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The Wines

av 20 yrs Syrah, from clay-granite soils, part flat ground, part slight slope, destemmed, 4-5 day cool crop maceration, 25-28 day vinification at up to 28-30°C, 2-3 daily pumping overs, aged 5-10% vat, 90-95% new-9 year 228-litre oak casks 10-11 months, fined, filtered, first called Méribets in 2009, 20-22,000 b

2015

very dark robe. The bouquet is deep, shapely, offers a careful line of ripe dark red berry fruit, with a savoury, lightly volatile nature. The palate gives ample, rounded fruit and content with a raspberry tang in the flavour. The finish comes forward with a mulled, slightly liqueur note. From mid-2017. 2022-23 Oct 2016

2013

sober dark plum colour. Simmered berries are in the air on the nose that has a mild sweetness, perhaps soaked raspberries. This is a s safe rather than adventurous start. The palate continues the red berry theme, is gently fruited, a little one-dimensional, not far off showing all it can. There is a light clarity on the finish, which is tame: tasted blind, I suspect it has just been bottled, so expect more from the finish. From mid-2015. 12.5°. €20. 22,000 b. 2019-20 Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) rather dark robe; glinting, mineral-flecked air, shows a tight aroma of cassis, mulberry, black coffee. The palate has a small acetate clamp along its sides, making it, for now, more taut than need be. Decant this, though isn’t yet bottled. It is still in the cellar, has a clipped style, a techno feel. Needs to relax; the fruit is direct. I would leave until 2015, and it could be moving forward by then. 12.5°. €7.50 export. 2019.   Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark robe, intense, has legs. The bouquet gives a rolling wave of black berry fruit, polished leather, smoke, black raisin, nuttiness. The nose is broad and offers plenty, has lots of life. The palate combines raspberry and loganberry fruit which packs life into its tannins, so a buzzy, fruit-filled wine comes through. It ends clearly, allows room for one to want more. There is just a final spot of grain to give it a dusted coating from its granite on the finish. Long, satisfying wine that can be drunk solo, is w.o.w. Great with roast lamb and rosemary, or a magret of duck. There are tar droplets at the end, an iodine note on the aftertaste. Great fruit – this has panache. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2010

handsome dark red robe, black tints. The nose is attractively wide and deep, shows “sparkling” fruit with a salty breeze in it, comes with smoke, juniper, light airs of oak along with Indian tea leaves. Good, vigorous, peppery start to the palate which runs on fresh lines and leads to a black pepper, directly fruited finale. The tannins are still a bit stiff, but has shapely gras richness within. Good, clear length here. 12.5°. 2018-19 May 2012

2008

**(*) at least - (4 year cask, malo done, from Charamulin, 1989 Syrah) **(*) bright robe for now; pretty, classic St Jo fruit aroma – it is quite round in shape. Also attractive fruit on the palate – it is agile, but there is a sympa richness. 6 year wine. March 2009 (3 year cask, malo done, from Les Rouasses, 1993 Syrah) *** dark robe; nutty, black fruits aroma. Dark fruits lead the palate, with acidity in back, and a clinky granite snap late on. It ends on a minor note of gras or richness. Very sympa, has really likeable fruit. 6 year wine. March 2009

2007 ()

the nose is tight, closed – there is some compact black fruit aroma. The palate has good, clear and local flavour – blackberry with fresh cut through it, and a graceful run. It ends crisply. It is somewhat Protestant, but is a genuine wine. Decant now, or from late 2009. Good and clear, natural wine, pretty good length. “It is starting to close up again”, Anthony Vallet – I agree. To 2015. March 2009

2006

dark plum robe; the nose backs off, as if it is in a lull now – it gives the sense of black fruit, with black pepper within. The palate gives a glimpse of black fruit at the outset, then really shuts up shop. It has fair, grainy or mineral length, a peppery affair. This will evolve slowly. It ends clearly, but should be left until spring 2010 or mid-2010. Its next opening will show some evolution. “It was a lot rounder a few months ago,” Anthony Vallet. 13°. To 2016 March 2009

2004

reticent bouquet, traces of red berries, cherries, holds up quite well. Palate doesn't show a lot, either. The fruit within is clean-cut, this is a wine waiting to emerge, since it seems clear and orderly. A little narrow now, but the fruit gives hope. Can become elegant, esp 2007 on. 2011-12 April 2006

2002 ()

soft, easy bouquet, light red jam. Peppery start, very local feel to it - the northern St-Jo zone. Some tar on finish, easy to drink. Simple, agreeable.

2001

upright, grilled, berry aroma; kirsch, gains roundness with air, raspberry flavour towards finish. Sound, chewy length. 2008-09

1998 ()

grilled, smoky bouquet; warm, jam fruit runs to the end. Soupy, quite thick texture of middle age. 2008