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The Wines

85-90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 0-5% Mourvèdre, part destemmed, 3 week vinification at 30°C, wild yeasts, cap punching, pumping overs, raised large 20-25 hl oak barrels on its lees 9-12 months, unfined, filtered, 18-42,000 b

2014 ()

(barrel) dark red. A sweet, cassis de Dijon liqueur aroma sets the bouquet alight – it is deep and prolonged, and in a very young state. There are moves to make ahead of it. The palate gives expressive, salty touch fruit that is a delight, comes with a fresh sense of purpose, and captures the best of 2014 well. A wine one can like and enjoy unconditionally. The finish brings in some tar, licorice, a rolling blackberry essence, and is long. From mid-2018 to absorb some oak as well. 14.5°. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv. 20,000 b. €33.90. 2032-34  Oct 2015  

2013

(barrel) medium red robe; the nose is subtle – has a raspberry jam air, is lying low, but has a safe depth. There is a dusting of herbs, and the genuine red jelly ripeness is true to Châteauneuf. The palate presents steady red berry fruit, with a small intensity; a little bit of toffee and caramel feature from its raising. It develops a jam-prune depth as it ends. A Regular Guy Châteauneuf-du-Pape, going the right way. The fruit is nicely clear – red cherry in flavour – and breezes along. Day 2: there is good, spicy momentum on the palate, gets going well. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv this year, 14.5°. From late 2016. 2023-24  Nov 2014

2012 ()

(barrel) deep red colour; savoury, chicken stock, rather sweet red berry air on the bouquet, which has a buttery heart, and an appealing blackberry jelly aroma as well. The palate accentuates ripe Grenache fruit – the sweet strawberry, liqueur style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It ends roundly, its tannins smooth and not over ambitious. The fruit is aromatic, with extra grounding, ballast, as it ends. Carefully made, with enjoyable fruit, an orderly wine. From late 2015. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv this year, 14.5°. 2023-25  Nov 2013

2011 ()

dark red, shiny. Spiced top to a closely-filled bouquet. It offers hedgerow, brambly fruits and character, genuine, local depth. The palate is still tight-knit, with cool blueberry fruit at its centre, hardly out of its shell, has dance in its steps. Tannins are firm, well inset. All elements are well lined up. Long and fresh close. Very good. Classy potential. From 2015. 14.5°. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv this year. 2025-27  Nov 2013

2009

straightforward red robe. The nose is restrained with the hint of smoke hovering; it holds compact, knit black fruit, some leather airs as well. The fruit will come forward and expand over time. This has a rich, brewed up style – there is a rather treacle-like, sweet glutinous heart to it – it is not a free flow wine. It is sealed closely together, and needs time and decanting. Tar and dusty elements feature in the black stone fruit, prune flavouring. From 2014 to render it more varied, looser, more interesting. The aftertaste is treacle and toffee, which are not my idea of red wine components. Plain wine, mainstream, rather dull, but “OK”. Lacks nuance. 14.5°. 85% G, 10% S, 5% M this year. 2023-24  March 2012

2007

nice and full red, a thorough heart. There is a sunny roundness and shape to the nose, which has good layers of fruit and a steady depth, even aided by the 15% Syrah-Mourvèdre that serve to prolong the black fruit airs and licorice tints. This isn’t a rich start – it is more airborne, on dried fruits and dessication. The palate fruit is compact at first; after half way it shows some of the baked texture of the 2007s, ending with that clamp of grip. The style is clear-cut, international. There are smoky and tarry late moments; this will be more free and fluid from 2015. As it breathes, gamey notions show on the finish. After 75 minutes: it becomes firm, unyielding late on – until these aspects soften (are due to its cellar handling/raising), its pleasure quota suffers. 14.5°. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv. 2025-27 Jan 2011, East Sussex

2006 ()

quite a dark red; restrained, black jam, blackberry aroma with good concentration in it, and violet touches for some grace. The palate shows ripe Grenache, delivered with a nice full heart; this has a genuine nature, and retains a sense of definition, not being sappy in texture. There is a peppery, clear end with menthol present, and the finish has good grip. It is just a bit dry on the finish, within the prune taste there. From late 2009 – this should evolve well, providing that little late dryness can be absorbed. Bottled early Sept 2008. Tasted Dec 2008

2004 No Rating

sweaty, green flavour. Off bottle. Oct 2006, London