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The Wines

30% each Bessards, Greffieux, 20% each L'Hermite, Murets, up to 4 week vinification, cap punching, aged new oak 30-36 months, unfined, unfiltered, first wine 2001, 10,000 b

2014 ()

(cask, recently racked) shiny, pretty dark red robe. The debut aroma is one of caramel, oak; there is attractive intensity of black fruit within, and sizzled bacon. It is promising. The palate is well juiced, runs with freedom, holds a lithe tannin sidecar. The content is pretty stylish, and there is healthy punch inside it. It covers the ground broadly, too. The close is fresh, and holds up well. A manly wine. From 2020. 2033-36  Dec 2015

2013

plum red colour; there’s concentrated intensity on the nose, damson plums, mulled and leaning towards jam in style. There are oak notes, smoke and road tar. It’s a chunky opening. The palate is sinewewd, muscled, with coils of content not yet fused. It gains momentum as it goes, brings in salted late moments. It’s still a little spare, in the vintage vein - there’s only a reticent release of its red fruit juice, has a rocky feel to it. It’s slightly gnarled for now. 14°. From 2022. 2042-44 March 2019 Previously June 2017 **** full red colour. Smoky bacon, liquid intensity, coulis of black fruits with a little sweetness and a low-key hum of iris flowers, rose. The attack is broadly-fronted, holds intense juice and shapely tannins. It’s still in the cellar, isn’t an ensemble, is on its raising. The gras is plump and assured. This is silken style Hermitage, not the manly style. There is definite inner concentration. The aftertaste is savoury, with oak, toffee. 14°. From 2021. 2040-42 June 2017 Previously Dec 2015 ****(*) (cask) shiny dark red, a good robe. The nose is beau, combines dried herbs, plum fruit, some smoky bacon. For now the shape is square, and needs time. It sits in its own corner for now. The palate holds grainy black fruit, with assertive tannins propelling the late moments and sitting on the outside. Its juice is concentrated. This is bulky wine, with not much finesse on parade today. From 2022. 2043-45  Dec 2015

2012

(cask) quite a dark red robe. Has a smoky, oaked first air, the fruit restricted for now; there is potential intensity in the black berries, a wee note of liqueur, sizzled hints. The attack is bold, goes swat! with its chunky shape and smoky black fruit essence. This is uptemo, pretty scaled up wine: it concentrates around a full heart, grips on the finish. This delivers Hermitage authority in the glass, washes across liberally: it is dark, chiselled wine. From 2020. 2034-37  Dec 2015

2011 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED - WINE IN CLASSIC RED HERMITAGE

2010

deep and dark robe. Here we go: this is a rocking, full, true Hermitage bouquet, an abundance of closely packed berries in the aroma, soaked cherries and a small line of menthol, tobacco. The palate runs with liberal fruit, that is so very long. This has the joy of the great vintage in expressive quantity, the fruit boundless. Eat your heart out, Bordeaux - no wonder Hermitage was shipped there to bolster their wines. This would put hairs on the chest of any Lafite. It delivers a warm, southern insistence as it ends, the oiliness of texture of the most sun-swept years, with delightful fruit still present on the close. Tar and low level oaking show on the long finish. Decant this. 13.5°. From 2016. 2034-37  Dec 2014

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED - WINE IN CLASSIC RED HERMITAGE

2007 ()

dark red; really inviting, supple, sweet generosity, curvy nose that has a nicely fat abundance along with Indian tea – it is notably full, oily. The palate has a thorough heart, is sustained, offers crispness in its black fruit, cassis and bacon. It gathers in licorice, tang, smokiness at the end. Very young. “It has gained in amplitude. 2007 was solar, and the wines have become more and more generous – there is charm, seduction in the wines,” Philippe Guigal. There is a good stretch of assertive fruit after half way. From 2015. Bottled end Jan 2011. 2032-34 Dec 2011

2006

full robe; has a very filled, complete bouquet – shows licorice, light floral airs, even a sense of southern garrigue lands with herbs growing, flowers and lavender present. There is a copious style to the nose, which summons southern climes, notes of coffee also. The palate is dark, “noir”, earthy, needs time. It is monochrome for now – oak and a sense of extraction come through. Its length is assured, supple, attractive, so I am hopeful. Leave until autumn 2014. As it breathes, it becomes more savoury and the oak softens. It is a big wine, with an oily texture. Waiting is the best option. 2027-29 May 2011 Previously July 2010 ****(*) thorough, dark red; bountiful, oily nose, a big landscape bouquet which persists well with ripe stone fruit, has southern instincts. The palate is solid, full – comes with a crisp line of tannin, prune in its flavour. There is bounty in this – a persistent wine that ends on raisin, date notes. Good guts and maturity in this. 2026-28 July 2010

2003 ()

dark to very dark robe. Has a peppery, rich-toned nose that carries very ripe fruit; there is a blend of violet and very ripe blackcurrant. The palate holds pebbly, intense fruit with a peppery plunge in it. A big, dark, earthy wine with licorice in the flavour and evident tannins. To be bottled next month. From 2010. 2028-32 Dec 2006 Previously Dec 2004 (cask) **** very dark; ripe, succulent bouquet, very broad, floral surround. Sucrosity and black fruits attack, scale wine. Some end heat, quite potent. Mature fruit, is very full. 2009 on. 2024-27

2001

chunky, black fruit nose, olives/garrigue, rich; plenty of content, carries local berried richness. Wide, silky then tannic. Tasty, juicy. Bessards´ quiet presence noted. 2022/2