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The Wines

40% Syrah (a lot of it is late 1980s, early 1990s) from Vinsobres, Montbrison, Fourès, 30% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan, 10% Clairette, 100% purchased crop, Syrah & Clairette co-fermented, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre co-fermented, whole bunch 4 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, concrete vat raised 9-10 months, unfiltered, 50-60,000 b

2017

full, dark robe; the bouquet gives a still raw, making its way serving of crushed red fruits, raspberries with inner intensity, some red meat depth, too. The palate is a thorough, full affair, marked by the sun, carries vigour and stamps its impression firmly. This is a mighty wine for a Côtes du Rhône, needs careful food pairing, certainly beef on the agenda. There are Southern notes, the garrigue, gorse, inky charge. It was obviously a rugby player in another life. From 2021, since the tannins are crisp, full, searching. I hear cries of “Toro, Toro”, too. Decant it. 15°. 2031-33 Feb 2020

2015

(vat) very dark robe, black-purple. The bouquet is full, marked by ripe Syrah, so has an oily blackberry fruit presence that lingers very well. The palate is manly, broad, inflected with oak. This resembles a Crozes-Hermitage from the northern Rhône, has sun and vigour in its veins, but also a tarry coolness. Take your time, serious Côtes red. Decanting an option. 14.5°. 60,000 b. From 2018 at the earliest. 2024-26  June 2016

2011

(vat) dark robe. There is a whirl of blackberry, “shiny” fruit with licorice, even a light note of peony flowers – this nose has an engaging fullness. The palate offers bright, abundant black cherry fruit which rolls on through the palate like wagons in the night. Violet and a blackberry coulis feature on the finish. Lots of appeal here – it has good gusto, the tannins are tasty and it ends on appealing raspberry fruit. It is a vigorous wine, its fruit clear, a good package: best with foods. Will be stylish. 14.5°. From late 2013. 2018-19  Oct 2012

2010 ()

shiny dark red. Overt blackberry fruit aroma – a nose with a generous air, a few ripples as it comes out of the glass, and almost suggests wild garlic and rosemary. The main theme on the palate is the black cherry fruit; it picks up tannin and some power as it goes, before ending on a crunchy, filled, dark note. Assertive, but not quite overdone. It keeps going into a crunchy aftertaste. 14.5°. 2018-20  June 2013  Previously July 2011 **** (vat, to be bottled Feb 2012) dark robe, thorough. Soaked black cherries air, cassis liqueur – the bouquet is wide and abundant, has a lot in it, also shows black olives. The texture is supple, the wine offers plenty of gourmand black fruit, coats the palate, and its tannins are ripe, leaving a licorice-tar sign-off. It extends well, explores the sides of the mouth. Persists well, has a floral, violet aftertaste. From autumn 2012. 2019-20 July 2011

2009 ()

full red; good, purposeful nose – a plenty aroma that fills the glass – blackberry with spice, is very good. Lots of fruit in the palate; the matter in support tightens it towards the finish, and there is a good run of live flavour in it. The tannins clustering rounf the finish need 12 to 15 months. Has a lip-smack finale. Proper wine, highly recommended. 14.5°. 2021-22 March 2011 Previously June 2010 *** bottled 1 month ago. Very Syrah robe – purple and black; bursting, black cherry fruit and chocolate nose that is very open, has the depth of soaked black cherries or griottes. Tasty, very primary palate – access to the vat, that really young wine liveliness. Has a quiet line of tannin at the end. There are inky notes in this. It gives exuberant and immediate fruit, best to drink it young, is a w.o.w. wine. To 2015. June 2010

2008 ()

well-sustained plum red; the nose beckons the drinker – it is ripely full, comes with sweet touches, is floral and gives red berry jam aromas with a touch of earthiness. The palate comes also on a round, attractive level – the fruit is textured, has a strawberry flavour, and lots of fleshy appeal. The finale is a little grilled, brings out fine tannins there. Good wine, and very good for 2008. 14.5°. To 2018. July 2011

2007

full red robe; ample, supple bouquet – blackberry jam with a nice little brisk top. The palate runs along gourmand, svelte lines – a mix of blackberry and raspberry with a liqueur feel to it. This has crowd pleasing rounded fruit, and its length is OK. 14.5°. To 2012. March 2009

2004

bright, dark red; prominent, sappy persistent bouquet with red fruits buried deep within it. Gourmand, fleshy, ripe fruit palate – the Syrah is intentionally very ripe, leaves a taste of raspberry or black fruits jam late in the day. Has character. 13.5°. To 2009 Nov 2007