90+ Points "Another structured, balanced wine is the 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape Haute Pierre. It has a touch of austerity as well as medium-bodied richness, terrific purity and classic notes of blackcurrants, crushed rocks, smoked herbs and caramelized meats. It's one of the few 2014s that will benefit from a year or two in the cellar and have 10-12 years of overall longevity Boch of these forest releases from winemaker Jacques Grange at Delas Freres ore impressive, and the quality appears to be on the upswing with these Southern Rh6ne releases.”
91 Points "Bright ruby. Suave, spice-tinged dark fruits and lavender pastilles on the fragrant nose, complemented by hints of woodsmoke, vanilla and sassafras. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering fresh blackberry, bitter chocolate and spicecake flavors that stretch out with air. Dusty tannins come in slowly and give shape to a penetrating, spicy finish that echoes the bitter chocolate and smoke notes."
90 Points "Tasted out of bottle, the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Haut Pierre is the same blend/élevage as the 2014 and gives up lots of Provençal charm in its roasted herbs, pepper, black cherry and currant-styled fruits. Medium-bodied, nicely concentrated and slightly tight and narrow on the palate, it still has beautiful purity and fine tannin that show on the finish. It will have 10-15 years of overall longevity. The team at Delas Frere continues to make outstanding wines from just about everywhere in the Rhône Valley."
92 Points "This has a sleek, racy feel, with red currant, pomegranate and plum favors, lined with mouthwatering licorice root and cinnamon notes. The finish has ample grip, but this is fresh in feel, featuring tangy sanguine notes and a lingering alder edge. Best from 2017 through 2025."
90 Points "Vivid ruby. Spicy, lucid red berry and floral scents pick up a smoky nuance with air. Smooth and open-knit, offering gently sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors and a hint of candied licorice. Closes smoothly tannic and long, with building sweetness and a lingering suggestion of allspice."
91 Points "If it’s possible for a Châteauneuf du-Pape to have Burgundian style, this would be a candidate. The cherries are delicate and herbal, with crisp acids and silky tannins that provide a wiry, peppery framework for the elegant fruit. Drink now–2020. "
90 Points This offers a deep, tight matrix of black fruit and stone, fine tannins keeping the wine taut despite its density. It lasts on earthiness, the flavors recalling fresh matsutakes and dried herbs.
93 Points "This Chateauneuf du Pape offers the focused ripeness of the vintage, with a lightly steeped edge to the plum, red currant and raspberry fruit. Extra pastis, singed apple wood and red licorice notes fill in on the finish. Lovely perfumy spice notes drape over all of it, with cut and drive on the finish."
90 Points "Vivid ruby. Pungent, energetic aromas of raspberry and cherry pit are accented by exotic star anise and flowers. On the palate, flavors of ripe red and dark berries and candied flowers are complemented by a touch of smokiness on the back half. Finishes smooth and long, the cherry and smoke notes echoing."
92 Points "Racy and fresh, with a piercing, stony edge cutting through the red currant, plum and cherry notes, all laced with hints of garrigue and tobacco on the finish."
91 Points "The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Haute Pierre (65% tank-aged Grenache and 35% barrel-aged Syrah) boasts a dense ruby/purple color along with sweet notes of roasted meats, new saddle leather, espresso, cassis and black cherry jam. This classic, full-throttle Chateauneuf du Pape can be enjoyed over the next 15+ years. As I noted last year, there has been tremendous progress and a definitive amelioration of quality with respect to the Chateauneuf du Papes being produced by Delas."
92-94 points "It reveals a deep ruby/purple color in addition to a gorgeous nose of black fruits, spring flowers, licorice, incense, lavender, and grilled Provencal herbs. Dense, full-bodied, flamboyant, and chewy, with that terrific freshness and purity that characterize this great vintage in the south, it should drink well for 12-15+ years."
90-92 points "The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape is the finest wine produced by Grange since he began working at Delas when it was acquired by the Louis Roederer-Deutz Champagne firm. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a sumptuous bouquet of black fruits, kirsch liqueur, incense, licorice, pepper, and spice, a superb texture, beautiful freshness, and a long finish."
92 points "Shows some funk on the nose, but there’s a solid core of ripe, pure blackberry and black currant fruit, with sweet spice, tar and warm licorice notes. Long, well-rounded finish. Drink now through 2023."
90-92 Points "...[T]he 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Haute Pierre boasts a deep, dark ruby/plum hue, full-bodied, powerful flavors (black fruits, pepper, earth, and spice), beautiful purity, admirable intensity, moderate tannin, and a textured, savory mouthfeel. Consume it over the next 10-15 years."
93 Points "Pale gold. Powerful, mineral-laced orchard fruit and melon aromas are sharpened by notes of ginger and lemon zest. Concentrated pear, Meyer lemon and violet pastille flavors show a suave blend of richness and delicacy thanks to a core of juicy acidity and a dusty mineral nuance. Closes minerally and very long, leaving a sexy floral note behind."
91 Points "The 2014 Condrieu Clos Boucher is more lean and with more acidity than previous vintages, yet still outstanding. Citrus blossom, lychee nut, spice and mineral nuances all show in this clean, crisp, supple and elegant Condrieu. It will benefit from six to 12 months in bottle and drink well through 2019 at a minimum."
93 Points "This sports a lively, juicy feel, with honeysuckle and chamomile notes running alongside the core of rich yellow apple and melon flavors. The finish is pure and bright. Drink now through 2017."
93 Points "Light, green-tinged gold. Highly perfumed scents of fresh lime, nectarine, white flowers and dusty minerals, with a hint of anise emerging with air. Palate-staining orchard and citrus fruit flavors put on weight with air while maintaining vivacity. This rich yet lithe Condrieu finishes with outstanding clarity, lift and length. This wine (which ages remarkably well, by the way) and the Galopine are made from fruit grown in a 1.9-hectare site on the prime Verin hillside, which is a mix of schist and granite soils. The best fruit, which comes mostly from 50+-year-old vines, is earmarked for this bottling."
92 Points "In a similar racy style, the 2013 Condrieu Clos Boucher is vibrant and crystalline, with lychee, tangerine and green citrus all backed by edgy minerality. More concentrated and textured than the La Galopoine, with medium to full-bodied depth and richness, I recommend drinking it over the coming 2-3 years, but it will evolve for longer."
93 Points "Reviewed last year, the 2012 Condrieu Clos Boucher offers exotic notes of lychee, mint, flowers, citrus and big minerality in its medium-bodied, fresh, focused and elegant personality. This team continues to knockout it out of the park. Run by Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud, all of these new releases merit serious attention."
94 Points "The 2012 Condrieu Clos Boucher, which spent 12 months in 30% new and 60% two- to three-year-old barrels, with the balance in tank, offers classic and gorgeous notes of spiced pears, flowers, citrus and vanilla bean to go with a medium-bodied, fresh and lively feel on the palate. Possessing textbook Condrieu richness, it is perfectly balanced and quite fresh. "
94 Points "The 2011 Condrieu Clos Boucher is smoking good! Loaded with classy, pure aromas and flavors of flower oil, caramelized peaches, brioche and ample minerality, this medium to full-bodied effort has knockout purity, vibrant acidity and terrific length."
92 Points "Very lively, with makrut lime, Bosc pear, green almond and green plum notes forming the core, all backed by a fennel - and melon rind - tinged finish. Refreshingly unadorned."
93 Points ") Light gold. High-pitched, mineral-driven aromas of green apple, nectarine, ginger, violet and white pepper, with a sexy floral nuance gaining strength in the glass. Sappy and incisive, offering palate-staining pit fruit and mineral flavors that show impressive clarity and depth. Finishes spicy, stony and very long, with lingering floral notes."
92 Points "Light gold. Suave, floral bouquet of orange, peach, jasmine and violet. Quite fine and delineated, with brisk mineral and citrus zest flavors joined by a late-arriving note of floral honey. The bright finish features a strong, lingering mineral tone. This vineyard sits next to Chateau Grillet."
92 Points "Green-tinged straw. Mineral-accented aromas of Meyer lemon, pear and nectarine carry a suave violet overtone. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering vibrant orchard and citrus fruit flavors that are given depth by a honeyed nuance. Rich but lively as well, with a strong floral quality carrying through a very long, stony finish."
90 Points "A classic, textbook Condrieu that's perfect for readers looking for a great example of the region, is the 2014 Condrieu la Galopine. It has plenty of citrus oil, white peach, melon and minerality in a medium plus-bodied, nicely textured and balanced style. Drink it anytime over the coming 3-4 years."
92 Points "Broad and unctuous, with a brightness that allows the chamomile, yellow apple, quince and melon flavors to stay engaging from start to finish. A lovely fennel echo adds length and range. Very pretty for a Condrieu. Drink now through 2017."
92 Points "Pale gold. An expressive, heady bouquet evokes fresh orchard fruits, melon, candied ginger and violet, with a chalky element adding vibrancy and lift. Sappy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering juicy, deeply concentrated tangerine and bitter pear skin flavors plus a touch of anise. Shows intense mineral and floral character on the nervy finish, which clings with excellent tenacity."
91 Points "A classic Condrieu, the 2012 Condrieu La Galopine exhibits pretty apricot, flowers and tangerine in its perfumed, fruit loaded, textured style. Enjoy this full-bodied beauty over the coming year or two."
90 Points Delas Freres' La Galopine, a blend of fruit from three parcels, is cool and tense in 2011. It has refreshing restraint for Condrieu, the flavors more green peach than golden apricot, with a lively acidity woven through it. The stony structure suggests there's more detail to come; give it another six months in the bottle, and try it with a cream-sauced fish dish.
91 Points A very fresh, aromatic style, offering lovely white peach, chamomile, green plum, fennel frond and mineral notes, stitched together with finely beaded acidity. Drink now.
91 Points Slightly more mineral-laced, with a straight, clean profile, the 2011 Condrieu Galopine has similar citrus rind, mint, flower oil and pear notes, as well as hints of apricot, to go with a pure, medium-bodied profile on the palate. Spending 12 months all in neutral oak, it’s a clean, classy Condrieu to drink over the coming 4-5 years or so.
89 points "The basic cuvee of Condrieu, the 2006 and 2007 Condrieu La Galopine both offer notes of flowers, peaches, apricots, and lychee nuts. The 2006 exhibits more minerality and depth..."
91 Points "Bright, with a juicy texture carrying tasty notes of persimmon, apricot, white peach and anise. Nice mouthwatering finish has a hint of fennel seed. Drink now through 2010."
90 Points "Pale yellow. Seductive, floral bouquet of fresh citrus and pear aromas enlivened by dusty minerals. Brisk lemon and orchard fruit flavors are surprisingly weighty but finish with impressive mineral snap. An excellent example of the clean, racy school of Condrieu, with zero oak adornment."
92 Points "Bright violet. Expressive aromas of blackberry liqueur, cherry cola, olive and smoky bacon are lifted by a peppery quality. Deep-pitched dark fruit and violet pastille flavors show very good energy and become sweeter and spicier with air. Rich but lively and nicely balanced, offering excellent finishing thrust and gaining gentle grip from the supple tannins."
90 Points "The 2013 Cornas Chante Perdrix offers beautiful spice, white pepper, and cedar characteristics to go with more background gaminess and sweet raspberry fruit. Medium-bodied, pretty and nicely balanced, it has a charming, upfront and approachable feel on the palate and seems ideal for drinking over the coming 5-7 years."
93 Points "Features a dense core of dark plum, black currant and blackberry fruit, melding with singed bay and tobacco leaf, dark olive and baker’s chocolate notes. Best from 2017 through 2027."
91-93 Points "Inky purple. Powerful, expansive aromas of candied black and blue fruits are lifted by smoky mineral and cracked pepper. Palate-coating cassis and bitter chocolate flavors are complicated by suggestions of floral pastilles and smoky bacon. Becomes sweeter with air and finishes long and spicy, with mounting tannins and a whiplash of candied violet."
90-92 Points "More tannic, chewy and rustic, the 2013 Cornas Chante Perdrix exhibits lots of black raspberry and cassis fruit intermixed with cracked pepper, leather and potpourri-like nuances. There’s a lot of noticeable tannin, so give these a few years in the cellar."
92 Points "Energetic bay leaf, black olive, tobacco and dried star anise notes stud a core of dark plum and blackberry fruit. A tobacco edge holds the finish, with mouthwatering acidity carrying everything. Very solid. Best from 2016 through 2022."
92 Points "Glass-staining purple. Strongly perfumed aromas of blackberry, blueberry, violet and smoky minerals. Seamless and gently sweet, offering energetic dark berry and cola flavors and a touch of star anise on the back half. Gains richness with air and finishes very long and spicy, with building tannins and a late suggestion of olive paste. Quite suave for a Cornas and very appealing already. 2019 - 2028"
90 Points "A supple, polished and perfumed wine, the 2012 Cornas Chante Perdrix gives up plenty of black raspberry, peppery herbs, green olive and licorice. Medium to full-bodied, with good mid-palate depth, high-quality tannin, and an already upfront style, drink it over the coming 7-8 years."
90-92 Points "Bright purple. Intensely perfumed aromas of cassis, black raspberry, violet and smoky minerals, with a sexy floral topnote. Spicy dark berry and floral pastille flavors pick up smokiness with air and show impressive clarity and depth. The floral finish features building sweetness, soft tannins and a persistent smoky nuance. It has the stuffing to age gracefully but is surprisingly approachable right now."
91-93 Points "The 2012 Cornas Chante Perdrix is made in a full-bodied, forward style with ample black raspberry, chocolate, lavender, and rose petal notes flowing to a rich, textured wine that has low acidity and a sexy feel. It should drink nicely on release."
91 Points "Sanguine, with pepper and iron notes flow from the start here, with supple cherry and red currant fruit at the core. Olive, bay and iron hints line the mouthwatering finish. Textbook old school Cornas."
89 Points "More tannic and savory (and less successful), the 2011 Cornas Chante Perdrix offers plenty of spiced meat, dried herbs and forest floor nuances to go with medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Enjoy it over the coming decade. "
89-91 Points "Youthful purple. Intense aromas of cassis, cherry compote, violet, black olive and anise, with a strong smoky overtone. Deep, sappy and precise, offering energetic dark berry and floral pastille flavors and an emphatic note of olive tapenade. Gains sweetness and weight in the glass and finishes with impressive clarity and an echo of candied flowers."
93 Points "There’s a nice chewy feel from the start, with bay leaf, tobacco and bramble notes quickly followed by red currant paste, blood orange and singed apple wood. The tightly drawn, minerally finish shows an olive echo. Best from 2014 through 2024."
90+ Points "The 2010 Cornas Chante Perdrix is surprisingly tasty and evolved. I expected it to be totally shut down, but it reveals a dense purple color, supple tannins and a bouquet of blood sausage, Provencal herbs, pepper, smoke and hot rocks. It is a distinctive, classic Cornas that is surprisingly accessible for a wine from this appellation at such a young age. It should drink well for 15+ years."
92-94 Points "Inky purple. Ripe, deeply pitched aromas of blackberry, violet, olive, smoky minerals and Indian spices. Large-scaled, dense and seamless, offering compelling flavors of candied black and blue fruits, dark chocolate and violet pastille. Lingers with real intensity and clarity, the violet note strongly repeating."
89-92 Points "Delas produces a classic, full-bodied, masculine Cornas. The 2010 Cornas Chante Perdrix tastes like coagulated blood from the vine. Thick and dense, with great intensity, massive tannins and virile power and richness, this opaque purple-colored wine is not for the shy of heart."
90 Points "Dark purple. Aromas of cherry compote and cassis are brightened by a zesty mineral quality. Rich but lithe, offering gently sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors and a biting note of cracked pepper. Shows a touch of smokiness on the seamless, nicely persistent finish."
93+ Points "...this 2009 has a voluptuous opening on the palate before the tannins begin to ratchet up. Inky/purple-hued, layered and full-bodied, it offers notes of smoked meats, duck, Chinese black tea, blackberries and licorice. It is an enormously inky, thick wine that needs to be forgotten for 5-6 years and drunk over the following 20-25 years."
91-93 Points "The dense purple-colored, gamy 2009 Cornas Chante Perdrix offers up scents of duck confit intermixed with notions of burning embers, black fruits, new saddle leather and savage animal-like notes. There is extraordinary intensity and abundant tannin, but enough fruit to balance out the wine's structure."
94 Points "Inky ruby. Fresh blueberry, cassis, candied flowers and smoky bacon on the intensely perfumed nose, along with a mineral topnote and a hint of allspice. Broad, sappy and concentrated, offering sweet, palate-staining dark fruit and spicecake flavors complemented by hints of anise and bitter chocolate. Finishes sweet, broad and very long, conveying a suggestion of violet pastille; soft tannins come in slowly."
94+ Points "The 2013 Côte Rôtie la Landonne is a longer term prospect that will require patience. It offers youthful, yet beautifully pure notes of black cherries, roasted herbs, licorice and distinct minerality to go with a medium to full-bodied, structured, tannic yet balanced feel on the palate. Completely destemmed and aged in 40% new French oak, I followed this bottle for multiple days and it continued to gain more and more mid-palate depth, without losing purity or freshness. Give bottles 5-6 years of cellaring and enjoy through 2038."
93 Points "Very solid, with a loamy edge that melds slowly into the core of steeped plum and blackberry fruit, while smoldering alder, bay and dark olive notes flitter throughout. Cellar for maximum effect. Best from 2018 through 2024."
92-94 Points "Dark purple. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of blueberry, cherry-cola, violet and incense, with a smoky note expanding in the glass. Palate-staining black and blue fruit flavors pick up notes of spicecake and candied flowers as the wine opens in the glass. Powerful but lithe and precise, finishing with superb clarity and sneaky tannins that come in late."
94-97 Points "More rich, textured and concentrated, the inky color 2013 Côte Rôtie La Landonne should be up there with the top few wines in the vintage. Serious on all accounts, with vibrant notes of smoked earth, liquid rock and a plethora of sweet dark berry fruit, this full-bodied Côte Rôtie has thrilling purity, a seamless, layered texture and blockbuster length. My notes finish with “I hope it shows this well from bottle”."
95 Points Hot Wine "Red Rather tightly packed, with loganberry, bitter plum and raspberry coulis notes forming the core, while bay, black tea and anise accents add range and extend the finish. A lovely lavender hint echoes at the very end. Best from 2017 through 2027."
94 Points "Inky ruby. Vibrant cherry and black raspberry aromas are complemented by smoky minerals and suave floral pastille and spicecake qualities. Concentrated red fruit flavors are sappy and focused, with hints of cola and licorice adding depth. Silky, smoky and broad on the strikingly long, incisive finish, which features gentle tannins and lingering floral and mineral qualities. 2019-2035"
95 Points "Showing even better from bottle than barrel, the 2012 Côte Rôtie La Landonne is a fabulous effort that oozes notions of cassis, black raspberry, violet, incense and spice-box. Medium to full-bodied, with a gorgeous mid-palate and building, fine tannin, enjoy this ripe, layered, textured beauty over the coming 10-15 years. Made from 100% Syrah aged in new barrels, it’s gorgeous."
92-94 Points 'Vivid purple. A hugely perfumed bouquet evokes smoky blackberry, blueberry, potpourri and cola. Seamless and sweet, offering energetic dark berry and licorice flavors and an exotic floral pastille quality. Gains richness with air and finishes very long, with lingering sweetness, floral character and smooth tannins. Powerful but balanced and lively, even elegant.'
92-94 Points "More substantial, with incredible purity of fruit, the 2012 Cote Rotie La Landonne gives up brilliant aromas and flavors of violets, wild flowers, smoked bacon, toast and chocolaty, black raspberry-styled fruit. Medium to full-bodied, with building, fine tannin, there’s some creaminess to the texture, and its polished, seamless profile will be hard to resist on release."
91-93 Points "Vivid ruby. Explosive, mineral- and spice-accented aromas of red and dark berry preserves, incense and potpourri, with a bright mineral overtone. Offers sappy black raspberry and blueberry flavors, along with notes of candied licorice and violets. Gains flesh and weight with aeration and finishes on a gently tannic, floral note."
92-94 Points "The 2011 Cote Rotie La Landonne is a rich, full-bodied, muscular effort displaying notes of tar, barbecue smoke, roasted meats, game and lots of black currant and blackberry fruit. Some incense, espresso roast and chocolaty notes are also present in this complex, surprisingly evolved and elegant, young Cote Rotie La Landonne. It should drink well for 10-15 years."
96 Points Top N Rhone "A warm, plush style, with lots of cocoa powder-dusted fig, boysenberry and blackberry compote notes, followed by a strong charcoal spine that carries the long, smoldering finish. A terrific minerality is buried underneath the thickly layered fruit. Impressive. Best from 2015 through 2030."
98+ Points "Flirting with perfection, the 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne offers up scents of black truffles, incense, smoked game, creosote, spring flowers and black fruits. Full-bodied with mouth-staining tannin as well as mouth-saturating extract and richness, this powerful, strikingly intense 2010 is young and unevolved, but it is filled with potential. Interestingly, Jacques Grange told me this cuvee was made from 100% destemmed fruit. "
93-95 Points "Inky purple. Smoky dark berries and cherry-vanilla on the exotically perfumed nose. Picks up incense and bacon fat with air, along with suggestions of clove and star anise. Intense flavors of spiced cherry and blackberry are enlivened by zesty minerality and given shape by supple tannins. This plush, suave, alluring wine finishes with intense sweetness and a late jolt of fruitcake."
96-100 Points "The black-colored 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne displays notes of charcoal, black truffles, creosote, blackberries, incense, subtle barbecue smoke and hints of espresso as well as white chocolate. This amazingly complex, full-bodied, powerful 2010 will need 7-8 years of cellaring, and should last three decades or more."
94 Points "An explosive, heady bouquet evokes red and dark berry preserves, incense, Asian spices and potpourri; you could scent a room with this stuff. Palate-staining raspberry and blueberry flavors are lifted by zesty mineral and spice notes and show outstanding vivacity and focus. Pure, energetic and sweet on the finish, which refuses to let up. Grange told me that the reason Delas doesn't make this wine every year--as in 2008, for example--'is because we want it to be a truly great expression of Cote-Rotie or not to exist at all. If it isn't superb, it doesn't get bottled, period.'"
98+ Points "As I reported last year, the black/purple-tinged 2009 Cote Rotie La Landonne is an extraordinary effort. Made in a more open-knit, exuberant, flamboyant style, it possesses many of the same characteristics as the 2010, but with silkier tannins and lots of glycerin, smoked meat, violet, black currant, licorice, pepper and charcuterie characteristics. With super intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, lower acidity than the 2010 and sweeter tannin, it should drink well for 30+ years."
98-100 Points "Delas's two luxury cuvees are both candidates for perfection. As good as the single vineyard Cote Roties of Guigal, the 2009 Cote Rotie La Landonne...is a sublime wine. A dense blue/purple color is followed by aromas of blueberries, black raspberries, white chocolate, vanilla and a hint of spring flowers. The wine exhibits fabulous fruit intensity, a wonderful medium to full-bodied mouthfeel...beautiful elegance and purity."
95 points "The compelling 2006 Cote Rotie La Landonne is sensational. Gamy black cherry and black currant fruit interwoven with notions of graphite, licorice, and scorched earth aromas jump from the glass of this dense, full-bodied, rich, pure 2006. This is a stunning wine with terrific minerality as well as laser-like focus."
92-94 Points "Deep ruby. Strong spiced cherry and dark berry aromas lifted by a potent cracked pepper quality. Very fresh, spicy redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors are joined on the back by exotic floral pastilles and tangy minerality. Extremely graceful wine."
94-97 Points "Inky ruby. Explosively perfumed aromas of vibrant, spice-accented cherry and dark berries. Deep, powerful blackberry and cassis flavors are supported by tangy acidity and strong tannic structure. Very chewy on the palate-staining finish, which shows almost painful concentration right now. "This is all potential," notes winemaker Jacques Grange."
“The Landonne is from a minuscule 1.2-acre parcel that includes some 80-year-old vines. It's a textbook La Landonne, with sanguine and iron notes backed by layers of opulent currant and fig fruit. Long, dark, very muscular finish with formidable tannins, it should be expansive with time.”
95 points "Densely layered, with nearly exotic fig, plum sauce, mocha, incense and black licorice notes. Has a dense core that will need to wait for the formidable structure to resolve itself. A powerful rendition of Côte-Rôtie. Best from 2010 through 2028."
92(+?) Points "Opaque ruby. Powerfully scented aromas of red berry, kirsch, flowers and incense. Stains the palate with deep, sweet dark berry preserve flavors, becoming more tannic with air. Shuts down on the finish but there's more than a glimpse of suave, compellingly sweet dark fruit here. But it's an inscrutable black hole today, and in need of cellaring."
94-96 points "A 40-year wine is the 2005 Cote Rotie La Landonne. The wine is dense purple in color to the rim with a strikingly perfumed nose of blackberries, espresso roast, charcoal, and black raspberry and cassis. Striking minerality and graphite notes underlie this formidably endowed, rich, powerful wine that needs a good decade of cellaring. It should last for half a century."
90 Points "From a small parcel of 100 percent syrah, this is opulent Côte Rôtie, dense and black with spice and a ferrous, almost feral minerality. The tannic grip cuts the flavors short; give it another five years to relax and lengthen into its size."
93 Points "Pure and defined, with a range of aromas and flavors thats impressive for the vintage--coffee, olive, white pepper, tobacco, blackberry and currant fruit. The long finish shows nice flesh and minerality and really blossoms with air. A wine whose breed shines through the vintage. Drink now through 2012."
94 points "A brilliant cuvee that gets aged 36 months in 100% new oak barrels...is the Cote Rotie La Landonne. The 2004 Cote Rotie La Landonne possesses scorched earth, roasted meats, smoked herbs, licorice, and sweet black raspberry and cassis flavors that jump from the glass of this deep, full-bodied Cote Rotie. The wine is rich, has good acidity, hints of black olive in the mouth, and a long, heady finish. It is approachable now but promises to be better in 3-4 years and last for 15 or more."
92 Points "Medium red. Pungent violet- and lavender-accented raspberry and redcurrant aromas. Then deep and rich on the palate, with concentrated, pure cherry and blackberry flavors and a good dose of graphite and black olive. Rich for sure, but with impressive energy and focus too. Finishes with mouthwatering acidity and excellent length."
95 Points "Starting with the Cote Roties, the 2003 Cote Rotie La Landonne offers up a spectacular bouquet of sweet and sour cherries, cured meats, toasted spice and smoked earth. Medium to full-bodied, rich and textured, with awesome mid-palate depth and a clean finish, it’s a rock star effort to drink over the coming decade or more. This was a brilliant showing from Delas, and across the board the wines have superb fruit and texture, with mostly youthful profiles."
96 Points "Extremely dark, with blackberry and fig fruit, but remarkably lush and pure, with mineral, coffee and mocha notes gliding along as well. All the exotic fruit notes then reverberate through the finish, where the minerality provides a suave backdrop. Drink now through 2020."
96 Points "The blockbuster 2003 Cote Rotie La Landonne is a wine for the ages. Its dense purple hue is followed by gorgeous aromas of graphite, scorched earth, bacon fat, blackberries, blueberries, figs, and espresso roast. Deep, full-bodied, tannic, and backward, it will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age, and should last for two decades."
91 Points "Light ruby color. High-pitched, intensely floral nose offers mineral-laden scents of tangy red berries, fruity black pepper, cherry cola and licorice pastille. Chewy and firm, with vibrant red and dark berry tones on the palate. Quite fresh for the year but also boasts serious concentration and power. Finishes dusty, floral and long, with excellent thrust."
92 Points "Glass-staining ruby. Red and dark berry preserves, candied flowers, olive and a hint of smoked meat on the deeply perfumed nose and in the mouth. Weighty but graceful in style, showing impressive focus thanks to a core of zesty minerality. Becomes spicier with air and finishes sweet, vibrant and very long, with fine-grained tannins sneaking in slowly."
91 Points "A fresh, floral-edged style, with a bright violet frame around a core of sleek bitter cherry and dark plum fruit. The iron spine is well-embedded on the finish, while the pure fruit plays on. Drink now through 2022."
91-93 Points "Glass-staining ruby. Dark berries, dried cherry and smoked meat on the perfumed nose. Chewy and tightly focused, showing very good depth to its cassis and blueberry flavors, which pick up a spicy nuance with air. Finishes on a sweet, fruity note, with silky tannins and a touch of candied flowers. This one should drink very nicely soon after release."
89-92 Points "Of the wines from barrel, the 2013 Côte Rôtie Seigneur de Maugiron shows a masculine style in its plum and blackberry fruit, wood smoke and big mineral component. Firm, concentrated and structured, it should come together nicely once in bottle, but patience will be required."
93 Points "This has good energy, with a racy, vivid core of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry fruit, laced with bramble, sweet tapenade and anise notes. A buried iron edge carries the finish. Best from 2016 through 2022."
92 Points "Deep ruby. Pungent dark berry and cherry pit aromas are complemented by candied violet, mocha and black pepper. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, offering sweet, spice-tinged black and blue fruit flavors that put on weight and become more spicy with air. Open-knit, pure and seamless in texture, finishing with superb punch and velvety tannins that add grip. 2017-2032"
90 Points "A medium-bodied, structured, savory and tannic effort, the 2012 Côte Rôtie Seigneur de Maugiron exhibits notes of smoke, dried soil, and leather to go with a black raspberry and blackberry core of fruit. Despite all of the tannin, it has a solid mid-palate. Give it 2-3 years in the cellar and drink bottles through 2027."
91-93 Points "Bright purple. Smoky, perfumed scents of fresh blackberry, cassis and violet pastille, with a zesty mineral overtone. Juicy dark berry flavors are appealingly sweet and open-knit, with notes of licorice and star anise emerging with aeration. Pliant, sappy and focused on the gently tannic, persistent finish, with the mineral note strongly repeating."
89-92 Points "Beautiful, most likely outstanding effort that reveals plenty of raspberry, cured meats, smoke, leather and dusty soil qualities in a rich, medium to full-bodied package. Possessing fantastic mid-palate depth, as well as a dense, chewy feel on the finish, it should flesh out nicely once bottled and have 12-15 years of longevity."
91 Points "Inky ruby. A wild, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes candied red fruits, potpourri and peppery spices. Juicy, penetrating, subtly sweet raspberry and cherry-cola flavors show impressive vivacity and pick up a smoky nuance with air. Silky tannins give shape to the finish, with the spice and raspberry notes echoing."
92 Points A blend of 70 percent Côte Brune syrah and 30 percent Côte Blonde, this is tight and polished, ample time in oak giving it a vanilla sheen. The fruit feels à point, cherry-red and firm, dark rose scents adding a hint of delicacy. A reserved Côte-Rôtie for drinking now through 2020.
91 Points The 2011 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron is a superb effort that excels in the vintage. Juicy and lively, with a medium to full-bodied, elegant and classic profile on the palate, it exhibits plenty of classic olive tapenade, bacon, smoked meat and ground pepper, with a core of raspberry and mulberry-styled fruit. A blend of 100% Syrah that spent 16 months in 30% new French oak, this beauty will drink nicely for 15 years or more.
94 Points "Packed with lots of dark ganache, tapenade, tobacco, blackberry compote and freshly sliced plum fruit flavors, this really courses along with noticeable energy, while bramble, singed bay leaf and charcoal stud the finish dramatically. Best from 2015 through 2027."
Delas Côte-Rôtie Seigneur de Maugiron has been awarded a Gold medal at the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards.
91 Points "The 2010 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron has fleshed out since last year offering notes of black olives, garrigue, licorice, forest floor, bacon fat, raspberries and black currants. This medium-bodied Cote Rotie veers more toward a Burgundy-styled wine than its Syrah-based peers in the Northern Rhone."
92-94 Points "Bright violet. Expansive bouquet shows boysenberry and blueberry liqueur, Moroccan spices, violet and woodsmoke. Lush, seductively sweet black and blue fruit flavors stain the palate, picking up suave spice and floral qualities with aeration. The finish shows a suave floral character and clings tenaciously. The tannins of this vibrant, rich wine are very nicely integrated."
91-93 Points "The 2010 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron reveals crisp acidity as well as lots of black raspberry, bacon fat, forest floor, licorice and Provencal garrigue-like notes. Deep, medium to full-bodied and rich, with terrific delineation as well as personality, it does not reveal any of the unevolved, slightly reduced character of many of the bigger 2010 Delas wines."
94 Points Highly Recommended A Top Northern Rhône Red -- "Very enticing, with roasted herb, olive and spice notes flittering in front of darker pastis, blackberry paste and briar notes. The long, grippy finish is iron-driven, with a lovely tangy mesquite note adding complexity."
91 Points "Vivid ruby. Red and dark berries and star anise on the fragrant nose. A juicy, seamless midweight that shows the elegant side of Cote-Rotie. Fresh black raspberry and cherry flavors put on weight with air while maintaining brightness. Closes with strong spicy cut and grip."
93 Points "The 2009 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron exhibits lots of spice, raspberry, cassis, licorice, incense, Christmas fruitcake and fried bacon notes. The smokiness, seductiveness, lusciousness and medium to full-bodied, round, generous texture make for an endearing, sexy Cote Rotie to enjoy over the next 10-15 years."
92-94 Points "A strong effort, the 2009 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron is the softest of all Delas's 2009 Northern Rhones, offering up notes of black olives, lychee nuts, raspberries and black currants. This finesse-styled, elegant red should provide delicious drinking..."
92 Points "Muscular for the vintage, with dark cherry, fig and currant notes mingling with plenty of iron, cocoa and braised olive hints. The long, briar-tinged finish has excellent grip."
90+ points "...Exhibits moderately high tannins along with notes of cassis, raspberries, incense, and new barrique smells, robust tannins, and a closed personality. This wine needs 3-4 years of cellaring, and should age for 15 years."
89 Points "Supple and focused, with alluring black cherry and currant fruit intertwined with mocha, sanguine and iron notes. The finish is long and fine-grained. Has nice length and depth for the vintage. Drink now through 2011. 925 cases made."
89 Points "Deep red. Mineral-accented red berry and cherry aromas are clean and bright. Quite stony on the palate, with vibrant redcurrant and spicy cherry flavors and a deep espresso note on the back. This silky-smooth, sweet wine finishes long and elegant, with very fine tannins. You could drink this now."
92 Points "Dense and chocolaty, with notions of dark fruits, crushed rock, bakers chocolate and asphalt, the 2003 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron is 100% Syrah (mostly from the Cote Brune) that was aged in 30% new French oak. Medium to full-bodied, rich and impressively concentrated on the palate, with beautiful depth and a layered, seamless feel, it too will have upwards of another decade of longevity."
93 Points "Made from 100% Syrah, the 2003 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron (90% from the Cote Brune) was aged in small barrels of which 30% were new. It offers up wonderful scents of bacon fat, charcoal, spring flowers, plums, blackberries, and cherries. Sweet and medium to full-bodied with surprisingly fine acidity, a rich mid-palate and depth, and a heady, concentrated finish, this silky 2003 can be enjoyed now and over the next 12-13 years."
89 Points A blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Viognier that’s brought up all in stainless steel, the 2012 Cotes du Rhone St. Esprit Blanc gives up plenty of ripe orchard fruit, honeysuckle, white flowers and hints of licorice to go with a medium-bodied, rich, yet nicely focused and lengthy feel on the palate. Enjoy it over the coming couple of years.
89 Points "A sleeper of the vintage, the 2010 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit Blanc is dominated by its Viognier component. It offers aromas of white peaches, apricots and spring flowers as well as medium body, good acidity, excellent precision and abundant character. Enjoy this fresh white over the next 12-18 months."
88 Points #95 of Top Best Buys "Predominantly Grenache Blanc, this surprisingly mineral-laden white displays hints of graphite that underscore modest pear and melon fruit. It’s powerful yet restrained, and would be at home with a wide variety of fish or chicken dishes."
89 Points "Deep ruby. Smoke-accented cherry and blackberry on the nose and palate. Vibrant and tightly focused on entry and then fleshier in the middle; a peppery note adds bite to sweet dark berry and cherry compote flavors. Shows good clarity and lift on the finish, which features repeating spiciness and silky tannins that come in late."
88 Points BEST BUY "It’s moderately weighty, but also refreshing, with bright notes of pineapple, star anise and balsam fir."
89-91 Points "The deep ruby/purple-tinged, tank-aged 2010 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit (70% Syrah and 30% Grenache) offers notes of roasted herbs, black cherries, licorice and pepper. This delicious red represents terrific value. As I noted last year, there has been tremendous progress and a definitive amelioration of quality with respect to the Chateauneuf du Papes being produced by Delas."
90 Points "Delas Freres has produced two other outstanding sleepers of the vintage, and both wines dramatically over-deliver for their appellations. The brilliant 2009 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit is the best Cotes du Rhone I have ever tasted from Delas. ...The wine has great fruit and a sweet raspberry and black cherry nose with some herbs, licorice, and pepper. Aged all in tank, the wine is medium to full-bodied and possesses sweet tannin as well as a long finish."
"If you need something a little heftier, you might opt for this juicy, syrah-enhanced CDR. Emphatically bright, persistent sour-cherry fruit, an appetizing package, and some structure to boot."
88 points "A turn-around effort, the 2006 Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit possesses a deep ruby/purple color along with plenty of spice, pepper, and black fruit characteristics. ...[The] Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit ranks alongside the offerings from Guigal and Chapoutier."
89 Points #30 Top 100 Best Buy "Aged exclusively in stainless steel tanks prior to bottling, this blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah is a chunky, medium-bodied red ideal for drinking over the next few years. Subtle plum and black cherry notes pick up hints of leather, earth and spice, with an ample dusting of tannin on the finish."
89 Points "Delas Freres has produced two other outstanding sleepers of the vintage, and both wines dramatically over-deliver for their appellations. The 2009 Cotes du Ventoux ... ratchets up the levels of intensity and richness beyond what one can usually find at such an incredibly fair price. Deep ruby/purple, with loads of texture and density, red and black fruits, a salty sea breeze note, and the classic seaweed wrapper found in sushi restaurants (nori) are all present in this generously endowed, corpulent wine."
88 Points - A Best B Shows uncommon depth and intensity for a humble Cotes du Ventoux. Bold scents of black cherries, blackberries and earth rise from the glass. There's plenty of richness on the palate, even some slightly rustic tannins to help rein in all that fruit. Notes of licorice, tar and earth on the finish make it more than a simple fruit bomb.
Gold Medal 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 Gold Medal Winner
91 Points "Deep ruby. Fresh dark berries, candied flowers and cracked pepper on the mineral-tinged nose. Broad and fleshy on entry and then tighter and more lively in the middle, offering juicy cherry and blackberry flavors that pick up a smoky nuance with air. Rich yet energetic, displaying strong closing thrust and supple, slowly building tannins that sneak in late."
92 Points "Already gorgeous, the 2013 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins comes all from the Les Chassis region of Crozes (this is the flatter plain that stretches west from the Rhône river); it was raised in a combination of stainless steel and smaller barrels. It offers classic violet-tinged black and blue fruits, tapenade, bay leaf and peppery notes in a medium to full-bodied, elegant, silky style that just begs to be drunk. While bottles wouldn’t last long at my house, it will cruise for another 10-15 years on its balance."
90-92 Points "Brilliant ruby. Deeply pitched dark berry, cherry, olive and woodsmoke scents show very good clarity, with peppery spice and floral qualities emerging with air. Juicy, penetrating and focused, offering fresh blackberry and bitter cherry flavors sharpened by zesty acidity. Shows very good depth and clarity, finishing sweet, smoky and long, with supple tannins coming on late."
91-93 Points "Getting a “Wow” in the nose, the 2013 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins is a smoking, medium to full-bodied Syrah that has tons of cassis, licorice, and raspberry aromas and flavors, fantastic purity and building tannin on the finish. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak, it’s a big success in the vintage and will drink well for a decade."
92 Points "Sleek and refined, with a light dusting of cocoa powder over the core of damson plum, cherry and raspberry fruit. Lovely violet and white pepper notes gild the finish, which reveals a lingering iron accent. Drink now through 2020."
90 Points "Opaque ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits on the deeply perfumed nose and in the mouth. Broad and fleshy, with good spicy lift and a hint of smokiness emerging with air. A licorice note comes up on the clinging finish, which features supple tannins and a hint of smoky bacon. 2017-2026"
92 Points "The 2012 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins is terrific value in northern Rhône Syrah. Offering more spice, cedar, and savory qualities, with loads of dried earth, saddle leather and sweet red and blackberry fruit, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, fantastic purity of fruit and a supple, forward style that will allow it to shine over the coming decade."
90-92 Points "Bright purple. Complex, highly aromatic scents of red berries, smoky minerals, fresh flowers and Asian spices. Perfumed and alluringly sweet in the mouth, with a velvety texture and sweet raspberry and floral pastille flavors that become spicier with air. There's something pinot-like here that's very appealing. Juicy acidity gives energy and bite to the tangy, gently tannic, focused finish. The excellent 2010 bottling of this wine is evolving at a snail's pace, by the way."
90-93 Points "Along the same lines, with more kirsch, spice, bouquet garni and crushed rock, the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins has medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate, with excellent overall length and some building tannin that comes through on the finish. Slightly more forward then the Le Clos, it’s still made in the same mold, and I think will evolve similarly. Enjoy it over the coming decade or so."
92 Points "Richer, the 2011 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins exhibits impressive aromas and flavors of olive brine, salted meats, currants, and black raspberry to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered and fruit-loaded profile on the palate. While all about the fruit, this beauty has fantastic purity and polish, and should evolve gracefully for upwards of a decade. It also is a serious value!"
91 Points "The dense purple-colored 2010 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins offers abundant meaty, smoky, tapenade, creme de cassis and bay leaf notes as well as exceptional intensity and full-bodied power. It can be drunk early in life or cellared for 10-15 years."
90-92 Points "Opaque purple. Powerful, textbook syrah aromas of blackberry, violet and licorice, plus a smoky mineral note. Sweet and lush on entry, then spicy and firm in the middle palate, offering black and blue fruits and floral and spice qualities. Ripe and fresh, with a juicy, impressively long finish featuring notes of candied flowers and minerals."
90 Points "This fresh, pure red delivers mouthwatering cut, which keeps the plum, red currant and violet notes nicely defined. A whiff of mesquite chimes in on the finish."
90 Points "Dark ruby. Raspberry and cherry on the bright, floral-accented nose. Juicy and precise, offering sweet red fruit flavors that pick up weight and smokiness with air. A touch of candied licorice comes up on the finish, which shows good energy and length."
92 Points "There is a lot of good stuff in the 2010, but the real stunner is the 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins. Revealing abundant notes of tar, cassis, black raspberries, tapenade and earth in its rich, full-bodied, stunning personality, it should drink well for 10-15 years."
92 Points "Opaque ruby. Deep-pitched aromas of fresh black and blue fruits, peppery spices, olive and smoky minerals, and a suave floral quality that builds in the glass. Fleshy and sweet on the palate, displaying excellent clarity and thrust to the dark berry and violet pastille flavors. The floral note repeats strongly on a very long, focused finish framed by velvety, building tannins."
93+ Points "Similar to the Domaine des Grands Chemins, yet with additional structure, the inky purple/ruby colored 2013 Crozes Hermitage le Clos has lots of minerality in its smoky, meaty, dark fruited profile. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, structured yet balanced, give it 2-4 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following decade or more."
90 Points "Solid, with a core of steeped cherry and plum fruit, augmented by roasted juniper and dried star anise notes. Shows a grippy edge through the finish, delivering exceptional stuffing and length for the vintage. Drink now through 2017."
91-93 Points "Glass-staining ruby. Ripe dark berries, mocha and olive paste on the deeply scented nose. Appealingly sweet, expansive flavors of cassis, dark chocolate and vanilla are given lift and clarity by sappy, harmonious acidity and a jolt of smoky minerals. Rich but energetic and sharply focused as well, finishing with appealing sweetness and silky tannins coming in late."
91-93 Points "Exhibiting more graphite, lead pencil and minerality, as well as a rocking core of cassis and black raspberry fruit, the 2013 Crozes Hermitage Le Clos (not to be confused with the Le Clos lieu-dit in Saint Joseph) is medium to full-bodied, ripe, textured and beautifully balanced. Seeing 16 months in 40% new oak, and the balance in 2- to 3-year-old barrel, it’s another serious effort from this estate that makes the most of this cooler vintage."
90 Points "A lightly grippy version, with tar and warm stone notes lining the dark currant and raspberry confiture flavors. A stony firmness extends through the finish, giving this a pleasant austerity. Best from 2016 through 2020."
92 Points "Vivid ruby. Sexy, mineral-accented cherry and dark berry scents are complicated by notes of vanilla, licorice and black cardamom. Sweet and incisive on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter and spicier with air. A suave floral pastille note comes up on the silky, clinging finish, which shows excellent clarity and barely perceptible tannins. 2017-2027"
92 Points "Another classy, impeccably made wine from this team, the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Le Clos (100% Syrah aged 16 months in 40% new French oak) exhibits lots of spice, cedar and dried earth intermixed with savory red and black fruits. Medium to full-bodied, with plenty of tannin and excellent length, it too will drink well for a decade. "
91-93 Points "Inky ruby. Pungent aromas of dried cherry, blackberry and fresh herbs, with a suave floral nuance building in the glass. Juicy, concentrated and expansive, offering smoky, mineral-laced cherry-cola and licorice flavors and a hint of rose pastille. Silky tannins give shape to the clinging, spicy finish, which shows excellent clarity and thrust. Quite suave for a Crozes."
90-93 Points "Starting off the Crozes Hermitages, the 2012 Le Clos is inky purple in color and exhibits classic violets, licorice, liquid rock and copious black and blue-styled fruits on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, rich and textured, with an overall forward, mouth filling feel and sweet tannin, it should be approachable on release and dish out loads of pleasure over the coming decade."
92 Points Delas Frères makes only 7,000 bottles of this wine a year, a selection from the Les Chassis lieu-dit. Vinified in open-topped concrete tanks and aged in one-to three-year-old oak barrels for a little over a year, it's all about Crozes, from Syrah's fresh, floral, plummy fruit to the smooth, hard galets that cover the land. It feels real and immediate, a model Crozes to drink over the next decade.
92 Points The top cuvee from Crozes Hermitage, the 2011 Crozes Hermitage Le Clos is slightly more focused and straight, with impressive blackberry, black raspberry, spring flowers, charcoal and hints of bacon fat in its medium to full-bodied, concentrated and nicely balanced profile. A blend of 100% Syrah that spent 16 months in 40% new French oak, this seamlessly textured effort has good acidity and fine tannin that gives ample cut on the finish. I’m a fan and it should drink nicely for at least a decade.
90 Points "Offers a fleshy feel, with warm plum sauce and blackberry coulis flavors, lined with hints of red licorice. A mesquite edge lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2017."
89-91 Points "With its bright ruby color, Le Clos has an expressive, highly perfumed bouquet evoking candied red fruits, minerals and Asian spices, in a vaguely pinot way. It is juicy and precise, with very good depth of raspberry and cherry flavors. Dusty tannins give shape and grip to a long, spicy and incisive finish that sustains the raspberry note."
90-92 Points "The top cuvee, the Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos, is more limited in availability. Aged completely in small French oak, the 2011 Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos possesses plenty of black fruit notes intermixed with hints of acacia flowers, licorice, roasted meats and mountain laurel. Full and front-end loaded with soft tannins, this noteworthy 2011 should drink beautifully for a decade or more."
92- Points "...the 2010 Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos is a sleeper of the vintage. ...ripe, dense, full-bodied Crozes offering sweet notes of black currants, black cherries, licorice, smoke and an enticing minerality running through the flavor profile. This full-bodied red is capable of lasting 12-15+ years."
91 Points "A lively, peppery, mineral-driven style, with a strong iron note running through the core of crushed plum and blackberry. Features a lingering white pepper edge."
91 Points "Bright ruby. Red berry preserves and cherry on the pungent, floral nose. Deeply pitched but lively, boasting very good focus to its bitter cherry and licorice flavors. A spine of minerality adds cut and vibrancy to the long, spicy finish. I like this wine's tension and suspect that it will be a slow, graceful ager."
93 Points "There is no problem understanding the 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos. Aged completely in small French oak barrels, it boasts a striking minerality, a wonderfully dense ruby/purple color and sweet notes of creme de cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed rocks and spring flowers. Full-bodied and dense, with some tannins still to shed, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and is capable of lasting two decades."
91-93 Points "Aged 100% in small French oak, it exhibits a striking minerality as well as copious notes of cassis, acacia flowers, licorice, herbs and spice. Combining power, intensity and elegance, this full-bodied 2009 should drink well for 12-15+ years."
90 Points "Alluring mocha and mulled cherry aromas give way to a supple palate filled with black cherry, sandalwood and anise. The silky finish lets the black cherry fruit take an encore."
92 points "The stunning, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2006 Crozes-Hermitage Les Clos exhibits smoky, roasted meat, garrigue, blackberry, cassis, new saddle leather, and charcoal aromas, sweet tannins, full-bodied power, and reserves of concentration and fruit. Consume it over the next decade. This cuvee has become one of the top three or four wines of the appellation."
91 Points "Offers a structured mix of black cherry, briar, iron, coffee and loam notes, with a long, iron-tinged finish. Has nice length and good tangy grip. Drink now through 2011."
92 Points "Inky ruby. Bright red berry and cherry aromas are enlivened by brisk minerals and fresh flowers. Spicy raspberry and cherry on the palate, picking up tangy minerals with aeration. This very pure wine shows a Burgundian elegance, and finishes with excellent persistence and sweetness."
89-91 points "The 2005 Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos has a dense purple color, tart acid levels, hints of road tar, black cherry, raspberry, and currant....Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018."
89-92 Points "Opaque ruby. Intensely spicy aromas of red- and blackcurrant underpinned by tangy graphite and iron notes. Very fresh and bright, with energetic cherry and cassis flavors, good acid lift and fine, dusty tannins. Builds and gains in sweetness on the focused, persistent finish."
90-92 Points "Saturated ruby. Ripe red berries, cherry and candied flowers on the perfumed nose. Juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors are complemented by a touch of cracked pepper, and a floral nuance adds an exotic touch. The red fruit and floral notes carry through an incisive, mineral-tinged finish shaped by supple tannins."
89 Points "A solid value that readers should check out is the 2013 Crozes Hermitage les Launes. It shows the vintage nicely and sports a deep ruby/purple color to go with classic northern Rhône Syrah notes of peppery herbs, black raspberries and cured meats. Medium-bodied, supple, polished and layered, it’s a beautiful wine to enjoy anytime over the coming 5-8 years."
89-91 Points "Ruby-red. Smoky cherry and redcurrant aromas are complicated by pipe tobacco, black pepper and licorice pastille. Spicy red fruit and violet flavors put on weight with air and pick up a hint of black tea. Shows good power but comes off as graceful, finishing with repeating spiciness and silky tannins."
90 Points "Ruby-red. The nose displays bright, spice-laced aromas of red fruits and fresh flowers, with a zesty mineral element emerging with air. Conveys very good focus and lift on the palate, offering nervy raspberry and violet pastille flavors plus an exotic touch of blood orange. Lively and seamless Crozes with strong finishing cut and even tannins coming in late. 2017-2028"
90 Points "A classy, lively and spice-filled Syrah, the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Les Launes offers up lots of cedar, peppered meats and sweet red and black fruits, medium-bodied richness, and outstanding purity and length. Aged all in vat, drink it over the coming 5-7 years."
89-91 Points "Bright purple. Smoky cherry and dark berry aromas are brightened by fresh flowers and minerals. Cassis and blueberry flavors coat the palate, with a peppery nuance adding lift and bite. The mineral quality comes back on the finish, adding an incisive edge and extending the dark berry fruit."
90 Points "A winery style, with a core of raspberry coulis and plum paste lined with red licorice accents. Polished tannins and juicy acidity fill the finish while the fruit plays out."
91 Points Recommended Value "Features good stuffing, with a singed mesquite edge to the solid core of blackberry, black cherry preserves and steeped plum notes. The finish picks up pastis and graphite, revealing a stony echo. Drink now through 2017."
90-92 Points "Opaque purple. Powerful, textbook syrah aromas of blackberry, violet and licorice, plus a smoky mineral note. Sweet and lush on entry, then spicy and firm in the middle palate, offering black and blue fruits and floral and spice qualities. Ripe and fresh, with a juicy, impressively long finish featuring notes of candied flowers and minerals."
90 Points "The finest Crozes-Hermitage Les Launes to date is the 2009. Its dense purple color is accompanied by sweet strawberry and black cherry fruit notes intermixed with hints of tobacco leaf, licorice and smoke (even though this cuvee is all tank-fermented and aged.). A sleeper of the vintage as well as a great value, it should drink well for a decade."
90 Points Editor's Choice "Ample black cherry fruit is enhanced by layers of floral and herbal complexity, while the tannins are supple, allowing the flavors to linger elegantly on the finish."
91 Points "Stylish, with lots of mocha, spice and black tea aromas backed by velvety-textured blackberry and raspberry fruit. The long, suave finish stretches out nicely, with the fruit and spice hanging on."
91 Points "An amazing bargain, it is the finest wine they have yet produced under this moniker. Seductive notes of black cherries, cassis, licorice, tobacco leaf and pepper are followed by an opulent, consumer-friendly but authentic Northern Rhone to drink over the next 5-6 years."
88 points "Simple, straightforward syrah, this is juicy and fresh, with violet-scented plum fruit and a velvet texture."
87 points "One of the more attractive bargains in the portfolio is the 2004 Crozes-Hermitage Les Launes. The wine reveals plenty of berry fruit as well as some pepper, herbs, and spice. It is a wine to drink over its first 4-5 years of life."
90 Points "Light yellow. Fresh pit and orchard fruits on the nose and palate, lent vivacity by a gingery element. Sappy and broad on entry, then tighter on the back half thanks to a core of juicy acidity. Shows good clarity on a long, stony finish that leaves behind orange zest and pear notes."
90 Points "Light yellow. White flowers, Meyer lemon and smoky lees on the highly perfumed, mineral-tinged nose. Chewy citrus and orchard fruit flavors show a refreshingly bitter edge and very good focus. Becomes silkier and spicier with air, finishing sappy and long, with a building floral note, soft tannins and a touch of candied ginger."
90 Points "I loved the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Les Launes Blanc. Made from a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne, it gives up classic white flowers, honeysuckle, citrus and crushed rock to go with a fresh, pure, medium-bodied style on the palate. More elegant than powerful, it will be versatile on the dinner table and drink nicely for 2-3 years."
90 Points "Light gold. Highly aromatic scents of orange, melon and musky pear skin. Sappy and energetic in the mouth, offering lively citrus and exotic fruit flavors and a zesty underpinning of chalky minerals. Round and seamless on the clinging finish, which leaves behind refreshingly bitter citrus zest notes."
89-92 Points "A strong effort...An inky/ruby/purple color is followed by aromas of crushed rocks, black raspberries, sweet cherries, and spice. Medium-bodied and elegant, this cuvee is reminiscent of a fine red Burgundy. It should drink well for a decade."
93 Points "Brilliant violet. Complex mineral and smoke-accented scents of dark fruit liqueur, violet and olive paste gain urgency from a smoky mineral quality . Juicy and sharply focused on the palate, offering sappy blueberry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and become sweeter with air. Shows excellent depth and vivacity and finishes spicy and very long, displaying a resonating floral quality and building tannins."
94 Points "One of the gems in the vintage is the 2013 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes, which comes from both the Bessards and Grandes Vignes lieux-dits on Hermitage Hill. Completely destemmed, then vinified in stainless steel and concrete tanks, the wine is aged 18 months in 30% new French oak; it offers terrific notes of dark fruits, graphite and ample minerality in a full-bodied, layered, ripe profile. It’s more approachable than the Les Bessards, yet will still have three decades of longevity."
92 Points "Ripe for the vintage, with a fleshy core of plum compote and raspberry coulis flavors, backed by ample cocoa-edged grip that melds through the loam- and anise-accented finish. Best from 2017 through 2023."
91-93 Points "Saturated ruby. Expansive aromas of blueberry liqueur, black pepper and spicecake, with hints of woodsmoke and olive in the background. Fleshy and expansive on the palate, offering sappy black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors that are lifted and sharpened by smoky minerality. Chewy and appealingly sweet on the long, floral finish, which is framed by fine-grained tannins. This wine shouts Hermitage."
94-96 Points "Exhibiting gorgeous notes of crushed rock, vanilla bean, liquid violet and ample crème de cassis and black raspberry fruit, it’s full-bodied, rich and concentrated, with lots of sweet tannin. Give it 2-4 years and drink it through 2033."
92 Points "Well-packed, with raspberry and blackberry pâte de fruit notes, studded with anise and briar details. Dense yet racy. Mouthwatering acidity drives the finish, which reveals ample grip in reserve. Best from 2016 through 2022."
92 Points "Deep ruby. Expansive, highly perfumed bouquet evokes red and dark berry preserves, incense and olive paste, with a minerally element coming up slowly. Sweet and penetrating in the mouth, offering black raspberry and floral pastille flavors that spread out and gain sweetness on the back half. The floral quality drives a long, sappy, seamless that finish that's firmed by dusty, fine-grained tannins. 2017-2032"
95 Points "Just a small step back from the Les Bessards, the 2012 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is a stunning effort that exhibits blockbuster notes of toasted spice, leather, peppery herbs and sweet black and blue fruit. Seeing 16 months in 60% new French oak, it's a powerful, concentrated and full-bodied effort that has lots of tannin, but more than enough fruit to handle it. Like the Les Bessards, shorter-term cellaring is advised here and it will have over two decades of longevity."
91 Points "Inky ruby. Intense black and blue fruit aromas are complemented by notes of cola, roasted coffee and violet. Stains the palate with intense blueberry, floral pastille and anise flavors sweetened by a touch of mocha. Supple tannins build on the finish, which lingers with impressive tenacity and appealing floral character. Pretty elegant for an Hermitage, and approachable now."
95+ Points "The 2011 Hermitage Domaine de Tourettes is another blockbuster from this producer. Full-bodied, rich, layered and voluptuously textured, it offers up a beautiful bouquet of smoked herbs, leather, ground pepper and assorted meaty nuances that are grounded by a rich core of cassis and darker berry fruit. While a big wine, it has remarkable freshness and purity, serious mid-palate depth and silky tannin, all of which allow it to dish out loads of pleasure, even now. Enjoy it over the coming 15-20 years."
92 Points "A sleek style, with ample depth to the plum coulis, cassis and blackberry paste flavors, all carried by spice notes and racy acidity that lets the finish stretch out. Best from 2014 through 2022."
90-92 Points "This vintage has a lurid ruby color as well as fresh plum, blackcurrant, espresso and spicy oak on the perfumed nose. It is sweet, chewy and nicely concentrated, with vibrant, primary flavors of succulent berries and candied licorice. Intense, youthful and long, finishing with firm but thoroughly ripe tannins and a jolt of minerality."
93-95 Points "The superb 2011 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes boasts a dense purple color as well as abundant aromas of creme de cassis, licorice, forest floor and pepper, a meaty, viscous texture, sweet tannin and loads of fruit presented in a well-balanced, pure, full-bodied style."
96 Points "One of the finest Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes I have ever tasted is the 2010, which comes close to rivaling their prodigious 2009. A wine of great intensity, it possesses an inky/purple color, plenty of creme de cassis, licorice, lead pencil shavings, camphor, flint and barbecue smoke characteristics, and a thickness and viscosity that eclipse that of the 2009. Full-bodied and powerful with sweet tannins, a striking floral/mineral component in the mid-palate, and a huge, massive finish, this brilliant Hermitage should be consumed between 2018-2035."
92-94 Points "Inky purple. Deeply pitched aromas of cassis, blueberry, Moroccan spices and violet, plus a strong note of smoky minerals. Lush, expansive black and blue fruit compote flavors are impressively fresh, with a lively mineral spine adding back-end cut. Very deep but surprisingly lively, with strong finishing sweetness, clarity and smokiness."
95-97 Points "The opaque black-colored 2010 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is followed by notes of creme de cassis, barbecue smoke, graphite, spring flowers and grilled meat. With superb concentration, acidity, extract and richness as well as a boatload of tannin to shed, it will need 10-15 years of cellaring and should keep for half a century."
93 Points "Ripe and flashy, with lots of roasted fig, plum and blackberry fruit, though it’s held in check for now by muscular ganache, maduro tobacco and freshly roasted espresso notes. Very grippy on the finish, but fine acidity is buried deep, boding well for the cellar."
91+ Points (?) "Inky purple. Deeply pitched aromas of cherry and cassis, with licorice and black pepper nuances adding complexity. Chewy and dense, offering bitter cherry and dark berry flavors lifted by a spicy note on the back half. Finishes with gentle tannic grip and persistent spice and smoke notes. Give this masculine, brawny wine at least a few more years of bottle age."
98 Points "The magnificent 2009 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes boasts a black/purple color as well as a wonderful nose of creosote, incense, charcoal, blackberry jam, acacia flowers, white chocolate and a hint of espresso roast. Full-bodied and unctuously textured with low acidity and magnificent density, this 2009 can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 30-50 years."
95-97+ Points "One of the top wines in this portfolio is the 2009 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette. Aged in 50% new oak, it exhibits abundant aromas of creme de cassis as well as hints of acacia flowers, crushed rocks and graphite along with massive concentration, full body, a dense style, a boatload of tannin and enormous extract. ...Jacques Granges thinks this is the finest example of this cuvee he has yet made. I can't think of any reason to disagree."
93 Points "Pale gold. Ripe, expansive citrus and pit fruits on the nose, along with suggestions of jasmine, chamomile and iodine. Deeply concentrated but minerally and focused, offering palate-staining tangerine, pear skin and fennel flavors underscored and lifted by zesty minerality. Shows outstanding clarity and thrust on a very long, minerally finish that emphatically echoes the pear and floral notes."
94 Points “This has stunning fig, Anjou pear, Cavaillon melon and heather notes that glide along, lined with chamomile, anise and verbena details. The long, beguiling finish has a light bitter almond twinge for spine that lets everything drape effortlessly. Really gorgeous. Drink now through 2022.”
95 Points "(...) Full-bodied, supple, sexy and pleasure-bent, it offers fabulous notes of buttered citrus, flower oil, marmalade and honeysuckle that keep you coming back, and back again, to the glass. Pure, elegant and fresh, it’s not massively concentrated, so I wouldn’t push the aging curve too much, but it will still have 10-15 years of longevity. It comes from the lower parts of the Bessards and the upper parts of the Grandes Vignes lieu-dit, and spent eight months in barrel."
94 Points "Features a lovely mouthfeel, with caressing mango, peach and papaya flavors draped over racy bitter almond, orange zest and verbena notes. The long finish picks up green plum, salted butter and bitter almond notes. Approachable and well-integrated already, but this should easily stretch out with cellaring. The balance is impeccable. Drink now through 2025."
92 Points "Bright yellow-gold. Pungent, deeply pitched orchard and pit fruit aromas are lifted and sharpened by a mineral nuance and a suave floral note. Smoky and broad on the palate, offering ripe pear and peach nectar flavors and a hint of honey. Succulent herb and ginger qualities come up with air, along with an exotic touch of mango. Plush and weighty yet surprisingly lively, finishing with excellent clarity and length and an echoing floral note."
96 Points "Every bit as good as the 2012, the 2013 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes Blanc is 100% Marsanne that spent 12 months in 100% new French oak. Full-bodied, concentrated and layered, with subtle vanilla, honeyed citrus and mint, it has awesome purity, a big mid-palate and rock-star length. It too will have two decades or more of longevity."
96 Points "Reviewed last year, the 2012 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes Blanc didn’t disappoint this go-round. It’s a blockbuster white that will have two decades of longevity. Citrus blossom, pineapple, orange blossom and big minerality all emerge from the glass and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, stunning purity and blockbuster length. I love it."
92 Points "Green-tinged yellow. Fresh pear and orange on the intensely perfumed nose, with ginger, honeysuckle and smoky mineral notes adding lift. Spicy, penetrating and pure, offering vibrant orchard and citrus fruit flavors and suggestions of fresh fig and bitter quinine. Shows impressive vivacity on the finish, with the orange and smoke notes repeating."
96 Points "Locked and loaded with notions of buttered citrus, toast, flower oil, orange peel and licorice, this full-bodied, fabulously rich and textured white has superb purity of fruit, laser focus and terrific length. Enjoy it over the coming two decades."
95 Points "Inky ruby. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur, peppery spices and fresh flowers, backed by a hint of olive. Supple and appealingly sweet, offering intense, deeply concentrated blackberry and violet pastille flavors and a suggestion of star anise. Finishes pure, sweet and energetic on the penetrating finish, showing outstanding focus and slow-building tannins."
93 Points "Dense and fleshy in feel, with twinges of espresso and baker’s chocolate running amid the core of dark plum, steeped currant and blackberry compote. The finish has a dark tobacco note lurking. This will need some time to settle in. Best from 2017 through 2024."
92-94 Points "Inky purple. Seductively perfumed aromas of dark berry liqueur, fruitcake, incense and candied flowers, with a smoky mineral note emerging with air. Offers deeply pitched blueberry, bitter cherry and licorice pastille flavors, along with an oak spice nuance that sneaks in slowly. Weighty, spicy and surprisingly lively on the finish, displaying excellent clarity and smooth, harmonious tannins."
95-97 Points "The two Hermitages both showed brilliantly. Certainly one of the top wines in the vintage, the 2013 Hermitage Les Bessards sports an inky black color to go with serious notes of liquid rock (I commented in my notes that drinking this was similar to licking a rock), cracked pepper, scorched earth, cassis and blackberry-like fruit. Concentrated, firm and structured, with medium to full-bodied depth and weight, it will need 3-5 years to round into form, and have two decades of longevity."
94+ Points "Closed, tight and backwards, the 2013 Hermitage les Bessards is a big, full-bodied, burly wine that offers first rate purity in its black raspberry, ozone, liquid rock, and creosote-like bouquet. It has plenty of material and density, but will need 7-8 years of bottle age to become approachable. As normal, it comes all from the “Bas de Coteau” portion of the Bessards lieu-dit, was completely destemmed and saw 18 months in 30% new French oak."
94 Points "Opaque ruby. Sexy, spice-accented blackberry and cherry compote aromas are complemented by suggestions of licorice pastille and violet, with subtle olive and mineral nuances in the background. Shows excellent clarity and energy on the palate, offering bitter cherry and dark berry preserve flavors that become sweeter with air. Lithe, emphatically floral and penetrating, finishing with excellent thrust and smooth, late-arriving tannins. 2018 - 2036"
95 Points "This has lovely layers of crushed fig, boysenberry and plum fruit, mixed with hints of anise, fruitcake and cinnamon. Gorgeous singed spice accents mix with a loamy element on the finish, adding treble and bass notes to the fruit's midrange. Sneakily long, with serious buried grip. Best from 2017 through 2027."
97 Points "The star of the show is the 2012 Hermitage Les Bessards. Coming from the pure granite soils of the Les Bessards lieu-dit, on the western edge of the appellation, it’s made from 100% Syrah and spent 16 months in 70% new French oak. It’s an incredible wine that offers classic powdered rock-like minerality, loads of crème de cassis and black raspberry fruit, smoked meats, spice and dried-flower nuances. Complex, pure and perfumed, it’s full-bodied and seamless on the palate, with fabulous density, ultra-fine tannin structure and impeccable overall balance. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar and drink it over the following two decades."
96-98 Points "Even better and most likely one of the wines of the vintage, the 2012 Hermitage Les Bessards is a massive, concentrated and yet thrillingly pure and focused Hermitage that knocks it out of the park on all accounts. Offering up an inky purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of blueberry, roasted espresso bean, powered rock and licorice, this serious, substantial effort should be hidden away for 3-4 years and enjoyed over the following two decades."
93-95 Points "Bright purple. Highly expressive aromas and flavors of cherry compote, blackberry, smoky minerals and licorice, along with a sexy floral topnote. Displays impressive intensity to its black and blue fruit and violet pastille flavors, with juicy acidity providing lift. Finishes firmly tannic and strikingly long, with an emphatic jolt of minerality and excellent clarity."
99 Points Even better and one of the top two to three wines in the vintage, the 2011 Hermitage Les Bessards (100% Syrah that spent 16 months in 70% new French oak) possesses an inky purple color to go with a fabulously rich, pure bouquet of smoked earth, ground pepper, underbrush and licorice that’s supported by awesome black raspberry and cassis-styled fruit. Full-bodied, seamless and layered, with masses of sweet tannin and notable structure, this beauty bucks the vintage stereotype and will need short-term cellaring to become approachable. It will have 2-3 decades of longevity.
94 Points "A dark, muscular, slightly rugged style, with chunky-edged grip supporting loam, bittersweet cocoa, steeped black currant and charcoal notes, with buried acidity emerging on the finish. This should be tamed by cellaring as the smoldering edge settles into the background. Best from 2016 through 2026."
96-100 Points "The Hermitage 2011 Les Bessards is an astonishing wine for the vintage, making it a candidate for the wine of the year in the entire Rhone Valley. Its black/purple color is accompanied by copious aromas of pen ink, licorice, blackberries, cassis and crushed rocks, huge body, sweet tannin, and extravagant, nearly over-the-top richness and density that nearly defy the vintage character. This is a remarkable achievement from an outstanding terroir and one of France’s finest winemaking teams."
96 Points Top N Rhone "Dark and inviting, with lots of braised plum, fig paste, warm black currant confiture, freshly brewed espresso and baker’s chocolate notes wound together and held in check for now by hefty grip. An echo of iron on the finish keeps this grounded. Should unwind slowly, maintaining a serious bass line. This Hermitage should be consumed between 2015 and 2030."
95 Points "Bright purple. Black and blue fruits, incense and candied violet on the heady, intensely perfumed nose. Sappy, penetrating and pure, its deep black raspberry and blueberry flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Stains the palate and shows uncanny precision for its power. Closes sweet and very long, with youthful tannins and resonating spice and floral pastille notes."
100 Points "The uber-impressive 2010 Hermitage Les Bessards ranks alongside the perfect 2009. The strikingly intense powdered stone/granite minerality is apparent in this wine of great intensity, prodigious, almost skyscraper-like texture, massive body and high tannins. ... Filled with potential, it is one of the single greatest Hermitages I have ever tasted. There is no hint of its 100% new oak aging!"
94-96 Points "Dark purple. Exotic perfume of candied dark berries, Indian spices and potpourri; so spicy that I'd have guessed this wine was made with whole clusters, but Grange destems all of his syrah. Bright and focused, offering sweet, palate-staining black raspberry and cassis flavors. Finishes sappy, spicy and very long, with lingering floral and mineral notes and outstanding clarity."
96-100 Points "The 2010 Hermitage Les Bessards offers up scents of lead pencil shavings, barbecue smoke, black currants, blackberries, licorice and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, powerful, rich and extremely tannic, it should only be purchased by connoisseurs with cold cellars and abundant patience, as it requires 10-15 years of cellaring, and should still be drinking beautifully in 50-60 years when most of us are pushing up daisies."
95 Points A Top N. Rhône Red "Dense and chewy, with lots of espresso, loam and roasted apple wood notes... backed by ganache, plum sauce and steeped blackberry notes. There’s lots of grip on the finish, with violet and anise notes deeply buried. On the dark side of the spectrum for sure, but with superior range nonetheless."
94 Points "Opaque purple. Heady scents of mineral-accented dark berries, cherry-vanilla, licorice and incense, along with a smoky topnote. Lush and creamy in texture, with incisive, palate-staining blackberry, blueberry and licorice pastille flavors. Silky tannins build on the finish, which leaves behind notes of blue fruit compote, vanilla and exotic spices. This wine is almost shockingly approachable now but is built for the long haul."
100 Points "The most prodigious wine I have yet tasted from the Delas portfolio is the brilliant 2009 Hermitage Les Bessards. Its inky/purple color is followed by abundant notes of acacia flowers, blackberries, black currants, new saddle leather, roasted meats and graphite, amazing concentration, a skyscraper-like texture, supple but significant tannin and low acidity. The result is a perfect example of Syrah from this great vineyard site in Hermitage. It will offer immense pleasure for 40+ years."
99-100 Points "Delas's two luxury cuvees are both candidates for perfection. One of the vintage's greatest Hermitages is undeniably the 2009 Hermitage Les Bessards... Built like a skyscraper, it boasts a black/purple color as well as notes of barbecue smoke, burning embers, creme de cassis, blackberry liqueur, white flowers and powdered rocks. Full-bodied, dense and enormous in the mouth with perfect harmony..."
97 points "The limited production blockbuster 2006 Hermitage Les Bessards is exquisite. Opaque inky/purple-colored with a stunning perfume of white chocolate, creme de cassis, incense, and camphor, this 2006 possesses fabulous fruit, full-bodied power, awesome concentration, and sweet, noble tannins. A classic in the making..."
92-94 Points "Glass-staining purple. Pungent blackberry and spiced plum aromas are brightened by zesty minerals and fresh violet. Lush and deeply concentrated but impressively lively, with energetic raspberry and blackcurrant flavors joined by vibrant minerality on the close. A strikingly precise, flavor-packed wine that smoothly joins power with elegance."
93(+?) Points "Opaque ruby. Fresh cherry and boysenberry on the nose, with seductive floral and mineral qualities adding complexity. Becomes more pungent with air, picking up tobacco, spicecake and dried violet scents. Juicy dark fruit flavors spread across the palate, ending with good mineral snap. This is very intriguing, as well as quite young."
94-96 points "The 2005 Hermitage Les Bessards is a brilliant, brilliant wine. Opaque bluish purple to the rim with a nose of graphite, spring flowers, creme de cassis, and blueberry, the wine is super-rich, full-bodied, with frightening levels of concentration as well as tannin and good acidity. This is a long-term prospect...This is a wine that will last 50-60+ years, and not be approachable for at least a decade, and that may be optimistic. Nevertheless, this is extraordinary stuff for those with 19th century palates."
94-97 Points "Inky ruby. Powerful, pungent cassis, blackberry and graphite aromas. Huge, deeply concentrated dark fruit flavors completely absorb the tannins, giving this an almost liqueur-like impression. The fruit actually builds on the remarkably powerful, sweet finish, taking a darker turn to mulberry and boysenberry. An Hermitage with outstanding clarity and length."
92 Points "Muscular but well-balanced, with spice and cocoa aromas giving way to red licorice, currant, fig, truffle and mineral notes. The long, fine-grained finish shows persistence. Drink now through 2014."
94 points "The top cuvee of the house...is the Hermitage Les Bessards, only made in the best vintages. The 2004 Hermitage Les Bessards has dense ruby/purple color and a beautifully sweet nose of creme de cassis, underbrush, mineral, and subtle oak. The tannins are relatively supple, but the wine is rich, full-bodied, and atypically thick and intense for a 2004. This is a beauty and reminiscent of Chave’s brilliant 2004 red Hermitage, combining both power and elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030."
94 Points "Ruby-red. Very pungent, deep aromas of tobacco- and underbrush-laced red and blackcurrant. Powerful and rich, showing impressive sweetness to its potent cassis and blackberry flavors. Really stains the palate, finishing with exceptional purity and mineral tones. Whatever tannins are here (and you know there are plenty) are completely absorbed by the sheer fruit mass."
91-93 Points "The excellent 2004 Hermitage Les Bessards displays more blackberry and mineral notes along with the tell-tale creme de cassis, smoke, and licorice. This superb effort is clearly the finest wine in Delas’ 2004 portfolio. Give it 2-4 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following 15-16 years."
93 Points "The Bessards vineyard is right at the heart of the Hermitage hill. Delas only makes this wine in top years (no 2002, for example), and the quality shows in the aromas of black fruits and violets, the flavors of huge dense fruit and powerful tannins. This is serious wine, which promises at least 10 years of aging."
94 Points "Dark red. Knockout multidimensional nose is at once pungent and refined, offering notes of redcurrant, wild strawberry, woodsmoke, gunflint, molasses and minerals. Wonderfully suave and elegant but also amazingly penetrating and gripping, with sharply etched flavors of redcurrant and minerals and strong, peppery soil tones. This wine clings so stubbornly to the palate that it's literally hard to spit. A young Hermitage of great class and complexity."
97 Points "The star of the lineup was the awesome 2003 Hermitage Les Bessards. Dense, pure and still gorgeously fresh, with blackcurrants, licorice, roasted meat and massive minerality, this full-bodied, layered and concentrated Hermitage is the real deal. Count yourself lucky if you have a few of these tucked into your cellar. It’s still an infant and will have two decades or more of longevity."
95 Points “Incredibly rich, velvety-textured and long, this is a great example of Hermitage from a superripe vintage. It’s dense like fruitcake without being excessively heavy, and boast such a panopoly of nuance as to be spell binding, ranging from spice and herbs to black olive and espresso. Wow! Drink now - 2025.”
97 Points "Tremendous depth of fruit right from the start, with layers of freshly crushed blackberry, fig paste and currant confiture, all carried by seamless, fine-grained tannins while truffle and cocoa notes fill out the background. Enthralling finish is strenched out by underlying minerality and exotic spice notes, but still remains firmly planted in its terroir."
96 Points "The luxury cuvee, the inky/blue/purple-hued 2003 Hermitage Les Bessards exhibits a huge perfume of spring flowers, blueberries, blackberries, licorice, and scorched earth. With superb richness, magnificent intensity, and a full-bodied, tannic finish, it will benefit from 5-10 years of cellaring, and should age for 30+ years."
92 - 96 Points "Saturated ruby. Roasted black fruits, gunflint, minerals and a whiff of meat on the nose: very Bessards. Dense, silky and suave, with great depth of chocolaty black fruit. As large as this is, it's not at all heavy. In fact, this shows superb mineral lift in the mouth and explosive length. Fabulous fine-grained tannins coat the entire palate."
93 Points "The 2004 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette blanc is brilliant. It offers gorgeous aromas of rose water, hazelnuts, smoke, and unctuous, buttery citrus as well as honeysuckle. Except for its floral component, this stunning white Hermitage tastes like a top-notch Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast. Delas also does a superb job with Condrieu, and 2004 is an excellent vintage for this tiny appellation."
93 Points "Lots of up-front butter, almond cream and pear aromas and flavors, with a creamy texture that just sails along. Long fruit-and-butter-filled finish."
90 Points "Bright green-tinged yellow. Aromas of crystallized yellow fruits, honeysuckle and fresh herbs, with a whiff of banana. Fat, dense and suave; very ripe and thick but quite dry. Seamless, high-alcohol wine with finishing flavors of honeycomb and damp earth."
93 Points "Delas Freres’ white wine cuvees have improved immensely under the administration of Jacques Granges. The 2003 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette blanc (100% Marsanne) displays a slight greenish hue to its oily, light gold color. With surprisingly good acidity as well as fabulous fruit (reminiscent of almond paste), buttered popcorn, honeysuckle, and citrus oil, this deep, full-bodied, fleshy Hermitage provides a tasty mouthful of dry white wine. It should drink well young, close down around age 4-5, and re-emerge at age 10-15."
91 Points "Full yellow. Very fresh aromas of peach, lemon, fresh herbs and minerals. Juicy, lemony and brisk, with sharply delineated flavors. Much more minerally than the 2003. Finishes long, sappy and brisk, with lovely cut and repeating citrus and mineral flavors."
92 Points "Very silky and suave, delivering gorgeous cocoa and tobacco aromas that lead the way for blackberry, fig and plum sauce flavors, all carried by velvety tannins. A lingering iron note extends the finish."
90-92 points "The dark ruby/purple-tinged 2007 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette offers notes of smoked herbs, red and black fruits, medium to full body, sweet tannins, and a more sensual personality. It is an up-front, fruit-driven effort that should provide easy-going drinking over the next 15 years."
92 Points "Silky and alluring, with lovely mocha and espresso aromatics followed by lush black cherry, fig paste and crushed currant notes. Fleshy and pure on the finish, with solid underlying minerality."
94 points "Its dense purple color is accompanied by notes of pen ink, graphite, creme de cassis, licorice, and scorched earth. Full-bodied and deep, with good acidity, superb concentration and purity as well as high tannins, this excellent Hermitage should be at its best between 2015-2035."
91-93 Points "Inky purple. Strong floral and cherry scents are complicated by cured meat and smoky minerals. Tightly wound red fruit flavors show excellent depth and clarity, with slow-building sweetness. Very elegant if painfully young Hermitage, finishing with impressive cut and length."
93 Points "Sleek and tightly grained, with a very racy core of blackberry and boysenberry fruit covered with sweet spice, fruitcake and mocha notes, all backed by a long, mineral- and graphite-filled finish. Best from 2010 through 2020."
90(+?) Points "Ruby-red. Pungent dark berry and kirsch aromas are youthfully brooding, picking up a subtle licorice quality with air. Impressively concentrated but a bit ungiving right now, offering deep, chewy dark berry preserve flavors and serious tannic grip."
92-94 points "The dense purple-colored 2005 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette is a powerful and masculine wine with huge volume and a wonderful, sweet nose of blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with crushed rocks as well as a floral component. Excruciatingly tannic but massive in the mouth, this wine will require at least 10-12 years of patience, and last 30-40 years. It is a monster effort, tannic, backward, but impressively full as well as formidably endowed."
90-93 Points "Deep ruby. Powerful, deeply concentrated cassis and blackberry aromas complicated by tobacco and espresso notes. Very rich and dense, with sweet, liqueur-like dark berry and cherry flavors and firm but harmonious tannins. Finishes luscious and sweet, with impressive concentration and length."
89 Points "With air, fleshy blackberry fruit, warm earth and stony minerality emerge from under generous vanilla tones of oak. Give it another three to five years for the fruit and oak to come into balance."
91 Points "Tangy, ripe and fresh for the vintage, with juicy layers of raspberry and currant fruit woven with bright mineral, spice and graphite notes. The long, fresh, acidity-driven finish lets this stretch out nicely. Drink now through 2013."
91 points "From tiny yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare, the 2004 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette has a dense ruby/purple color, a big, sweet nose of forest floor, acacia flowers, creme de cassis, and pepper. It is deep, full-bodied, with beautiful fruit intensity, a lush texture in the mid-palate, but then the tannic structure takes over. This is an undeniable success for the vintage. It should drink well for 15 or more years."
91 Points "Deep red. Expansive, fruit-driven and floral on the nose, with rich, spicy cherry and blackberry aromas deepened by tobacco and cracked pepper. Lush and full, with sweet black cherry and cassis flavors lifted by gentle acidity. Smoked meat and licorice notes appear on the long, juicy finish. This is built to age."
95 Points "Also brilliant, and only a small step back from the top cuvee, the 2003 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette boasts fabulous aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, licorice, toast, spice-box and dried underbrush that flow to a full-bodied, awesomely concentrated Hermitage that stays fresh and lively on the palate. A thrill ride of a drink now, it will continue to shine through 2028."
89 Points "Medium red-ruby. Expressive aromas of blackberry, gunflint, pepper and mint. Very suave and lively in the mouth, with well-delineated flavors of raw cassis, pepper and spices. Finishes aromatic and persistent, with lively pepper and spice notes. A very juicy wine that should be flexible at the dinner table."
90 Points "This is a blend from three of the top Hermitage vineyards: L'Ermite, le Sabot and Les Bessards. It is powerful and rich, with black fruits, spices and leather aromas. To taste, there are barnyard flavors and dense tannins. It will certainly age, probably over 10 years."
90 Points "The deep ruby/purple-colored 2000 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette (which includes the declassified Les Bessards) offers up aromas of creme de cassis, creosote, vanilla, and Asian spices. Dense, rich, and medium to full-bodied, this elegant, finesse-styled Hermitage has taken on more weight as the result of the addition of Les Bessards to the blend. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2017."
93 Points "Fresh and racy, with lots of red currant and raspberry fruit backed by a strong, minerally spine. Darker toast, spice and fruit notes emerge on the finish, but this stays remarkably fresh and open throughout. Deftly done."
89 - 93 Points "Medium ruby. Superripe aromas of blackberry, liquer and spearmint; faintly medicinal. Superripe, fat and sweet; a bit porty... undeniably rich, chocolaty and deep, with lurking minerality... Finishes very long, with huge, powerful tannins."
92-95 Points "The impressive, deep black/purple-colored 2003 Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette (only 40% of the normal crop was produced) offers up a sweet perfume of licorice-infused creme de cassis, minerals, and flowers. With great intensity, full body, and a long, concentrated finish, it needs plenty of time in the bottle despite lower than normal acidity. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020+"
92 Points "Vivid ruby. Highly perfumed, exotic scents of black raspberry and blueberry preserves, incense and smoky minerals carry a spicy topnote. At once ripe and lively on the palate, offering palate-staining red and dark berry and cherry cola flavors and subtle floral character. Finishes spicy and very long, displaying harmonious tannins and a lingering violet note."
92 Points "Similar to the Saint Epine release quality-wise, the 2013 St Joseph Cuvee Francois de Tournon offers more richness, breadth and layer compared to the tighter, more focused, granite-influenced Saint Epine. Plum, black raspberry, licorice, cracked pepper and graphite flows to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured 2013 that needs 3-4 years of cellaring; it will have two decades of longevity. Coming mostly from vineyards around Tournon and Mauves, it spent 12 months in 30% new French oak."
92 Points "Ripe and concentrated without sacrificing cut, this lets a pure beam of raspberry and blackberry coulis rush forth, backed by mouthwatering anise, black tea and iron notes. Latent grip allows the finish to linger. Best from 2016 through 2022."
91-93 Points "Glass-staining ruby. Ripe cherry, blackcurrant and olive on the intensely perfumed nose, with oak spice and dark chocolate notes adding complexity. Rich, supple and expansive, offering concentrated, nicely delineated cherry and dark berry flavors. The sappy, energetic finish features youthfully chewy tannins and an echo of fresh dark berries."
92-94 Points "My favorite of the barrel samples, the 2013 St Joseph Cuvee Francois de Tournon is a big, rich, concentrated Syrah that has fabulous density and depth in its medium to full-bodied profile. Aged in 30% new French oak, with the balance in 2- to 3-year-old barrels, it’s loaded with sweet black fruits, charcoal and crushed rock-like minerality, has integrated acidity and terrific length. Give it 2-3 years once released and drink it through 2028."
91 Points "Deep ruby. Sexy, mineral-tinged cherry and red berry scents are complicated by vanilla and woodsmoke. Sweet and energetic, offering juicy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become livelier and sweeter with air. A suave violet pastille quality comes up on the nervy finish, which shows very good clarity and smooth tannins."
93 Points "...the 2012 St Joseph Cuvee Francois de Tournon exhibits classic black raspberry, cassis, spiced meats and hints of licorice in its ripe, supple and beautifully pure profile. Aged 16 months in 30% new and 70% in 2- to 3-year-old barrels, it has medium to full-bodied richness, integrated acidity and building tannin. Drink it anytime over the coming decade."
92 Points Editor's choice "This is a dark, plush Saint-Joseph, not an edgy, wiry, herb-scented version. Superripe plum and licorice notes are framed by soft tannins and hints of baking spices, but the wine’ essential Syrah nature comes through on the dusty pep- per-and-anise finish. "
90 Points "Brilliant ruby. Deeply pitched dark berry and violet pastille aromas are brightened by Asian spices and mineral qualities that gain strength with air. At once ripe and lively on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of cola. Shows very good clarity and appealing sweetness on the finish, which is framed by silky tannins. This wine is delicious right now."
95 Points An off-the-hook effort and possibly the wine of the vintage in Saint Joseph, the 2011 Francois De Tournon (100% Syrah aged 16 months in 30% new French oak) boasts incredible aromatics, full-bodied richness and depth, and masses of sweet, mouth-coating tannin. Smoked meats, currants, blackberry, crushed stone and pan drippings are just some of the nuances here, and this fabulously concentrated, impressive 2011 will drink nicely for 12-15 years.
90 Points "Features a bright savory streak, with iron and singed mesquite notes. Solid black cherry and red currant flavors add flesh. Drink now through 2017."
91-93 Points "The more limited production 2011 St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon exhibits plenty of black raspberry, graphite, smoke and pen ink characteristics in a full-bodied, rich, strikingly intense style with the fruit well-displayed, but without the structure and tannin that require significant aging. This wine should be delicious when released in 2013, and will keep for up to a decade."
91 Points "Offers a mouthfilling, velvety feel, with plum compote, hoisin sauce, and blackberry pâte de fruit flavors, supported by a smoldering charcoal spine. Presents lots of bass, but a floral note adds a hint of treble on the finish. Drink now through 2020."
96 Points "A blockbuster effort... A dense purple color is followed by notes of graphite, pen ink, blackberries and blueberries, and hints of raspberries, smoke and subtle oak. This full-bodied, classic, monumental St.-Joseph was aged completely in small barrels. ... Don’t miss it!"
91-93 Points "Inky purple. Wild, highly perfumed aromas of candied dark fruits, incense and violet, with a vibrant overlay of peppery spices. Juicy, palate-staining cassis and blueberry flavors show excellent clarity, with a bright mineral note providing lift. Finishes on an intense floral note, with lingering mineral and spice nuances."
90 Points "Ripe but pure, displaying solid intensity to the cassis, anise and blackberry fruit aromas and flavors, which are only kissed with hints of toasted spice and charcoal. The long, racy finish has nice underlying grip."
92 Points "Opaque ruby. Exotically perfumed nose offers dark berry liqueur, Indian spices and blood orange, plus a sexy floral note that gains strength with air. Juicy and precise, with very good depth to its sweet blackberry and mulberry flavors. Finishes with very good power and lingering florality. This sexy wine is already very easy to drink."
94 Points "The 2009 St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon is showing even better than it did last year out of barrel. An inky/purple color is followed by notes of graphite, smoke, blackberries, cassis, road tar and truffles. With layers of fruit, an unctuous texture and tremendous purity and depth, this stunning effort is a great sleeper of this fabulous northern Rhone vintage. It should drink well for 10-15 years or longer."
90 Points "Nicely ripe for the vintage, with braised fig and blackberry preserve notes laid over cocoa powder, mocha and licorice snap notes that extend through the velvety finish."
90 points "Delas’ St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon is usually a brilliant offering, and the 2006 is no exception. A more textured, bigger, richer effort, it possesses a dense purple color as well as notes of crushed stones, black pepper, blackberries, and currants, and stunning concentration, texture, and length."
89 Points "Elegant and fresh, with black cherry and plum notes woven with garrigue, mineral and olive notes. The finish is long and fine-grained. Drink now through 2009."
89 points "The 2004 St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon has a dark ruby color and notes of damp earth intermixed with sweet cherry, raspberry, and old barriques notes. It is elegant, ripe, with some minerality and a floral note as well as crisp acidity. This seems to build incrementally in the mouth, and has some tannins to shed in the finish. Give this wine 1-2 years of bottle age, and drink it over the following 10-15."
87 Points “Shows layers of rich, dark fruit but still seems a bit tough and ruggedly tannic. Cola, chocolate and black plum provide a very good base, but could use a touch more suppleness and nuance.”
91 Points "An outstanding effort, the mineral and floral-scented 2003 St.-Joseph Francois de Tournon’s dense purple color is followed by a beautiful nose of minerals, white flowers, crushed rocks, creme de cassis, and blackberries. This tannic vin de garde ideally needs 2-3 years of cellaring, and should keep for 10-15."
87 Points "An easy-drinking Syrah from the Northern Rhone, this medium-weight wine boasts aromas of horse sweat, black pepper and roasted cherries, backed by flavors of black cherries and dried spices. It's plump and juicy with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now-2010."
88 Points "Medium red. Expressive aromas of raspberry, redcurrant, cherry liqueur, gunflint, iron, leather and pepper. Juicy, leanish and pure, with brisk, sharply delineated flavors of red fruits, pepper and spices. Nicely intense, granitic Saint-Joseph with rather light tannins."
89 Points "Medium yellow. Fresh peach and floral honey scents are complicated by exotic Indian spices and dusty minerals. Juicy pit fruit flavors offer impressive depth, with slow-building minerals adding urgency to the finish. Became more floral with air and also picked up zesty citrus flavors, suggesting that this will repay cellaring."
90 Points "Ruby-red. Fresh blackberry and kirsch on the nose, with suave Asian spices and fresh violet adding complexity. Deep, sweet red berry fruit, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice carry through the finish. This is awfully seductive, and delicious right now."
90 Points "Juicy for an '04, with a nice core of plum and blackberry fruit, along with mineral, game and briar notes. Nice flesh on the finish. A new wine for Delas, made from a blend of vineyards up and down the appellation, from Mauves to Annonay. Drink now through 2009."
90 Points "Dark red. Deep, rich, brooding aromas of pungent, musky plum and kirsch Firm, well-focused dark fruit flavors shows good depth and sweetness and are nicely framed by gentle, velvety tannins. The creamy finish features a gentle acid lift and impressive length."
93 Points "Saturated ruby. Intensely perfumed dark berry aromas, complicated by violet pastille, olive and licorice nuances. Sweet and perfumed in the mouth, showing excellent lift and clarity to the fresh blackberry, boysenberry and candied violet flavors. Sappy and penetrating, offering excellent finishing thrust, harmonious tannins and lingering spiciness. This suave wine is balanced to age, but I find it very sexy now."
93 Points "A blockbuster northern Rhone is the 2013 Saint Joseph Sainte Epine, which comes from a single vineyard of pure granite soils. This site is basically identical to the granite soils prevalent in the Bessards lieu-dit in Hermitage, yet the soil is slightly more acidic and it is cooler and windier. Harvest normally stretches into October and it’s completely destemmed, vinified in concrete tank and aged 18 months in 40% new French oak. Inky colored and possessing more than a passing resemblance to a top flight Hermitage, it offers classic powdered rock, graphite, cassis, creosote and smoked earth. Medium to full-bodied, pure, with good acidity and a full mid-palate, it needs short term cellaring - but will hold for two decades."
94 Points "This is gorgeous, with freshly picked black cherry, loganberry and plum fruit flavors pouring forth, lined with subtle violet and incense notes and racing through a long, mineral-edged finish. Shows blazing purity. Drink now through 2023."
90-92 Points "Opaque ruby. Musky, deeply pitched cherry and blackcurrant scents are lifted by Asian spices and fresh flowers, with a licorice note in the background. Sappy and focused in the mouth, offering vibrant dark berry and bitter cherry flavors along with hints of spicecake and cracked pepper. Closes chewy and long, leaving smoke-accented floral and blackberry notes behind."
91-93 Points "The inky colored 2013 St Joseph Ste Epine is still a rock-star Saint Joseph that’s well worth your time and money. Giving up lots of crème de cassis, licorice, vanilla bean and grilled meats, it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated and structured. It still has some tannin to integrate, so short-term cellaring is advised."
95 Points "A blockbuster Saint Joseph that’s up there with the crème de la crème of the appellation, the 2012 Saint Joseph Sainte Epine offers awesome notes of crème de cassis, toasted spice, licorice and vanilla bean. Slightly modern styled, (it was aged in 40% new and 60% 2- to 3-year-old barrels), with full-bodied richness and a decadent, layered style, it stays firmly planted in the Northern Rhone with a granite-influenced minerality, beautiful purity and building tannin. This beauty will have two decades of longevity."
93 Points "Delivers a core of blueberry compote, plum sauce and melted black licorice notes that have yet to resolve fully. Ample ganache and graphite elements hold the finish down for now. This should meld and stretch out with midterm cellaring. An impressive effort from winemaker Jacques Grange."
91-93 Points "Inky purple. The nose displays intense, smoke-laced cherry and cassis scents, along with suggestions of olive, black pepper and Indian spices. Silky and sweet on entry, them firmer in the mid-palate, offering chewy dark fruit flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Closes extremely long and spicy, with mounting tannins and a touch of bitter chocolate. "This wine is always strong in tannins and will age almost as slowly as an Hermitage," according to co-winemaker Claire Darnaud."
92-95 Points "A step up on the richness scale, the blockbuster 2012 Saint Joseph Saint Epine (aged all in barrel) should not be missed! Exhibiting copious aromas and flavors of black raspberry, ground pepper, cassis, graphite and crushed flowers, it is full-bodied, perfectly balanced and has a seamless, silky texture that will be hard to resist on release. Drink it over the coming 10-12 years."
91-93 Points "This wine exhibits a black/purple color as well as notes of smoke, blackberries, licorice, camphor, charcoal and wet stones. Intense, full-bodied, opulent and already delicious, it should drink surprisingly well in its youth, and keep for 10-15 years."
92 Points "Very pure, with a gorgeous beam of bitter cherry, plum and raspberry fruit, showing a chiseled feel thanks to the racy chalk and iron notes that run from start to finish. A charcoal backdrop adds depth."
91 Points "Opaque ruby. Dark berry preserves, violet and exotic spices on the highly aromatic nose. Lush and expansive in the mouth, offering energetic black and blue fruit flavors and a touch of bitter chocolate. The spicy note comes back strong on the finish, where velvety tannins fold smoothly into the wine's fruit."
90-92 Points "Bright purple. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of blueberry, cassis and potpourri, with an intense spicy topnote. Sappy and seamless in texture, offering sweet dark berry compote flavors that gain energy with air. There's a powerful spicy quality to the penetrating finish, which features smooth tannins and a lingering floral note."
93 Points Also superb, with slightly more freshness and focus than the Francois De Tournon, but not as much richness or depth, the 2011 Saint Joseph Sainte Epine gives up beautiful, Syrah-driven aromas of violets, new leather, pepper and black raspberry that flow to a full-bodied, rich and focused wine with a superb mid-palate and juicy acidity. It’s a gorgeous 2011 that will drink nicely for over a decade.
95 Points "A sensational wine that's up with the creme de la creme of the appellation, the inky colored 2010 St Joseph Ste Epine was raised in 40-50% new French oak, with the balance in 2- and 3-year-old barrels. It has serious minerality in its graphite, chocolate, blackberry, currants and smoked herb aromas and flavors, and frankly, tastes more like an Hermitage than a St Joseph. Full-bodied, concentrated and rich, with big tannin and a great finish, it needs to be forgotten for 3-4 years but will cruise for 20 years or more."
93 Points "Well-fruited, with plum, raspberry and red currant notes melded together. The sleek, polished structure holds everything together. A lovely iron note slides through the finish. Drink now through 2022."
"Silky elegance and finesse, with floral and bitter citrus notes."
92+ Points More backward and tight, the 2010 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine obviously possesses power, depth, ripeness and richness. At present, it is dominated by its crushed rock and floral notes as well as its tannins, but it is currently reticent and somewhat austere due to its recent bottling. This should turn out to be a blockbuster, but potential purchasers are advised that it will require 3-4 years of bottle age. It should last for two decades.
92-94 Points "Opaque purple. Mineral-accented black raspberry and cherry on the hugely aromatic nose. Sweet, penetrating red and dark berry preserve flavors show excellent depth and energy, with a late note of candied licorice adding a darker tone. The finish features excellent focus and cut, and resonating sweetness."
91-93 Points "A limited production offering from older vines planted in one of the finest terroirs of the appellation, the 2010 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine possesses outstanding fruit, depth, power and purity along with zesty acidity, a striking minerality and a long finish."
92 Points "...A wall of mocha and charcoal in front of the core of currant, blackberry and linzer torte flavors, but there’s a racy graphite spine and a lipsmacking pastis hint at the end."
92+ Points (?) "Saturated ruby. Red berry preserves, cherry-vanilla and anise on the intensely perfumed nose. Sappy and broad, offering pliant raspberry and cherry flavors and suggestions of coconut and candied violet. In a distinctly exotic style and very primary right now. Finishes sweet and very long, with resonating vanilla and spice notes."
96 Points "The blockbuster 2009 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a remarkable nose of black fruits, graphite, ink, incense and subtle barbecue smoke. Elegant yet massive and rich, with an unctuous texture and good underlying acidity..., this deep, full-bodied, powerful 2009 should drink well for two decades or more."
92-95 Points "One of the top three or four wines of the appellation, the 2009 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine is a seriously endowed, opaque purple-colored effort revealing notes of ink, lead pencil shavings, blackberries, toast, licorice, pepper and a liqueur of minerality."
92 Points "Very fresh, with nice underlying drive to the black cherry, black tea, incense and plum sauce notes. The long, iron-tinged finish has more grip than most in the vintage. Really solid."
90-92 points "Another stunning effort is the 2007 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine. Dominated by its fruit character (raspberries and cherries), it also reveals some smoked herb and earthy notes in its full-bodied personality. Pure, rich, and well-textured, this superb St.-Joseph should drink well for a decade or more."
94 points "The flagship offering from St.-Joseph, and one of the three greatest wines of the appellation, is Delas’ 2006 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine. A more long-term effort (2-3 years of cellaring is recommended) with additional tannin, structure, concentration, and depth, it is a wine of great nobility and terroir. The 2006 exhibits plenty of earthy blackberry and sweet black currant fruit along with hints of graphite, licorice, smoked meats, and powdered rocks."
90-03 "Inky ruby. Vibrant cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by hot asphalt and licorice, with a sexy floral quality building in the glass. Sweeter and darker on the palate, with deep dark fruit compote flavors, supple tannins and a jolt of zesty minerals on the finish. Reveals excellent vivacity and cut."
91 Points "Bright ruby. Zesty, tightly focused red and dark berry aromas are complicated by dusty minerals and cracked pepper. Fleshy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors gain weight with air but maintain a lively personality, finishing with excellent sweetness and length. No excess fat on this."
90-93 points "An outstanding effort is the 2005 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine. Blueberry, acacia flower, crushed rock, and cold steel are aromas that seem to jump from this dense ruby/purple-colored wine. Full-bodied, backward, tannic and rich, this wine needs 4-5 years of cellaring and should drink well for 15 or more. It is a very impressive 2005."
91-94 Points "Ruby-red. Spicy, mineral-driven red fruit aromas are complicated by tobacco, violet and graphite notes. Peppery, zesty redcurrant and raspberry flavors show good depth and impressive precision. This highly promising wine has a nervy, graphite-driven finish."
90 points "The limited production but exceptional 2004 St.-Joseph Ste.-Epine has a deep ruby/purple color and a big, sweet raspberry, cherry, and peppery nose with hints of wet rocks and underbrush. The wine is zesty, rich, with big body and terrific fruit. This is an unqualified success for the vintage, and certainly well worth checking out. It should drink beautifully for 10-12 years."
91 Points "Inviting, with crushed plum and currant fruit backed by nice dark cocoa, tobacco and olive notes. Smoky finish shows a nice mineral streak, which is long and tangy. Drink now through 2009."
92 Points "Deep ruby. Strong mineral notes accent bright red and dark berry aromas. Lush and sweet, but with impressive acid and mineral lift; picks up a graphite tone to complement the ripe, clean blackberry and cherry flavors. A licorice note adds depth and complexity on the long, sappy finish. I really like this style."
92 Points "Bursts with bold pepper and raspberry aromas and flavors, but they're elegant as much as they're potent. Powerful fruit, supple tannins and a long, structured finish make this one of the top Saint-Josephs. Drink now - 2015."
89-91 Points "The potentially outstanding 2004 St. Joseph St. Epine possesses crisp black cherry fruit interwoven with road tar, flowers and minerals. It possesses the finest texture and concentration of any of the aforementioned wines as well as the most persistent finish. Drink it over the next decade."
90 Points "Lots of crushed blackberry and plum aromas and flavors, with a ripe, dusty finish."
93 Points "St.-Joseph enjoyed a superb vintage in 2003, as evidenced by the 2003 St.-Joseph St.-Epine. Sadly, there are only 2,200 bottles of this amazing wine. Its opaque inky/purple color is accompanied by sumptuous aromas of graphite, blueberries, blackberries, crushed rocks, and flowers. Full-bodied, powerful, and rich as well as elegant and fresh, this huge St.-Joseph needs 2-4 years of bottle age, and should last for 15+."
89 Points "With fruit coming from the Saint-Epine vineyard, this wine comes from the heart of the Saint-Joseph appellation. There is plenty of rich fruit, generous and packed with black plums and sweet jelly fruits. There is acidity and a streak of spicy wood that provides great balance."
90 Points "Good red-ruby color. Ripe, brooding aromas of plum, cherry and raspberry complicated by hints of pepper, game and eucalyptus. Sweet but taut in the mouth, with an urgent quality and lovely peppery tang. Very concentrated, vibrant Saint-Joseph with more density and extract than the Francois de Tournon. Finishes with rich, ripe tannins and very good length."
"In the late 1990s,...the quality of Delas Freres was soaring, and they are now one of the three top negociant firms in the Rhone Valley. Delas Freres has been the property of Champagne Deutz since 1996, and belongs to the same owners as Champagne Louis Roederer. The owners as well as the Directeur Technique, the brilliant Jacques Grange, and winemaker Jean-Francois Farinet deserve credit for the rise in quality at this operation. The Delas Freres wines continue to go from strength to strength...The current portfolio includes strong 2006s and very good 2007s."
"This great northern Rhone negociant, spearheaded by their brilliant oenologist and winemaker, Jacques Grange, has consistently made fabulous wines from the northern appellations, but only recently upgraded the quality of their southern Rhone selections. These are the finest southern Rhones they make, and their Cotes du Rhone St.-Esprit ranks alongside the offerings from Guigal and Chapoutier."
"At Delas, [Winemaker] Jacques Granges deftly maintained the house style of silky textures and alluring spice notes. His wines make a great contrast with the gutsy, burly reds from Marc Sorrel. Sorrel, 58, took over his family's small (10 acres) estate after his father, Henri, passed away in 1984."
Copyright © 2017 MMD USA, Inc., All Rights Reserved