(2019) French oak for 18 months, some new barrels. Pure and quite silky blue-black fruit. A touch of aromatic tobacco and loads of spice. The palate has lots of juicy, savoury black fruit, loads of peppery spice and a twist of bitter endive to sharpen it up. Becomes a little rounded with the barrel and spices.
(2019) This spends 20 months in oak, French and American. Bright red fruit with a touch of cool-climate rhubarb and pepper, bright red berries. Just a touch of creaminess from understated oak. Fresh, creamy and bright cherry fruit, lovely floating floral top notes, with a juiciness and good length. A lovely Syrah, on the brighter and cooler side, and in a European style. Price and stockist for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2019) Aged in 10% new Alliers oak, the rest is older oak. Lovely bright fruit character, but also a green, olive and herb-tinged note, definite sense of cool climate/less ripe character. There is some grippy, stony, gravel on the palate, a taut stripe of tannin and bold, pure acidity. A meatiness develops, gives that stalky green nip to the bold black fruit. Very very juicy, and long. Tight, polished tannin finish. One for the future for sure, but 93 provisionally.
(2019) This has 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot in the blend, matured 17 months in Nevers oak, 65% new. Cool on the nose, but coffee and roasted herbs, a meatiness too, not fruit-led, but there is good black fruit in the mix. The palate has a firm, structured palate, savoury and a bit reserved, but that gives energy and a bit of tannic bite and firmness.
(2019) From two vineyards, the wine on which they made their reputation before the Rubicon cuvée came along. Cedar and sandalwood fragrance, a touch of herbal, olive and leafy herb note, but the clean, firm blackcurrant fruit is lovely. Savoury and juicy, there’s a bit of tart plum skins and liquorice. Dark and dramatic, but the fruit does become quite plush before the acid and taut, polished but grippy tannins push through. Drinking really nicely, and has good light and shade.
A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, plus Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot, aged for 20 months in Nevers oak, 65% new. Big and luscious from the first sniff, a little bloody and herbal, but loads of black fruit and sweet, graphite finesse. Lovely buoyant cherry-edged fruit, etched with that bloodiness and tart cherry acids, but the sweet creamy depth is lovely.
(2019) This is Cabernet Franc from Stellenbosch. It shows a touch of higher, aromatic floral notes and meatiness, a little olive and a touch of funkiness. Fine, savoury palate, lots of dry tannic character.
(2019) Introduced to the range in 2010, and named because of the touch of white Viognier grapes co-fermented with black Syrah grapes, this was aged in French oak for 22 months, around half of the barrels new. The aromas are chocolaty and dark, slicked with vanilla but with light and shade too, a little raspberry, red fruited lift and pepper in the mix. Substantial on the palate again, the intensity is notched up, and it's a wine with good length. Not in the UK at time of writing.
(2019) This spends 18 months in older barrels. Good quality, pepper and spice, and a gamy edge to the black fruit. Definitely cool climate in style, lovely roses, touches of black forest fruit and though substantial and full, there's a pleasing edge of freshness running through this.
(2015) The alcohol is 11.6% in this Syrah, which was 100% whole bunch fermented with very gentle extraction before spending 10 months in older barrels. Attractive bloody and spicy, gamy nose. Such lovely fruit, the cherry and raspberry lift of the fruit and the fabulous spicy, sappy length of the finish.
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