My note on the 2018: The first of the red wines shocked me to delicious attention. Again, from two neighboring parcels in Larnage, and (for the first time) with 100% whole cluster in this solar year (50% in 2017). There is incredible intensity of flavor here, as the yields were but 25 hl/ha, lower than most Grand cru Burgundy. Aromatically, its light black fruits, smoky meats, and whole cluster spice are just gorgeous and wonderfully complex. In the mouth, the same flavors are present, with a depth, resonance, and succulence that had me shaking my head. The wine is completely seamless and harmonious. I don’t believe that one could possibly ask for more……Guillaume tells me that at yields like this, he is basically losing money to make this wine….! But since it is a Crozes Hermitage, one can only charge so much…..To my taste, this is a remarkable value, as its intensity and pedigree are undeniable. Get what you can justify, and thank me later. A little * awarded here.
“1990-92 Syrah from a total of 1 hectare on La Bouvate et Les Rennes at Larnage, northern sector, destemmed (2017 50% whole bunch, 2018 100% whole bunch due to great ripeness), 2 week vinification, cap punched, vat emptying/refilling, aged 4-10 year oak casks 12-13 months, then 3-6 months vat, unfined, unfiltered, 3 bottlings – March/April, May, end of June/July, 3,500 b” JLL
“(used 228-litre cask, malo completed) red robe, some intensity. There’s a vegetal-peppery spark on the nose, raspberry, white pepper – it’s a bouquet with go in it. The palate gives a running stream of red berry fruit, notably raspberry, is vivacious, the fruit pure and beckoning; it carries musk-rose notes into its graphite finish. This has good life and expression. Destemming only 50% instead of the usual 100% this year, since the crop was so ripe. 2028-30 Nov 2018” 3.5 stars, John Livingstone Learmonth