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The Wines

25-60% Grenache, 30-65% Syrah, 0-10% Mourvèdre, 0-10% Cinsailt from galet stone, clay, clay-limestone soils on La Gardiole (N-E), destemmed, 3 week concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, raised concrete vat 12-14 months (has been raised mainly steel vat, some oak 9-12 months), filtered, 50-120,000 b

2016 ()

(concrete vat, bottling Feb 2018) dark red colour. The nose leads on an aroma of mulled red berries, raspberries, with some sweetness, dried herbs and smoke. It is quite thick. The palate holds fleshy content with a plum, red stone fruit heart. It finishes a little suddenly, with tannins that are dark on the outside. This is a large production, wine but a good effort, with Grenache coming through pretty truly at its centre, and good freshness on the finish. I am glad it has been raised in concrete, not oak. 14.5°. 120,000 b. €12.75. From mid-2019. 2032-33 Oct 2017

2015

(steel vat) dark red colour. The nose reflects the strength of the heat at times this year: it has a compact, baked black fruits, grapey nature, an inner oiliness, is still on its reserve. The palate has a square, solid shape, with streamlined fruit running through it. It holds gras, while the tannins are butty, firm for now. Decanting a good idea. It’s still very much a wine defined by its cellar work, so leave until 2020. The aftertaste summons a little pocket, an extra spur, of red juice, which is a good sign. 14°. 2031-33 Sept 2016

2014

(steel vat, bottling soon, called Château de la Grande Gardiole) quite a sturdy red robe. The bouquet is wide, not yet right out and about, the plum fruit sits passively but is profound. The palate, as expected from the nose, is coated, ample; it has some pumped up characteristics, and signals a hummock of prolonged red fruit towards the finish, a breath of warmth there. Full, obvious wine, with a front of mouth acidity on the sign-off. May scare a few horses. 13.5°. 120,000 b. €20.  From mid-2017. 2028-29  Oct 2015 

2013

called Château de la Grande Gardiole: dark robe. Spicy, prune and red fruited nose that hovers on the edge of overripeness. The palate is sweet on the attack. There is some freshness on the finish, but the tannins are a touch grainy and dry. From 2016. 2021-22 JL Oct 2014

2012

called Domaine de la Grande Gardiole: sombre, quite full red; Has an oily, coated aroma led by prune, black raisin, a wee fungal note as well, soaked raspberry. It shows pretty true Grenache, the style is caged up, but it will break out. The palate breathes a galet stone power from within. It has a reasonable centre, a plum fruit heart. The tannins are quite fiery. This is more manly than charming, has a down the line truth, so drink with stews, game, country dishes. The aftertaste is dry. Not mainstream. From late 2015. 2025-26. €13-17.  Nov 2013