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The Wines

100% Syrah, 60% from west part of La Landonne (1940s, before 1953, gets early sun), 40% Côte Brune (late 1980s, 1990), 30-50% destemmed, 3 week vinification in 50 hl concrete vats, cap is immersed, twice daily pumping overs, held at 29°C, aged either used 600-litre oak casks or large 30 hl barrels 24-26 months, egg white fined, unfiltered, first wine 2004, called Les Journaries in USA after the old name for La Landonne, 4,000 b

2019

(cask, bottling Sept 2021) dark robe; there is an easy, ripe curve to the nose, gives cooked damson plum, blackberry, has a hint of elegance, floral airs, can open nicely. The palate has good structure, the attack bold, wired, firm, thick. It holds its shape well, with a solid lining of tannin, and a compact couch of content, with thrust late on. It’s a close-knit, rempli, filled wine, whose tannins are thick, firm. “It has joli fruit, very black,” Agnès Levet. From 2026. 2047-49 June 2021

2018 ()

dark robe; the nose is reserved, ripe black fruit as it core, black olives, a hint of licorice, beef stock, roasting. The palate is ripe, may have a hint of Volatile, notes of cassis and blueberry, garners intensity, assertion, is all very rolled together. The aftertaste is a touch dry. It’s unkempt wine with some potential. Firm walls of tannin enclose it, so be patient. From 2026. Bottled Sept 2020. 2046-48 June 2021

2015

(used 600-litre cask) dark robe, black tints. This is a beau nose, based on slow burn depth of black berries, crushed fruits, a shaft of floral light shining over it. The palate presents handsome, still restrained fruit, with plenty of tannins, a charge of powder flung here and there as it ends. This will take time. There is a good coil of fruit at its heart. It is manly Côte-Rôtie, with poised gras richness. There is a note of oxtail in the flavour: it is head butting wine. From 2022. 2037-39 Apr 2016

2014 ()

(used 600-litre cask, bottling Sept or Oct 2016) plum red robe. The nose has a little polish in its fruit which is brambly, resembles black berry. It is a bit hidden, but sits comfortably. This attacks well, graphite and dark red, smoke filled red berries, raspberry, on the menu. The fruit travels well, steadily. The finish gathers in grainy tannins, a little Côte-Rôtie florality on the sign-off. This is a stylish, traditional glass that hangs together well. 13°. From mid-2019. 2030-32 Apr 2016

2013

dark red robe. The nose isn’t expressive, but offers an even couch of dark, cooked stone fruits. It goes pretty deep, Decanting advised. The palate runs with freedom, even if it is still closed overall. It leaves a good trail of fruit-gras-tannin, is a good, but very young, ensemble. The fruit is exuberant, and the tannins provide a good, solid firmness. There is a hint of perfume as it closes. 12.5°. From mid-2019. 2033-35 Apr 2016

2011

dark red robe, quite deep, some legs. There are smoked bacon and floral airs on a crisp and mineral-inspired nose, lots of life. It shows good, clear, springy qualities, is a proper traditional Côte-Rôtie, with violets and coffee beans also here. The nose darts around with the zip-zap of different contributors, and gains in depth as it breathes, after one hour open. There is an earthy rumble around the dark berry fruit on the palate; there is excellent life in the tannins, and a bonny late crunch. This is a real rocky fissure wine, the roots deep in the schist. It ends on a strong mineral note of cut, almost rigorously. It bears shade and light, isn’t all obvious, which adds to its appeal. The finish is neat. It will edge forward as it ages – the nose is gaining, the palate still tucked up. There is no hurry to drink this. Day 3: there is a mulled style depth of dark fruit, with violet ingrained on the nose. The palate gives a rich surge – it is a thickset wine now, has an implicit game note, a beefiness. Tar notes show on a pebble dash, floral ensemble on the finish. 13°. 2028-30  March 2015  Previously Oct 2012 **** (30 hl barrel this year) dark, black-tinted, thorough robe; The nose is round in style, well packed, has a bonny aroma, a trace of honey present in it. There is a mix of cassis, leather and a drifting note of violet. The palate links well to the nose – this is harmonious, has a thread of flowers through it, with shapely but determined tannins that give grilled notions, and encase the wine late on. Good length, which shows some force. Chunky wine that will soften from 2017-18. For now, the finish is rather aromatic. “It is always more round at first than Améthyste, then it tightens up,” Agnès Levet. 13.1°. 2029-31  Oct 2012

2010

(600-litre cask this year, bottling in 5 days) attractive robe, with a dark purple top and a black centre; there are smudged airs of blueberry in an unforced nose, the liqueur of cassis from Dijon is rather intense, too. There is a hum of violet also. The palate has a literally winey, grapey debut, I find it showing some lees influence, is still unfinished. It has just been pumped, which explains that. There is a good tannin-acidity ratio and fit. It ends on firm tannins with some silken fruit in the texture. From 2017. 2032-34  Oct 2012

2009 ()

dark robe; this has a beefcake of a nose – wide, multi-layered, profound and compact; there is a minor sense of soaked cherries (griottes) for now, along with notes of violet, smoky bacon, pork and more mineral airs such as a little dark coffee. The palate is also “quiet”, like the nose, but the texture is smooth, the flow consistent, and the wine is shaping up very well. This wine provides a lot for mind and for body. It is rich, rounded, sustained, and its tannins fit in well. Authentic, has the potential to unfurl well and a tasty length. It shows more its vintage than its terroir for now, gives lots of pleasure on that. From 2014-15. “At the start of its raising, the tannins dominated, then the fruit, which is very ripe, arrived. Spices and more terroir will come in 2 to 3 years,” Agnès Levet. “2009 is a bit like 2003, but without the excess and with greater balance,” Nicole Levet. 13.5°. Bottled Oct 2011. 2030-32 Oct 2012

2008 ()

plum red robe, rather thick hue. Spicy and floral, intense violet, attractive air with pepper and capsicum snap, licorice and dusty grain – a perky, rather arresting nose. So free is it that it suggests this can be drunk solo.  It develops more reduction and farmyard as it breathes. This is entertaining wine – it is not a strong, dense packer but a free-flowing, lithe drink with rose and scented red fruits, spiced strawberry liqueur in its flavour. It ends on licorice, a little tar and a grain, graphite tang of uplift – sandalwood, cinnamon feature here. It is scented Burgundy in style, set to round as it breathes and as it matures. Full of mysteries, wonder, is a very aromatic, STGT wine, brilliant for the restaurant trade. A connoisseur’s wine, not crowd friendly. There are many facets, especially if you decant it. A very good 2008, has good body at heart. 12.5°. 2021-22  Sept 2012

2007 ()

attractive, healthy purple and red robe. The bouquet is sturdy and well resolved – it has a top floral air, a compact red fruit aroma with an earthy note under that; it is very typical. The fruit gains ground as it breathes, a deeper tone of red berry emerging. The palate starts clearly, is sealed up on its youthful, tight content. It bears red fruit with pebbly, grainy late tannin; this has gras richness, and can evolve steadily, with no hurry. It widens towards the finish. Air depends the tannins and brings more “attitude”, and the fruit becomes more floral. STGT – it is so nice to drink a local wine with very acceptable alcohol levels. It is a very good traditional school wine, not a pristine-crisp oak type. The influence is largely northern zone – the matter compressed, the wine tangy. 12.5°. 2021-23  May 2011, East Sussex

2006

black heart to the robe; the nose has mid-plus depth, still shows malic notes, but there are black fruits within. The palate starts with black berry fruit, has a soft character, holds plenty of gummy fruit – it is open and approachable now. There is almost the taste of violets – “we had very good maturity on our terraces on La Landonne in 2006, for over 13°,” Bernard Levet. The tannins are constructive late on, lend support, and among their taste lies more violet. STGT wine of sound length. From 2013. 2019-22 Jan 2008

2005 ()

full, quite dark robe; farmyard air, Brett is here – and black fruits with a downhome, full content. You have to decant this to free up the aroma. There is good heart to this traditional wine; the mingle of violet and tannin at the end works quite well, although the final tannins stand outside the wine for now and leave a pebbly aftertaste. There is sound richness within it. “I would leave this until 2012-13,” Bernard Levet. Traditional style wine. To be bottled next week. 2023-25 Jan 2008

2004

fairly dark robe; still has floral airs in the nose – soft red berries and a suggestion of mineral as well, the latter coming through as it ages and some terroir comes through. The palate has a rounded start, is curvaceous. The texture is soft, comes with gummy fruit that continues well and envelops the palate well. The red fruit is tinged with late mineral tension and pepper. From 2009 for best drinking. “It was very floral – violets – after bottling,” Nicole Levet. 2020-22 Jan 2008