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The Wines

50-75% Grenache (mid 1960s-late 1990s), 25-50% Syrah (mid-late 1980s) at 210-260 metres from stony, gravel clay-limestone soils on two plots at St Roman de Mallegarde, on the North facing side of the Col du Débat on Montagne Ouest, white clay soils at Cairanne, 35% destemmed (Syrah is all whole bunch, Grenache is half whole bunch), wild yeasts, 4-5 week concrete vat vinification, occasional cap punching, light pumping overs, concrete & enamel vat raised 10 months, light sulphur use up to 3.5 gm, unfined, unfiltered, organic wine, 4,200-7,500 b

2016 ()

this is the usual 50% Gren, 50% Syr blend: dark red colour; there are sweet, savoury touches on the nose, which is shiny, expresses warm sun fruit, has a cosy depth. There are also mint, cherry kirsch airs. The palate carries a menthol spine with gourmand flesh around it. It keeps on the charge all through, is robust, almost forceful, has a serious heart. It finishes with cut in the tannins, is still getting together. There’s a bit of late glow in this solid wine. 13.5°. 4,200 b. 67% Gren, 33% Syr. 2031-33 Feb 2019

2015

(the 25% Syrah from Cairanne & St Roman, whole bunch, fibre glass vat, bottling spring 2017) dark red. Reductive aroma, soaked stone fruits, also violets; it’s nicely rounded. The palate is grapey, direct, good and clear; this is a beanpole of a wine that ends freshly, with dentelle, toothsome qualities. It persists well into a detailed end. 2022 May 2016

2014

red robe. This has a crunchy nose that shows cordite, smoke, prune fruits, evolution coming through. The texture is tight, the palate bearing plum fruits and strawberry flavours. The tannins have the mild features of 2014. It ends on smoke-rockiness, grip. This has interest. 13.5°. 60% Gren, 40% Syr. Bottled March 2016. 2020-21 Feb 2018 Previously May 2016 ***(*) plum red robe. There’s interesting heart to the nose, lightly spiced raspberry, ground coffee beans, a hint of violet and good Grenache plum fruit. The palate starts on clear red berry fruit with the swift arrival of rocky tannins – it ends on them. This is a fibrous wine, and I find the nose a bit ahead of the palate. The juice is quietly concentrated, the close firm. The style is upright, naked. It needs a bit of thinking about. The inclusion of the stems shows on the finish, its texture. 13.5°. From spring 2017. To 2022 May 2016

2011 ()

shiny, dark robe. Black cherry, prune aroma that is roundly appealing, holds decent Syrah content that sleekens it, brings pepper notions. The palate leads on jolly blackberry fruit with a swish as it goes. Likeable juice, sweet late notes and a black pepper sprinkle on the finish. There are sweet late notes and enjoyable tannin via some licorice. No-nonsense wine that is free-spirited, close to w.o.w. It delivers what is should. 14.5°. 2017-18  Oct 2012

2009

dark robe. Baked, sunny nose – has a deep and steady presence, needs 18 months to open and vary. Robust, packed in attack; this pushes along in a straight line, its tannins are actively present, have good fire. A strong, authentic wine with a bit of the 2009 dryness in it. 15°. 2015-16 March 2011