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The Wines

93% Syrah, 7% Viognier av age 45 yrs, always from 3 Blonde sites (Le Clos, La Garde, La Grande Plantée), from 2004 from 4 Brune sites (La Pommière, Le Pavillon Rouge, Le Moulin, with Le Viria added, next to La Landonne), 4-week vinification, aged new oak 36-38 months, first wine 1995, 25-27,000 b


full, dark red robe; the bouquet has a savoury air, a ripe take in its red fruits, as if they have been stewed. The smoke of oak attends. It has meaningful depth, will gradually emerge from its ripe centre. The palate is rich on debut, attacks with an immediate set of red berry fruits, a little jam in their style, while the finish is rounded, lip smacking, a little Southern, carries oak caramel along with a note of strawberry jam and low-key florality. The mid-palate sustains, even if muted. This is in a holding zone for now, twixt first youth and secondary stages, so the effect is rather brothy. From 2025-26, therefore. 14°. 2044-46 June 2021

2016 ()

dark red hue; the bouquet gives an underlay of iron, mingles with blue fruit, licorice, oak, has a “steely” intensity. The palate is cool throughout, bears stylish red fruit content, a savoury aspect late on. It accumulates its centre via a series of small details, is pointilliste in style. The second half increases its depth very calmly. Oak on the aftertaste is a little on the caramel, has a touch of dryness, will enter. Bottled end Oct 2019. 14.5°. 25,000 b. From 2024, decant. 2044-46 Dec 2019


dark red; has a close-knit, dark berry fruited nose, suggestive of rock face in its smoked, graphite presence which renders the fruit cool, inky. Raspberry lies at its centre. The palate is still in thrall to the oak raising, and is marked by the good vintage energy, takes off after half way, finishes on a surge. Well refined juice lies at its heart, while there’s definite spine to allow good longevity and expansion. It leaves a cool, upright shape for now. There’s good acces to the terroir within it. Decanting advised. 14°. From 2023. 2045-47 March 2019


dark robe. The nose is stylish, offers a good breeze of refined black fruits, a silky tenor to them, cassis on roller skates. It has a curvy potential. The palate links well via its silken feel, with juicy richness wheeling along, and well-judged tannins right alongside. It finishes with a tasty delivery, the clarity and freedom of 2014 juice. This is an elegant Rôtie that really hits the mark, a sensuous wine. Bottled last week Oct 2017. From 2021-22. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2013 ()

bright red robe. The nose mixes elegance and depth, red berries with good flashes of freedom, appealing inner coolness. The oak is subtle, and it’s quietly broad. There is lithe content on the palate, dark berry fruit with attendant oak-smoke. The finish brings a mineral cut, fine juice and the length holds well. It’s true to its vintage, with neat concentration, some floral aromatics as it ends. Good charm and body here. 13.5°. 30,000 b. From 2021-22. 2038-40 June 2017


steady red robe. Mulberry, simmered red berry aroma with a near garrigue and herbs presence, cut hay. This bounds out with an open, free run red fruit, garden berries, on the palate, comes with sweet spots en route. It isn’t fully fused between nose and palate; it is still quite chalky on the second half of the palate, and ends on graphite, rockiness. Its juiciness is well assured, and it can tidy up the links in the chain with time. I want more on the late palate, but then it is a typical wine of the 2012 vintage. From 2018-19. Bottled Nov 2015. The first vintage to have specially designed magnums made for it. 2031-33  3 Dec 2015 Previously Oct 2015 ****(*) (bottling tomorrow) full, dark red robe. The nose gives airs of toasted-oak, licorice, mulberries – nice big red berry fruits; its nature is crisp, and it is potentially stylish. The palate is well defined, has a juicy, compact nature, the juice attractive. Oak smoke and charcoal on the close will absorb within four years. The fruit has a very calm quality, is offered in tenderness. Serve this wine with Pinot associations in a large glass, The length is bonny, floral and nicely sweet. 13.5°. 2030-33  27 Oct 2015  

2011 ()

clear, dark red; has a clear-cut aroma of black cherry with a little rocky angle, a crisp licorice. The palate carries the mineral notes of the rockface, has good spark and definition as it ends, along with a brief little spot of rose flowers. This is very appealing: its has a natural character, is well balanced, all presented in a good, neat manner. I like the length, too. Has an STGT leaning, with the oak not obvious for once. From mid-2016/2017. 2027-30  Jan 2015


full, shiny red robe. The bouquet gives a cool typicity, herbes de Provence, briary airs, a discreet black berry. The interior is smoky, the scenting attractive, and it lingers nicely. There is a very slight note of damp leaf, a touch of evolution. It is building power, and will be notable around the age of ten. The palate tastes well of prune, has a good coating of rich matter. It is still smoky from its oak. There are floral moments, and the vintage style come through thanks to its fresh length. There is sparkling grain in its tannins, and it grips well on the finish. Very long and fine. 13.5°. 2035-38  Oct 2015


full, dark robe. Smoky, China tea, near Lapsang Souchong tea and dark coffee air, with a prune, red berry interior; it is a deep bouquet, with the fruit safely profound and ripe. The palate has a steely clarity in its fruit, with the oak still pressing its case close to the fruit. It ends on a tight, violet touched note, with vanilla and prune attached. Plenty of potential for a delicious, impressive wine, full of beans as it ages. From 2016. 2034-36  May 2013


full robe; smoky outer, refined inner air to the nose – tight, firm cassis black fruits that are discreetly scented; their violet-style give it finesse, while it also shows brioche. Licorice, smoky tar, black berry start, has a nice, tasty inclination. The fruit bends in the late stages – promises to ease nicely. Good, organised poise on the aftertaste, which features a wide line-up thanks to its minty, grainy, menthol-tar elements. Good wine that will please. Nicely done. From 2014-15, but best to drink around 2019 – it will be pretty then. Bottled Oct 2011. 2029-32 Dec 2011

2007 ()

steady, quite deep red; full nose that floats with finesse, comes in waves. Black fruits mix with herbs in a pretty, quietly restrained setting, along with graphite, lead pencil touches of the northern zone. The bouquet is more delicate than the 2006`s. The palate is fresh and subtle; its fruit runs finely, is classy and elegant. It is long as well. 13°. Moving into shape, accessible, but more on show from 2013. 2030-32 May 2011


bright red rone with a little evolution. The bouquet’s first hit is its violets, its floral presence, then oak, then pure, neat red fruit, a little sweetness in the fruit. It carries a good cool vintage profile. The palate is still snappy, offers emerging small, live red fruits, the oak never far away. It’s upright, fresh, not in a truly settled phase, is in active movement now. On this showing, it will have more body and fusion in say, four years. It’s fresh, will live well, offers mineral cut, floral rocky themes on the aftertaste, is steely, smoky. The individual elements are pretty good – they just need fusion, orchestration. 2039-41 Dec 2019 Previously May 2011 **** sound dark red; full, slightly baked aroma that runs across the glass, led by oak-toffee solidity, still showing its raising. There is lucid, smoky black fruit and licorice present as well. The palate is similar to the nose, a constructed feel to it, but there is well-seated gras richness, and it continues well all through, with no pauses or slip-ups. The second half is nicely muscular, the finish solid, tight-knit. Has fair length. The 2007 runs more freely – this is a steady stayer, and has tightened up since July 2010 and its bottling. Needs time. “This has acidity and presence,” Marcel Guigal. 13°. Bottled Sept 2010. Can be decanted. From 2013. 2033-36 May 2011 Previously July 2010 ****(*) rather full red; oak-prune-plum aroma, red fruits prevail. The bouquet is starting to soften, has a real red fruits take-off. A good surge of generous fruit starts the palate, then runs with agility, skips along, the pulse of the fruit good. This is a joyful wine, one with an ample, running palate, very good energy. Oak shows late on the aftertaste. Lots of pleasure. 2028-31 July 2010


full, bright red robe. Has a smoky, red cherry aroma, with bacon touches, mocha traces. It hardly formed its true character, this bouquet. The palate commences with red fruit, and is supple and well-filled. It is also long, even if it is still reserved. It has now gone into its shell and is a bit stiff. “At this stage of the year, I find the fruit on one side of the wine, the tannin on the other side,” Philippe Guigal. Wait for this – until 2012. 2026-29. Bottled Nov 2008. March 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ****(*) full red with some black tints; the bouquet is deep, towards brooding in nature – shows raisin, prune and a waft of violet – it is charged and ready to go. The palate is rich at heart – there is definite heart in this, and it comes with a broad second half and ample, punchy late matter and tannin. Has a pebbly, profound finale. A full and imposing wine. From 2013, for instance. 2028-30. “We were glad to have raised this for as long as 38 months – it needed all that time,” P.Guigal. Dec 2008

2004 ()

Bottle badly corked chez Oustalet Restaurant, Gigondas, Oct 2019 Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) red, quite a full robe; tarry, charcoal top note to the bouquet, with red fruits and rose aromas on the second nose. Elegant, not excessively fleshy start to the palate, with red fruits of a soft and nicely established nature. Proceeds evenly – the flow is sound. There is a late tickle of tannin. The palate offers more harmony than the nose and the fresh finish – is a wine of live appeal, with good, easy, fresh width on the finale. The aftertaste reflects red fruit and some oak. From late 2009. Bottled Nov 2007. 2022-24 Jan 2008


bright dark red/purple colour. Macerated berry aroma, with mint traces, the smoke of new oak, a nice sweet touch in the bouquet. Red fruits on a dense start to the palate, suave appeal mid-way through, has a stylish shape. Quite clear finish, length OK. Overall has live body but is still rather unformed. Can aspire to more. Needs 2+ years from now. 2021-24 January 2007 Previously Dec 2006 (cask) **** solid aroma, led by violet with some mineral present. The palate is tight-knit, with grip. The flavour is blackberry, also violet again, has interesting sinew and is well put together. Has a rather Bordeaux shape that will allow it to live well; there is some rigour in it now. It persists as well. 2023-25 “This received 1 month of vat vinification – which helped its balance and above all its tannins. It is very precise, and can live well,” Marcel Guigal. Dec 2006


prune, damson-leather aroma, then some vanilla and flowers. Licorice, black fruits attack, decent content in its interior. Cautious refinement, is nicely juiced, wine on a low register. Finish combines tea, prune and violets. From only four sites given crop difficulties, and only 3% Viognier. 2015-18 April 2006

2001 ()

striking, still full robe. Black raisin, almost a sweet note in an obviously full air, cinnamon and black pepper present. The bouquet has a lovely dance of life, a ripe harvest weight, but it stops a little short, has treacle moments. This is bulky wine that is based on depth and ripeness – it is a Southern wine with in a Northern setting. It lacks some pedigree on the finish – it isn’t varied there, and instead goes “clonk” at the end. The fruit disappears on the finish, though a rosemary and rose hip combo helps it. I would decant it, try to get it moving and show a more varied weave of fabric on the palate. 13°. 2023-26 Sept 2012, London Previously **** black fruit, white pepper bouquet, damp side, floral too. Scented fruit attack, then is stylish, rounded texture, live tannins within. Pretty richness, well styled. 2005-06 on. 2018-20


compact, stylish black fruit/pine aromas; good silky, streamlined red fruit, then darkens, gets punchy. Quite full end, persists, with sound tannic structure. Esp 2009 on. 2019-22


refined, white pepper aroma, touch of game; suave black flavour, nicely oily, getting juicy, good mix cooked fruit/ripe tannins. Mineral/prune end. Nice character, good autumn wine. 2015-17


quite dark; pretty, delicate, minty nose; palate floats nicely - elegant, suave black fruit; nudge of oak at end, with chicory/tar. Tasty, very good. 2016-19


dark red; ripe fruit nose, pepper/heat, tight; cool texture of fruit, flourishes, then dries a bit with air. Should slowly flesh out, from 2005 or so. Was more lissom. 2012-15