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The Wines

100% Syrah from 2 suppliers, 80% from schist soils in the northern sector, incl Viallière, Fongeant, Le Plomb, Nève, Champin, Besset, Les Grandes Places, 20% from southern sector, La Brosse, Semons, wild yeasts, mainly whole bunch 3 week fermentation, pumped over, aged 50% new, 50% 1-2 year old 228-litre oak casks 12 months, unfiltered, 9-10,000 b

2018 ()

(bottling in two weeks) full red colour, black tints; the bouquet gives a curvaceous air of loganberry, large black berry fruit, with graphite, iron notes, and a tender note of violet among those mineral certainties. The palate is expressive, flows well, with the floral theme of Rôtie well present. It holds up well into an inky, cool blue fruited finale. It has a naked side, a lucid nature, that appeals. The aftertaste holds richness, an indication of the warmth of the year. This will please, is floral and seductive. From 2023. 2041-43 Feb 2020  £185/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2015 ()

full red robe. The nose is young, perfumed, refined. It shows neat strawberry fruit, crushed red berries, with a toffee aspect from its oak. There is low-key reduction, so decanting advised. The palate bears graceful content, flavours of plums and red berries with a smooth feel throughout; it’s well balanced. The finish is on squeezy, ripe tannin, some oak density. I sense it’s starting to withdraw and close down, but its grace and perfume are well typical of Côte-Rôtie. From 2020. 2033-36 Oct 2017 Previously Oct 2016 ****(*) (casks) deep red robe. The bouquet is tightly drawn together, rests on notes of black olives, southern strength; it is a real glass filler potentially. The palate is also robust, makes a firm point as it starts, is amply filled with coursing gras and fleshy matter. A wine of abundance, for red meats, has one foot in the north, the other in the south of France. It chases you around the room, has lots to offer, is an energizing drink. 13°. 10,000 b. From 2019. 2033-36 Oct 2016

2013 ()

(casks) sober dark red colour. Inky, dark berry airs show in an engaging bouquet that has a supple, simmered centre and a bonny floral top note: this nose is a fun opening. The palate also delivers racy, appealing fruit. Jazzy Rôtie on wheels here, w.o.w. – it is easy to drink on its early fruit flourish. It has a neat finish with a little spark in the scented tannins. Drink on its exuberance, lovely. 13°. From mid-2015. 2023-25 GB £160/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 20 Jan 2015

2012

(casks) subdued, quite dark red colour. Basil, strawberry jam, cassis de Dijon feature in a meaty, fundamental bouquet – this is a strong contender. The palate starts on a grilled debut: pork scratchings, with suave, plump notes in the plum fruit. There is a slow emergence of tannin and graininess towards the finish. It is still very primary – its forces go in different directions, but has life and uplift, its fruit zappy, interesting. There are meaty notes on the aftertaste; this has character. From 2016. 2025-26  Nov 2013

2010

rich robe, legs, a pretty dark red hue. Inky, violet aroma – there is a nice plunge in this, gives cassis bud notions. The palate has a sparky debut, flavoured by brisk  fruit, has a tight grip, a steely moment, then the entrance of very expressive final stages. There are clusters of small red fruits here, with an ash, smoke, fragrant flowers mixture, all in a lovely libation. This is aromatic, finely sculpted, Grand Vin, has a triumphant finish marked by very good fruit lift. A classic Côte-Rôtie from a classic, supreme year. From 2014. 2028-30  Dec 2012

2009

soft red robe; smoky, rather direct air that suggest wild berries, hedgerow fruits; it is not expansive and its tightness reflects licorice and small red berries. The palate starts freshly, seems to be in transition, without a fixed core just now. The finish is clear-cut, puckering to the lips. A free wine without make-up, which will move gradually to being an ensemble in the future. The tannins are brisk, live, and the aftertaste shows an aromatic raspberry. From 2014. 13°. 2024-26 Jan 2012 Previously June 2010 ****(*) different sites tasted Cask 1 ****(*) (Viallière, Champin, Nève) full robe, deep purple; has a very thorough, broad, smoky nose that reminds me of the 1999 vintage. Deep black fruit with impressive late ball of juice in it on the palate – blackberry, raspberry fruit. Finishes live, has firm length. 16-18 years. Cask 2 ***** (Fongeant) dark and bright. Has a very solid first nose, with raspberry, floral presence. Palate holds red fruits, comes with the grace of Fongeant, leads to a solid, resolute finish, where there is a fine graphite moment. Delicious and typical. 18 years. Cask 3 **** (Le Plomb) full robe, black tints; gamey, solid nose, cocoa – a feet on the ground bouquet. Fine tune fruits lie within an ever present lead or graphite line of mineral. Ends on some floral notes, is true to the end. 1y-18 years. Cask 4 **** (La Brosse, Le Champin) bright, dark purple. Violet, damson aroma, scented cherries – sympa bouquet. The palate is stern, the oak forward in it, rather dry. The length is affected by that, so not a great example. OVERALL ****(*) big, grounded wine, yes, like a 1999 that for so long was a vintage rather than a terroir wine. Its ample delineation will appeal to those who like robust Syrah – this is certainly a southern rather than a Burgundian style of Côte-Rôtie. Life to 2025-28, say. June 2010

2008 ()

(cask) red, a little black. Baked fruit, with caramel from the oaking – the oak juts out for now, but the black fruit within is firm enough to handle it over time. Charcoal first impression, modest depth, has a forward move through the palate, some late, rather sticky red fruit, becomes floral towards the finish. Enough going to have a future. From mid-2011. 2017-18 Dec 2009

2007

dark robe; the bouquet is building into variety and interest – there is a sense of violet, oiliness, rich and ripe fruit, a little oak, bacon and graphite all together. Nae bad as a starter for five, donc. This is good: the palate holds excellent fruit, is typical, tasty and varied, a real winner. Has lovely late juice, provides wonderful drinking now, a happy drink it is. Has a floral aftertaste. An immediate impact wine. €20. 13°. 2020-22 June 2010 Previously Dec 2008 **** full robe; the bouquet has a charcoal outer air, a layer of simmered black fruits within, the fruit blackberry and blackberry leaf. It comes with tang and tar, a note of iodine and “ink” – it is varied and interesting. The palate is scaled up, by design, but the fruit is firmly implanted and keeps going, the flavour black cherry. There's a fair amount of richness or gras in this, and while there is an oak imposition for now, its matter is nice and solid. Ends on a mineral note. From mid-2010. 2018-19 Dec 2008

2006

(casks) dark cherry, plum colour robe; black fruit aroma with hauteur and nearing – carries raisin and a prune-chocolate stuffing as well. Has a late violet air, the fruit comes from the soaked, ripe trail and its maturity veers towards excess, makes it a bit overdone. The palate fruit has depth and flesh, is very tasty with open appeal now. Locks up some secrets for the future. A violet, floral presence is noticeable later on, as is the oak. From late-2009. 2018-20 Nov 2007

2003

meaty, quite gamey, animal bouquet, though some floral presence. Well-filled on palate, fruit is direct and shows variety - has been well ripened. Rich, chocolate core, and is wide on the palate. Oak and tannins tighten the finish. Sound wine. Esp 2006 on. 2013-15 July 2005

2001 ()

black fruit on nose with a gamey tendency, live and plenty to give. Tight-knit palate, all locked up at present, black fruit within, a tarry finale. Good solid wine - big, its fruit definition well set. Esp 2007 on. 2015-17 July 2005 "My Côte-Rôties close up between two and six years old." L.Barruol

1999

sound colour; charming nose, easy red fruits. Ripe and genuine on the palate, is softer and truer than the 1998, is fat and juicy, and is likely to age in a straight line, more so than the 1998 which will come and go. “I plot gave wine of over 14° - everyone says 1999 beats 1998,” Louis Barruol. 2010-12 March 2000

1998 ()

red colour is stable; ripe, broad nose – true to Côte-Rôtie thanks to floral, smoky airs. Has a ripe, full flavour, its tannins are well present, even if the wine is dumb for now. Just a bit tough on the finish from its acidity, and it needs to settle that part of it. If it integrates, it could surprise for the better. From 2004. 2011-14 March 2000

1997 ()

the wine called Montsalier, a magnum, drunk with Kermit Lynch and Louis Barruol at Gigondas, thus a big occasion: good, bright, still red robe; there is a traverse of flowers across the nose - really tender and attractive. A serene, pretty wine on the palate – it lengthens quietly, its oak is well absorbed, it is very stylish. The oak aids tits depth and its structure, has been well handled. Will live until 2018-20 in magnum, a little less in bottle. “It is from the northern sector – it has Brune, Rozier sources, is made from massale Serine, whole bunch fermented, raised half in new, half in 1-year 228-litre oak casks for 15 months, unfiltered. I bought it after its fermentation,” Louis Barruol. June 2010