint and smoke, a bouquet with comfortable depth. The palate shines out its black fruit, the overall texture smooth, with a gradual build of intensity and grounding. It ends full of beans, has strong length. The close is nice and firm, smoky, on graphite. Has a good schist soil character, is very joli, really lingers. A mini-Côte-Rôtie. €12 is VALUE. 2021-23  Nov 2013

2011 ()

½ bottle, bottled Nov 2012: bright purple, violet notes in the robe. Fresh, free-wheeling fruit aroma, blackberry on wheels, light floral airs of peony and violet. The palate sets off apace, offers lucid fruit with quiet nerve in it, finishes nicely, clear-cut with a grain energy. OK to drink solo – this would be bonny with saucisson. It has discreet depth, is an on the go, good and active wine, w.o.w. A touch of late iron shows on the finish. 2019-20. “It is very charming, airborne – the 2010 is more serious. It is delicious now,” Jean-Paul Jamet.  May 2013  Previously Oct 2012 ***(*) (vat, assembled 3 weeks ago, bottling in 1 week) dark, appealing red robe; dense, lingering blackberry jam air, plenty here – a notion of bright red fruit such as redcurrant lifts it, shows smoke and animal hide as well – there is a Beasty in here. The palate is tasty, yes Sir. Lovely fruit flavour of mulberry and elder, with spice. Its tannins are couched inside, followed by a violet-blackberry takeover at the end. Very pretty wine. It is supremely w.o.w. – there is good, free juice on the finish, raspberry there and the fruit is long and spiced. It gives the sense of Syrah off more clay, damp soils than from a full, light top soil rock base – there is no graphite, being textured on roundness, and easy flow. “I am keen to charm – it is vinous, not sad,” J-P Jamet. 2019-20  Oct 2012

2010

½ bottle: decent red colour; has a spice forward, tobacco, smoke air, blackberry at its centre, is appealing and wholesome, nicely complete. It has a light touch, even if its pretty full. The palate has a perfumed, scented spine – the fruit is clear and expressive, with smoky, dust tannins inside. The floral note is never far away, is seductive. Good CHR, restaurant trade, wine – steaks and so on, off we go. Has a savoury finish, warm and round, with a few rosemary, herb touches – a southern influence, garrigue. Good juice on the finish here – a beau vin. 2022-23  Oct 2012

2009

½ bottle: quite a full red robe; smoky, woodsy, outdoors aroma that is wide – hortenberry, wild Scandinavian berries come to mind. The palate is tasty from the start, has a real fruit pastille core, is rich and giving. All hands are on deck, nothing is hidden. It conveys a slight late smoke, graphite mineral inflexion, sobering up after its first flush, becomes precise. Jolly and joli. The fruit lingers well, is an above status Côtes du Rhône. Bottled Sept 2010. 12,000 b this year. 2019-21 Nov 2010

2008 ()

mild red colour, not especially bright. Spice, chorizo sausage aroma, the nose being reserved for now. Interesting mix of pure mineral and pockets of mild red jam gras on the palate, a wine that spreads its length well. Has a fine, rather savoury plum fruit ending. Provides lovely drinking, real grape essence, no cosmetics, no Avon ladies. Bottled Nov 2009, longer raising than usual, “to polish up the strict side of the vintage”. 10,000 b this year. 2018-19 Nov 2010

2007 ()

(half bottle) nice full robe; interesting bouquet – combines the snap of iron oxide, licorice and floral qualities. The palate gives cooked, smoky black fruits, an intense blackberry – this is a good, fresh strike of fruit with a trim of light violet as it goes. It eases towards the finish after an upright, determined start. Peppermint, fresh finale. There is good fruit at its heart. This can evolve – it is well structured. A wine of character. 12.8°. To 2018-20, yes, that long. Dec 2008

2006 ()

(half bottle) steady red robe; black jam and licorice mix on the nose, some damp leaf influence, a little brioche and honey. The palate has a ripe, fruit compote, prune flavour which is soft at heart. The final quarter shows tannins, ripe ones, that add character and pleasure. The finale is clear, scented, a touch of violet in it. This is doing well, is a true wine, STGT, and very true to its vintage. €10, go for it. Decant this. 2018-19 Dec 2008

2005

(half bottle) chocolate, quite a square aroma. Assertive black fruits with tar on the palate, has a chunky shape, with later on a suave, softer texture. Plenty here for a Côtes du Rhône: this is work in progress still. There is good, live fruit all through it. A serious wine, with good life ahead of it. Filtered this year. 2015-17 “It is dense, tight-knit, but has good aromatic expression,” Jean_Paul Jamet. €8.50 export. June 2007

2002

(cask) broad aroma, good lithe fruit, clear-cut, some liquorice end. Till 2007 or so

1998

gentle ruby robe, with tiling at the top, a true colour for its age. The bouquet is serene, presents floral harmony with plum fruit; it shows Pinote signs, and is extremely graceful. The palate issues a soft harmony and gras; plum-spice-cedar feature, with darkness in the tannins, assertion from them. It ends on citrus notes. This is very well balanced, is a rocking wine. I thought it was Côte-Rôtie; Jean-Paul served it blind, the naughty man. 12.5°. 2023-24 Oct 2016