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The Wines

100% Syrah from 1.2 ha on Cognet (1991, 2004), destemmed, 3-4 day cool maceration at 12-15°, 4 week vinification, cap punching during 1st 10 days, pumping overs, aged 20-30% new 550-litre oak cask, 20% new, 50-55% 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 18-20 months, unfined, filtered, first wine 2006, 5,000 rising to 6,500 b


(cask) very dark robe; the nose is intense, wide, on chocolate, black cherry, gently brewed fruits, some sun evident due to the close packing, hints of jam, raspberry. The palate is dense from the off, so is sturdy, fuelled, has size in the thick tannins. It has a searching depth, really accumulates on the finish. It’s rather like 1947 in style, will live well. “2018 was like this a year ago, but then became more clear,” F Merlin. From 2025. 2045-47 Dec 2019


(228-litre cask, 2 gm of sugar still) dark red; the nose is interesting, since it gives a variety of red meat, blood, raspberry, red cherry griottes, soaked fruits, a wee note of lead pencil, with soft floral tones, violets. The red fruits on the palate stream well, the fruit lovely, the flow effortless. There are touches of oak to absorb, the fruit refined. This is a bonny do, has quiet class, elegance. It has a naked style which I like, and there is a mineral clench on the close. “It has good supple features, fruit, in the Burgundian manner,” F Merlin. 14.5°. From 2023. 2039-41 Dec 2019 £155/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181


(used 600-litre cask) full, dark red. The nose is smoky, with good clarity black fruit, is curvy and well measured, will be elegant and full of offer. The palate hands out tasty fruit right away, red fruit, jolly gras which is succulent at heart. The tannins are a little dense, bring bulk to the close, where it releases juice gradually, soaked red cherries in the flavour. This has potential, is a pleasure and harmony wine. From 2022. 2032-33 March 2018


shiny red robe. The nose is rounded, bears a poised red berry fruit aroma with some oak-toffee apparent. It’s lucid and pure in its fruiting, a hint of vegetal and its dried herbs effect. The palate gives bonny wave rolling red fruit, with a very tasty mid-palate, which is seductive. This has great juice at the helm, will please. It takes on crisp, near spearmint tannins on the close. It is a good, lucid wine with brightness. It has the structure to evolve, can grow into itself, amplify over time. 13°. 5,000 b. From late 2019. 2029-31 Mar 2018


(2 year 600-litre cask) very shiny, mega darkness in the robe. The nose is really coated, extraordinary, ample and profound – I haven’t seen Côte-Rôtie like this at this stage of its life, or ever. The palate wells up with brimming black berry, suave fruit, has a fresh line after half way. This has real density, as well as succulent but also grippy tannins. It goes long, is very concentrated with a clear finale, both at the same time. It is grainy on the finish. 2033-35  Oct 2015

2014 ()

(2 year 228-litre cask, bottling March 2016) dark red. Oak, simmered red fruits feature in an attractive nose that comes with alacrity, alertness, is Burgundian. This has  a nice, clear style, the fruit good and pure, has “clack”, the fruit expressive. There is a becoming lozenge fruit bundle on the finish. Has good style. The length is decent. From mid-2017. 13°. 2023-24  Oct 2015


dark red, legs visible. The nose is reduced, has floral perfume, raspberry. It is well en route to charm. The palate runs with clear red fruit, has grip, cut, clarity, a notably rocky finale. This gives a cautious delivery of its wares. It holds fluid fruit and sinew. There is a nudge of oak on the aftertaste. Burgundian in form, has a stylish potential. From 2018. 2026-28  Oct 2015 Previously Nov 2013 **** (2-year 228-litre cask) quite a dark red. There is interesting intensity of fruit and a floral trimming present in the nose, which bears the natural richness of 20123. The palate attacks broadly, has good continuity in the deliver, builds some crunchy late tannin, lengthens well. Good bounty, a good vintage. Has freshness. “The malic acidity levels are quite high,” François Merlin. 13 years  Nov 2013

2012 ()

(final blend, bottling in 3 weeks, Dec 2013) full, dark red. Scented blackberry aroma with good, pure notes in the fruit, some oaking and charcoal behind. This is a curvy nose that will become round and open to appreciated. The palate has a tender debut, becomes stricter after that. Bonny juice lies at its heart, and will take on weight and interest as it ages and evolves. The mid to late palate needs 2+ years to absorb its oak and rather brittle tannin. It has the peppery nature of the less hot years. Time will serve this well; for now, the mid-palate is slightly uncertain, but I back it to get there. It is quite long. “I gave this a shorter raising than the top years – 15 months, the same as 2011, whereas the 2010 received 18 months,” François Merlin. From 2016. 2022-24  Nov 2013  Previously Oct 2012 *** (Cognet, 3 weeks old) the aroma travels across the glass well, violet and a quiet persistence about it. Agreeable, airborne style on the palate, sound matter. Fair length. Probably *** to ***(*). 10-12 year wine.  Oct 2012

2011 ()

sound red robe. The nose is a small ball of intense cassis de Dijon fruit, shows basil, polished wax notes, a liqueur approach. The palate holds blackberry, bramble fruit, elderberry on the its debut. The finish is close-knit, but this is a wine that wants to please, be generous; its tannins encircle it for now, and restrict that side of it. Promising wine that will show openly and please drinkers. A little mineral comes along on the end. “I prefer 2011 to 2012 in Côte Rôtie – it’s richer,” François Merlin. 2021-23. Bottled Dec 2012.  Nov 2013  Previously Oct 2012 **** 3 different casks: 1) (5 year 228-litre cask, assembled wine) **** bright red; engaging red cherry fruit lead aroma, has a jelly sweetness, a simple smile of greeting. The palate offers supple fruit with a discreet thread of tannin as its backbone. Good and tasty, this will please and not demand effort. It runs very consistently, is elegant. This is Burgundian in approach, with tasty features. There is fine, even delicate tannin in it. Very fine, gives lots of appeal. 14 years. 2) (2 year 550-litre cask, assembled wine) **** bonny red, clear. Red jam, strawberry aroma, with floral incidents, and hints of smoke, cordite, local feel. The palate has a wide, rather fat start, takes on darker notes from its tannins. It is also pure, similar to the 228-litre cask. It keeps rolling well. Very strong quality. 15 years. 3) (young vines, 2008, new 550-litre cask, whole bunch because the stems were in good ripeness) *** some dark tints in the red robe; black cherry, smoky bacon airs, gravy, with date-like ripeness in the fruit. The palate fruit is direct, whizzes along, has dark notes in it. Fair foundation to this. It can work with the other two. OVERALL **** a wine of balance and interest coming up; it will have more to it than just a fruit-fronted vintage, and can live to 2024-25 or so. Will provide elegant drinking. Oct 2012

2010 ()

bright red; licorice, cherry, sleek oak across the nose, the cherry prominent, has a swish, a style about it, is indeed sleek and very primary – wait four years for a good range of extras here. This has red cherry flavour, a nutty interior and a touch of kirsch before oak tints, a pretty clear-cut sign-off. There is more on the palate than appears at first inspection. Decant this. It is not a Show Biz event, is a feature on the Off Show, not mainstream. It will be more expressive in over 3 years. There are nutty, grainy late notes. Just a bit arm’s length. Bottled July 2012. 13°. 2026-27  Oct 2012  Previously Nov 2010 **** (3 year 228-litre oak cask, malo not yet done) bright, dark red robe; reserved nose, three-quarter depth, some fine lees present, has attractive breadth. The palate is stylish, has mineral cut, a direct nature. “Very clear wine this year, with balance,” F.Merlin. Burgundian in shape. 2023-25 Nov 2010

2009 ()

(new oak cask) full, bright robe. The bouquet is precise, good black berry with oak and a clear nature. Knit together palate with good tang in it; it flows well, ends on graphite with some oak traces. Has a likeable acidity that helps it along. Fresh towards the finish. An elegant wine that could be a wee bit deeper, but is marked by free going red fruit. From 2013 or later. 2022-24. “It is very perfumed and open, and always has been,” F.Merlin. Nov 2010 Previously Nov 2009 1) **** (new 600 litre oak cask) **** big robe. Black fruit, layers of licorice, cassis, ripe fruit – the air of the northern zone here. There is winning, persistent fruit on the palate, really good length. This is v good. 14 years. 2) (2-year 228-litre oak cask) ***(*) good as well: nutty, oaked but also very serene fruit with clear lines along the palate, comes with cut and poise. This is more schist obvious than the previous, is a very Saint Cyr wine, has a graphite aftertaste. 2022-24 Nov 2009

2007 ()

deep, shiny black cherries robe. The aroma travels across the glass – gives forward black cherry that comes out and greets, also a little smoky bacon here, black soil suited to growing potatoes, and a hint of oak. The palate also has bacon fat or pork on the attack, with black cherry fruit, while there is a suggestion of earthiness in here, too. A good ensemble – its fruit keeps going, and offers away well, the length is good. Very good style and clear fruit, a classy, STGT wine with the mineral of Saint Cyr on the finish. This is for lovers of fine – literally fine – wine, really moving well. Bottled Aug 2009 after 20 months of oak. 2019-21 Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 *** (cask) full, dark red robe. Floral airs circle the bouquet, where there is a sound black fruit heart and some smoky zones. The black fruit on the palate has an interesting grip, and keeps going with nice freedom. Good wine, close to being OK now. Fine wine. Only 800 b this year after hail. 2014-16 March 2009 Previously Jan 2008 *** (1 yr oak cask) fairly dark robe; the bouquet is tight-knit, led by black cherry. The palate holds bouncy fruit with some richness around it: I like the friendly gras lining its spine. Good purity in this. Promising wine with STGT in its nature. Burgundian finesse. 2020-22 Jan 2008

2006 ()

(cask, example of the final blend, to be bottled March 2008) bright, black cherry inspired bouquet, with a little sweetness, toffee and jam, ends nicely round. Ripe fruit on the palate, but it is guided by its northern zone origins – the result is a late display of mineral and clarity in the wine. Ends clean and clear, is a wine of character. From mid-late 2009. 2019-20. Only 900 b this year. Jan 2008