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The Wines

high part of Les Greffieux, 1940s Syrah, destemmed, fermented in concrete vat, 3-4 week vinification at up to 30-33°C, 1-2 daily cap punchings, aged 25-30% new, 65-70% 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 18 months, then vat 3 months (until 2006 aged 14-18 months in 40-50% new oak, rest 1-2 years’ old), organic wine, first wine 2001, 3,000 b

2019 ()

(cask) dark, thorough robe. The bouquet carries inner sweetness in its blackberry fruit with licorice present; it’s broad, has the solid filling of the high sun vintage. The attack is fulsome, immediate, bears lashings of black berry fruits with a juicy fat on board, an ample dimension with Southern notes such as black olives, tapenade towards the compact finish. This is like discovering a plump lizard under a sunswept rock – it has the bounty of that image, and the vibrancy of the surprise. It’s very ripe, while the aftertaste is coated, soaked. It’s a full scale Greffieux, not the usual mediator for the Big Three of Méal, Bessards and L’Hermite, more doing a solo album this time around. From 2024, decant it. 2043-45 Dec 2020


(casks) very dark robe; the bouquet is well furnished with cassis-blue fruit, is thorough, for now impenetrable, has a little minting, cocoa, salinity. The palate links well, has a seriously elegant run of neat black fruits with tasty outcrops in the tannins, the whole set to fuse well. The fruit and content style are most pleasing, well orchestrated. The finish is lip smacking, generous. It carries mystery, and will develop very well. From 2023, decant it. 2048-50 Nov 2019


(casks) full, deep red robe; the nose presents grilling, entrails, a meaty depth in with ripe crushed red stone fruits. It’s a lusty, vigorous opening. The palate has a flavour that combines Indian ink with cooked plums, mulberry fruit, goes along with drive and unbridled fuel. It surges into the finish, which shows oak for now. There is a good, secure level of richness here for the future. There’s plenty on offer, and it will fill the glass well, up for game dishes, beef. From 2022, decant it. 2043-46 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(cask) dark red colour. The nose has a blackcurrant liqueur, beef stock and entrails depth, shows grilling, is just shutting down. There is plenty on offer for the future. The palate is also fundamental, grounded, has dark body mass, an inky, prolonged second half, with that beefy note again on the finish. The texture is good and thick, while it goes well long. This is a real child of the hill, with the inner strength that makes up a true Hermitage. From spring 2020. 2033-35 Nov 2017 Previously Apr 2017 ****(*) (cask) deep red robe. The nose shows grilling, meaty aspects, blackberry fruit, licorice. There is good typicity with its inner sweetness. It’s a varied bundle in the making; I like its unfettered nature. The palate has an elegant density with crisp fruit, clear definition, the cool notes of the vintage running though it, then a gradual increase in gras and sap (sève) as it ends. This is STGT Greffieux, giving an accurate picture. There is an underlying floral aroma through it, andf the balance is good. There was no hail here, so the yield was 20 hl/ha. From 2021. 2036-38 Apr 2017 GB £399.70 per 6 b in bond, £137.45 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk

2015 ()

(cask) dark, full robe. The nose has a beefy nature, red meat and wet stones, blood-like inferences. The fruit side is compressed by the sun, has a prune style. The palate breathes with an inner strength, bears mulberry-raspberry fruits with quiet intensity. This is muscled now, but will become stylish, carries a near Pinot association, a lean towards grace. From 2020. 2037-40 Oct 2016  Previously Apr 2015 ***** (cask) shiny dark robe, legs visible. The nose has real depth, leads on a simmered, coulis of blackberry, shows latent grilling and a near toffee note. The palate is also grilled on debut, with a silken textured content within. This conforms very truly to Greffieux, with a suave, consecutive display of tannin after half way, a well prolonged finish. I like these enriching tannins. STGT wine, shows the relative luxury of Greffieux. From 2012. 2040-42 GB £350.88 per 6 b in bond, £120.89 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk Apr 2016

2014 ()

(cask) dark colour; the nose gives ripe fruit, black raisin, the fruit picked very ripe, has a soaked style. There is a hint of damp forest. The palate gives a suave display of berry fruit, with trim tannins wrapped around it, the shape largely round already. This is stylish at heart, even given the soaked fruits style. There is plenty of gras and fleshy matter on the finish. From 2019 to fine tune the tannins, to allow variety to start. Lots of potential here. 2029-32 GB £380/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(cask) very dark; there is a chocolate intensity on the nose from its cask raising, a deep prune, black berry aroma within, is lightly nutted. A good, oily ripeness establishes the bouquet well. The palate runs in aromatic waves of dark red berry fruit, has dash, and the tannins add life to the second half, meaning the wine finishes running and on the up. This is solid, and ripe, also supple, shows oak. The finish is knit, complex. Decant it. From 2018. 2034-36  GB £170/3 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 2015


sombre dark red colour. This has a buoyant black berry aroma, with tar and reduction in the mix, a deep earthiness: it is a full bouquet in the making. Grilled notes feature on the palate, which starts with depth, a live freshness running through its roasted berry fruit. It ends with a note of power, away from the main fruit. Very young. No fancy stuff here, just a full bottle of Hermitage, with persistent fruit essence in it thanks to some cellar exertion. The texture invokes oil as it ends - it is nicely sustained there. 14°. From 2018. 2030-32 Previously Nov 2013 **** (cask) sombre, quite dark robe. Smoky, mineral-clipped, mysterious nose, with oak grilling in it. It has the spine of western zones, its depth is appealing, and nothing has been overdone. The palate is finely composed, the fruit clear and dark, spurred on by quiet acidity with a drift of late violet. It has mineral in its veins, delivers a message with a glint, iron-style cut, will take its time. Burgundy meets Hermitage here. This will gain slowly over time. From 2017. 2028-30  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(cask) dark robe. Smoky bacon, black cherry aroma of some freedom – this makes a good first impression, is pretty deep, and involves blackberry, licorice and tar. Mature fruit – the crop almost late harvested – leads the palate, then moves into a set of grainy tannins, so the shape becomes more square. A Regular Guy Hermitage – there is not a lot of élan based on this cask sample, which may be a bit tired. There are gummy tannins at the end. There are sweet, honeyed notes and dates in the flavour. From 2015. 2029-30  Nov 2012


(cask) good surge of dark red, some black, on the robe. Prune-blackberry, an ash air in the nose, with oak obviously present, but measured. The fruit is ripe, generous, has a touch of game in the undertow. The palate starts on the go – gives very drinkable black fruit that is enclosed by oak more than its already absorbing, ripe tannins. Attractive juice at the end, a good flourish. Finely polished Hermitage rather than the manly, brooding style, it is feminine and restrained. From 2015. Another well-balanced 2010 here. 2034-36 July 2011


(pre-bottle, final assemblage) full, dark robe; interesting and very broad nose with varied suggestions – blackberry, light polished leather airs, tar and chocolate, a broody meatiness as well: a really charged version of Les Greffieux. The palate expresses big black fruit, searches out the corners of the palate, delivers a deft touch, not clumsy or overdone, so typical of its place. Oak resides on the aftertaste, and that oaked intensity needs 5+ years to depart. Long, pretty continuous wine. 2033-36 July 2011 Previously Nov 2010 ***** (cask) dark red-black. Elegantly juiced, southern notes in the nose – warmth, discreet black cherry jam, a well-ingrained richness present. The palate is firmer, more sealed than the nose. There is a close, compact frame around the black fruit – blackberries, blueberries. Good balance, but the finish is not yet integrated – why should it be? - and it skips a beat just before the end. Light cocoa, date notes on the finish. Has a confident aftertaste, all is promising, a poised wine in the making. From 2014. 2027-29 Nov 2010


(cask, London) brighter, more obvious red than Le Méal 2008. There is a slightly herbal, lateral air to the bouquet – thyme, baked stones, brioche bread here. The palate has a cautious, low-key start, releases acidity late on, with its red fruits well tucked in. This is a light vintage wine, with its drinking starting early, say from 2011, its style Burgundian. Will make a pretty lunch wine, good for the CHR trade. Aromatic style this year. 2022-25 April 2009


(casks) steady red robe with plum tones. Reductive bouquet, with a shimmer of red fruits and violet present. It has hidden nuance, something like smoky quince in it, and can emerge clearly. The palate holds secure red fruit, the texture is sealed, and this has the potential to be stylish from 2013 or so. It tightens as it goes – is a typical Greffieux en finesse wine. The air brings out its oak, the length is decent. 2024-26 Dec 2008


dark, black-tinted robe; this has a really curvaceous, Marilyn Monroe bouquet – gives out a big time “come hither” – shows sweet black cherry and a sultry backdrop – it isn`t gummed up, but instead has freedom, and a tiny touch of licorice. The palate is rich in flavour – no surprise after the bouquet. Mocha emerges as the winner today, surrounded by black jam fruit, also coffee in the taste. A long and never halting wine – it is good and irresistible, comes with a sweep of sweet fruit. It has a gentle layer of late tannin. Lovely sweetness here. “From the grape stage onwards, this was a real player – the grapes were very juicy,” Grégory Viennois. 15°, the first crop to be picked off the hill in 2006. 2026-29 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ****(*) (casks) dark cherry, black robe; the aromas reflect oak, nut, black fruits, mulled black berries – come across in an even display. The palate holds black fruit with a supple texture at its heart – the fruits bounds along well, and show an expressive red berry late surge – loganberry maybe. Round and nicely oily at the finish, plus ripe tannins and oak. Has a raisin finish. Succulent style of wine delivered here, for lovers of the obvious. From 2010-11. 2027-29 Jan 2008


full, dark robe; has a big, quite liquoreux nose led by notably ripe black berry or mulberry, and is fringed by smoke and even some mint liqueur. Has a wide, juiced and fleshy palate – there is a lot of matter, with tannins coming though after half way. Has a black fruit, licorice aftertaste, with quite crackly black pepper from its tannins – this is a bright finish, with good vivacity. From 2011. 2029-31 Jan 2008

2004 ()

good, oily essence in the bouquet - smoke, prune, floral in its variety. Nicely bound together flavour, oak is present and adds a nutty, pistachio effect late on. Plenty of body for the future - its big, black fruits express well. Interesting variety of flavour can develop, the fruit is expressed with an elegant touch. From 2009. When I know its identity, I'd say it was true to Greffieux's typical elegance. 2022-25 April 2006

2003 ()

(cask) hidden bouquet, some red berry. Dry-tinged black fruit, has the chocolate style aftertaste of the year. Oak finale. Good palate, can develop. From 2008. 2020-23


black fruit aroma, quietly done, touch smoky. Quite well-knit palate, dark fruits, the oak makes it upright, leaves aftertaste dry. Touch extracted. Should grow into the oak that has gained ground in the last year. Esp 2006-07 on. To 2014-16 Dec 2004 Previously (cask) **** smoky, damp earth/raspberry nose; berried fruits, truffly, black soil/coffee end. Clear-cut. 2007-08 on. 2016-18

2001 ()

(cask) raspberry liqueur, white truffle nose; tasty red berries, the fruit sparkles on the palate. Suave, a wine with content. Elegant; nice length, lots of pleasure here. 2005-06 on. To 2016-20