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The Wines

lot of Syrah from Beaumes, plus Le Méal, Les Bessards, up to 4 week vinification, cap punching, aged casks 20% new 30-36 months, unfined, unfiltered

2015 ()

shiny, dark red; the nose is restrained, offers dried herbs with red berry fruit, raspberry, with a marked oily ripeness curving around it. It holds some crushed fruit intensity, stands up well, shows oak. The palate bears layered gras, has real certain heart, with piled up berry fruit there. The tannins involve oak and smokiness. The red fruits have dash beyond their definite depth. This is just starting out: there is the relative restraint of the middle zone in its make-up. This is good, sturdy Hermitage which will live well. It has a rather meaty sign-off, a moment of the South there. 14°. From 2022, but it will be on ****(*) if left until the mid-2020s. 2046-48 March 2019

2014

dark robe. Varnish, iodine, blueberries mingle on the nose, streaks of licorice. It’s like a newly minted coin, all juvenile. The palate emphasizes its oak on the attack, followed by a suave line of black fruits, prune fruits. It’s a Guigal Hermitage for now, more than a Hermitage Hermitage. The cloak of oak is all over it. There is a tingle of freshness within, leading to a minted, cassis fruit finale. It’s a bit raw for now. From late-2020. 2029-31 Nov 2017

2013 ()

dark red, full colour. There is an oak-influenced line of black berry fruits on the nose, a little supple richness of blackberry at its centre. The palate is cool, bears glinting black fruits with some dash in their expression. The tannins and oak probe away on the second half, with a finale of cassis, blueberry, fresh tang. This has the nerve to age soundly, and develop integration and increased richness, has a Nordic profile. From mid-2019. 2032-34 Nov 2017

2012

matt tints in its dark red robe. The nose sits quietly, has a beef note, backed by prune fruit density, a concentrated and compressed fruit. There is a residuall smokiness as its oak infuses. The palate gives an oily, fluid content with lip smacking late moments, the tannins starting to bed in properly. This has good heart, and expresses 2012’s fruit and clear lines well, with blood and iron present. The aftertaste is just on a pebbly tone. 2028-30 Nov 2017

2011 ()

dark red colour. Has a swarthy, blackberry fused nose, toffee from its oak, an air of prunes and their ripeness; this is a dark, curvy southern nature bouquet. The palate moves easily on its sweet-noted red fruits, plums, with a little late grip, a clench of mineral. It has the sunny style of 2011, isn’t a finesse wine. It finishes with a little hit of black pepper. The interior is juicy, but the alcohol is on the cusp here. 14°. 2029-31 June 2017 Previously Dec 2015 **** shiny dark red robe. Has a good, typical Hermitage bouquet, shows red meat, inner strength, wild berries, some oak-charcoal, hint of damp forest: it has good lift. The palate is wide and well packed with dark berry fruit, and live tannin that increases its length. A genuine Hermitage, with spark on its outer, one that stands with two feet firmly on the ground. The finish is dense, savoury. 13.5°. From 2017. 2030-32  Dec 2015

2010 ()

dark red robe, shiny aspect. Has a cautious, promising nose – you have to reach out for it; inside lies black berry fruit with mocha-licorice, meaty airs. It will potentially give a broad panorama. The palate is tightly woven, centres on still stiff content, and also firm tannins, the shape pretty square. There is a slight sense of the absence from this of the wine that goes into the ex-Voto, so it ends up as a three-quarter weight wine. The length is sound, with typical 2010 freshness on the close. This is moving only slowly. Decanting is a must for this. 13.5°. From 2018. 2034-36  Dec 2015  Previously Dec 2014 ***(*) dark red, slight advance at the top. Has a contained, square shaped bouquet with red berries and cooked plum at its centre, a smoky, bacon presence, nuttiness, and just a small note of mineral crispness. The palate has a stretched intensity, the red fruit on a wire at times, the acidity pushing away as it ends in an unco-ordinated manner. It needs to settle its acidity above all, but has the scope to gain flesh over time. Its tannins are a touch brittle. Oak shows on the aftertaste. Work in progress here. 13.5°. From 2018. 2032-34 Dec 2014

2009 ()

very dark, shiny robe. The nose is handsome, has sunny, oily reserves of depth, airs of black cherry that are both ripe and clear. It lingers very well, and is a good start for the wine. This runs vigorously, is good, dark wine, holds comfortable gras richness and pedigree, lissom tannins. Its bounty stokes the imagination. It goes long into a savoury sign-off. It is absporbing its oak well, and becoming STGT wine. 13.5°. 2033-36  Dec 2015

2008 ()

three-quarter depth red robe with a light rim. Airs of game, cooked and spiced red fruits such as strawberry show on the nose. It is unlike the dark openings of the 2010 and 2009. The palate achieves an agreeable juicy matter, with smoky, lightly vegetal sidelines. This drinks in open fashion now, a flavour of cooked fruits, some cinnamon. The finish is quiet but pretty round. The mid-palate content holds up well – there is no hole there, and that plays a big role in making it an enjoyable drink. 13.5°. 2025-27  Dec 2015

2007 ()

½ bottle chez Guigal: maturing red robe. The nose is also on the march: grilled pork, hay/herbs, spiced plums, also has a brioche baked bread angle. This is moving towards Pinot-styled, plump red fruit, along with soft tannins. This half bottle drinks well today. It takes on some notably spiced, crunched tannin on the finish. Its style is that of a cool vintage, hence plenty of spice and not enormous body. 13.5°. A full bottle will live until 2026-27. Dec 2015

2006 ()

the robe is still a complete red, with legs. Oak still shows on the nose, with airs of grilling, a clear aroma of red fruits, a backdrop of soaked red cherries, roses: this is building good style. The palate stands up well, bears crsip red fruit with thrust in its tannins, good fruit purity. This is breezy Hermitage, with undertones of red meat, cocoa. It is nicely intricate, aided by its acidity. Its juice lasts well – this has lovely length and prolongation. 13.5°. 2029-31  Dec 2015

2005

good, dark red; exuberant, oily aroma, its black fruits well woven, a pepper and lciorice mix. Holds a lot of sealed up richness on the palate – this is muscled, virile, has good depth and a strong, complete finish. Good, classy fruit that is clear and vintage 2005 in nature. Runs well on to a rounded finish, which combines ripeness and tannin. Will be more varied from 2013. 2026-28. “There is a blood-like depth in this,” Philippe Guigal. July 2010.

2003

full, dark plum robe with some purple present. The aroma shows the nutted overlay of the hot year, with black fruit within, a crème of blackberry. Blackberry start to the palate, with a pretty secure richness. Starts out freshly, then gains a more grainy, enclosing texture that goes beyond the tannins. Revives at the finish, and ends on a fresh black berry fruit, touch jam, note. Is a wine of four stages, I find: fresh . . clamp from the vintage, nutted . . tannins . . fresh. May well find its way to a cohesion. Can be drunk now for its vigorous, youthful fruit. Will be more ensemble through the palate from late 2010. Its tannins are a bit challenging now. 2025-28 Jan 2008 “We had frost in the spring that took out 60% of the crop; we harvested on 21 August at over 14°,” P.Guigal

2002

quite dark robe; reserved bouquet with potential - black fruits are here. Upright but sound filling on the palate. Doesn't have great body but interesting black fruit, licorice mixed flavour. Peppery, fresh finish. Bonny wine that persists unusually for the vintage. Drink from around 2008. 2015-17 Dec 2006 "We threw away 40% of the crop this year - rotted, unripe grapes," Philippe Guigal. Previously (cask) *** good, smoky, compact black fruit, dark aroma. Black fruits here, sound enouggh depth, holds together well, rolls along. Cool, tangy flavour. 2007-08 on. 2015-18

2001 ()

(cask) fresh, direct, red fruit from granite/figs aroma; open, cooked ripe red fruits. Juicy with fungal end. Can please. 2013-15

2000 ()

warm, open, quite deep nose, reflects the year. Supple start, good compact stewed fruit, stylish. Oak is in support, end tannins are rounded. Clean, polished Hermitage. 2005-06 on. 2014-17 Composed of 60 per cent crop purchase, 35 per cent Grippat crop and 5 per cent de Vallouit crop.

1997

gentle nose, smoked black fruit; starts softly, then some chewy tannins, length and licorice. Fat wine, confit texture, with some extra bite. 2011-17

1995 ()

pine, cedar, fair weight and quite open bouquet; chewy black fruits, decent middle, quite elegant. Lasts well. 2014-18

1983 ()

ruby colour; violet, floral-tinted aroma that is well sustained. Red fruits are present, and a note of fungal, mushroom. The palate has softened right out; its fruit is still clear end expressive, is nicely broad. This is one of the best Guigal Hermitages of that era. The length is pretty good, still holds some richness of southern climes. This is mature but agreeable, has handled the vintage tannins - that were robust at first – pretty well. 2016-18  March 2006