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The Wines

1930s and 1950s Syrah on granite-based Saint-Joseph site at Tournon, destemmed, 4-5 week vinification in small concrete vats, cap punching, no press wine included, malo in oak, aged 25% new, 75% 1-2 year old 228-litre oak casks 16-18 months, then 3 months concrete vats, (until 2006 was 14-18 months 33% each new, 1 and 2-year oak), unfined, filtered, organic, biodynamic wine, 4-7,000 b

2016 ()

(casks) dark red colour. The nose has an oxtail, funky depth, sweet meat stock on the agenda with a reserved display of cassis, blueberry fruit. The palate links to the nose, has a fulsome juice set in a fleshy, downhome setting, the tannins squeezy and a trifle plain. There is a little late granite spark, a sizzle of that, right on the close. This is sample seems a little flat. It’s rather all over the place for now, but is natural, genuine St Jo, and will be fusing in its countryside way around 2019-20. 2025-26 Nov 2017 Previously Apr 2017 **** (casks) dark red robe. The bouquet has intensity, comes with airs of cooked black fruits, licorice, oaking, a robust heart. It has locked up potential, is dark, with salt and black raisins also present. The palate also has a dense heart with freedom and freshness around that. It grips on dark tannin on the finish. It’s a structured, touch wiry wine as it stands, delivers a cooler year profile – 1996 with some gras. A normal 35 hl/ha this year. From 2021. 2034-36 Apr 2017 GB £162.87 per 6 b in bond, £58.50 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk Apr 2017

2015 ()

(casks) very dark robe. The nose is big and bold, comes with a broad front of compressed black berry fruit and oaking, a sense of red meat. It’s deep but potentially elegant. The palate rustles up a knot of tight, dense black berry and blueberry fruit with major tannins and oak chasing them down for now. This is a big construction; it goes wide as it ends with a burst of charge there. It’s a little cellar exerted. From 2020-21. 2032-34 Oct 2016 Previously Apr 2016 ***** (casks) full robe; This has a careful, mainly closed nose that holds blackberry fruit, a hint of lozenge sweet ripeness. This is coolly fruited all through – we have a genuine granite child here. It runs with consistent purpose, possesses blueberry fruit and tight, stimulating tannins boosting its energy. This is full of promise, full of truth, is STGT wine. A little late oak comes along on the finish. This has very good style, precision, is true and well balanced. The length is ace. From 2021. 2035-37 GB £137.42 per 6 b in bond, £49.74 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk Apr 2016

2014

(casks) very dark robe. The bouquet has a square shape, is dark and tightly filled with cassis, small black berry fruit, has a line of licorice and oak. The palate bears good, flowing, well packed fruit, comes with oak nudges. Good dimension here, a full on wine, going very much in the right direction. It persists steadily. From spring 2018 for quieter oak – there is a lot of it now. 2024-25 GB £148/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015

2013

(casks) sustained dark, deep robe. The nose is layered into a mulled, liqueur density of aromatic, slightly floral black berries, shows a little damp soil. The palate is squelchy in texture, has an open gras richness and lithe tannins that fit in well. It shows grip and order as it ends with some authority. Stylish, pretty well balanced, a serious St Jo for la table once it has aged further. From 2017. 2026-28  Jan 2015  

2012

(casks) dark, black toned robe. There is an elegant curve across the bouquet – berry fruits with an underplayed sweet style, and spherical suggestions for the future. There is a biscuity, airborne quality about it and a darker note of Marmite, brewed yeast. The palate shows loose flow black berry, cool blueberry fruiting, along with light touch, fine tannins that give a grain note on the finish. Young, discreet wine that can concertina from late 2015. Indeed it is a spherical Saint-Joseph, one of precise elegance. 2024-26  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark, thick robe. Oak adds density to a cooked fruits, plum-prune aroma that is young still, primary and juvenile. There is an extra depth from an air of beef casserole, a note of meat stock. The palate offers a soft tread blackberry, peppery flavour and texture. Modern winemaking here – the flavour is round, smooth. This reflects the intrinsic ease of 2011. From late 2014 for less oak. The cellar is on top for now. The length is good, so promise there. 2021-23  Nov 2012

2010

(casks) complete, filled-up black-purple robe; the bouquet holds lots of fruit in a close-knit, harmonious, closed format for now, a little fine air creeps out . . it promises style to come, flair. The palate shows the harmony of 2010, the shape round; it has an attractive liberty and amiable juice in it, with a cohesive, orderly run to the finish, where firm tannins aggregate, also oak-inspired. From spring 2014, for instance. It is more easily drinkable than the 2009, and will end clearly. 2030-33 July 2011

2009 ()

(casks) dark robe; the bouquet says “don`t mess with me” – it is deep and seemingly “pleasant”, but will reveal complexity and sultry, dark airs. Ripe stone fruit lies at the centre of the bouquet, we are right in the middle of a simmering fruit pot here. The palate resembles the nose – it holds oily, very persistent fruit, crème de menthe, is very textured, so much so that it veers towards silk. All a big presentation that has a velvet glove. The oak is mostly absorbed already, and it ends on that extra firmness. Bountiful wine, so bountiful that it may lack a little focus. Wait. From 2014-15. 2030-32 July 2011 Previously Nov 2010 ****(*) (casks) full, dark robe, legs down the glass. There is a wide spread of polished oak across the nose, a good, ripe black Syrah fruit with some violet lying at its heart. The palate is generous and rich, a real good bundle of abundance, the fruit ripe and consistent. Oak stands out on the finish. The fruit really gleams within the oak, and there are enjoyable savoury moments at the end, before the oak comes in. From mid-2013. 2024-27 Nov 2010

2008 ()

red with a little advance, a sober depth to the robe. There is a measured curve of ripeness on the nose, has a softly floral top air, presents a certain mass for a 2008, also shows sweetness and minor notes of reduction and animal. Has a red jam flavour, with a light line of tannin through it, a fresh little spine. Decent width as it develops, has some fleshy areas, before a tightening from its sensible oaking. The main effect is scented strawberry and a graphite, mineral, stony backdrop. From 2013. 13°. 2025-26 July 2011 Previously April 2009 **(*) (cask sample, London) a little brightness in the red colour – this red is more upfront than the Crozes Varonniers colour from the dusty granite across across the river. The nose is also a shade softer than the Crozes – this is a south facing slope, whereas the Crozes is windswept and more westerly. There is a red fruit air with a hint of jam about it, fruit that has been lightly mulled. The palate has an early red fruit dance –it is gourmand in a low register, rounded, before it quietens down. It is rather solid, also a bit local peasant on the palate – there is no tickle of nuance here. Some late reduction is evident. From 2011. 2019-21 April 2009

2007

(casks) quite a dark red cherry colour; it is still under the influence of its cask raising – meaning toffee/raisin: the substance below will emerge in around 2011-12. The palate is interesting – it weaves black fruits with tannin that is live, but ripe. There is a good “sweet n'sour” mix of contributors, and promises well. Authentic wine of good length, one that has a real steady finale, is sympa. Has good grip and real clear fruit. 2023-25 Dec 2008

2006 ()

purple top above the red robe. Has a snappy, lateral run of aroma – it shows licorice, wild “dark fruits”, that come with a minty, crème de menthe aspect. The palate has a grainy raisin-intense black jam flavour, and a run of mild late richness. It isn't really together on the second half of the palate, isn't fused. It lacks focus now, but can run on. From late 2010. 14°. Bottled June 2008. 2021-23 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 **** (casks) very full, dark robe. Masculine, oaked nose that is very filled, wide – shows black fruit and black pepper - and thorough; even has olive hints, evokes the south. The palate is a close-knit cassis fruit affair that is dense, and has some core sweetness. The tannins are softer than the 2005`s. Good Syrah juice here, a wine that promises to integrate well. Length is good. Esp 2011 on. 2021-23 Jan 2008 Previously June 2007 (casks) ***(*) quite dark with some black in the robe; has a very primary aroma – chocolate, mocha, oak – but is round in shape under all that early hit. The outer palate is oaked and stiff, but the inner is rich. Gives a chocolate effect from its oak. The length is correct. Is not a big charged wine, delivers down the line, so needs time to fuse, I reckon. From 2011-12. 2025-27 June 2007

2005

full, dark robe; has a meaty, bounteous nose – blackberry, black cherry at the helm, with good, comfortable intensity. Holds very bonny, clear-toned fruit – has poise and class, this. The length is good, and it works both on depth and finesse – a veritable combo of quality. A rich core, and excellent late width. It is still on its tannins in the second stage of the palate. Has a good, mineral clear finish. Good stuff. From spring 2010. 2022-26 Jan 2008

2004

pretty dark red colour. Quiet harmony in a red fruits aroma, sprinkling of leather and smoke. Clean red fruit on palate, with a late tannic burst - a major oak invasion - wow! It needs till mid-2008 or 2009 to settle. It certainly contains some attractive core red fruit, mixed with white pepper - a restraint from the granite. Tarry finale thanks to oak. 2015-17 April 2006 Previously Dec 2005 (casks) ***(*) oaked, rather gamey aroma, with black fruit, cocoa and olive. Violet and black fruits here, gets off to a clean, clear start. Tightens and reduces - gives a granite, pepper statement. From 2009. 2019-22

2003

(cask) tight-knit bouquet, plenty for the future, a cool side from the granite; balanced, measured black fruit, stylish and can vary. Good pedigree, has nuance. Grilled finale (oak). 2008 on. 2019-22

2002

minted, tar, black fruit/oak nose; chocolate style flavour, brewed fruits, assertive content. Grilled side from the oak, but has rich core. Structured wine, more settled around 2006-07. To 2016-18 Previously (cask) *** wild, deep reduced nose; quite dense wild berries, but stretched. Oily, tarry. Will be gamey. From 2007. 2012-14

2001

fungal, spiced red fruits, potential on nose; chewy, tight black fruit/licorice on the palate, with a dry end for now. Lot of scale, so the goods are in place for the future. From 2007. 2018-20

2000 ()

tarry, cooked black fruit bouquet. Juicy core, joli. Quite tannic, chewy with licorice on end. Big wine. From 2006. To 2013-15

1999

chocolate, powerful, ripe fruit aroma; pebbly black stone fruit, clear-cut. Fair length, licorice/dry oak on the end. 2014-16

1998

very good black, oily/smoky pine aroma; funky palate - fruit sap with smoked/mineral touches. Oily tannins reappear on finish. Great combo of textures and flavours here. Esp to 2010, can live beyond to 2016-17 May 2003 Previously May 2001 ***(*) oily, leather, black fruit, potent, alcohol, pine nose; pure-toned cassis on palate, with a wood invasion. Reserved, stubborn. 1999 handles the oak better. To 2010-13 May 2001

1997

marked wild fruit nose, springy. Straight, stylish, finesse, very clean, nice bone. 2002-03 on. To 2009-11

1996 ()

very dark, prompted by a SIX-week skin contact; cassis and mineral on bouquet; nice length, round, good persistence, decent balance, plenty of life. 2009-12