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The Wines

Syrah from the plain near the Rhône, and under age Cornas (under 4 years), plus sometimes Cornas press wine, 35 hl/ha or so, whole bunch fermentation, 12 day vinification at up to 30-33°C, pumping overs, twice daily foot cap punching, concrete vat raised 10 months, fined with 1 egg white for 400 litres, unfiltered, 3,500-5,900 b

2018

(large barrel, 50% of the wine, the other 50% raised in concrete vat this year, sugars, malo completed) dark colour; crunchy black fruit, black cherry on the nose, good depth. The palate gives a stream of black fruit, blackberry, ripe tannins, a notably rounded close; It has the feel of a low acidity wine. This is plush, aromatic, flattering. 10-12 years Dec 2018

2017

dark robe; there’s nice bounty on the nose, cassis-raspberry, good brightness – it’s very inviting and expressive, has a floral touch, along with licorice. It has snap, is a great start. The palate rocks along, comes with floral and iron moments, holds fruit energy with life in the tannins, a good ensemble. This is high quality Vin de France. There is a long, salted close on lots of fruit; this combines vigour and freshness. “We lost 65%, on a yield of 15 hl/ha, hit by poor flowering, but also frost – the vines didn’t rebound from the cold. There was some blockage in ripening from the drought, so it’s a 12.5° wine. It was raised entirely in oak barrel this year, instead of concrete vat, since we wanted to keep the barrels in action,” Olivier Clape. It can continue to show well until 2028-29 if you want. 12.5°. Bottled Aug 2018. Dec 2018

2016

bright red. Has a live, red-fruited air, a note of reduction, red fruits skipping along. There is zing on the nose, freshness. The palate is tight, acetate present; it bears a raspberry, blackberry fruit, is lucid. The flavour rests on red cherries, is tight. Its most joli moment is the flash of gras at the end, raspberry there. Decant it. “We could have bottled it a bit later, but we needed wine to sell, and also needed the space for the 2017s,” Olivier Clape. 12.5°. From mid-2018. 2024-26 Nov 2017

2014

shiny dark red robe. The nose is lively, presents lots of black berry, black cherry fruit, licorice, energy. Crisp mulberry and blueberry fruit streaks along the palate, with cut in its fresh, crisp tannins, with tar moments. This is good, traditional, lively wine suited to la table. The close is tarry, grainy, rather wild. 12°. “When we harvested it this year, it was on the limit of rot,” Olivier Clape. Bottled end Aug 2015. 2022-23  Dec 2015

2013

bright red. Has a bouncy bouquet, off we go: there is an aroma of simmered raspberries that is very inviting, absolutely open and fruit-filled. It gives the image of small red fruits, and also offers spice and violet undertones. The palate produces supple red fruit with trim, powdered tannins to complete the journey. Aromatic, mild, grainy wine. A second bottle gives more gras and a more rounded finish than the first. There is licorice on the finale. It needs one year to fuse its tannins – drink from spring 2016. 12°. Bottled early Sept 2014. 2024-25  Jun 2015

2012 ()

w.o.w. & VALUE alert: steady, rather dark red colour. Savoury, black cherry, welcoming nose, has an inset of violet, real good appeal represents a true Syrah of the Northern Rhône. The palate offers racy, spiced, cool fruit, crisp tannins, a dentelle, toothsome quality in this. It provides very clear drinking, and its fruit tiptoes well on the aftertaste. Has an uplifting, w.o.w. style. The finish is aided by the stems that render it more upright and chewy. There are licorice moments here. It is a great drop. 13°. VALUE at €5.50 export. 2019-20  Dec 2013

2011

bottled one month ago: dark robe, wow! Violet-blackberry combination, an attractive oiliness and fat in the bouquet – the first effect is plump. There is a gourmand style, rounded black pastille fruit on the attack, with tints of tannin, tea and tar. On the finish there is a cluster of tannin and a still floral theme. A fat wine that is easy to drink, has get up and go, will please. There is some carbonic gas in it. “Yields were a bit higher than usual – 45 hl/ha – after a super flowering, whereas in 2010 we were only at 25 hl/ha,” Pierre Clape. Great restaurant wine. 12.5°. 2019-20  Oct 2012

2010 ()

dark robe, black tints. Oily, savoury, liqueur crème de Cassis de Dijon air with a real fat in it, tea, Bovril – there is an aroma of dense, simmered berries. The palate is rather high octane, coated; it holds fleshy, blackcurrant, blackberry fruit, and ends on a push of that fruit, with tannin within which is having a big say now. Unready, and it also ends on tannin which dries it. Decant this. “It showed more pleasure in the summer,” Pierre Clape. 12.5°. It will bounce back, so should rate more highly. From 2014. 2019-20  Oct 2012

2009 (NV) ()

healthy, full red. The nose has the rich airs of 2009 – chocolate, dark, black fruit jelly, some black raisin. The palate bounds along, offers bursting fruit, which is followed by virile tannins – the length is good. The final tannins are slightly austere, but there is lots of fruit before that. Very good, it is an inky wine. Bottled 13 Sept 2010. 2016-17. This year: some Tezier, Patou young vines fruit, the Cornas press wine and the plain Syrah as its base. Nov 2010 Previously Dec 2009 **(*) (cask) full red. Raspberry, red jam and licorice aroma. Sweet fruit start to the palate, inky fruit here, a touch of late tannin and firmness. To 2014. Dec 2009

2008 (NV)

modest red robe, some brightness. Rather supple aroma that combines cherry and violet. This is a get on and drink wine, one that leads with red fruit, but has an edgy, slightly vegetal line through it. A bit leesy. 12°. 2011-12 Dec 2009

2007 (NV) ()

bright red robe; soft black jam aroma – small blackcurrants suggested – that is clear and expressive. Live fruit comes out on the palate; it tapers, but does enough early to be pleasant. Clean, mineral texture in this. To 2010, especially to catch its young fruit. Dec 2008

2006 (NV)

full robe; some reduction on nose, black berry fruit and some plum jam beyond. Good, lusty fruit on palate, flows well, with just a little tapering late on. Way above vin de table status. June 2007 “We have a new plot where the vines grow on filtering, more gravel soil, and that helps to pep up the wine from the thick soil of the plain,” A.Clape.