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The Wines

93% Syrah, 7% Viognier, from 1 hectare Côte Brune (1980) which takes in rising & setting sun, 3-5 week vinification, twice daily cap punching, aged new 228-litre oak casks 42 months, 5,000 b, first wine 1985

2014

(cask, recently racked) dark red. There are caramel, sweet notes in a very young nose, gives some brandy cake, pulp of berry aromas. The palate holds smoky black cherry fruit with crisp tannins nudging it along. The presence of smoky bacon and melted chocolate in the flavour indicate it is in thrall to its oak raising. This can do quite well – the length is good. It has a steely inner, and more foundation than the 2014 Mouline. From 2020-21. 2034-38  Dec 2015

2013 ()

shiny, dark plum red colour. Has a smoky-graphite aroma, licorice, is clear-cut, fuelled with raspberry, damson plum fruit. The palate links well to the nose, holds some pliant gras richness with borders of smoky tannin, the thickish skins of the year. It’s concentrated, away from the modern zeitgeist of fat, facile wines, immediate delivery. It needs time to fuse – another eight years. The length is very secure, is more en route today than the more spartan Mouline 2013. 13.5°. From 2027 for that fusion. Deacant it. 2050-52 March 2019 Previously June 2017 ****(*) shiny, full red robe. The nose mixes up smoke, black olives, sweet herbs, rosemary, has an intense core of black cherry with implicit oaking. The palate links well to the nose, comes with nimble black fruits, notably blueberry, good and established freshness, and lengthens well. It is showing as an ensemble already, may well close down. A note of lozenges, more ample content, comes through after the mid-point. The balance is good, and this has quiet complexity. Decanting required. 13.5°. 93% Syr, 7% Vio. From 2021. 2045-47 June 2017 Previously Dec 2015 ***** (cask, last racked three months ago) the robe is dark. Has a closely packed bouquet, pockets of lift and airborne quality in it. It persists well, and will become copious. This is close-knit, square, marked by oak. The juice is dark, greatly concentrated, dense and almost furry. Taut, tight tannins control the late moments. It is barely half a wine as yet; its force will need to settle. It is puckish, exuberant wine that can tell a compelling story. It ends freshly, with good coolness. This is playing a long game. A tiny notch ahead of Mouline 2013. From 2020. 2043-45  Dec 2015

2012

(cask, last racked eight months ago) full, dark red robe. Has a blackberry, plumply fruited bouquet, a pile of layered aromas that are nicely knit with cold tea, crushed fruits. It is more obvious than the nose of the Mouline 2012. This has an expressive opening, carries a juicy abundance, goes into fruit pastille ripeness in its late stages. It is more bountiful than the quiet 2011; I like its free wheeling approach. It is very long. From 2019. 2033-37 Dec 2015

2011 ()

dark plum red robe. The nose gives brewed airs, charcoal, pum and prune, a note of coffee and cocoa. The youth of the wine means it is playing few cards now, has a pretty ripe black fruit content, its tannins largely within. It travels directly, freshly, leaves a cool menthol exit. It has a rather Bordeaux-esque shape for now. The finish displays a small curl of sweetness, toffee, from the oak. It isn’t very expressive, and has a bit less class than the Mouline and Landonne 2011s. Decant it. From 2019. 2033-36  Dec 2015 Previously May 2013 ***** (cask, racked 19 March 2013, five days ago) healthy three-quarter depth red. Crushed cherry, soaked cherries aroma, with a light air of herbs and a note of meat. There are oak touches inside the bouquet. This has a solid, calm structure; the attack builds slowly, has nerve, and the cherry fruit persists inside its oaking. Shows tension on the finish. An unresolved wine that has fresh, steady length, the fruit coming in and out of it. It is less obvious than the Mouline 2011. “It has a force tranquille, which happens to be the 1981 François Mitterand campaign slogan, and is a Brune with Blonde notes,” Philippe Guigal. From 2019. 2035-37  May 2013

2010

(cask) very dark; the bouquet is more masculine than that of La Mouline, offers subtle, hidden corners of blackberry and mulberry fruit, minor airs of bacon, and also noted floral, violet airs. The palate starts out very smoothly, runs with superb consistency and a feather-like length – there is never one small moment of pause, it is all very lissom. Its acidity is very fine, the finish harmonious. The tannins are well built in to its fleshy content. The aftertaste shows the firm grip of the tannins. “Today the nose is almost more charming than the Mouline`s – it certainly has tannin, though...” Philippe Guigal. I rate it a dash of a point ahead of La Mouline. 2038-40 Dec 2011

2009

(cask) dark red; the nose shows a suave, silky oiliness beyond its oak – the prime aroma is dark berries, blackberry mostly. This is very typical La Turque on the palate – it is very fine, is a delightful ensemble, with great balance. The nose and the palate link very well, the tannin are finely sculpted, and there is a gentle gain in the concentration of the fruit. Notes of Indian tea and spice feature on the finish. “Everything is right in its place – tannins, silkiness, richness,” Philippe Guigal. 2041-43 Dec 2011

2008

dark plum red colour. Has an aroma of sweet spices, is round and warm, with keen raspberry fruit, sweet flowers, old fashioned, multi petal roses. It has a crackling quality and good purity. The palate gives a stream of lithe content, red fruits with an acidulé [live, cutting] style. This is loose, cool Turque, presents a spot of gras before the finish. It isn’t fully connected all along the palate, but is charming, and I note that air brings it together. The close is soft, on a quiet harmony, the sign-off fresh. “It’s still young,” Marcel Guigal. It’s very good with a veal T Bone with cèpes mushrooms and green beans, Provençal tomatoes. 2030-32 Nov 2017

2007 ()

the robe is still quite a dark red, full in style. The bouquet has inner intensity, led by brambly berries, smoke from oak. It is juvenile, and appealing on that score. The palate gives a fluid run of en finesse red fruit with oak close by, inset along its sides. This has scope, and the body to handle the oak. It is joli vin, will please with its floral notes and fine juice. 13.5°. 2034-36  Nov 2015 Previously May 2011 ****(*) its red robe is a bit more full than that of La Mouline 2007 – it is shiny and handsome. This has an elegant red fruited aroma, is nice and decisive; it is more sharpened up than the Mouline 2007, which is younger. Smoke and heather notes feature. The palate is discreetly rich, its gras comfortably installed. Oak comes through from half way, bears a fine grain smokiness. Tender wine with fresh, dark fruit. It is more evident and persistent than the Mouline 2007. From 2015. 2031-33. Bottled Jan 2011.  May 2011 Previously Dec 2008 ***** (cask) full red; has a smoky, graphite aroma – with good, crisp red fruits within – it is intense, and there is a red fruit coulis depth at its heart. The palate starts in a suave manner, bearing red fruits of poise and good style; there is a lot of exuberant fruit that comes with a sweet nature. Strawberry and soaked red cherries or griottes lead the flavours. Lots of charm here. Just a touch of late heat on it. Number 2 behind La Landonne for me at the moment. From 2013-14. 2029-32 Dec 2008

2006

still a good red robe. The nose is losing some of its oak, has a floral, airborne quality with an elegantly profound red berry fruit interior, and a note of tea. This holds fine juice, red fruits such as redcurrants which are more discreet than usual, along with toasting from the oak. It isn’t an ensemble, is still finding its cohesion, and isn’t especially full on this showing. So: leave until 2018, for less oak, possibly more content. It can’t quite shake off its oaking, but the content is fine. However, the oak-content balance isn’t 100%. 13.5°. 2032-35  Nov 2015 Previously July 2010 ****(*) lively red robe that glistens well. Has a toffee, sealed aroma, a note of baked plum – transition time here as it matures, a shade of mineral freshness. The palate is supple, compact, rather waxen. Its gras spreads evenly, the length is sound, but the fruit is in the back seat for now. It delivers mint, licoirce notes late on, savoury smudges in it that are agreeable on their texture of richness. The finish is tight, dense. From 2014-15. 2030-33 May 2011 Previously July 2010 ***** full red robe; crunchy, chocolate-style aroma, black raisin present – has a full foundation, is broad and potentially classy. This has a fine texture, with plenty of interior matter, is just making its way, ends on a pebbly note. There is definite intensity in the black fruit. The oak on the finish needs 3 years to assimilate, and sticks out for now. From 2014-15, for instance. 2033-35 July 2010 Previously Dec 2008 ****** (cask) dark, bright red; has an oaked top note on the bouquet – where there is also honey and black fruits drifting across the glass, and a nutty raisin-oak aroma that only goes to show up its youth and élevage. The palate holds approachable, scented black fruits such as prune, with violet – there is a good sequence as it goes. A sympa wine that expresses late on olives and cooked plums. A pretty and typical 2006, one that is developing a savoury length. From 2014. Number 2 behind Landonne on this showing today. 2032-35 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ****** (cask) dark, bright purple robe; soaked red cherries or griottes on the nose, laced with discreet oak and sweet raisin. Red fruit, mulled cherry on the palate, with even sides of tannin that is ripe and friendly. Has a good ensemble, is a wine that will flow, in the eye of the vintage. Cherry fruit, clear but nice and rounded finale. From 2012. Due for bottling Feb 2010. The number 3 for me this year. 2032-35 Jan 2008

2005

dark red, bright robe. The bouquet is wide, with ripples of dark fruit and mineral present, flinty airs: it is extremely persistent and just starting to emerge, with other features including coffee, bacon, toffee, sandalwood, cigar. The oak effect is receding, and the vintage drought influence emerging as well. The mineral theme continues on the palate, which holds layers of black fruit with a consistent spine of crisp tannin that leaves a very clear imprint on the aftertaste. This is still a child, though. It is very poised. The fruit really travels far, suck it in and see just how long it lasts. The finale is spicy and smooth, with licorice. From 2015-16. Can live very well. 2038-41 May 2011 Previously March 2009 ****** the red robe is full, with a light mauve presence. The bouquet has a mineral top air, as in northern sector schist clarity; there is a little chocolate air across the glass and a plum fruit, smoky oak top note. The palate debut is softer than the nose, more measured; it has a good, steady interior. Pretty length which ticks over very well and extends with grace. It is a bit more on the charm than the Mouline, which is more masculine than usual. Very accomplished length, a wine that is a real laster along the palate. STGT wine, truth abides in this. From 2014. 2034-36. Bottled end Jan 2009. March 2009 Previously Dec 2008 (cask) ***** full, dark red plum robe; baked fruits bouquet that is more open than the Mouline 2005 today – there are black plums, prunes and a traverse of oak. The palate has a smooth texture and plenty of lissom heart – it runs on well, with a tang of mineral black cherry. It will close up – it`s having a night out today before reality returns to it. Interesting snap or wire in this, that follows the taut vintage profile. From 2013. Heavy rain as it is being tasted. Number 2 behind La Landonne for me at the moment, but that pesky Mouline is dossing for now. 2033-35 Dec 2008 Previously April 2006 ****** (cask) black berry, raisin, chocolate aromas - nose is compact and deep, with plenty of potential. Black fruits on palate are elegant and sustained, supported by tannins that come along bang on cue. A little mineral late on. Flavour also combines prune, with a violet, smoky finale. Good, stylish wine with live energy on the end. From 2012. 2032-27 April 2006

2004 ()

plum red robe with sign of a slight evolution. The nose is curvacaeous – gives airs of plum, crabapple fruit, is nicely rich and ripe, with pepper side notes and flinty airs that are clean-cut. The attack is mineral, cutting; its red fruit is concealed, but glimmers here and there. A structured wine that needs time. It ends on gras and confection - a slight sticky note. It is not truly together in its show and flow, is a Do Not Touch wine today that works within tight limits. The length is good. From 2015, and decant it. 2033-25 May 2011 Previously Jan 2008 ***** (cask, 7 days before bottling) red robe that is on an even keel, all together. Has a knit bouquet, with a wee air of red jam, and a little top smoke, too. There is spice in its oak, a crisp note delivered in what is a promising bouquet. Red fruit with cherry in the flavour on the palate; this weaves an interesting path, since there is sinew and grain in the red berries. Late on comes forth the oak, bringing a softened, toffee tone. There is good wine here, with pretty fruit that is more energetic than that in the Mouline 2004. Ends on an oak, clear-toned fruit. Is not there yet – no hurry. From 2012. 2031-34 Jan 2008 Previously April 2006 (cask) ***** raspberry, spice present, is a little reduced. Nicely shaped palate, has a chiselled flavour of black fruits, prune. Good and wide towards finish. Classy wine, set to vary and become more complex. Some earthiness from the reduction. Raspberry, light truffle touch towards finish. I like the energy in the middle of the wine. From 2011. 2025-2030 My preferred 2004 of the Big Three. April 2006

2003

dark robe; there are wisps of mineral, prune, ground coffee in a very solid bouquet – it shows airs of baked, hot plains and stones which are offset by the relative breeze of the mineral elements that include toasting and mint. The palate bears a lot of savoury fruit – is an affair of real depth and tasty generosity. This has great length, a wonderful roundness with the charge of the hot vintage at the end. Its freshness is striking, with poise and elegance lining up well. 2034-36 May 2011 Previously Dec 2006 ***** (cask) very dark robe; black fruits with traces of leather lie in the aroma, and the interior reflects truffles and soaked cherries. The palate holds ripe fruit with a leathery tang. It is extremely dense, the black fruit plunging towards soaked black cherries near the end. It can be suave around 2012. The finish is meaty and sustained, with flecks of oak apparent in the taste. It is a bit of a wild child still, and the Mouline is more friendly. From 2012. 2033-38 Dec 2006 Previously Dec 2004 (cask) ***** warm bouquet: closely packed berries, just before they simmer, so some freshness. Smoked black fruit, has richness but under control, broadens well. Light mint side, oak touch. Balance good, is very appealing. 2009-10 on. 2028-30. Dec 2004

2002

red-tinted robe, signs of evolution at the top. Smoky, black pepper, above all bacon notes on the nose – it is close-knit, not expansive. There are tiny notes of black olive, tapenade and some reduction, so decant it. The palate is led by a black fruit jam flavour, wuth floroal-violet connotations. It runs tightly, and ends on a restained fullness. This lacks the usual complexity, variety and mineral corners of La Turque. The length is correct. 2023-26 May 2011 Previously Jan 2007 **(*) red robe with quite a dark core. Mocha, chocolate signals on nose, an earthy backdrop - this is modest. It lacks clarity and I suggest that a racking would have helped it. Brewed black fruit with a gummy, rather reductive nature. Fair length but no real spark. Touch of end mineral. Modest wine this year. 2016-18 January 2007 Previously April 2006 (cask) **** clean cut bouquet - mineral, tea edges in the black fruits. Cool-textured black fruits on attack, damson also. Less tight-knit than the Landonne 2002. Charm can come through from around mid-2008. Well-shaped, expressive, pebbly finish, with licorice and prune flavours there. Length OK. Some tasty chocolate emerges on aftertaste. 2020-23 April 2006 Previously Dec 2004 (cask) ***(*) soaked cherries, light chocolate on a tight bouquet. Glint of mineral on attack, a pointed, directed wine from the schist. Cool, black stone fruit, licorice after. Grainy, prune finish. Length sound, clear-cut, pretty refined wine. Esp 2009 on. 2020-23 Dec 2004

2001 ()

dark hue to the robe; there is a supple abundance on the nose – the richness shows prune, near date airs. The palate is scented, fine, carries lovely fruit, is a real rocker. It is fine and gently scented, persists well on those perfumed notes. This is a shapely wine, a gentle drink, one that gives a flow and ease. It extends well, its tannins well integrated. 2023-25 May 2011 Previously (cask) **** pretty dense, floral, persistent ripe fruit/nuts nose; violets, a perfumato palate here; good berry flavour, black and squeezy. Tannins well within it, nice fresh length. 2022-24

2000

sound red robe, a note of age. The nose is still wrapped up; it bears a dark fruit aroma, smoke and leather together. Its depth is firm, has a fresh tang. The palate has an intense debut, is muscular, with a lithe, fresh spine of tannin, and a constant tobacco influence – this results in a fresh flourish on the finish. 2026-28 May 2011 Previously (cask) ***** chocolate, quite compact/charming nose, some earth/red berries. Nicely open palate, generous suave wine, good length, chocolate again, gras at end. Easy to underestimate its complexity later on. Pretty. 2021-23

1999

good level of red in the robe; the nose is intricate, immediate, breezes along really well. In its make-up figure licorice, black berries – it is a more mobile bouquet than the 1999 Mouline`s, the latter a more soaked wine. The palate has a graceful, level layer of black fruit, and does not explode as I would have thought, ending quietly. There are crisp black fruits that do not really expand on the finish. It is muscly, lithe wine whose late stages are intricate, not obvious. The fruit is like plums, nearly heading for kirsch, though it doesn't go that far, thankfully. Herbs feature on the aftertaste, a testament to the heat of the year. 2029-33 May 2011 Previously (cask) ****** core of black fruit aroma - oak/woody/leathery, heady; firm enough black fruit, lots of matter, oily with good gras. Well worked tannins, more than usual, great length/persistence. 2025-29

1998

still full robe, good red; has a profound, smoky, charcoal influenced nose that also bears mixed Provençal herbs, leather and licorice, and a dash of flinty cut. The early palate is marked by the lucidity of its fruit, which then gives way to a gamey late notion. There is a free run to this, before it groups its crisp tannins. The flow is consecutive and impressive. There is the mineral of La Turque in the wine, which is very precise and clear-cut. 2028-29 May 2011 Previously ***** tight, grilled bread nose, dark fruits; even black fruit flavour with fresh side. Bit more dark than Mouline, tannins stand out more. Lot of end gras. 2018-21

1997

quite square aroma, violets/herbs/somky heat; black fruit, strong density. Violets, then lot of oak/liquorice on a chewy end. 2016-20

1996

dark fruit, harmonious, quite full nose; lot of nicely packed flavour, good sinew. Elegant; touch oak at end. Promising. 2018-20

1995

oily, leather/cedar, charming nose; very woven black fruit, tannins come out punchy and peppery at end. More grainy texture than Mouline, good gras though. From 2007. 2020-23

1993

hedge fruits, mineral/heat on nose, with potential. Sound mid-plus weight, also grip. Mature, intense fruit plus oak mix. Stylish, has good length. 2002 on. 2011-14

1992

leather/prune heated nose, quite potent. Beguiling fruit, warm and well-surrounded. Upright edge, some final heat. Can improve, flourish. Esp 2003 on. 2011-12

1991

quite firm, peppery nose, gras within. Very refined, great style. Very long, black fruits swirl, tannins gather. Showy fruit. 2011-14

1990

rolled-up bouquet, only hints - damp autumn, violet, grilled notes. Great silkiness here. Mineral, tea bags flavouring. Finesse and appeal grow with air, are quietly there. 2010-14

1989

quite firm aromas, tight-knit, more restrained than Mouline; very thorough palate, dry tones, subdued fruit, quite upright. Good chewy, dark fruit end. 2008-11

1988

very ripe fruit aroma, spherical, cooked fruit, earthy layer; crunchy, lovely dark fruit, lasts well. Very classy, gentler edge than Landonne. Quite modern, clean fruit. 2018-22