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The Wines

early 1900s Syrah, ex Jean-Louis Grippat vineyard, 3 week vinification, cap punchings, aged new oak casks 30-38 months (up from 24 months before 2005), unfined, unfiltered, 12,000 b rising to 15-16,000 b

2015

dark red; the nose is slinky, elegant, offers very polished and appealing Syrah from granite, with plum-Pinot noir, floral notes, a feeling of velvet outside iron on the inside. It holds much potential. The palate proceeds with a suave certainty, feathery touches in its most stylish content, lengthening without a pause. This is silky wine in the making. The nose shows more obvious sun than the palate, curiously. The palate builds on the close, becomes assertive, dark, pitchy. 13.5°. Decanting advised. From 2022-23. 2043-45 March 2019

2014 ()

bold, dark robe. Beef stock, oxtail aits circulate in a sturdy bouquet, a backdrop of compressed black berry fruit, jam. Liorice and oak are on site as well. The palate engages well with its fluid richness, is tasty and bears a red berry fruit, squeezy tannin content. Its finesse is pleasing, and the juice pure, nicely sparkling from this clear vintage. It’s a very attractive, most taking St Jo, comes with several subtle prompts, the pedigree of the place and the old vines apparent, the length detailed and successful. 2028-30 Nov 2017 Previously June 2017 ****(*) sound red robe. Has an openly, firmly fruited nose, blackberry leading the charge, cooked Damson plums behind, a backdrop of oak. The palaye delivers a mineral feel straight away, with compressed, quietly intense red berry juice at its heart. This is complex, and not likely to rveal its true variety until 2021-22, for example. The length is secure, and for now it ends on light gummy notions. It bears notably tasty black fruit well within. Decanting advised. 13.5°. From 2020. 2031-33 June 2017

2012

good dark red robe. This has an open offer raspberry fruit aroma, licorice and black pepper present, comes with an underlying meatiness. This is stylish wine, with savoury, sweet herbs influences, a precise ball of red berry fruit, lots of effortless pedigree. It is very likeable off the bat, has a near Pinot quality. It is delicious, a real winner that holds lovely, tasty fruit. The tannins are flexible, lie well within. Way to go St Jo, great balance, memories of Jean-Louis Grippat evoked. It is very good now, and comes very much in the free running style of 2012. 13.5°. 2026-28  Oct 2015

2011

shiny dark red colour. Has a roasted-grilled first air, a sleek, copious layer of redcurrant, soaked red cherries behind, a smidgen of oak. It is a wide and steadily deep bouquet. It is close-knit on the palate, moves with herbes de Provence, pretty fluid red fruit. It is still young. It holds liqueur style fruit with a slight sense of freedom. The oak comes into the picture on the finish, where there is caramel and oak, with a mineral tang. It has grunt factor, goes long. 13.5°. From mid-2017. 2027-29  Oct 2015

2010

dark robe. The nose is still closed, reticent, has a tight-knit packing of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and a smoky top note. Lots of potential here. The palate is dense on debut, collects its depth with a steady progress rather than placing it all at once, a sign of the vintage’s balance (unlike 2009, a very solar and right there year). Serve in a large glass, kick back, enjoy. Pedigree tannins roll around, are peppy and result in a lip smacking close. This certainly has some toes in the South, but the main foot is on the granite ledges. Has great length, evokes black raisin as it closes. It is complex, and will unlock its wares slowly. 13.5°. 2034-37 Oct 2015

2009 ()

sound red robe; very aromatic, floral, escapist bouquet with good backing from earthy, game notes, a genuine depth. The nose sets up the palate, which runs with fine, free red fruit, is nice and direct, has a light tread in its walk. Subtle, stylish, joli wine. I like its serenity, derived from the old vines up the crumbled granite hillside. We are closer to Burgundy than Châteauneuf-du-Pape here. 2027-30  Sept 2012, London

2007

pretty, full red robe; has a violet, scented nose of finesse, with sidelines of licorice – there is a suave, silken air across the bouquet, aniseed, herbs and pansy flowers. The palate mixes dark fruit with aromatic additions, a Syrah of a hovering, fine-tuned purity. It lengthens with stealth, is very attractive. Bravo for the fruit of such old vines on the granite. 2021-24 May 2011 Previously July 2010 **** full, bright red; smoky, intense, small berries aroma, with licorice, ground coffee – this is wide and immediate. The palate has an elegantly rich start, with a secure run of suave black fruit, a shade of oak present that stiffens it. The length is good, the finish fresh. There is very good berry fruit at its heart, small black berries. Very good. From spring 2011. 2021-23. Bottled Feb 2010, 30 months new oak this year. July 2010

2006 ()

bright red, purple robe; has a pretty, mulled red fruits such as cherry aroma, and is topped up by sizzled pork, olive touches. The palate has a gracious, steady start, with a gradual gain in tannin: it is a rounded wine, but also one of good depth. Its length is nice and secure. The finish is oaked, charcoal tasting. From 2011. 2020-23. Bottled Feb 2009. March 2009

2005

(cask, for bottling Feb 2008, in a month) dark cherry robe; the nose currently reflects its oak that gives it a chocolate effect; there is a rich underlay to the aroma, with thorough, crunchy fruit that is wide and clearly ripe, and conveys a little black fruit liqueur. The palate black fruits are well engrained and there are complete tannins. It clamps down at the finish, but the richness remains. Structured wine, is primary now. From 2011-12. 2023-25 Jan 2008

2003

(cask) dark robe; compact black jam bouquet, has a friendly, live side. Blackberry fruit, lovely disposition, round with ripe tannic edging. Very broad, rounded, long and warm. From 2008-09. 2018-20

2002

oaked, balanced bouquet, tight packing. Floral/black fruit mix on palate, has a pretty middle, some gras. Runs on towards a tangy finish, fruit is tasty. Burgundian style. 2006 on. 2016-18

2001 ()

full robe, streaks of black plums at its core; broad, brewed bouquet, with some dust and pepper in it – still on its youthful path, with grain and granite here alongside the ripe fruit. Overall effect is black and tannic. The palate carries black fruit with a leathery tinge, then it broadens and softens nicely and flatteringly. It is funky and bold on the palate. The nose is more local than the palate – the black fruit here has a scented character. Fair acidity present, in the vintage shape. Elegant wine, its length is OK. Perfumato, red berry notions on the aftertaste. Its relative sweetness will appeal to some markets and drinkers more than others. 2016-18 Feb 2006, Stockholm Previously **** (cask) dense, tightly packed, mocha, funky nose; delightful core fruit, good structure, intensifies half-way. Fresh, pretty end. Length good. 2016-18

2000

grilled, upright black fruit aroma; refined behind initial austerity. Its oak is stern; has a pepper/liquorice end. From 2007. 2011-13 Vinified Grippat, new oak raised Guigal

1999

full, big leathery/smoky bouquet; fulsome, tasty black fruits, good chewy texture, broad tannins. From 2007. To 2016-19. Vinified/aged by Grippat, bottled by Guigal