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The Wines

50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10-20%, Mourvèdre, 0-10% Carignan from marl, sand, reed clay-limestone soils, purchased wine, 2-3 week vinification at 30°C (Grenache 2 weeks, others 3 weeks), wild yeasts, part vat emptying/refilling, aged vat 6 months on fine lees, then large barrel 6 months, unfined, filtered, 5,300-20,000 b

2016 ()

dark plum colour. The nose has a baked top note, some cow hide, has a cooked plum presence. The palate starts on compressed content, plum flavours, backs off a bit into a slightly dry finale. Not sure how cleanly cut this is, possible Brett. There is strength within, a ground force. Drink with stews. Decanting may be helpful. 14.5°. 10,350 b. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. 2026-27 Feb 2018

2014

quite a dark red. The bouquet gives an air of cooked plum, raspberry fruit, black raisin, has a little lift. The palate is rather pinched, with a narrow shape after half way, and the fruit-tannin ratio not in sync. There is a latent bitter side to it, and the finish is tough. Not an ensemble. 14°. 20,000 b. From mid-2017. 2020-21 Dec 2015

2013

quite a full red robe. The bouquet is engaging – it is nice and broad, presents red berries, stewed plums, with a drift of herbs, thyme. The palate kicks off on dark, tarry flavours, with a cool line of freshness towards the finish. The herbs sprinkle appears on the second half. This has a strong Grenache influence, but the second part of it lacks its usual gras. This is a delicate, high wire performance due to the travails of the vintage. Grain and grit are present, with local character in this transparent year. It just crosses the line with three stars. 13.5°. To 2020  May 2015 Previously Dec 2014 *** garnet robe. The nose is discreet, has a herbal nuance. Red fruit shows on the palate with a note of spice. This is fresh and fluid, the tannins hard and firm on the finish. Correct for the vintage but misses some mid-palate fruit. 14°. From 2016. 2020-21  JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

dark robe. The nose features simmered black fruits, with baked, Christmas cake notes, prune and mulberry fruit, sweet herbs – this is an inviting start. The first impression on the palate is one of smooth texture; it runs steadily with a berry fruit, and a pick-up in intensity towards the finish. A sound, coated Vacqueyras, with the 2012 ease of access. There is more grip and tannin on the finish, so drink from late 2014. This has good heart. US$24.99. 5,300 b. 2020-21  Dec 2013

2010 ()

nice full plum Grenache red robe, legs. Has a reserved, balanced air, a murmur of herbs and plains in it. The bouquet is fine, elegant in style, compact and promising. Licorice and herbs mingle. The palate has an agreeably tight debut; this holds fine fruit notably, has closely attached tannins and lengthens with a sure touch. Fine length, all very consistent along the palate. Decant, but it will also be better from 2013. It has an accurate, pointed finale, with pure fruit preceding that. 13.5°. 2019-20. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% M this year. Dec 2011

2009 ()

(barrel/vat) purple robe. Plum red fruit aroma with dusty, pebbly notes – a regular bouquet in the manner of a Rhône Villages; it is a wee bit vegetal, still raw, shows hints of licorice, could be deeper. The palate has a rich, sweet debut, its fruit continuing steadily. Has fine, grainy tannins that work well. It is bland but perfectly acceptable – it reflects the fact that it is a merchant wine, hence it skims the surface. On Day 2 it broadens across the palate. From late 2011. 2018-19 Nov 2010

2008

steady purple robe; creamy red fruit lead aroma, mulled style, with a fine line of spirit in behind – a gently aromatic bouquet. The palate is firm, with live edges from the vintage and its struggle to ripen. It ends on a compact, rather pebbly note. Its cherry fruit flavour is attractive – this drinks well, is a successful, above average 2008. 2016-17 Nov 2010

2007 ()

dark robe; creamy, even svelte black fruits aromas that have a crunchy, tar angle – offer some fascination, are promising. Good, sustained, shapely fruit on the palate, has good heart and depth. Ends roundly. It is well balanced. Has the virtues of 2007 – it is full, rich and sustains well without dry a finish. A harmony wine with good grace in its Grenache. Could be a bit deeper. 2017-18 July 2010 Previously Dec 2008 *** (vat, to be bottled next week) bright dark red with some black in it. The aroma smells of the lees, with black fruits in it – there is a certain supple side to it, and it will be clearer from late 2009. The palate fruit is largely relaxed, with late grip from its big tannins. The fruit signals well for the future. This is a raw example just before bottling, but I would say that the elements are OK. 2015-16 Dec 2008

2004

pretty red colour; interesting depth in the bouquet, first impression is peppery but is a little dusty – inside there is a mix of berry and meat. Sound, safe richness in a mid-weight register here, continues nice and fine, keeps its roundness. Correct version of Vacqueyras. 2013-14 June 2007