Friday 15 December 2017

Simon Maye Syrah / A Vertical / 2005-2013

Two friends of mine, M and S, had pulled together an impressive line up of Syrah´s from Simon Maye and they invited some wine nerds to taste them. I was thrilled to be asked!

Zum Bären is to be thanked for supplying some of the bottles. The Simon Maye Syrah´s are hard to come by and that makes this in depth tasting even more impressing.
Info here.

All wines tasted single blind, the whites double blind.

Warm Up
2011 Petite Arvine, Simon Maye
Some Swiss whites to warm up the taste buds. The first one has a maturing, dried up nose with notes of dried orange peel, honey, wool and peach. A tad oily in character. Good.
The taste is medium bodied with a good acidity and notes of tangerines, wet rocks and almond paste. Went perfectly with the accompanying pumpkin soup.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Grain Arvine La Louye, Therése Chappaz
The other Arvine (as we found out later that it was) displays a high, fine nose with notes of candied lemon peel, smoke, white flowers and lots of chrushed rocks. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and fine with notes of dry biscuits, dry lemons, oyster broth and chrushed rocks. Very fresh and very good.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

Flight 1
2011 Syrah, Simon Maye
A balanced, lightly meaty and smoky nose with notes of bakelite, dried flowers and gravel. A hint of green leaves in the background. Herbal. Very good.
The taste is cool and medium bodied with notes of rowan berries, blueberries, green pepper and a hint of rubber. A dry finish. Drinking perfect now, not for the lang haul.
88p   (tasted 2017/11)

2010 Syrah, Simon Maye
The 2010 is a stunner, on the level and sometimes above the V.V. bottlings, see below. The nose soars up from the glass with notes of ripe blackberries, peppered meat, dark flowers, bacon fat and sweet violets. There is even a sweaty horse trotting in the background. Very deep, pure, brilliant.
The taste is mouth coating in the best sense of the word with stunning black fruit, a fine acidity, polished tannins and a lovely balance. Still on the young side of things, this beauty could be drunk now and the coming 8+ years.
95p   (tasted 2017/11)

Flight 2
2008 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
The first Vieilles Vignes sports a high, intense nose with notes of veal meat, violet pastilles, charcoal and freshly fallen snow! Luscious and fine.
The taste is cool, seedy and fine with sweet red currants, blueberries, veal meat and minerals. A lovely texture. Very long and pure. 4+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2006 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
A deep, tight nose which opens up fine in the glass and reveals notes of damsons, red beets, mulled wine spices, bakelite and iron. A fine, rugged backbone.
The taste is broad and steady with notes of dark flowers, charcoal, chrushed black pepper and tapenade. Long and distinct. A very fine warmth. 7+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2006 Syrah, Denis Mercier
The first dark horse, and in hindsight it was a tad different than the others. The nose is somewhat sweeter with notes of vanilla powdered blackberries, scorched earth, smoke and sugared coffee. Deep and fine but a bit more upfront and juicy.
The taste is warm, herbal and direct with notes of violets, warm bay leaves, smoke and dried up blackberry jam. Long, warm and fine.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2007 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
Is ethereal meaty a understandably description? That´s what I have written, alongside ripe blueberries, both white and black pepper, Christmas spices, raspberries and dry licorice. Very deep,  complex and utterly gorgeous.
The taste is pure and brilliant with notes of sweet violets, dark coffee, fresh herbs, white pepper and veal stock. Very long, concentrated and truly, truly fine. 6+ years.
97p   (tasted 2017/11)

2005 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
The nose is very fine with notes of ripe flowers, blackberries, charcoal and fresh herbs. A fine complexity. A fine smoky note emerges with air.
But the taste isn´t as fine as the nose. It is concentrated and deep but it has an element of masonite in the finish, leaving it a bit dry and not as harmonious as the others. Drink now.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

Flight 3
2009 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
There is violets on this nose, and then violets and have I mentioned violets? If not, they are there. After some swirling some additional aromas of Lily of the Valley, tender meat, white pepper and gravel emerges from the glass. A very handsome wine. Refined. Classy.
The taste is tight and complex with notes of chrushed slate, veal stock, blueberries, smoke and a hint of dark chocolate. And violets. The finish goes on for one minute plus. Really fine. 6+ year.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

2010 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
We all concured that there must be something wrong with this bottle. No one had ever tasted it before so no references. But given how stunning the regular Syrah is, see above, this can´t be a true impression of the 2010 V.V.
Not a bad wine per se, but it lacks all characteristics of the other V.V. wines, the nose is subdued and a bit blunt with notes of ripe lingonberries, dry herbs and rubber.
The taste is seedy and narrow with notes of cool blueberry fruit, dry licorice, gravel and smoke. A bit foursquare in the finish. ?
83p   (tasted 2017/11)

2011 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
The 11 is all that one would have thought that the 10 should be. A spine tingling nose that shows of beautiful notes of ripe strawberries with some blackberries tossed in, Christmas spices, a hint of tar, sweet red peppers, smoke and fresh flowers. A stunning nose, vibrant and refined.
Balance, energy and intensity is the hallmarks of this beauty, with notes of sweet violets, white peppers, dried flowers, chrushed rocks and spices. Very long and full of finesse and restrained power. 8+ years.
96p   (tasted 2017/11)

2011 Syrah, Didier Joris
A dark horse in third flight too. And this is goood! The nose is deep and complex with notes of dark candle grease, fir wood, ripe red currants, blueberries and a hint of chocolate. A very fine sweetness to the fruit. Really fine.
The taste is deep and dark with notes of ripe blueberries, dark licorice, violets and meat stock. Some sturdy tannins in the finish, not the fine polished tannins that the Maye wines has, that should have been a give away... A fine wine nevertheless.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2012 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
A fine, deep, complex nose with notes of violets, roses, red currants, veal stock and red peppers. A very fine red note, some dried strawberries after a while. Cool and fresh. Really fine.
The taste is tight, balanced and lovely with notes of red beets, roses, gravel, dried meat and bakelite. Long and lingering. A laid back character with charm and delicacy. Aristocratic. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Syrah Vieilles Vignes, Simon Maye
The youngster in the line up displays a deep, tight nose with notes of forest floor, fir wood, blueberries, veal stock and beet roots. A very fine sweetness. High and fine.
The taste is young and taut with notes of cranberries, scorched earth, violets, spices and a hint of bacon. The finish is long and slightly peppery. Will need time, at least 8 years. Great potential.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2005 Côte-Rôtie, Jamet
The evening finished with a surprise bottle from one of the tasters. Popped and poured. The nose is deep and a tad mature with notes of sweet black cherries, warm gravel, violets and tapenade. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and tight with notes of dry violets, earth, dried meat, herbs and gravel. The nose shows more sweetness to the fruit than the palate, but long lasting, warm and fine. For drinking sooner than later.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

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