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The Wines

from the best, 1940s Syrah vines on Côte Brune, Côte Blonde, destemmed, 4 week concrete vat vinification/maceration at up to 32°C, daily pumping overs, can do cap punchings, no press wine included, aged 25% new, 75% 1-2 year 225-litre oak casks 14-18 months, then concrete vat 3 months, (until 2006 was 50% new, 50% 1-year oak 15-20 months), unfined, filtered, biodynamic grapes


(casks) very dark robe; the nose is forceful, has an oily varnish air, gets out and goes on cassis, simmered black cherry, has a near lush style. It’s big and broad, rather unyielding. The palate links well, delivers ample, rich content with black pepper seasoning in the decisive black fruits, dark and smoky tannins on the conclusion. There is a chocolatey intensity as it ends. It carries plenty of coolness from its granite origins. Allow until 2022 to calm it down, infuse more of its oak. This is powerful, emphatic, on the limit with extraction. 100% Syrah. 2039-41 Dec 2018


(casks) full, dark robe. The bouquet bears a good level of dark fruits, which pack in closely, leave a smoky trail, the oak apparent but not overdone, along with a wispy floral note. Its freshness resumes on the attack, which then develops into a comfortable middle with compact red-fruited content. It then takes up its fresh path once more, the finish spartan, stripped back. More New Wave fandango here: it’s a wine where the zeal for “tension” has prevailed over giving us a really convincing drink. There is quality in the fruit and content, but this could be a more welcoming, enjoyable wine that it is in this form – and that’s either a pity or a lost opportunity. I give this the benefit of the doubt, that it will be more wholesome from 2022. 2041-43 Nov 2017 Previously Apr 2017 **** (cask) dark red colour. This has a curved aroma that reflects loganberry, plump and big berries; it’s closed on its aromatic-floral level, is very much Brune in aspect. The palate starts on a close-knit raspberry flavour, with tenacity in the tannins. It closes on deft powder tannins, and a squeeze of gras richness. This is a compact Mordorée with iron present, and good, regular length. Decanting advised. From 2021. 2039-42 Apr 2017 GB £333.92 per 6 b in bond, £115.53 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk

2015 ()

(cask) filled robe, a very dark red. The bouquet is broad, filled with ample black cherry fruit and charcoal-oaking. The palate attacks well, on a full run of cherry fruit with fresh drive in the tannins. It lasts well, has promise to become handsome. The core is strong, filled. Leave until 2020, with oak fusion a necessity. 2044-46 Oct 2016 Previously Apr 2016 ***** (cask) dark robe. This has a serenely ample nose, presenting softly rounded dark berry fruit, a hint of inner florality and some licorice. It is densely packed, compact and coated on the palate, based on blue fruit with full, ripe tannins well absorbed into its body. It captures a little cool freshness on the second half. It is a big Côte-Rôtie, goes long, is sustained. From 2022, say, for a big display, an imposing glass. It accumulates grain-filled tannin as it closes. 2042-44 GB £293.18 per 6 b in bond, £101.66 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk  Apr 2016


(cask) dark robe. The nose is still very young, on its oak and raising. There is an aroma of blackberry with smoke from its oak, a hint of violets. The palate bears cool fruit, with sinew in its lithe tannins. The fruit quality is good. The shape is promising, as is the length. From mid-2018 to amplify further. 2031-33  Oct 2015  


(cask) full, dark robe. Curvy, openly aromatic, black berry fruited aroma, with softly scented undertones. The palate carries sound weight of content, with oak closely inserted; it ends with a crisp, running style. It is more solid than fragrant in nature. Northern zone, therefore (tasted blind)? Rocky tang as it ends adds to that impression. It has the frame to develop over 20+ years. Well made wine. From 2017. 2034-37 Jan 2015

2012 ()

(cask) dark colour. Dense bouquet, still under restraint, a rather muscular ensemble, with airs of nuts, black raisin, macerated black fruits – the bouquet has weight. The palate works well: it is nicely packed, also direct, takes on gummy tannins towards the finish. The shape is one of a rectangle more than a sphere, and covers the palate across and along well, sustains via an elegant juice, a coulis style fruit. Good, has lots of potential. It is a bit roasted on the aftertaste. From 2016. 2035-37  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(cask) red colour, with purple. Has a medium depth, broad air with oak prominent, so there are toffee notes, and a subdued implication of berries. The oak plays a main role in giving the wine extra body and frame. The red berry juice is fluid, and rolls along easily. The two forces now need to meet. Comes in a light, rather Burgundian style. The fruit is attractive, skipping along well, and the aftertaste fresh. A steady Côte-Rôtie. From 2015. 2032-34  Nov 2012


the dark red has a subdued tone; the bouquet hangs back, with the potential for explosion in 3 to 4 years; it has a very good berry fruit heart, offers wisps of raspberry, hints of rose petals. This is rich, elegant, young, on its oak. The fluid flow of 2010 appears, as well as its concentration of full, dark berries. Oak resides on a liqueur exit. A big wine for Côte-Rôtie, but it isn’t overdone. Uplifting bright tannins lie inside its oak, and a smatter of violet appears on the aftertaste, which is cool and mineral. Has a good shape to do well, has confirmed quality. From 2016-17. 13°. 2040-42 Nov 2013 Previously July 2011 ***** (cask) shiny, dark robe; blackberry, juicy aroma springs out, has a good rolling ripeness, is very 2010 in its free expression and appeal, shows a lot of primary promise. Compact palate, with safe limits. There is rich elegance here, runs in a good, consecutive way, the balance good. It ends on light tar. It is more accessible than the 2009, and holds better fruit than the 2008. Rather a triumphant flourish on the finish. Very frank and fruited. The fruit on the aftertaste is lasting. 2039-42 July 2011


dark robe, very full. A big wall of bouquet here, barely shifting off its power and density pedestal. Airs of violet and leather are present, with real sunshine influences, Indian tea. The palate is also barely out and running, is stuck at the starting gate: it has an almost inky, complete fabric of dark berry fruit, it is gourmand and ample, a big flavour in the budding. Has a black cherry, soaked aftertaste, with juice and flesh there. Round and persistent finale. From 2015. 2035-38 July 2011 Previously Nov 2010 ****(*) (cask) full robe, if a little sombre. The nose is reserved – it is beefy, knit together, smoky. It is upright in shape, but not angular, has enough depth to get moving over time. Prune, black fruit, licorice lie within. Air moves the fruit towards red fruits. The palate has a similar close-knit nature, is young, suggests the northern zone with a flinty late aspect, a licorice tint. There are good layers of fruit in this wine of beau potential. Gentle glow of heat on the finish. Solid and closed, oak especially noticeable on the finale. From late 2013, no hurry. 2034-36 Nov 2010


comfortable depth to the red, which is bright. Red fruit such as raspberry and plum fruits, cooked fruits in the aroma, plus a trail of smoke, an ash effect in behind. The palate is still weaning itself off the demands of the vintage: there is modest gras there now, but it is enclosed by a cordon of stony, smoky tea and graphite. Still rather tight. Decant this. 12.5°. From 2014. 2028-30 July 2011 Previously April 2009 ***(*) (cask, London) steady red robe; toffee, oak-flecked aroma with a smoky or smoked bacon accompanying air, also “dark”, even raisin or meat stock notes. The fruit seems to be raspberry. The palate presents red fruits that have a low-key sweetness all through – a pretty feature already. There is a hint of reduction. The length is OK. You notice the final stages are aromatic, but not especially full, broad, deep = 2008 in a nutshell. There is a little schist clarity towards the finish – the northern zone expressing itself. From mid-late 2011. 2027-29 April 2009

2007 ()

(casks) full, comfortable red; has an even-handed red fruit aroma with a little touch of the gourmet in it, a supple appeal, then smoky afters – there is raspberry and hay here. The palate has the line of 2007 running through it – it is somewhat bracing towards the finish, with a good, handsome grip, a wine currently propped up by its oak. This has potential, even if it is on its wire for now. The length is correct. From late 2011 – the more patient, the better. A sleeper wine. 2029-32 Dec 2008

2006 ()

full, dark raspberry red; The aroma is creamy and vanilla aired from its oak, has toffee sides, while underneath lies black berries, crushed raisin, and a pot-pourri, floral note. The wine is juvenile on the attack, still enclosed. It holds a thread of sinew, a licorice line, along it. It ends steadily, with no fireworks. The end flavour has a savoury moment, a Burgundian elegance. It needs another 18 to 24 months to come out, especially on the nose and the finish, and widen. 13.5°. Bottled Sept 2008. 2030-32 Dec 2008 Previously ****(*) (casks) dark robe for now. Has a black cherry, cassis aroma that is wide and deep: has a solid constitution, and a little pepper comes through, too. The palate holds slightly creamy black fruit with a pretty rich, juicy core. Late on there is oak and licorice, but the black fruits remain accessible. Good length of fruit and richness here. A wide and enveloping wine with a fleshy interior. May start to close down, so keep a watch on it. From mid-late 2010. 2029-31 Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ***(*) (casks) dark, mature style robe. Blackberry fruit aroma, with a ripe air, and a touch of sweetness: is a sweet-toned, quite dense affair. The palate is also deeply filled, with persistent fruit such as red plums and some floral presence. Its tannins are soft, the length correct. An early style, rounded wine, but it will tighten up, maybe around 2009. Plenty of good content, has compact, nicely sealed, good quality fruit. 2019-21 Nov 2007 Previously June 2007 (casks) ****(*) quite dark; red fruit pastilles nose, with a savoury touch and some smoky mineral. The palate starts in a round, gourmand fashion, in tune with the nose. Good typicité – this gains a little tannin, has a mix of black pepper and mocha late on. Harmonious, tasty wine of good potential. Good clear finish to it, suggesting the northern zone clarity. From 2011 for its tannins and oak. 2028-30 June 2007


dark, sustained robe. The nose is tight – chocolate, oak, raisin, a little formulaic, with a wee air of blackberry liqueur. The palate starts with grainy, crunchy, full black fruit that runs widely across the palate. Also has a sense of direction that I like – moves on through. Holds secure late tannin that is well-defined, and promises a balanced evolution. From late 2010. 2032-35 Jan 2008 Previously June 2007 ***** (pre-bottle) soft red robe; closely packed red berry aroma, with a live presence and a fresh topping, even though it is rather dumb today. Unusually oily for a Côte-Rôtie – the palate is rich, with a mark of tannin around it. Grips well at the end. The fruit is ripe, almost mulled in nature, but there is good cut, too. Good length. Some tarry, crunchy fruit on the finish. From 2010. 2030-33 Due for bottling Sept 2007. June 2007

2004 ()

elegant, potentially broad aroma, dark fruit outcrops, more variety to come. Intense, darting attack. Mineral thread, wine not knit yet. While acidity is prominent, the wine does hold some core and richness. Patience is needed: it can meld, the fruit is edgy for now. Has a scented, nicely clear aftertaste. From 2008. 2025-28 April 2006


dark, reserved chocolate/preserved cherries bouquet. Cellar made wine, oak residue around it. Correct enough. Fruit is clean, but oak must go. 2008 on. 2025-27


reduced, broad black fruit nose, earthy. Palate also quite solid. Stewed fruit, dryish end. Peep of end fruit. Esp 2007 on. 2021-23


discreet, fine nose, clear fruit, good grain; stylish but reserved substance. The matter in it seems well-founded, and there is a live raspberry finish, in keeping with the tone of the vintage. This is quite pure. From 2007. 2030-32


toasted/grilled aromas, bit tight; med-weight wine, bit plain. Reserved, fair red fruit, some depth. Length OK. Not sure if its elements will combine. More firm than usual. From 2007. 2026-28


tightly-packed bouquet, lot of density, some oak; its fullness is gentle, lots of lovely gras; rich, juicy, with a chewy, lasting finish. 2032-34


square, smoky, bit resinous bouquet; fair amount raspberry fruit, bit dumb. Very chewy, oak-related finish. From 2004. 2025-28


stewing red fruit/strawberry, evolving aroma, not fully charged; nicely supple palate, still holding back. Red fruits, nicely generous at end. Esp from 2004. Pleasurable, pretty. 2022-24


vibrant Syrah pepper/spice, discreet sweet fruit; good depth and length; sustained core fruit, rounded, shows oak. Tannins appear on finish. 2021-23