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The Wines

100% Syrah from Côte Blonde, Côte Brune, Mollard, Baleyat, Chavaroche, 30-50% destemmed, 3 week vinification in 50 hl concrete vats, cap is immersed, twice daily pumping overs, held at 29°C, aged 30% new, 70% used 600-litre oak casks, 30 hl barrels (50% cask, 50% large barrel) 24 months, egg white fined, unfiltered, first called Améthyste in 2006, 6-7,000 b

2019 ()

(cask, bottling Sept 2021) dark red; iodine, moss airs along with stewed black fruits show on the nose, a liqueur style sweetness. It’s a young and not very expressive bouquet. This has a scented attack, violets a theme, perfume, carries density and thick tannins, munchy in feel, leading into a savoury, rounded close. It’s authentically traditional, rather brothy in style, the tannins a bit furry. From 2024, decant it. 2044-46 June 2021

2018

dark, shiny red robe; the nose has an aroma of “high” black fruits, beef stock, black fruit jam. It’s robust, conveys a real country wine. The palate shows some reduction, so needs decanting. It holds full, black-fruited content which takes off suddenly into an assertive finish, a full dose on the close, spice there. It’s not yet as one, but is wholesome, genuine, traditional. 14°. Bottled Aug 2020. From 2024-25. 2045-47 June 2021

2017 ()

dark red. Ripe blackberry, prune and raspberry liqueur airs mingle with cloves, musky perfume airs - it’s a sultry opening. The palate presents rolling gras, silky texture, pretty fat, with a spur of insistence, clamped tannin. It’s not yet joined up. These are raw goods, rocky and not associated, the close vegetal. “2017 is rich, aromatic”, Bernard Levet. Decant it. 13°. €29. From 2023. Bottled early Oct 2019. 2043-45 Dec 2019

2016 ()

dark plum robe; cedar-pine airs hover above a thick crushed berry aroma, an ample mulberry coulis air. It takes a traditional style, is a calm, rather inviting start. The palate sets off softly in a wavy approach, with floral notes from the mid-point, the tannins a wee bit furry before the close. The second half sees mineral and powder in the texture accompanying the floral streams. There’s a touch of iron-iodine along the palate. 13°. Bottled Sept 2018.  “It’s elegant, balanced,” Bernard Levet. From 2021. 2038-40 Dec 2018

2015 ()

(34 hl large barrel, malo completed) dark robe, as is usually the case in 2015. Soaked fruits with a healthy dose of Volatile Acidity show on the nose, soaked black cherries, with game sides to it as well. The palate is rich but fluid, with the onset of tannins from half way. This has a notably traditional approach. This is a grounded wine with gras at its centre, the tannins largely ripe and assertive. “It has a grilled side,” Agnès Levet. 30% destemmed. From 2021 or so. 2034-36 Apr 2016

2014 ()

(used 600-litre cask, bottling Sept or Oct 2016) sober dark plum red robe. Has a musky, rose hip top air over a notably spiced with raspberry aroma, the fruit discreetly sweet. Game notes lurk. The palate gives a bundle of red fruit gras with quickly on the scene, full charge tannins. This will be slow to come together. The flavour resembles raspberry jam in a loose style. It is a bit Spartan on the close. It has naked, raw qualities and a little late, tight juice. “It is rather fine, complex, and the nose is typical,” Agnès Levet. 50% destemmed. About 6,000 b. 12.5°. From 2019. 2029-30 Apr 2016

2013

plum red colour. A blackberry lozenge air leads the nose with prune, a little trail of sweet herbs, rocky airs, meatiness and classic violet nudges. The palate gives spiced, cooked plum fruit with slight dryness in the tannins. There is squeezy gras at its centre, and a chiselled tannic backlift. Rugged, genuine wine that is getting into shape, starting to show what it is. 12.5°. Bottled Oct 2015. From spring 2018. 2033-35  Apr 2016 Previously Dec 2015 **** plum red robe. A smoke, licorice, wild berry aroma lead the nose, also a hint of pine: it is close-knit for now. The palate runs with most charming, genuine floral red fruit and a pleasing soft texture; it builds well on the finish, with gras and supple richness there. This is an STGT, pedigree wine that I prefer to the 2012 – it is more complete, and good vintage-typical tannins lie inside it. “The crop was riper in 2013 than 2012 – the maturity was good, and we harvested in early October after a very belle late season of weather. The tannins were astringent at first,” Bernard Levet. 12.5°. Bottled Oct 2015. From 2018. 2031-33  Dec 2015

2012

plum red colour. Brambly fruit, game, pine, a good wildness in the bouquet; its fruit is nicely plum-like and aromatic. There is also a note of toffee. The palate also offers aromatic, rose-toned red fruits with a little crisp tannin that comes with a slight vegetal presence. This is enjoyably unhurried wine that appeals thanks to its aromatics. The fruit is a little stewed, is OK. It ends on the dry side, outside its gras, so that is a bit of a concern. “It is very perfumed,” Bernard Levet. 12.5°. €24.50. From spring 2017. 2028-29  Dec 2015

2011 ()

red robe with a dark plum centre. Has an open, lingering nose with animal moments, pine and soaked plums – this is traditional, aromatic Côte-Rôtie. The palate fruit is “high”, gives a murmur of violet and primrose, gummy tannins. There is plenty in the glass. It revolves a round density, fullness, will stretch out well around 2018. For now it needs to round out the finish. 13°. “Its tannins are still well present,” Bernard Levet. 2025-27  Dec 2013  Previously Oct 2012 *** (last racked Dec 2011, next racking Dec 2012, mix of 600-litre cask, 30 hl barrel) dark, quite thick robe; capacious bouquet, has a lot in it, and is very typical Côte-Rôtie – leather, tar, violet infusion, with black berries, chocolate. The palate gives a hammock of black fruit – it is plump, fat, and regains a greater freshness late on. The tannins are brisk, and there is a tiny shortage of matter late on. These are raw goods for now; the acidity is a bit on the outside. There is promise. From 2017. 12.8°. 2026-28  Oct 2012

2010 ()

attractive good dark robe with a healthy look. Has a stewed fruits air, a profound heart that is ripe and rich, not yet delineated. Pine and bacon also show. This is full, genuine wine with a good, rich centre, leaves a clack of mineral cut as it ends; a quiet strength comes from within. It bears wholesome plum fruit with light fragrance. A wine of potential, with more to it and greater harmony than the 2011. It really persists in its traditional fashion. 13°. “it is finer than the 2011,” Bernard Levet. From 2016. 2028-30 Dec 2013 Previously Oct 2012 **** (large 30 hl barrel this year, bottling in 5 days) dark, matt toned robe; the nose has the “sparkle” of 2010, that cut, and the air of small berries that were well ripened, without excess – the nose gives a good image. It is a free and airborne do, with dust, blackberry and some mid-summer rose scents present. There is a scented, mineral combination on the start of the palate, which runs in fluid fashion. The tenor of the wine is bright, the acidity keeping it going well. A mix of flower scent, violet, crushed stones brings up the finale. Very sound; allow time for greater nuance to emerge. It will be accessible from 2015-16. 2030-32  Oct 2012

2006 ()

red robe with a pale top. Unusual, fuzzy nose – offers cooked red fruit, brewed in a traditional winemaking way, comes with a little floral sweetness. Good, traditional wine on the palate – has heart, the fruit is brewed in nature. Nothing tinkly fresh here, is a wine of traditional virtues. It keeps going well, ends on a shade of tar, but also scenting and a bit earthy: finishes its route OK. “The floral perfume is from the “Syrah de pays” – ie the Sérine,” Nicole Levet. Decant this. 2017-19 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 **(*) mild red colour; has a husky, musky aroma – raspberry is the interior fruit, with violet and something of the downhome. The palate is similar in its show of masked red fruits and a surround of tannin. Fruit emerges at the end. This is quite punchy, and travels across the palate as well as along it. Has only been in bottle for 3 weeks. From late 2010 or er 2011. 2019-21 Dec 2008

2005

gentle robe; smoky, pebble dash floral waves on the nose, soft plum fruit. Tight start to palate, a wine of good grip, properly reflects 2005. The tightness lasts all through, has depth in it. Very consistent along the palate, good length. Ends on pebbly tannins, is still firm there. 12.8°. 2020-23 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 **(*) mild red robe; the bouquet is solid, a bit funky and reductive – it bears stewed red plum, also violet or iris flowers. The palate is earthy, holding red fruits within. It shows grip and definite tannic presence. There is a compact, rather grainy nature to this, especially late on. Very traditional wine. From 2011. 2019-21 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 **(*) dark red; red fruit aroma with animal airs in it, and a drop of red fruit liqueur as well. The palate is led by red fruits with a wire of tannin through them – there is life in this. It runs along, and is more direct than the Maestria and Péroline. The tannins are on top at the end, and require it be left until 2012 or so. Has sound length, and the late fruit is scented. Quite authentic wine. 2022-24 Jan 2008

2004

mid-plus depth of red; the nose is at a gentle stage – shows gummy red fruit with some depth and floral notes. The palate red fruits and berries have a tang from the tannins, but this is coming together. Late on there is spice. This has charm, and shows a rose-hip expression. It can be drunk now, but may close up and tighten around mid-2009. Beau, nice and honest wine suited for the CHR trade. 2020-21. “2004`s tannins were not very firm, so as it evolved, it was always supple and elegant, with a lot of fruit when young,” Bernard Levet. Jan 2008 Previously April 2006 (cask) * aromatic, fruit gums aroma, soft as if southern zone. Flourish of red fruit on palate, then tightens, narrows and gets tarry. Lacks structure and integration, curls towards the finish. Holds some richness but is very unmade. Acidity lines its late palate, aftertaste is burnt. Wild at this stage, may move together. Leave till 2009. 2014-17 April 2006 Previously March 2005 (cask) *** fair amount on bouquet, a little reduced now. Crisp, elegant fruit, rolls along stylishly. STGT in the making. Abt 16-year wine.

2003

dark robe. Has an intense, brewed aroma – a touch of game lies inside it, with violets – this has a local ID, very much shows its place. The palate is fully packed, rather gourmand, well-knit, a little on reduction at the end, hence an earthy note. Black berry and scent lurk in it. This is an earth-bound, not fragrant year. “Its note of terroir is starting to come back – it showed only fruit at first,” Bernard Levet. Bottled Jan 2006. 2018-19  Dec 2006 Previously March 2005 (cask) *** floral-tinged bouquet, is bulky, with black fruits, too. Brewed fruit in the house style on palate, tarry aftertaste, meaty wine. Earthy, tannins dry a little at finish, but is rich at its core. Length good. Esp 2008-09 on. To bottle Oct 2005. 2018-20  March 2005

2002

brewed, "dark" aroma, farmyard connotations. Palate not esp clean, brewed, earthy fruit, then dries towards finish. Drink only in winter with game meals - has become rustic since last tasted, but may emerge and settle. 2011-13. Last tasted March 2005.

2002

gentle black fruit/tar/floral bouquet; delicate palate, approachable then tannins tighten it. More expressive 2006 on. 2013-14

2001 No Rating

a bottle tasted March 2005 was disappointingly dry, with sharp acidity and a lack of balance. Previously it had been *** (cask) spiced, red stone fruit aroma; good content, tight red fruit with a menthol side; gathers spice, pebbly texture, interesting. Good mix of matter and freshness. Good length. 2010-13

2000

floral, spiced bouquet; easy, open spiced flavour; very pure, ends with more guts than at the start. Open wine. 2009-11

1999

good, brewed nose, oily and rich; full, very round palate. Well-defined taste, suave black fruit, rich all way along, and wide. Oily texture is very 1999, tannins, licorice still there. 2016-18

1992

some brick on top robe; blackcurrant leaf aroma, quiet sweetness, tea leaves bouquet - shows clear advance. Mix of graininess and roundess on palate, nicely weighted. Dry-toned towards finish. March 2003, Ampuis

1984

ruby, brick robe; pretty, mineral-inspired bouquet. Pepper with the same graininess on palate. Pretty thread of sweetness and a squeeze of mature flavour. Decent wine, lovely with game. Still has some gras. March 2003, Ampuis