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The Wines

Syrah (1977-78) from decomposed granite-loess with white clay veins at 300 metres at Brunieux, 80% destemmed, can do pre-fermentation cooling 12 hrs at 7-8°C if hot harvest conditions, 21-28 day vinification, 0.5-1gm SO2 applied when juice enters the vat, pumping overs, cap punching at 1010 specific gravity, 1.5 gm – 2 gm SO2 applied after the malo, nothing after that, aged 70% new 400-litre oak casks, 30% 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 10-11 months (until early 2010s aged 20% new, 80% 1-2-3 year 228-litre oak casks 11 months), best decanted, unfiltered, 4,200 b

2017

1) (new 400-litre cask, sugars, malo completed) **** dark robe, black tints. Joli, low-key black fruit aroma, neat blackberry, blueberry, with oak. There is good cut. The palate delivers good, crisp black fruits, rocks along well, has flair. There is a good spring of freshness in its step, with joli juice that flows well, good energy. This is clear and beau, the fruit very live. 20 years 2) (new 228-litre cask, sugars, malo completed) **** dark robe. Chocolate, prune, black raisin in a sturdy nose. The palate holds very attractive fruit, is aromatic and tasty; it stiffens a little with the oak, holds harmonious content. There is fine juice on the finish. This has good lift, is promising. “The white clay veins retain humidity, so this was especially good in 2016 and 2017, both dry years,” Samuel Monier. 21 years Nov 2017

2016

bottled Dec 2017: dark red. There is an oily, grapey certainty on the nose, dark berry fruits, traces of violet. The palate is aromatic, genuine, comes with good, savoury flavours, attractive mulberry fruits, a late tingle of freshness. This has good, upright qualities, 2016 style. Very tasty fruit lies at its heart. The purity of the domaine is on show here. There’s sparkle, and also floral notes on the palate. 13.5°. From spring 2019. 2025-27 Feb 2018

2011

handsome dark red, magenta. Good, copious first aroma, mixes mulled red berries with a pong of reduction, rubber – the nose is broad, ample. The palate sets off well thanks to juicy dark berry fruit with a mineral-grain thread through it; a taste of liqueur plums, blackberry and smoky licorice also has notches of thyme and a sparkling late clarity, the licorice pronounced on the aftertaste. It fires in the interest and variety on several fronts, is certainly a wine of character. Very good Saint-Joseph – I wish more were as good and as interesting. Lovely length – there is intense raspberry fruit late on. Decant it. 13°. 2021-22 Nov 2014

2009

handsome robe, a shiny purple-black. The bouquet has an elegant sweep of red berry that resembles a mulberry coulis, comes with licorice and damp soil airs, an inset of China tea. This is a very true Saint-Joseph bouquet. The palate is swept with an enticing mix of violet and chalky cut, a free run of black fruit in a wine of character, has no Superhighway fatness. There is a flinty note on the end, with a pebbledash, almost lavender, verveine (verbena) touch. Very good, an STGT and satisfying wine. It drinks very well, youth and elegance together. 12.5°. Now to 2019-20 July 2012 Previously Dec 2009 ***(*) (new 228-litre oak cask) very dark black-purple robe. Violet wisps in the bouquet, with licorice under it – it is smoky, very tightly packed, and the final air is lightly oaked. The palate has a rich nature, fine tannins, offers a ball of black berry fruit, lengthens well. Fresh finish. Solid length here. From late 2011. 2020-21 Dec 2009

2008

purple, mauve, bright robe; Clear bouquet – pepper mixed with a little oak, but the overall impression is of well-set dark fruit, a long-term resident of this parish. Black berry fruits that move along well lead the palate, have good late airy clarity. There is a nuggety spot of tannin, and none of the 2008 vegetal side here – this is a well-founded wine. From late 2010, but it drinks freshly now. Its depth is three-quarter weight, and secure. A good 2008. 2017-18 Dec 2009

2007

attractive, encouraging full red robe. This has plenty of bouquet – out it comes, offers mulled red berries, pronounced red fruit, is sustained, and has a “dark” undertow, substance. Licorice-streaked black fruits flavour that lead into a crisp and almost tingling aftertaste, so clear-cut is it. There is a sense of grounded earthiness in this. It sits a bit more towards the northern Saint-Joseph zone than the southern zone – via its black fruits and crackly acidity. The blackberry flavour involves elderberry as well – it is a real free wheeler, has dash and flair. Admirably consistent length, really runs on. Tiny bit of Volatile Acidity here. Very good, oily qualities on the texture after 90 minutes. 2108-19 Feb 2011

2006

sober purple robe whose first flush of colour has just ended. Wide, full bouquet – here are abundant red fruits with a glow of ripeness, a southern warmth, some of the Northern Rhône tar. Minor reduction apparent, also floral airs, a shade of mineral – this is varied. Restrained debut to the palate, comes with a smooth texture, is wide as it goes, ends on ripe tannin that gives a late kick of support and extra length. The good, cool finish is very orderly and refined. Very true, STGT wine that reflects mineral and fine fruit. Very good now, in a vigorous condition. 13.5°. 2016-17 July 2010

2004 ()

dark, black cherry tints in robe. Rather stalky bouquet - black fruit that isn't quite ripe, high tone also. Black fruit without sure depth on palate, is peppery, and the elements are not that well set together. Fruit pops up, but there is a bitter, rather burnt thread through it that may not be absorbed. Mid-palate dips down, doesn't hold up there. 2009-11 April 2006

2003 ()

really compact fruit on bouquet. Delicious attack - plunges out with scented violet, black fruits mix. More interesting structure than his Les Serves red, is wide and holds proper tannins that are well integrated. Harmonious, good for the year. 2012-14 March 2005 "I prolonged the maceration to avoid bitterness - we did about 24 days instead of 20 in 2003." J-P.Monier

2001 ()

gamey nose, olives, some reduction; locked-up blackberry, nice muscle, persistent, light end liquorice. 2012-14