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The Wines

Serine, Syrah (av age 50 years) from Beaume, Le Méal, Pierrelles, Rouméas (until mid-2000s was from Beaume, Diognières, Greffieux, a little Méal (1950s+ Syrah), 3 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged new & 1-year 228-litre Allier & Tronçais oak casks 12 months, then large 22.5 hl oak barrel 12 months, (until late 2000s was aged new 228-litre oak casks 15 months, then 1-2 year oak 9 months), unfined, unfiltered, 4,000-4,500 b

2015

(1-year 228-litre cask, Syrah from Les Pierrelles, “which brings finesse to the wine”) ****(*) dark colour. The nose is lovely, perfumato, gives a very attractive fruit – blackberry with a ground strength, a good hum overall. This coasts along well on the palate, fuelled by a good accumulation of black fruits with fine features. The tannins are live, but well ripened. Beau, fine, well filled, well balanced wine. “It is fine, and has energy,” Michel Tardieu. 2036-38 (another 1-year 228-litre cask, Syrah from Les Pierrelles) ***** very dark, striking robe, legs visible. The bouquet is thorough, filled-up, has real depth, with no Show Biz. On the palate, it goes long, deep, wide; this holds fabulous natural richness and extended length. It is classy, prolonged. 2040-42 July 2016 £425 12 b i/b Corney & Barrow www.corneyandbarrow.com

2014 ()

(bottling end Sept 2016) dark red robe. There is a rounded ripeness of red fruits on the nose, with bacon, clove and spice, violets: it’s an interesting nose. The palate starts carefully; this is spiced and grippy wine, red fruits such as raspberry with punch in them late on. It is a bit raw, is raw goods. It isn’t fused as it stands. It has a citrus, tangy side, cut. 13°. From 2020. 2033-35  July 2016

2012

crimson, dark red colour; has an oily aroma, which for now lacks precise definition. There is some depth of mulled berries, a roast meat air with nuttiness from the oak, also licorice. Expect the bouquet to develop and vary. The palate plies good trade in red stone fruits that have an appealing spot of sweetness in them, a fluid jam effect. It persists well, the finish aromatic and soundly fruited. More like wine from Greffieux-Dionnières than the granite of Les Bessards here. It is appealing and aromatic, takes flight rather than residing on the ground. 13°. From late 2016. 2029-30  Dec 2014   

2011

(casks) dark robe. Has a rolling air of cassis fruit, backed by blackberry – this is a free bouquet in the 2011 style, gives mulled raspberry, squeezy ripeness. The palate delivers scented, violet-laden black fruit with tasty tannins – a toffee, fig note comes from them. It is all very supple and gourmand, not a complicated wine, aimed at sweet-tooth inclined drinkers. I would prefer more cut. It ends on pebbly, mineral dust and ash combinations. I suspect it isn’t from the most noble sites, suggests the influence of the east end of the appellation (tasted blind). From 2015. 2025-27  Nov 2012

2010 ()

(casks) dark, thorough robe; bosky, pine air with oily notions, has a circular fullness, definite content, airs of black soil, earth, is grounded, gummy. The palate is also flecked with pine, is well-textured, has gras richness present and good, sustained length. There is juice in the fruit – good - and it is broad towards the finish. There is a quiet aromatic note on the aftertaste, where pebble tannins come through in a cluster. It is full and natural, not artificial. It's a bit on reduction, so decant. From 2014. 2026-28 Nov 2011

2004 ()

plum red robe; there is an easy drift of aroma cross the glass – it comes with a pretty core of red tone fruits, smoky raspberry, and ready to unfurl with an open charm in two to three years. There are herbal notions also. The wine bears mild red fruits, with a growing grip and smoky tar through the palate, before a little sweet spot of richness on the aftertaste. It doesn't have the grandeur or complexity of the West End of the hill, but is agreeable, and notably so in restaurants and bistrots. The revival of its fruit on the aftertaste works well. 13.5°. 2018-20 Dec 2008 £32.50 per bottle in bond Previously April 2006 ***(*) red fruits with a meaty side on bouquet, is pretty compact, so can evolve nicely. - has the middle section, alluvial character, rather than the granite air. Clear, well-expressed black fruit on attack, prunes and herbs together. Fresh finale, preceded by the typical vintage tarriness. Safe, middle ground Hermitage, is all very suave, Oak means leave it till 2008-09. 2021-23 April 2006

2001

pure bouquet of bacon, smoky oak, very ripe fruit, too. Crushed fruit attack, compact black berry flavour, has a floral, smoked oak end flourish. Good length. Is nicely rich, good acidity to keep it going in principle. 2015-18