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The Wines

Syrah (1970s & older) from clay-limestone soils at Tain & Mercurol, 33% whole bunch fermentation, notably in sunny vintages, 3-4 week vinification, two daily pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 30% new, 70% 2-3 year 600-litre oak casks 12-13 months, cask selection wine, unfined, filtered, 10-20,000 b


full, deep red robe; the bouquet is well and safely lined with small black fruits, blackcurrant, and a note of licorice. There’s a note of animal. It’s a slow burner, taking its time to emerge. The attack is rather thickly furnished with black berry content, spreads widely, has a little gusto in its late delivery, the finish mobile, on the go, tarry and lead-like. It’s a good Syrah from coolish soils, has assertion derived from the old vines. It warrants a good red meat dish, with its late note of mineral helpful for its clarity there. It will gradually open and display is wares more broadly. From 2022, decant it. 14.2°. 2030-32 Jan 2021 GB £110/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/rhoneep

2018 ()

(casks) sombre, dark red colour; the nose is broad, has a beefy, copious nature, shows grilling, assertion. It carries weight, and some mystery. The palate has an inky make-up, is well fuelled, charges into the home straight vigorously, hits the line hard. There are Southern connotations, black olives, menthol in play, and it persists well. The tannins are firm, compact. This is a wine of plenty, which will gradually refine, so the longer the wait, the better, and the more it will merit its rating – from 2023, thus. Decant it. 2034-36 Nov 2019


(casks, sample from Nov 2018) full, complete dark red robe. The bouquet has substance, promise, comes with a savoury depth, rests on cooked black stone fruits with some southern sweetness in them. There’s much more to come as it unfurls. The palate is immediately rich, even coated, bears well upholstered black cherry content with some salted freshness in the tannins, tannins that are still making their way inside it. This is graceful, serene Crozes, a yacht with a good length of sail on it. The finish involves black olives, squeezy matter. It connects to the middle to east end of the Hermitage hill. From spring 2021. 2037-39 Tain, Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2018 (casks, bottling 30 Nov 2018) ****(*) good, full dark red robe. Has a refined black berry aroma, is a curvy nose, also features raspberry, is wholesome, has pockets of mystery, with sunshine ripeness, oiliness. Both the texture and the content are dense, with lingering persistence, good, floral appeal along with damson plums, a flavour also close to dates, with strength in its delivery, late iron moments. This is complex, very interesting, close to a mini Hermitage. The inclusion of the stems support and help the late stages here. 10,000 b. From 2021. 2035-38 GB £190 per 12 b i/bond, £215 per 6 magnums i/bond J&B www.justerinis.com justbrooksorders@justerinis.com +44(0)207 484 6400  London, Nov 2018


(casks) dark red. The bouquet still has a little way to go, shows a low-level grilling, raspberry fruits, some saltiness. It is safely broad. The palate is well-juiced, runs liberally with that asset, and the close is also full of fruit. There are mineral touches in this, which elevate it above the herd, giving it poise and purity. It’s a wine for a thoughtful occasion more than a ribald party. From mid-2018, decanting helpful. I like its detail. 13°. 2028-30 Nov 2017


shiny dark red robe. The nose gives a polished air of cherry fruit, with toasting and oak behind. The palate reveals a little reduction, so decant this; it runs with suave black fruit, lissom tannins well in step. This is quite ample, sleek Crozes that will please. The juice has a fine quality, and keeps going discreetly. 13°. 10,000 b. €11.40 export. From 2017. 2029-32 Oct 2016 GB £183 12/b ib £204 6/mags ib Clarion Wines www.clarionwines.co.uk info@clarionwines.co.uk +44(0)208 747 2069. GB/HK £195 12 b/£205 6 mags i/b Goedhuis +44(0)207 793 7900 +852 2801 5999 sales@goeduis.com hksales@goedhuis.com www.goedhuis.com GB £155 12 b/£205 6 mags in bond Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com


(casks) dark, full robe. The nose sits comfortably, comes with charm, gives a bonny air of black berry fruit. The palate sequels well from the nose, is marked by content that picks up body and pace as it goes. The finish is tarry. This has the shape and scope to do well; the tannins are fresh, and there is enough content to match them. 13°. €11.10 export. From mid-2017 to allow oak fusion. 2025-27  GB £140 12/b in bond or £16.46 Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com GB £65/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013 ()

sustained dark robe. There is comfortable depth in an assured nose – it gives a rather fat style of black berry fruit, a notion of prune, a little top crispness. Attractive fruit features on the attack –  red berry, mulberry, also holds fine tannins that fit closely. This has appealing detail, and class. Pepper touches show on the sprightly finish. Very good. From mid-2016. 13°. 2027-30 Only 10,000 b this year – half the usual. €10.90 export. Presents obvious value at GB £70/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com 2023-24 Jan 2015  


(casks) dark red; chiselled, smoky nose, with a blackberry coulis centre – it is attractive and quite sweet, also offers raspberry and mulberry. A nutty smokiness hangs around it. The palate has an elegant, structured flow, and picks up density as it goes, ending clearly. It is appealingly wide, has quiet inner strength. It persists well. From mid-2015. 2026-28. £165 per 12 in bond, J&B in GB.  Nov 2013


dark colour; good, dense bouquet that reflects soaked black cherries, is smoky, shows licorice, crushed nutshells. The palate is tasty, yes, indeed. this is w.o.w. wine that drinks with healthy body now. Very fine. The tannins are elegant on the finish, which is round and nicely together. It starts on a voluptuous note, with abundance, then becomes more serious with a fine grain note – a lovely duo. 13°. 2023-25  May 2013 Previously Nov 2012 **** (casks) comfortable dark robe. Has an enormous rump of a bouquet – farmyard airs, and high, oily fruit, with oak and a lot roasting, grilling. The palate keeps up a good charge of pronounced berry fruit with scale and latent heat in its main body, frame. A copious Crozes, on a different level of intent to many. Has a good, savage, wild side to it. The fruit resembles blackberry, loganberry and is laced with meat stock, has a rich finish. Marks for boldness – this will certainly fill the glass. Suited to game, winter foods, daube, beef stew, hare. From spring 2014. 2021-23  Nov 2012

2010 ()

dark, shiny; has a well assembled nose – there is good style in the black fruit, carries a light perfume, is bright, also has an earthy note. On the palate, there is charcoal and a smoky intensity in the black fruit; its oak adds to it, gives it extra thrust. It ends completely, smokily. Food best, not solo drinking. From 2013. 2025-28 May 2012 Previously Feb 2012 ***(*) shiny, full robe; blackberry-mulberry pastille air, a touch of sweet or jam in this nose, with a meatiness as well. The palate is easily fruited, led by cassis blackcurrant, comes with discreet tannins that are smoky and give it grip and, late on, a dark bite. There is a moment of acidity and graininess on the finish. Its charcoal towards the end is out of step for now. Not entirely convinced by this. 12.5°. From 2014. 2024-27 Feb 2012


bottled last week: quite a full red, a small dark spot at the centre. Biscuity, rather enclosed nose bearing light fruit such as black cherry – but it can emerge and blossom. Direct line of red fruit on the palate, plus rather well-set depth. It widens, and reveals enjoyable red cherry fruit late on. A good job for a 2008. Esp late 2010 on. 2016-19 Only 10,000 b this year. Nov 2009

2007 ()

dark robe; beef stock, black fruits with a hint of floral breezes across them on the nose – it is rounded and open, with some sweet, licorice airs as well. Good black fruit on the attack – this gets out and goes, without artifice or obvious oak. It tightens at the end, and is just a shade extracted there as it dries a little. There are olives and southern links on this towards the finish. From spring 2009. Food best, rather than solo drinking. To 2020 Dec 2008


dark, full robe; has a black berry aroma with a nice sideways appeal – is quietly rich, nicely assured and has potential. The palate provides agreeable, good drinking. Possesses well-set black fruit, flows well, and is trimmed with some licorice tasting tannins, and then a black pepper aftertaste. Good balance here – this is on the button, w.o.w. wine. 2015-17 Dec 2007


quite a dark robe; raspberry coulis aroma with some mint in it – is quite broad and extensive. Pretty, rounded but full fruit on the palate, which becomes alert towards the finish as the tannins come along with a nice wave to them. Notably ripe wine, an example of good, local Syrah. Has quite a wild, punchy finale with some tarry elements – that works well. 2018-21 Nov 2006

2004 ()

full, dark, matt robe. Brewed bouquet, with spice topping, is pretty broad, meaty and full. Soaked fruit, a black fruit, mainly prune, coating of flavour with a dry tingle on second half. Hope the tannic/oak dryness on end will not advance inside the wine. From 2007 2017-20 April 2006

2003 ()

grilled, imposing bouquet - soaked black cherries. Full, brewed dark fruits on palate, rolls along well, oak intervenes. Length OK. More together by 2007; it can fuse and shake off the vintage effect. 2020-22 March 2005

2000 ()

bosky, wooded elements on nose, pine wood, dry; sprightly early fruit, red berries. Slightly lean, fair length, though dries. Needs some time - can`t be sure about the balance here. 2009-12

1999 ()

full robe; plush, cherry aroma, spice/smoky top, warm south feel. Pretty, oily textured palate, soaked fruit with minty aftertaste. A little air brings more grilled ending. Has a rich core, in comfortable middle age now. 2014-16 Feb 2005. Previously **** dark fruit/mint, pepper on a wholesome, full aroma; tightly-packed black fruit propped up by sound tannins. Quite challenging as a young wine, drinkfrom 2004. Sound, not flashy fruit, can gain complexity. To 2010-13.

1998 ()

varied, black fruits, tar and mint aroma, dry tones; earthy flavour, black fruit, tar and berry finale. After three years, tannins more prominent, is more punchy. Oily finish, tannins need to work out. 2015-17.