(2020) On checking my notes I find that surprisingly I last tasted this in 1998 when I bought a few bottles. 22 years on it is an old wine, and though showing its age, still offering plenty of pleasure. Soft, tawny to ruby in colour, the nose has dried leaves, coffee and lots of autumnal scents. In the mouth the fruit is hanging on nicely, edged with raspberry and with a nice orangey acidity, tannins fully resolved. I have one more bottle of this which I certainly won't leave too much longer.
(2017) Gorgeous perfume here; old roses and violets, spice, cherry and raspberry. Little background notes of leather and coffee. Lovely silky texture, with a delightful sense of resolution: sweet, mellow berry fruits, soft acidity and fine, svelte tannins. Very elegant, very lovely texture and again drinking beautifully, though not quite the lush density of the 1982.
(2001) This was the ice cube vintage, and though a legendary claret year, is generally regarded as only moderately good in the northern Rhône. This has a beautifully perfumed nose, with fantastic, almost Burgundian qualities of game, blood, truffle and wild, fine herb and briarwood notes. Leather and pepper too. The palate has lovely cherry-like sweet fruit that is beautifully elegant, fleshy, ripe and round. There is plenty of savoury mellow tannin and acidity, cedar and lovely integrated flavours. Absolutely delightful. Outstanding drinking now, though maybe deserves an ‘official’ excellent classification within this line up of wines, most of which are 10-years off their prime.
(2001) Another powerful nose, schisty, gravelly mineral qualities, but plenty of sweet, perfumed fruit with notes of caramel and again a lovely animal edge. The palate is quite dry and savoury, with a serious, tannin and acid backbone and a nice fleshy texture. The fruit does push through and has plenty of ripe sweetness, but the balance of this vintage doesn’t sing quite as purely. Jean-Louis thought this was rather closed, so my verdict of very good indeed might well turn out to be too cautious.
(2001) Distinctive, complex nose of animal, game, leather and pepper. Meaty, dense and powerful impression. The palate is loaded with ripe, mouth-filling fruit, given nerve and sinew by a great thrust of acidity and cherry-skin tartness that freshens the finish. Lovely, complex and fruity stuff with great length.
(2001) Wonderfully fruity, open nose with raspberry – almost jammy – aromas and a background of gentle oak, again supported by a gamy, animal depth. This has fine structure again, with a big, clamping streak of tannins over firm, muscular fruit and again terrific length.
(2001) A little bit reductive at first, then those schisty, gravelly qualities break through, along with leather, game and deep berry fruit. The palate is powerful and muscular, quite sinewy with chewy black fruit and massive, dense tannins. This has wonderful concentration and is extremely long. Excellent and again, a profound wine to be cellared.
(2001) Lovely seam of deep, dense black fruit that is creamy, with chocolate and plum depth and a little bit of earthy richness. Gorgeous palate, a really silky texture and flooded with sweet berry fruit intermingled with vanilla and lots of pure, silky finesse from fine tannins and balanced acidity. Very pure, very long, and excellent. Surprisingly approachable, but seems balanced and built for the long haul.