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The Wines

100% Syrah from southern sector, Arras down to Mauves, 40% crop, 60% purchased wine, destemmed, 3-4 week open concrete vat vinification, 1-2 daily pumping overs, aged 60% vat, 40% oak casks 12-18 months, unfined, filtered 170,000 b

2014

dark red robe. The nose gives an elegant air of black berry fruit, a bonny sweet curl to it. The palate also carries attractive black berry-cherry fruit, with a good density in its make-up. The finish is clear, expressive, delivers some licorice, tar and coulis of blackberry, a note of glow. Good detail, a serene and very appealing wine here. From mid-2016. 2021-22  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

dark colour; reductive, rather stemmy aroma – wine in a raw state here, slap bang still in the cellar of origin. There is style in the fruit aroma, and licorice, a salted tang as well. Has an interesting palate, a traditional style with good depth and drive in the fruit, with robust tannins wrapped around. A slow-burn St Jo - drink from 2017. It carries a good line of freshness, and evokes the best wines of my youth (when methods were more rustic) in its make-up. The aftertaste is tarry. 2025-26 Jan 2015   

2012 ()

shiny dark robe. Nice and fluid air of blackberry, a bouquet that is rather tight; it also shows touches of flowers, sizzled bacon. The slightly sweet berry jam fruit aroma is just emerging now. This has the loose grain and spark of a granite wine; it builds up dark, iron fissure via black fruits, blueberry, a little violet. It is very clear and rather handsome, not one for sweet tooth drinkers. From late 2014. 2021-23  Nov 2013

2011 ()

dark tinted robe. The nose shows elegant potential – licorice, blackberry and a food, clear ring to it – expect it to sing a good note, backed by drifts of flowers. The palate reminds me of my youth – it shows the tar qualities of raw St Joseph from the southern, Tournon-Mauves zone – blueberry fruit comes with gummy tannins, is well-textured. It ends darkly, mixes tar and pot-pourri dried flowers there. A note of acidity lies on the outside and doesn’t fit into the wine – the wrap-up is stranded. Not sure about this cask sample. 2019 or so. Nov 2012

2009

(pre-bottling) pretty, full robe. Reserved nose, has a red jam air, and baked notes are prominent. Firm, assertive red fruit on palate – it moves with purpose, fills and spreads after half way. Needs time to refine and combine. Southern zone red stone fruits in the flavour, a correct wine of sound length. From spring 2012. 2019-20 Nov 2010

2008

purple tints, mid-depth robe. Smoky, free nose – tar, seared rubber, cherry fruit. Smoky debut to the palate – this runs very much on the tar-cherry. It has a bit of wildness in it that works fine. Decant to loosen it (there is reduction). It is not that profound, and its acidity is quite prominent, so can ease a shade, from spring 2011, for instance. 12.5°. 2014-15 July 2010

2007 ()

red with some dark traces in the robe, which is bright. The bouquet is smoky, comes with bacon touches, red fruits – there are some shoulders here. The palate red fruit comes along willingly – has a forward nature, without convincing body in behind. It ends safely enough. Drink esp from mid-2009 on. 2013-14. Bottled Nov 2008. Dec 2008

2006 ()

mid+ depth of red; supple, gently curved aroma that comes with easy-natured red fruit. The palate is in the same vein – it lacks stuffing this year – it has a simple run of red fruit. It is more in the here and now than tomorrow. On this showing, will not make old bones, and lacks matter for 2006. Disappointing post bottling. 13°. 2011-12. Previously Jan 2008 **(*) (pre-bottle) bright, black cherry robe. Reductive, good old farmyard nose – has a core of quite ripe black fruit and is round in shape, with some floral airs as well. Farmyard and flowers – what a duo! Holds good, very gulpable black fruit that is nice and open, with tasty appeal. An uncomplicated wine that flows well until late, ripe tannins come through. Very beau fruit here, w.o.w. wine if the bottling goes well. From 2009. 2014-15 Jan 2008

2005 ()

black, dark plum colour. Knit, red berry aroma that is a bit reduced and earthy – is wide enough, and can go on. The palate black fruit is tinged with some vegetal tones and also lithe tannins. Reflects the stern side of this vintage at present, is enclosed and a bit strict now. From mid-late 2009. I hope it can come round – autumn or winter drinking best, with seasonal foods. 2015-17 Jan 2008 Previously June 2007 **(*) quite a full red robe; tight, leathery bouquet with a little red cherry, soaked griottes, and some gaminess. There is dark fruit with a pesky side on the palate, that becomes rather peppery and dusty towards the finish. There is some black fruit richness within. This was more open, and is curled up now. Come back in late 2008, not before. Has plenty of tannic structure, longevity not a problem. 2015-16 June 2007 Previously Nov 2006 **(*) quite a dark, matt robe; open, near funky bouquet of wild red berries, loganberries. Open and expressive flavour with sweet appeal. Shows some tannins at the end. From late 2007. Could be very good value for open pleasure, is a bouncy wine. 2011-12 Nov 2006

2004

brewed bouquet, berries and pepper, with a fungal backdrop, not esp clear, and shows some advance. High tone start to palate, black sweets taste, lengthens out OK. Clean finish, where there is a cough medicine aspect. Southern zone wine, with a peppery red fruit aftertaste. Rather plain, not much variety. Esp 2007 on. 2012-12 April 2006

2003 ()

soaked blackberry fruit bouquet, New World style. Warm black fruit, then a lot of oak/tannin. Big style. Licorice/violet aftertaste. Works on the one level, namely very full!. From 2006-07. 2017-19. Dec 2004

2002

quite wide nose, sap/stalk mix. Pleasant palate, some soaked fruit, light peppery tannin fringe, mineral end. 2005-06 on. To 2010-11

2001

purple; aroma moved from live fruit to leathery, has potential. Streamlined berry fruit with dry ending. Has some gras, is medium-weight. Pretty fruit. 2010-11

2000

quite ripe, deep bouquet; mineral, black fruits palate, nice elegance/length. Tannins flourish at end. Esp 2005. 2008-09

1999

quite extreme bouquet, mint/oily black fruit. Suave feel, lissom black fruits, cassis. Fair length, decent width, bit of oak dryness at end. 2009-11

1998

ripe berry bouquet, overt. Fat flavour on palate, generous with sound depth of fruit. Full, fleshy wine, gourmand. 10+ years. Previously May 2001 ** quite dark; pebbly, violet edge on nose, some advance; friendly pebbly fruit, touch of dryness - fair persistence. Hope it will last.

1997

brambly fruit, warm nose; minted, touch oily start, black fruit middle, fading touch at end after six years.

1996

fresh bouquet; bit lean on start, some dark fruit. Nice tannic finale, liquorice. From 1999-2000.