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The Wines

mainly northern sector of appellation - mix own crop (Larnage, Crozes-Hermitage), plus Gervans, Mercurol, the plain at Les Chassis, aged 85% 3-year oak 228-litre casks, 15% large 60 hl barrels 24 months, unfined, filtered, 450-550,000 b (up from 320,000 b pre-2009)

2015 ()

magnum: dark red. There is reduction on the nose, mulled black berry and raspberry airs, some floral scenting and licorice. It’s alert, ready to go. The palate bears steady red fruits, berries with grain in the tannins, a supple, layered couch from them. There’s a suave feel to the finish. This is honest, table wine, the touch of floral helping it. 13°. 2029-31 March 2019

2014

full robe, black centre. The bouquet has a fine aroma of black berry fruits, a trim sweetness, a house style density. The palate reflects its cool vintage with a thread of mineral, a damp inclination, through it, flanked by mild black fruited matter. The nose is more on fruit, the palate more on cool mineral. It drinks OK now, with a collection of restrained tannins on the finish. 2022-23 Nov 2017 Previously June 2017 ***(*) fair red robe. There is some reduction on the nose, which has a loose nature, blackberry fruits, cooked plums on the go. This is a typical 2014 – it is easy, undemanding, gives enjoyable fruit, berries, and attractively open drinking, also freshness. It’s an agile, well manoeuvred in the cellar wine suited to the CHR restaurant trade, a fun affair, w.o.w. wine with the fruit on the mark. 13°. 450,000 b. To 2020 June 2017

2012 ()

dark red colour. Has a good, live blackberry and raspberry fruited air, full of beans it is. It comes in a simmered, coulis style, has a nice extravagance. The palate holds trim, open fruit, dark berry, with a little tannin and tar in play on the finish. This runs well, with salted touches keeping it fresh. Entertaining wine for spaghetti Bolognese, grills, for example. It closes with good clarity, is w.o.w. wine. 13°. 2020-21 Oct 2015

2011

shiny dark red, a good looking and full robe. The aroma is elegant and lightly perfumed, led by blackberry, has good style. The palate bears bonny juice, from well inside the blackberries. There are dabs of licorice, thick black fruit coulis liqueur on the end. This goes pretty long, has a spot of pepper and tar on the close. The aftertaste is a shade dry, which is a concern. Drink with red meats. 13°. 2019-20  Oct 2015

2010 ()

the robe is still really dark. The bouquet is full of warm blackberry and cassis fruit, with a spiced sprinkle; the fruit glistens well. This is well balanced, very long, a properly complete Crozes red. The fruit and its juice have real fine insistence, and the tannins are lovely and fresh, serving to propel the wine forward. The balance is great. Plenty of route still ahead of this. 13°. 2026-28  Oct 2015

2009

dark, shiny robe. Ample, broad nose led by mulberry and blackberry, blueberry fruits mixed up – this is very good, expressive and varied, has a note of reduction, so decanting would suit. The palate has a measured richness, a good cut in its savoury black fruit. The flavour involves tapenade olive paste and black olives, which are not usual associations, as it ends. This is a wine showing a big effect of the vintage. There is a light coolness in the wine as well, so it does well on that score. Racy, w.o.w. wine with good length, the potential to live as well = FUN. The close is lightly tannic. “In 2009 there was lots of density and black fruits. The tannins ripened well this year, and it has a lot of glycerol from its ripeness – so is very charming and will please. We harvested early and went into the market to buy early as well, meaning that we scooped up 550,000 bottles, nearly double our usual amount of 300,000 bottles. Now it is our second largest wine after the Côtes du Rhône red,” Philippe Guigal. 13°. 2020-21  May 2013

2008 ()

this is a triumph for its vintage: three-quarter red robe. There is nice liberty in the nose, one that mixes soft black fruits, violet, licorice, an air of small black fruit pastilles. The palate presents an easy run of dark fruit that has an edge of crispness, and keeps going on that register, freshly. It drinks well now, suited to sausages, grills. It is peppery, with floral drifts on the finish. I like its freedom of expression, and it can be drunk solo as well. Good wine, a surprise package. 13°. To 2018. “It is very Syrah of the north this year – white pepper, fresh, very fresh,” Philippe Guigal.  May 2013

2007

dark robe; open blackberry, curvy air, while its mulberry is very typical of the northern Crozes granite, has a ripe raspberry jam aroma as well. White pepper, spice, violet set the palate en route, while there is then a marked mineral run from half way, a glinting fruit, crisp and clear-cut. STGT wine. There is sound, ample breadth at the end, a smoky aftertaste. Its mineral content is pronounced, grainy. From spring 2012. Decant this. 2026-28 Dec 2011

2006

full red robe; tar, tight berry, black fruits, bustling airs in the bouquet. This drinks well now; there is a glint of the northern, rocky granite zone in its tannic texture – it is more pebbly than a southern zone wine. The fruit is lively, the finale fine, shows licorice. The tarry aftertaste is a touch stern. 2015-16 July 2010

2005 ()

steady red robe. There is a lateral run of red fruit aroma across the glass, and it comes elegantly and softly with compact red fruits at its heart. The palate red fruits are pliant early on, then become more upright, until it closes on a somewhat tar, crisp note, with overt pepper. Has the clarity of the northern Crozes zone, and its length is good. It turns out to be just 10% from the southern Les Chassis, near Les Chênes Verts. A wine to drink on its own, or with grilled rib of beef, for instance. 2015-16 Dec 2008

2004 ()

some dark traces in the red robe; the nose is sprinkled with black pepper and licorice inside the cassis. Black cherry fruit start to the palate, flows quite well and is supple enough. Black cherry again on the finish. Drinks well now, has some late tannin and bite in the fruit. To 2012. Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2006 *** light cherry on the bouquet, even a little olive and violet. Sinewed, leathery palate, shows black fruits and a touch of violet. Mineral, clean, crisp finish, nice length. Live wine. 2013-14 Dec 2006

2002

soft red fruits bouquet. Clear-cut black fruit, rolls along, touch tight on finish. Its freshness would please Northern Europeans. 2010-12

2001

pretty, fruit gum aroma, some freshness with it; brewed wine, pebbly texture, just moving into second phase at three years. Wild strawberry flavour, some end oiliness. 2006-07.

1999

quite deep, chocolate bouquet, brambly fruit also. Solid, black fruit on palate, chewy finish, long enough. 2010.