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The Wines

Syrah ranging from 1946 to 2002 on Peygros at Tournon, av age 38 yrs, all destemmed since 2006 until 25% stems included in mid-2010s, 2-3 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 15-20% new, 20-35% 1-8 year 228-litre oak casks, 50-60% 600-litre oak casks for 11 months (600-litre cask percentage growing), fined, filtered, 30-35,000 b


dark robe, full red, black hues. The bouquet gives immediate appeal, combines soft black berry fruits with scented flowers, has a savoury angle, some of the vintage sweetness, but good lift, too. The attack is refined, clear, to its credit, with a discreet spine in support, the tannin well worked. This feels hand made, cared for to achieve the elegance within a hot vintage. Blackberry fruit sits at its heart, a near jelly-like gras as its core. It straightens out towards the finish, with mildly firm tannins there, a powdered and tarred note from them on the clear aftertaste. 14.5°. From spring 2022, decant it. 2034-36 March 2021

2018 ()

(steel vat, bottling Jan 2020) dark red; has a sweet-noted, mulled fruits aroma that comes with overt gourmandise, immediate layers of blackberries. The palate gives black cherry, prune, cocoa, chocolate darkness, firm tannins that are ripe, spontaneous. It ends with raw thrust. The close is squeezy. It’s aromatic, live, ripe, OK to drink young. 25% inclusion of the stems. 14°. It’s just below ****. From late-2020. 2031-33 Dec 2019 GB £122/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181


very dark; the bouquet is very brothy, comes with piles of cooked black fruits, sunny ripeness, a hint of reduction. It just escapes the extremity of prune-like airs. The palate gives a ready run of black fruit, holds calmly in mid-palate, ends on a little chewiness, has pep, plenty of energy to be enjoyed. This has good dash, is entertaining, will be great in the restaurant trade, is wine of freedom, has improved on that front under Fabrice’s watch. I recommend this. It’s €14 export, €20 at the cellars. 14°. “It’s very agreeable to drink, that with some power,” Fabrice Gripa. 2031-33 Dec 2019 Previously Nov 2017 **** 1) (steel vat, massale 2001 Syrah on Paradis at Mauves, all destemmed, sugars completed, malo not yet) **** dark robe. Blackberry and mulberry, beef stock airs show on the nose, which is reduced; it’s deep and constant. There is a good surge of rich content, bright fruit on the palate, fresh late tannins. Good parts here that can fuse. It’s rich but fluid, has the soft density of Mauves, a thick coulis style. 15 years. “We are 90% Tournon for our St Joseph red, and we find our Mauves wine, which is on finesse, can get lost in the blend, so we might consider this as a stand alone wine,” Fabrice Gripa. 2) steel vat, (several sites at Tournon, sugars and malo completed) **** dark red. There is a hint of grilling, and good, bright fruit intensity on the nose, with a bit of beef. The palate links well, holds bold fruit with granite iron and rocky tannins. It stretches out well. The fruit is classy. This has good detail, is close to ****(*). 16 years. Nov 2017


(blend of casks done yesterday, bottling Jan 2018) full, dark red. Essence of blackberry leads the nose, with mocha, tar, raspberry, and a lead pencil clarity. The palate presents a joli wave of black fruits, carries spicing, and direct tannins that have fresh thrust [“fining will refine them,” F Gripa]. There are peppery late moments. This is thorough, but not obviously so; its inner strength will escape many. From mid-2019. 2031-33 Nov 2017


dark robe. Has a well upholstered nose, a cosy depth of black jam, sweet notes, light boskiness from the summer heat, hints of granite cool. This is tasty, gourmand as it stands, holds deeply set tannins, with flair in the delivery towards the finish, which is on the up. There is late tar, dark assertion. It’s nice and thorough all the way. It’s just starting to close, evolve, so come back in 2021 – the wait will be rewarded. It has a good mass of content. 14°. 2029-31 Nov 2017


quite a dark red. The nose is evolving, and not in one place now: there’s damp vegetation, reduction, the first signs of mineral of its second stage, animal notes, a hint of Pinote. The palate is a mineral themed wine, crisp and smoky red fruits with tarred, grippy tannins. It has a loose structure, is here and there, along the palate, finishes drily. Maybe leave this until spring 2019. I came back to this after 90 minutes, and there was more flow, cohesion. 13.5°. 2025-27 Nov 2017


2 bottles tasted, 1st bottle corked. 2nd bottle: good dark robe. Agreeable blackberry/raspberry lead aroma, backed by light spring flowers. The nose is both deep and gentle – and presents a promising start. The palate is more forward than some: it gives a tasty wave of black berry fruit, with a fine line of tannin, powdery in nature, on the final stages. w.o.w. wine – this is really enjoyable drinking. 13.5°. €17.50 ex cellars, fair value. 30,000 b. Bottled 10 days ago. From mid-2015 on. 2022-23  Jan 2015

2012 ()

medium red robe. Has a gamey air, reduction in it, beefiness, a small, slightly acid red fruits presence [fruits acidulés], a sharp shaft of raspberry, it goes ping; there are floral notes. The palate mixes up a steady stream of red fruits with crisp mineral touches all along; the mineral prevails on the finish. It’s in transition now. The fruit is appealing, the surrounds more secondary. It has the clarity of 2012. This has character. The aftertaste brings together an aromatic presence in with its iron. 13.5°. 2026-28 Nov 2017

2011 ()

red robe. The nose is in good shape, en rondeur, has a hint of game, reduction, red berry at its centre, with peony flowers and cloves. The palate shows a suave gras style, red fruits with joli tannins, is in good form now. The close is on an aromatic raspberry. The second half is munchable. 13.5°. 2023-25 Nov 2017


(bottling in 1 month, 1 gm of sulphur 3 weeks ago) rich, clear dark red, legs in robe; immediate violet airs, clearly struck black fruit and a powdery mineral topping. Clear, free-wheeling fruit that is tight but purposeful on the palate. This has good, well-cut content. The tannins at the end are firm. The fruit is bright, with peppery, spiced tar implicit. This can drink with gusto from mid-late 2012. Marks for authenticity. 2020-21 “I regard this as above 2005,” Fabrice Gripa. Dec 2011


served decanted: still a dark robe. Blackberry and cherry show in a round and suave, neat and poised bouquet, has an air of oxtail, and there is a sunny oiliness. The palate holds fat gras richness, is close-knit, has a blackberry jam flavour with enough freshness for movement as it goes. Wait until 2018 on this showing. The fruit is coated, the wine is persistent. There is real strength in this. “2009 is one of the best vintages for ageing in the last 20 years, and I find that 2009 has more concentration than 2010,” Fabrice Gripa. 2027-29 Apr 2016 Previously March 2011 **** deep red; jolly and joli nose – crushed blackberry that is ripe but balanced in its sweet appeal. The fruit goes off at pace on the palate, and runs all the way, gains dimension at the end. Holds tannin. Bang on the target Saint-Joseph. Very good drinkability. Still shows oak; the essence of its fruit is the pleasure it gives, and still needs to arrange the finish and its oak. Close to being w.o.w. wine. Can be drunk now – merguez sausages etc. Get grilling! From spring 2012 also. “It was very closed for 1 month after a lot of fruit and freshness before bottling,” Fabrice Gripa. Bottled 20 Dec 2010. 2019-21 March 2011

2008 ()

even red colour, not that deep. Emphasis on red fruit on the nose – mid-depth jam aroma, has a nice, genuine curve, comes with smoky touches. The palate red fruits have grace, and a clear, crystalline nature. Good balance, good life. Attractive late roundness, is all very together, and is going well. STGT wine – the vintage allows us to see inside the wine this year. “I did a light vinification in 2008. There are no traces of vegetal here, it has become Pinoté, Pinot-Noir-like. I am super happy with this – this is the work of the vigneron. I enjoyed making it more than my 2009 – it needed a lot of elimination and a lot of work.” 30,000 b this year. 2019-20 March 2011


full red, some black traces. The nose is a bit hidden, wraps up black berries, is smoky. The palate starts softly, comes with pliant fruit, a pretty ball of blackberry fruit, before a gradual lengthening runs into an aromatic aftertaste. The fruit is relaxed, this has fine tannins. Decant for now, or drink from mid-2010. 13°. “It is gaining in body, “ Fabrice Gripa. To 2015. Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *** red robe with a little black in it. The bouquet is lying low post-bottling (one week ago); the main fruit is blackcurrant, and there is a pretty, oily air about it. The palate holds clean-limbed fruit with heart in it: it clears and almost glints near the finish. There is a shimmer of late tannin. This is not a big vintage – it is an easy drinker, a wine that will sing – roundness beckons. From spring 2009. 2013-14 Dec 2008

2006 ()

pretty full, bright robe; has a soft, southern zone aroma of ripe red fruits, with some earthiness around it. The palate is led by a black berry flavour with more bone and tannin than the nose would suggest. Ends on a bright, black pepper note. There is plenty of wine here, without it being dense. Solid quality. From 2009. 2016-18 Dec 2007

2005 ()

dark robe of cherry and purple; the bouquet bears tidy fruit – black fruits mixed with licorice and little menthol. There is savoury fruit in the making on the palate, this flows seamlessly and well. Is restrained now by its bottling only two weeks ago. Promises good, direct drinking, with ripe tannins. Works as a whole, a good ensemble here. 2015-16 Dec 2006


juicy, mulberry fruit aroma, good life in it with cool, damp woods tones also. Clearly defined fruit on attack, with a sinewed elegance. Fruit has a hedgerow, red fruits appeal, and extends OK. Shows tannic energy at the end. Beau, elegant wine with depth. Very long. Esp late 2007 on. 2013-14 April 2006


full, warm, minted and oily bouquet with southern tones. Rounded, appealing black fruits flavour. Fruit a bit sweet, easy to like. Length OK. Some tannins here, lend granite cut and support. Good structure, potential. Heat handled well. 2007 on. 2018-20


grilled, mid-weight black fruit. Firm texture, black fruit, reserved style. Fruit reappears on finish. 2005 on. Previously (casks) **(*) fair aroma, quite pretty fruit, length OK.

2001 ()

wild, oily hedge fruit aroma; perky black fruit, good grip. Cool texture, clean length. Tannins need till 2006. 2013-14

2000 ()

warm jam, tar nose; smooth black jam, easy texture. Suave end tannins, bit short. Ideal restaurant wine. 2007-09


mid-density robe. Black fruit with some pepper on a gently harmonious bouquet. The palate bears fruit, but not a lot of extras, runs in a nice straight line. Pretty black fruit, tar and licorice ensemble, finishes cleanly. Set to move into its second stage, is sympa now. 2013-15 April 2006 Previously *** smoky/cooked dark fruit, tight evolution. Cherry flavour, expands; nice end heat, bit dry. Very true, typé. 2009-11


1998 reds: beware - these can show a markedly reduced aroma - a bottle stink that is hard to throw off, even with copious pourings in and out of a glass. 1998 classic St Jo red *** sound content but overlay of reduction is a clear impediment. An issue that I have found in several bottles of this vintage. Otherwise, tannins are chewy and matter is full, with some ripe oiliness. 2007-09


fruit rather than spice nose; blackberry attack, soft, mature harvest, grows on second half of palate. To 2006. Even in a low acidity year like this there is a tighter, more upright structure than a Crozes-Hermitage.

1996 ()

beware reduction in a wine that is austere when young. May run on with six years' ageing, for instance.

1995 ()

still needs time to flesh out. It holds plenty of berried fruit, upright bone, firm tannic base to it. To 2010. Feb 1999