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The Wines

60-75% Grenache, 25-40% Syrah (both 1980) from 3 hectares of limestone marl soils on Romane (N-E) at 450-500 metres, destemmed, 2-3+ week vat vinification, wild yeasts, with part in 100 hl oak cask (Syrah, plus some Grenache), pumping overs, part vat empting/refilling, cap punching, aged 90-93% 75 hl concrete vat, 7-10% new-1-2-3 year oak casks 18-24 months, unfined, filtered, 10-16,000 b

2018

(concrete vat) dark red robe; the bouquet gives a sizzled, grilled aroma packed with red fruit, herbs, the baking of the sun. The palate carries rather singed red-fruited content, with dry notes in the tannins, has a chewy late stretch, the aftertaste demanding. It’s in need of time, the work concentrating on getting the tannins inside – they are a little downhome. 15°. 13,300 b. 75% Gren, 25% Syr. €15 at cellars. From 2023-24. 2039-41 Feb 2020

2017 ()

(concrete vat) shiny, dark robe; the nose bears a sleek aroma led by blackberry fruit, has a trim sweetness, is thorough, stands up well. The palate runs with free wheeling, entertaining mulberry-style, dark red berry fruit, has pedigree tannins inset. This achieves style in this overheated vintage, ends on a good couch of ripe content, with gummy, thick tannins adding their squeeze to the compressed close. It’s good and long, with freshness on the aftertaste. 15°. 75% Gren 25% Syrah. From mid-2021. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016

(oak vat) dark robe, mainly a shiny black-purple. The bouquet shows black cherry fruits and mixed dried herbes de Provence, licorice, the Syrah taking a lead role. There is a good gush of liberal cherry fruit on the palate, with smooth tannins inset, just a sense of power towards the finish. The fruit is tasty, clear. The aftertaste is broad, glows. 15°. 10,000 b. From 2021. 2034-37  Oct 2017

2015

(oak vat, bottling May 2017) handsome dark red robe. This is a well judged nose, that combines cosy roundness of ripe black fruit with a herbes de Provence, floral drift. It is good and deep. The palate appeals through its go-go red fruits, goes nicely long and finishes on salty tang and fine detail juice. This has a tasty heart, and I applaud its nourishing style. 15°. 10,000 b. 75% Gren, 25% Syr. €14.30. From late 2018. 2030-32 Feb 2017

2014 ()

(vat/casks, bottling April 2016) shiny dark red. The bouquet is crisp and clear, centred on discreet raspberry fruit with some smoke, menthol. The palate gives tingly, direct fruit and fresh tannins, suggests a wine of altitude. The mulberry style gras has some style and neatness. The finish is steely for now, so allow until mid 2018 for greater roundness and fusion. True, unadorned, upright wine for now: don’t drink this too soon. 14.5°. 13,000 b. €14. 2027-29  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

(vat, bottling Jan 2015) medium purple hue. Cherry, kirsch notes on the nose, a touch of leather as well. The fruit weight is lighter than some on the palate, but it is firm and fresh, and holds marked acidity. Has a finely framed structure, and is a digestible wine with some ageing potential. 14.8°. From 2016. 70% Gren, 30% Syr, 10,000 b, €13.50 at cellars. 2025-26 JL Dec 2014  

2012

(vat, bottling April 2014) dark, full red; A fully fruited, blackberry aroma leads the nose, which has  a steady grace and persistence, is well-balanced, very young, presents a good start. The palate also extols proper, red cherry, fruit depth with notably elegant, fine tannins conducting its late progress. Has good frame to allow life and development, captures the fruit clarity of 2012 and its kind structure. Modern, polished in style, just a hint tame but I like the precision; it looks north toward Burgundyfor its inspiration. Fine and fresh wine. 15°. 10,000 b. €13 at the cellars. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. 2023-25  Dec 2013

2011

(vat) dark red. There is a Syrah influence the gummy black fruit air, a nose with reduction, but one that can integrate and become round and appealing. The fruit is ripe, the content good: the nose has drive. The palate is till on a just fermented, very young, nouveau style footing: the flavour is grapey, with some crispness in its tannins. A centre of the crowd Gigondas, with flashes of local feel, smoke and herbs, in it. Powerful, a bit disorderly vis-à-vis the alcohol-fruit relationship. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr, €12.90 at the cellars, 10,000 b this year. 2022-24.  Dec 2012

2010

(vat) dark colour; deep, dark well of aroma here – very thorough black fruit with the reduction of Syrah present, and a beef stock-gravy character, broad and grounded, some biscuity notes, too. The palate comes in a feral vein, with fluid black juice emerging from a “high”, animal style casing. A big, traditional wine in the making here – STGT. It holds well-charged tannins that bring added body, and lengthens well. A real hand-out of rich, grounded bounty – not for the faint-hearted. From 2014. 2031-33 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(still in vat) quite a deep robe. Crunchy black fruits air, a certain violet tint in them, good and deep black olive, polished leather. Wide, profound style on the palate, has grounded depth, a big content, but doesn't get hot and heavy, and is authentic in that respect. Has a charged and thorough nature, so leave until 2014. Wee dry moments late on. 2027-29 July 2011 Previously Nov 2010 ***** (vat) full, bright robe; reductive outer air, but attractive, clear black fruit within the bouquet – it beckons thanks to its purity. The palate is at a compact, well-looked after stage, has definite promise. Its tannins are live and shapely. A good ensemble; I find it rather like a 2005 in shape. The aftertaste is pretty lucid, a good sign. From 2013. 2027-29 Nov 2010

2008 ()

pretty full red; red berry, plum fruit aroma that is slightly obscured by reduction, an air of game – but there is depth, shows some shoulders. The palate texture, by contrast, is clear, the fruit has good cut in it, plenty of appeal: it is fruit rather than power-led, keeps moving along. I like the quality of the fruit here. This can develop with further raising – there is the weight and the breadth, also the acidity to help that. Black cherry fruit finale, a little chewiness. From mid-2011. 2018-19 Dec 2009

2007

(vat) bright, dark robe; the bouquet is moving to a rounded phase – gives blackberry jam or jelly, toffee, has a sunny air, a juicy implication. The fruit has also reached a juicy stage on the palate, but that is offset by its group of tannins after half way – they bring “darker”, drier notes. Attractive wine that ends clearly, the length good. Time will benefit it. From mid-2011. 2021-23 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 ***(*) (vat) black cherry, deep robe; has a prolonged, lush, scented violet nose, with also some sweet meat stock. The palate holds a well-shaped richness and runs along cleanly – it delivers wholesome black fruit and plenty of length. It travels with some purpose, and holds up well along the palate. Licorice, flinty mint at the end. Good length, with the crispness of the altitude on the aftertaste. Good poise and clarity, this will be great around 2012-16. 2018-20. Nov 2008

2006 ()

full, dark red. Bright bouquet – cherry, soaked cherries even – griottes – with sweet airs, blackberry here. Squeezy start to the palate – red fruit with tannic lining either side: not yet integrated, but is a steady operator. Syrah influences here – a clean style of wine with local push. Decent length. From 2010. 2018-20 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) (vat) dark raspberry robe; shows a lightly mulled red fruit aroma with roundness in it and a well-set air, with herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Red fruit comes along on the palate, with a clear, running freedom. Red berries have a brisk tone now. There is good local punch and energy. From mid-2010. 2019-21 Jan 2008

2005

quite a full, matt red; has a sappy, black fruit nose, the fruit lacking in lift – this is a very ripe berry aroma that sits passively in the glass. The palate carries mild red fruit, jam-like in nature, with some herbal infusion. It ends on a more live note, with some leather, a little power and herbs. This is a low-key wine, with some defects in its balance, but it is OK to drink now to 2012. Tasted blind. June 2008

2004 ()

(vat) dark fruits, mineral edge to the bouquet. The palate is knit together, and the texture is consistent: it is handsome at heart. The fruit is clear. Tannins lurk, and it is herbal, garrigue towards the finish. Esp 2008 on. 2016-17 July 2005

2003 ()

full, smoky nose with some animal in it. Wholesome palate with good cut – has a tight knit, young texture with red fruits at its heart. Not for early drinking. From 2007. 2016-18 July 2005

2002 ()

peppered, live nose; fair depth on the palate, with some roundness about it, a bit of tannin, and a peppery finish. This is a live wine. Best between 2006 and 2008, can go till 2010. July 2005

2001

red plum robe, matt hue. Red jam aroma with some spice and a mature curl of sweetness – very Grenache in nature, overripe quince hangs in the air. Soft, mature stage for the wine now – rounded, drinks easily and smoothly, doesn't have supreme core. It becomes airy, scented, peppery late on. 13.5°. Now to 2011. Nov 2007 Previously July 2005 ***(*) well brewed nose that contains harmonious black fruit. Beau, restrained palate that is good and full, and almost has a limestone cut in it. There is a raspberry, tannic mix. Reserved wine that needs leaving until 2006 or so. 2014-15 July 2005

1999 ()

sleek, black-fruited nose that is fundamental, grounded, also gives airs of raisin and pepper, is ample. The palate is still upright, mixes prune and floral scents. Has indeed a truffle influence that is unusual; it is quite alcoholic but is fairly wrapped together. It is just starting to move into its second phase, will enter a mineral stage. Pretty good length. 2015-17 April 2005, New York

1997 ()

(vat) live black cherry-tinted robe. The bouquet gives a prime air of cherry stone, kirsch, exudes a little dryness. The palate has a black fruit, grape skin flavour, is pretty direct. It can soften in the next three years or so. The tannins gather on the front of the palate, not the back palate, which is a concern, suggesting extraction. From 2002. 2010-12  April 1999

1996

quite a dark robe; the bouquet is good: airs of simmered black fruits, has an elegance, and is more compact than most this year. This attacks well, has a thread of black fruit that is pretty well ripened that leads into its end tannins. Better structure than most this year, will benefit from time. Persists pretty well. From 2001-02. 2013-16  April 1999

1995

rather dark red. There is lovely sap in this wine; it has a great bouquet that is spiced, peppered, complex; there are black cherry jam aromas. The palate is rounded, savoury, bears plum, black fruits. It has lots of downhome texture, flavour, a really squelchy flavour. This is a success, is refined, but full. 2013-15 Dec 1999, Cendrillon restaurant, New York Dec 1999

1991

red notes in a stable ruby colour; the nose is fine – it is clear, airy, with intrinsic power, and does not show the garrigue, herbal charms of the lower, plain wines. There are elegant, floral breezes on the palate, though, the fruit refined. It gains in depth and grounding late on, culminating in a limestone-like snap, which is accompanied by a floral blackberry jam note. It is unlike the other village or Garrigues terroir wines of mature Gigondas. It is in good shape, the length sound, and is faithful to its micro zone right at the south-east of the appellation. Excellent for a 1991, a triumph of a late ripening zone. It says 13° on the label, but the nose suggests it is more than that, or evolution has thrust the degree forward. The label also states that it was a Gold Medal at the Concours Général de Paris, and Laureat du Grand Prix du Prestige Européen.  2017-19   March 2009