(2017) A blend of 85% Grenache with Syrah and Cinsault, this is an unoaked and very powerful expression of peppery, spicy Rhône, lightly meaty with plummy dark fruit. On the palate it is all about savouriness, a bit of sizzling roasted meat, liquorice and quite a lean acid framework, but the plummy, dry fruit does come through as does the spice of the grape and tannins. A food wine that is a tad rustic but good, but matched to the Chief Chocolate Officer's bitter dark chocolate infused with liquorice and rose, really rather sensational as a marriage in the mouth.
(2015) Sourced from vines that are at least 25 year old, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, and named Abeilles because 10p from every bottle sold goes towards the study and protection of honey bees. No honey on the nose though, just a very attractive and sheer wall of black and red berry fruit, quite dark and spicy, but richly fruity too and very inviting. On the palate this wins on its balanced drinkability: savoury and yet fruity, full and yet racy and fine, it has some pepper and spice in the finish too.
(2015) Made by Ogier, this is classic Rhône Syrah, the nose somehow marrying a velvety pool of deep black fruit with lift of tobacco, fresh-cracked black pepper and spice. In the mouth it has delicious balance. It is briary and sappy to an extent, giving energy and life in the mouth, but the smoothing note of fleshy plum and cherry, and then that spice coming through again, gives it a long, balanced finish. Drinking well and Morrison's web site is still showing 2010 on the label of the bottle, if not in the description of the wine.
(2014) The Châteauneuf-du-Pape from this estate is also on FvD's list, but this 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah blend from Ventoux is less than half the price. Pouring a saturated purple colour, the nose has buoyancy and floral lift, spice notes and pert black fruit to the fore. On the palate there is an edge of liquorice extract, plenty of that dark fruit, and again a feeling of freshness that belies the surprisingly high 15.5% alcohol. Spice, maybe a touch of heat, but lovely savoury and fruity clarity in the finish.
(2011) This Rhône blend from a fine vintage has a nicely charcoally, schisty note of cool earth and tight black fruit. On the palate there is lovely juicy, tight, pepper-edged black fruit with a real sense of freshness and clean, long finish. Delicious and quite serious stuff.
(2010) Blend of Grenache and Syrah from the Côtes du Rhône Village of Cairanne. Very silky, very smooth, a raft of berry fruits and sweet but tight and muscular oak. The palate has beautiful concentration: the fruit, oak and silky tannins all combining to make a long, really satisfying and savoury wine.
(2010) This certified organic wine, a half and half blend of Syrah and Grenache, comes from the Rhône Valley. It has a wonderfully bright, lifted nose, with a distinctive pepper and re liquorice edge to racy red fruits, kirsch and summer pudding. It is lovely I have to say. On the palate that light, juicy, particularly fresh and spirited character flows through, the crunchy, vivid fruit and dry, mineral edged tannins and acidity offering plenty of life and vitality. What a terrific little wine.
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