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The Wines

95% Syrah, 5% Viognier, crop from domaine harvest, plus 40+ suppliers, 25-day vinification, automatic cap punching, aged 40% new, 60% 2-year oak 228 litre casks (until 2003 85% cask-aged in 35% new, 65% young oak, 15% 15-20 year large barrels) 36 months, unfined, filtered, 250,000 b

2015

quite a dark red colour; There’s a plum-raspberry aroma on the front nose that sustains, has an oily depth, shows unusually hints of herbes de Provence [so it was a hot summer!], vegetal touches, licorice. The palate is ripe and rolling, buoyed by its free juiciness, and therefore good energy, with extended length into a suave, lip smacking close. This is overt, out there Brune et Blonde, a departure from previous decades in the 1900s. It will titillate and please, is aromatic and nicely textured. From 2021, not more, since it’s a mobile Brune et Blonde. It’s rather Rock n’Roll in style, will be drunk young, with pleasure. 13.5°. 2044-46 March 2019

2014

full robe, black centre. For a young wine, the nose has a relative freedom in showing black olives, soaked blackberries, with an expected channelling of oak and black coffee behind. It has the liberty of 2014 at its centre. The palate kicks off on mineral, immediate tang, with cool black fruits lining its tarry path. It’s an upright, slightly austere Rôtie for now, but its freshness means it will develop body and roundness as it ages. It will always have a mineral association from the vintage. The juice on the finish is trim, attractive. Bottled last week Oct 2017. From 2022. 2033-35 Nov 2017

2013 ()

dark, full colour. The bouquet has a solid, steadily rich heart, still naturally shows oak and tar from that. There are notes of soaked red cherries, griottes and blood lurking. The palate is broad, insistent as it starts, gives a full glass, bears plenty of plump content and ripe, nicely firm tannins that add depth to the late stages. It holds a well-packed gras richness. There is the rocky theme of 2013 along the palate. This is interesting wine, with coming and going likely as it evolves. From 2022. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2012

red robe. The nose presents lucid red berry fruit with a sympa drift of rose hip; it has a serene ease, is very juvenile, and typical of 2012’s gentle style. The palate is immediately tasty, bears supple content and tannins, the shape an orb rather than a rectangle, which has often been the case in the past. It’s a lighter style then in days gone by, more accessible, less inner oomph and closed zones to it. Thgis is dainty, with purity, has discreet tread length. 13.5°. 290,000 b. From 2019. 2032-33 June 2017 Previously Oct 2015 **** bright, sound red robe. The bouquet has a red berry, raspberry, plump berry and ground black pepper spread, a tapenade of black olives note from the south. This is shapely, expressive, offers admirable red berry fruit, comes with open arms, a sense of bounty in the basket. It is flourishing on its youth, has the free spirit of 2012, a charming and open vintage. There are shades of Pinot Noir present. The fruit is fine, as is the juice, and there is a small grain cluster of tannin on the finish, which is good and live, bears a note of caramel from the oak. From late 2016: it would be a pity not to enjoy its free running fruit young. This is a fun wine. 13.5°. 2027-29  Oct 2015

2011

dark red; appealing, scented airs on the nose, led by rose-hip and violet. Its red fruit aromas are on the second level. The palate is also marked by flowers, has a soft and granular nature. The length is good, and it shows the fleshy side of the vintage as it finishes. It is moving well and delivers a pretty ample flavour. A nice little spot of late tension helps to direct the close. This is open for its young age. Can be drunk now, may tighten. From spring 2016 if you prefer to wait. 2028-29 Jan 2015

2010 ()

dark red, slight lightness at the top of the robe. The bouquet is a meaty, crunchy red fruited affair, still very close-knit, has a light peppering as well. The palate has an interior vigour; on the outside it coasts along via clear red cherry fruit. Its depth lies below, like an iceberg. The longer you leave this, the more varied and compelling it will become: that is a formal announcement. The content has a savoury angle, lamb stock. The aftertaste is lip smacking, shows rosemary and dried herbs. The exit is lightly salted. Decant this, and wait until 2018. 13.5°. 2033-36  Oct 2015

2009

decent red robe, not forced. There are sweet, ripe implications in the nose, cooked plums, red berries feature; it is still primary and is reflecting its oak raising and duration in oak. There are light touch bacon and floral notes. The palate starts broadly, hasn’t yet loosened to show precise detail, is still a young mass. A careful line of acidity keeps it grainy towards the finish. There is a robust heart inside this. It is still direct, not yet rounded. 13.5°. From 2016, for instance. 2028-30  Sept 2013 Previously May 2013 **** sensible, quite full red. Restrained, smoky, spiced air with a prune-mulberry jam depth in its fruit, and a lurking elegance, a good sign. The palate shows good energy, is a wine of bright, smoky fruit with tar touches on the finish. It holds firm, still unresolved tannins, gives flashes of red fruit. 13.5°. 2030-32  May 2013

2008 ()

dark robe. Was opened yesterday. Has a gummy, compact air, the nose shows some black raisin, earthiness, has stuffing. There is a floral debut to the palate, with wire, tight tannins, a vintage darkness with the fruit still rather tense or taut. It holds a stiff gras, is not yet yielding. But it is wide, and can shake off the stiffness and the present tar. I reckon it will be 2019-22 when this will be bang there, and will surprise people. Sound length, has a back of the palate glow. “It was a supreme effort for us to achieve this,” Philippe Guigal. From 2014 for early approach. Bottled end Oct 2011. 2028-30 Dec 2011

2007

the robe is still dark. There are prune, black olives, mulled raspberries aromas with a hint of damp forest floor on the nose, which presents a thorough roundness. Ir is still clear, with glints of red fruits. The palate is well coated, Guigal style, offers soaked red cherries and prune, then moves towards Christmas box spicing and a flavour of dates. There is plenty of rich, fluid content here – it gets up close and personal. There are grunt moments of depth. 13.5°. 2027-29  Oct 2015

2006 ()

the bouquet is wide, rather live, but there is a secure couch of red berry jam also in the aroma, the fruit ripe, a bit baked. The palate starts on a supple note, , comes with violet in the flavour, a full and squeezy jam. The end tannins are live, and this has more acidity than the 2005 or the 2004. Comes in the house style – somewhat got up, and jam-like. Starting to soften. “2007 is more exuberant than 2006. 2006 was an archetypal year for Côte-Rôtie – everything wa sin its place – the fruit, tannins, balance – you can follow it faithfully from A to Z,” Philippe Guigal. 2026-28. 4% Viognier this year. July 2010

2005 ()

still full red, a touch pale at the top. Has a floral, well-filled black fruit nose of serious depth. There are oily notes with a peppery snap. It extends well, is a confident do. There are dark, tannic traces and an air of smoky Indian tea. The palate centres on direct fruit with closely attached grain tannins. It moves through that stage into a more floral, nuanced finish, then ends on the typical 2005 tightness that mingles in with aromatic notes. It has a good mineral and free run, so isn’t one of the cooked, over fat Brune et Blondes – indeed this is their classic Côte-Rôtie bang back on form, with grapes from the higher zones excluded since 2004. Has plenty of gras richness, but is still linear. It ends “up”, has great length, sustains well. Attractive, mainly masculine wine. 13.5°. 2027-29 Sept 2012, London Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) bright, quite full red robe; the bouquet is cautious, with the northern sector dominating via an iron oxide coolness, and some red fruit backing: this is promising overall. The palate`s black fruits have a lithe nature, with good vivacity and length. Has a fresh, graphite- style end. A wine with active tannins, that is demanding for now. There is a lot of late mineral in it, and black fruit pops up on the aftertaste. From mid-2011. 2024-27 “There is a massive, structured side to this, a robust nature. 2005 is more a Brune year, 2004 is more Blonde, more soft,” Philippe Guigal. Dec 2008 "We had two snow falls in January and February 2005 in Ampuis, and a night of minus 10°C and a day of minus 2°C. The vines only woke up in mid-March. There was a lot of rain in December and January." P.G.

2004 ()

quite a full, thorough red robe; red jam aroma that is harmonious and compact now; is three-quarter depth, and has a mild red fruit liqueur air. The palate fruit is inset, showing red stone fruits with even a little late toffee from its elevage – its oaking. Not a dense wine, but a compact, well-knit, well organized one. Drink from autumn 2009 so it can settle. Not one of its top vintages. 2019-20 Jan 2008 “I give this 8 to 10 years of life. It is a year of very frank wines. We started to pick 23-25 Sept, not before." Philippe Guigal.

2003 ()

solid red robe; brewed, tarry, bosky bouquet, a lardon, bacon chunk effect here, is punchy. Richly bodied palate with a ripe, suave, oily texture - is good and direct, given the heated year. Brambly fruit finale with some acidity. Good, open drinking, is nicely on the go now. More together around late 2008. 2020-22 Jan 2007 Previously Dec 2006 **** ripe, mature fruit, a little black jam in a bright bouquet. Leathery, filled attack, gains richness later on the palate, its fruit comes in a soft register, but overall the wine is solid and sustained. A late floral show. This can live. Esp 2009 on. 2022-25 Bottled 2 weeks. "We only made 40% of the usual amount this year - we picked 22-31 August after problems of frost, hail and sun-grilled grapes. I find it is a Child of its Vintage, but as it ages we are getting more local character and less the New World in the wine," Philippe Guigal

2002

(casks) black fruits, stone fruit aroma; chewy flavours, olives, quite direct style, some dry-toned fruit. 2008 on. 2015-17

2001

maturing, matt plum robe; a hint of burnt aromas on the nose, with some raspberry and a little tannic edging. Big start, comes in a brooding style, has sound juice in the mid-palate, then straightens and runs on with clean acidity. Still young. More full and beefy than some Brune et Blondes recently. Chunky, solid palate that lasts well. There is a Viognier influence on the aftertaste, not the bouquet, as it has aged. More to come. Esp 2007 on. 2020-23 Feb 2006, Stockholm

2000

confit with charm, smoky Nordic berries on fair-weighted nose; quite stylish, black flavour. Some gras, concerted berried end. Gradually opening. 2005 on. 2015-17

1999

maturing, red plum robe; as the robe indicates, there is also some second stage on the nose – raisin, smoky licorice, even tarry – an interesting do. It is not floral, and the oak raising plays a part in its nature. With air, it becomes earthy, with some violet, so the flowers need coaxing out. The palate starts with black fruit that has some scent present; the fruit is under the parapet, and the wine runs on a tannin/oak ageing theme now. Ends on rather charcoal note. It is mid-north zone in its sturdiness, but there is a little softness on the finish – a gleam of the future there. 2019-22 April 2008 Previously **** chocolatey, cedar full bouquet, still closed; nicely rooted berries - raspberry, bilberry; runs on well, promises long life. Core of the appellation in taste. Nice length. 2018-21

1998

overt, spiced bouquet, smoky dark jam; well-packed flavour, sustained red fruits, quite solid. Good weight. Back to the 1980s levels. Chewy finale. From 2005-06. 2013-15

1997

quite warm, confit aroma, pepper hints; straight, easy to drink, lacks core. Light tannins, rather dry end. 2007-08

1996

pale strawberry fruit aroma, also fungal, slight licorice; red berry garden fruit, white pepper end. Fine, no great body. Just OK still. 2007

1995

fairly weighted bouquet, closed for now; red fruits, berries all tightly packed. Discreet depth here, tannins are OK. Power on finish, quite a lot in here. 2011-14

1994

some advance, leaf/dank/dark sweet tea aromas, OK; soupy attack, broad, quite sweet. Some tannin. Bit clumsy, lacks cut. 2007-08.

1993 No Rating

light, soft nose, some vegetal; soft, lacks dimension, tense

1992 No Rating

round aroma; early fruit, then hot and fades. Drink up.

1991

typical, floral edged bouquet, some cooked fruit within. Soft, appealing attack, sound depth under. Stops a little. Accessible. 2003-05

1990

lovely softness in its floral appeal on the nose which comes with a classic, lightly stewed backdrop – the bouquet is delicate, but sustains well. Air adds some raspberry fruit and definition, a rose-hip note also. The palate bears scented, plum fruit, is round and neatly prolonged. It offers a good equilibrium, then comes a kick from its ripe origins on the finish. The length is good, and it has a brewed, earthy finale. It sweetens up as it airs, develops a slightly heavy tone, which can happen with Guigal wines. 2017-19 Nov 2005, New York

1989

colour getting bricked; sappy, fungal nose, violets also. Very good depth, appealingly sweet. Bits of tannin still, length OK. Like the 1976 in its obvious warmth. 2007-09

1973

titled Côtes Brune et Blonde: has a good cork, extracted with only a sliver at the bottom being loose. The bouquet is still very much alive and well: there is some roasting and damp forest above a slightly floral, liqueur plum air, all together and delivered with freshness and snap. Quite remarkable. The palate gives a fine line of red berry fruit with noticeable smoky charge around it, along the sides. It ends on a bosky-menthol clarity, clean as a whistle. It still has the imprint of the higher than average acidity of the year. A small spot of tasty gras surfaces just before the mountain stream clarity of the finish. Lovely wine – what a player after 41 years. This has travelled far with me, and the grapes were harvested while I was working on the manuscript of the first book on the Rhône. Coffee and plum fruit gras richness appears after one hour – it has expanded on the second half of the palate. It still has some southern depth and rush of glow as it ends. It is delicious with roast Sussex lamb from the marsh pastures near Rye – the lamb enhances its aromatic gras, and provokes an essence of red fruit juice. After eight hours, it is still thriving with a delicate, floral roundness, and just the first arrival of mineral, older and more cutting elements. Dec 2014