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The Wines

1940s Syrah from Chavanessieux, sand on top of granite base, northern sector, plus since early 2010s 20-30% Syrah from Les Chassis (southern sector, had been 10-15% before then), destemmed, 25-30 day vinification in small, closed concrete vats, pumping overs, no press wine included, malo in oak, aged 50% new, 50% 1-2 year oak 15-18 months, then 3 months of vat, first wine 1994, “we have reduced the Les Chassis proportion,” Michel Chapoutier, 5,000 b


(casks) dark, black-centred robe. The bouquet is a big affair, has a brewed aroma that brings in ripe black fruit that extends as far as prune, with sturdy oaking that sits across it. This is on a mini Hermitage [the east end] scale. The palate is also substantial, determined, rich and thorough. The dark fruits are matched by ripe, thick tannins that support it well, ending in succulent, sustained fashion with its oak – it’s impressively long. It’s a proper wine for la table and beef, game dishes. From spring 2022 to fuse oak and sort it out further. 2037-39 Dec 2018


(casks) dark robe, black centre. The bouquet is wide, oaked, has a firm inlay of smoky black cherry fruit, is glistening and modern. The palate sequels closely from the nose, via its shiny black cherry, blackberry fruit and tangs of oak varnish. There is good length, but, for now, the aftertaste is mainly on that oak. The fruit is stylish, well-cut, precise, and there is a neat late ball of richness to perk it up. From late-2018 to lessen the oak-charcoal impact. 2032-34 Nov 2017 Previously Apr 2017 **** (casks) dark red, with some purple. The nose presents red berry, raspberry fruit with a soft centre, a coulis style curve. It has a delicate powderiness, a wee floral note. The palate gives a fluid, cosy red fruit content with a growing emphasis of fine grain tannins. The fruit is well juiced until the tannins. It’s a good, stylish Crozes, a wee bit pristine, but good. Allow until 2020-21 to round out the finish. A reduced 24 hl/ha this year. 2031-33 Apr 2017 GB £123.13 per 6 b in bond, £45.04 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk


(casks) dark robe. The nose has a brewed air, full of blackberry delivered in close waves, a trail of dark berry and licorice. This is tightly drawn together, a rocky debut with some plump gras richness at half way; it then reverts to a rocky texture, a salted tang close, with blueberry fruit and forward, prominent tannins on the close. From 2019. 2034-37 GB £108.33 per 6 b in bond, £39.83 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk Apr 2016

2014 ()

(casks) healthy dark red robe. Oak is prominent on the nose, flanked by a cosy, rounded aroma of blackberry, the fruit nice and pure. The palate is overtly modern, nearly flashy; the flavour centres on a coulis of blackberry, with oak and tannin still in play as it finishes. The fruit has a cool quality. From 2017. 2028-30 GB £135/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com  Oct 2015 


(casks) handsome, shiny dark robe. Blackberry fruit is imposing and well presented on an oaked nose. On the palate, there is good style in the black cherry fruit, with a marked charry note from the oak, and a flicker or tow of perfume, violet. An upscale Crozes, from old vines, good sites (tasted blind) – it has the assured depth of those sources. I like the length – it ends with good snap, menthol. From 2018. 2030-32 GB £135/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 2015

2011 ()

safe, dark robe. Has a crunchy oak air, with a pine-petrol density, ground coffee beans. The palate is wide, coated with gummy, tarry black fruit that leads to a dark chocolate, grippy sign-off. Full style, full-on wine, but it doesn’t cross the line. The cellar prevails for now, so leave for two+ years. There are oak traces on the aftertaste. From 2014-15. 2028-30  Nov 2012


dark robe; oak, coffee, black cherry aroma that has substance. The palate sets off on a direct path – it delivers crisp, crunchy black fruit with a softening towards the finish, where oak charcoal comes through. The length is sound, aand it needs to fuse and soften. From spring 2014 or later. The oak is powerful at the moment, and it lacks nuance. I suspect it is retreating into its shell as it grows up. 2030-32 May 2012 Previously July 2011 ***** (casks) bright dark red, purple. Very elegant nose, real good poise, a classy debut – fine black berry air, little berries, at its heart. I can detect granite also, a feathery mineral touch, oak notes, and flowers. The palate has a graphite influence in the black fruit – this is a shapely wine with pretty gras, scented late moments. This is bang on, STGT wine – the oaking will retreat, and the wine will be faithful to its place in a pure form by 2016-17. Excellent northern zone-granite Crozes-Hermitage with extra stuffing from its young oak. Its balance is a strong card. 2028-30. July 2011

2009 ()

(casks) dark robe. Turbid, really replete nose with a fat centre, is all about sun and ripeness, sweet-centred grapes; oak and leather ride in back. Chocolate-oak élevage influence on the attack, oily and big bounty mid-palate, finishes on a full, rather powerful surge. It is dense in the 2009 fashion. I find it a tiny bit on the stretch towards the finish. Black cherry juice on the finish before oak tints. From 2014. 2031-33 July 2011 Previously Nov 2010 **** (casks) full, complete robe. Wide and deep nose – smoky oak prominent, but a good layer of ripe matter underneath, and cooked bacon notes. This wine has a big start to it. The oak crispens up a rich palate, makes this a Big Fella. It is wide and constructed, the texture rich, smooth. It ends on herbal notes such as thyme and rosemary. Refined fruit lies at its heart. Needs to shake off its elevage. From 2014. 2028-31 Nov 2010


(cask, London) bright robe, light purple in the red. Has a herbal, even baked vineyards nose – it is tight, has more to unfurl over time. For now, there is red berry fruit. The palate is a wee bit slim at the start, with a little sweetness, a gentle red berry fruit. This is indeed a good, typical northern zone attack, with a very true grain and red fruit to the fore that also persists quietly. It ends with quiet firmness, a white pepper dash. A fine wine that can fill out. From 2012-13. This is STGT – very true to its place this year. 2022-24 April 2009

2007 ()

(casks) steady red robe; the bouquet mixes some oak and crunchy fruit – it is upright, but has body – will be wider around 2011, and for now it mainly expresses black cherry and sweet coffee. The palate holds elegant early fruit, and runs along in a well-mannered way. It ends on its black fruit, with a clear finale and some poise there, too. It is not a “deep and dark” year, more one with floating qualities, and a few mysterious corners. The finish is sinewed. A mid+ weight year. Esp 2012-15 for its sing-song. 2023-25 Dec 2008

2006 ()

thorough plum robe; ripely filled black berry fruit aroma, with good core – is a bit vegetal for now, also has licorice. There is liquoreux, sweet and creamy black fruit at the start – it is open, and then clamps down. The richness is what I term three-quarter weight. There are chocolate elements from the oak. This is very primary, and is not budging much. There is a cool tone to the aftertaste from its granite, and it ends clear as a whistle. From 2010. 2025-27 Previously Dec 2007 **(*) (casks) blackberry robe; the bouquet has a lacing of black pepper and oak; the undertone is of charcoal and barbecue smoke. This has the sense of a constructed wine, the cellar arriba. There is an oak-infused black berry flavour that is rendered smoky by its oaking. The core matter is quite rich. This sustainsa fleshy texture to the end, and has a very late tip of the tongue tar from its oak. There is some end heat. This needs to soak up its oak, so drink from spring 2009. 2023-25 Dec 2007

2005 ()

full, dark plum robe; has a tight-knit bouquet, with a solid heart – is wide and replete, and there is oak in the form of a charcoal aroma infused into it. It is a good sign that while the palate is good and chunky, it starts with clear, quite silken fruit. This certainly has scale and persistence, and is wide and brimming at the end. Has ways to go – but can get there. Holds a lot of matter, and the finish is nice and crisp. From 2011. 2026-28 Jan 2008


sober plum robe. Sprinkling of strawberry jam, pretty, quite charming aroma. Palate follows the theme of the bouquet - soft jam fruit, then tightens, and the fruit darkens as some tannins show up. Rather one-dimensional but easy to drink now to 2014 or so. Tarry finish at present. The vintage when aromas are more on show than the flavours. April 2006

2003 ()

full up dark red; entry of secondary influences on the nose – black raisin, date. The palate is firm, not yet expressing itself freely – the main taste is chocolate, not what red Crozes is all about. This is a pumped up wine – will it come round, will it ease – those are the big questions? There is a little late mineral from its terroir, a brief moment of clarity. 2021-23 July 2010 Previously (cask) ** (cask) black fruit, smoked bouquet, cool feature here. Straight black fruit, some pepper, oaked finale. Clear, berried, upright fruit. Granite lends minerality. It's a bit dry beyond the tannins, so will be best in its second phase. 2007-08 on. 2018-20

2002 ()

wrapped up bouquet, with a cool side to it - mocha, coffee bean, smoky. Dark fruit, quite severe extraction, oak override at end. Prune, black fruits, violets, all a bit wannabe. Some end heat. A mineral tinge runs through it. It was more compact. 2007 on. 2016-18


overt, funky, animal bouquet; dense fungal/black fruit, truffle taste. Live, loganberry finish. Structured, good wine. Esp good around 2007-08. To 2020-22

2000 ()

warm, tight black fruit nose, harmonious. Clear fruit attack - berries, quite soft. Sound tannic finale. Esp 2004-05. To 2019-21.

1999 ()

tight, brooding nose, forest smells/raspberry. Packed flavour - black fruits now, tar. It's quite massive. Esp 2007 on for tannins to infuse; it has absorbed the oak well thanks to the richness of the year. Has a fresh, smoky end. 2022-24


open, animal/red fruits-spice nose; mineral also. Red fruits that are typiocal of these soils come forward on the palate, also good tannins. There is decent end gras. This is tasty, has improved. 2019-21.

1997 ()

soft, red fruits nose - the Crozes granite in a hot year; plump fruit attack, some end tannin, suave wine. From 2001. 2015-17


dark; potent bouquet, ripe crop. Bountiful flavours here: leather/damson, old leaves/spice. Plums show on a heated finish. 2014-16


stewed red fruit jam/animal nose; cool texture red fruits, some depth, touch dry at end after eight years. To 2011-13 Oct 2003