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The Wines

1970s-1980s Syrah from granite soils at Malleval, Saint-Pierre-de-Boeuf, some Sarras, high vineyards, mainly whole bunch fermentation, 3 week vinification, pumped over, cap punched, vat filled/emptied, aged 20% new, 80% 1-2-3 year 228-litre oak casks 12 months (cut back from 15 months until 2006), unfined, unfiltered, first wine 2002, 4,500-12,000 b

2018

(bottling in two weeks) very dark red colour; smoke, cordite airs of intrigue hover above the nose, with a firm undertone of blue fruit, cassis. There’s a little peppery snap, the northern sector declaration. The palate steers a good, genuine course, sets off well with elegance in the black fruits, and tasty, layered tannins and their tar from the mid-point. This is promising, authentic, has the vintage sun under control. The aftertaste is smoky. From mid-2021. 2034-36 Feb 2020  £85/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2015

dark, shiny red robe, legs visible. The bouquet is elegant, assembles blackberry, ripe blueberry fruit with a drift of flowers and their perfume, a notch or two of charcoal oak within. There is some reduction, so decanting helpful. The palate has good freedom, an expressive run of black fruits with some tingle in the tannins, oak-vanilla on the close. There is a fine juice at its heart. 13.5°. From late 2019, allowing time for oak fusion. 2030-33 Oct 2017 Previously Oct 2016 (casks) ****(*) full, very deep red robe. The bouquet is broad, large, deep: there is a concerted air of black berry fruit piled high, with grilling around it. The fruit is ripe, accentuated, and there is a note of reduction for now. The palate gives a bold, plunging display of black berry content, is fat, ample, comes with tar-rubber tannins that leave a gummy aftertaste. This is up close and personal St Jo, no sense of restraint about it, has really extended, flourishing length. From 2019. 2028-30 Oct 2016

2013 ()

pretty dark robe. Has a brewed, earthy bouquet, a plump and ripe centre: it features black jam, a note of stewed fig, prune, and a suggestion of garrigue herbs. The palate is more strict than the nose on the attack, develops a more running, juiced side at half way, ends on grainy tannins. This has character. From mid-2016. 13°. 5,000 b this year, low. 2022-23  GB £93/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 2015

2012

quite a dark red. Has an oily black fruit liqueur air, with a northern zone pepper snap, a marked criss-cross of oak in the aroma. The palate debut is gritty, driect: there is a clipped breeze of dark fruits, and it takes on a vegetal, grainy angle on the finish. It is in a raw state now, needs leaving until 2016. The oak, acidity and fruit need to link in that  time – there is work to do. 2022-23  Nov 2013

2009

purple tints in quite a dark red; tender violet top air in a bouquet that has drips of meat stock and substance underneath, also pepper notes. From 2013 it will be more together and more expressive. Black fruit with a line of oak through it on the palate, the line a fine one. It ends on pepper-oak, its fruit is lucid. It is rounded at heart, with the oak bringing the stiffer aspects. I am not quite sure how deep the second half is, and it may taper there over time. 13.5°. 2018-19 July 2011

2008

level red colour. Spice-geranium nose, whacko, right out there, with a comfortable surround of suavely aired black berry fruits. The palate mixes spice, curry powder, black pepper with blackberry fruit, ending on notes of licorice. Good for 2008 – this holds discreet gras, which provides a steady presence. The finish is clear. Almost ready. The texture is fluffy. It needs to settle its active, live finale. From autumn 2012. 13°. 2018-19 July 2011

2007

dark robe; dark fruit intensity on the nose, has a mineral, slight oak glint, also scratched rocks. There is a fusion of black cherry abundance and restraint from the oak on the palate, a good Northern Rhône liberty. This contains young and old Serine, the massale Syrah. Good length. A full wine without being too imposing, and still notably young. Has heart, lively black berry fruit, a fine finish – a good, modern wine. 2018-19 June 2010 4,500 b this year. Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) (casks) dark robe, black. Sturdy but also sleek black fruits aroma – it is very close-knit, what there is reveals black cherry, date and a touch of nut. There is interesting black fruit on the palate, which comes with a herbal lacing, also thyme and black pepper. This has good content – a depth of clear, rather bountiful fruit. The fruit is juicy, and persists. On the right road – drink from mid-2010. 2016-18 Dec 2008

2006

dark, black-tinted robe; has a black fruits aroma, with snap crackle in the top air – at its heart it is on a blackberry liqueur trail, ripe blueberry. There is plenty of substance on the palate, delivered with a free elegance. A good, clear wine with some oak trimming. It ends harmoniously, a soft raspberry flavour there. Leave until 2009 to allow its oak to absorb. 2017-18 Dec 2007

2004

sound, dark red; the bouquet is rather gamey, with spiced, ripe red fruit present – the ripeness in the house style. The palate gives easy, spiced black fruits, have fair acidity, finish clearly. A touch fragile – this needs drinking before 2010. It delivers early fruit, tones down late along the palate. 13°. Nov 2007

2003 ()

tarred bouquet, sleek black fruit. Ripe fruit start, is expressive with some character. Quite generous before the tannins appear. Full, fairly broad towards finish. 2011-12 July 2005