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The Wines

70% Grenache (1960s & older), 15% Cinsault, 10% 1993 Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, at La Terre Ferme, destemmed, cooled crop, 20 day vinification up to 30°C, cap punching, vat-emptying/refilling, pumping over, aged 33% new, 17-33% 1-year old 228-litre oak casks, 33-50% steel vat (until 2004 was 33% new, 33% 1-year, 33% 2-year oak) 8-16 months, avge 12 months, 46,000 b

2018 ()

full robe; the bouquet is ponderous, so full of sweetness is it. It’s fat and obvious, the fruit very ripe indeed. There are notes of oak along the palate, and I find this too confected to be pleasurable, a wine that drains energy rather than provides energy. There is musky, soaked red fruits content, but it’s hard to immediately identify a suitable dish for it, which tells its own story. It’s very retro in style. 14°. 46,000 b. 70% Gren, 15% Cins, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv. €25.60. From 2023. 2038-40 Oct 2019

2014 ()

(casks, bottling Dec 2015) red robe; attractive, immediate raspberry fruit air, all in youthful pleasure, smoke and pumice stone – the bouquet presents a bonny welcome. The palate expresses cherry fruit, strawberry, gentle fruit, fine bone tannins, with a clear tang. Very drinkable; this is a Burgundian, Pinot Châteauneuf in its youth. There is good late grip, with lifted and rocky notes there. Good purity here. From mid-2016, can be got on with. 13.8°. 2026-28  Apr 2015

2013 ()

medium red, light at the rim. Has a simple red fruit nose with a dusting of creamy oak. There is supple red fruit on the palate, comes with plum notes. The tannins are rounded. It is correct, but lacks depth and volume. There is a note of alcohol on the finish. From 2016. 14°. 2021-23 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

sturdy red colour; soaked plums, chicken stock aroma with light touches of nutmeg and tarragon to add intrigue – the bouquet has an airborne potential. The palate holds good, sparky, stylish fruit – there is almost a Pinot Noir quality here; oak advances into the picture on the finish. The oak isn’t quite an interference, which is lucky, perhaps more than planned. Has a pretty clean end. From 2016. 14°, 46,000 b, €22.10. 2025-26  Nov 2013

2008 ()

bottled already: rather dark robe. There's an immediate hit of oak, with some supple cassis, blackberry within that is sweet – the oak renders the nose upright. The palate is also marked by its oak, the content is quite full, the richness helped by some alcohol. Blackberry in the flavour and aftertaste. A modern style wine that attempts scale in a vintage not suited to that policy. Massive oaking just now, so leave until mid-2011. To 2020, say. Nov 2009

2006 ()

mild, fairly dark robe; the bouquet is out and about, led by red fruits with a jam air about them, a little tar, smoky, brambly fruit as well – the bouquet isn't that deep, and the aroma travels across, not down, the glass. The palate carries compact red fruits, fair depth to them. Rather reductive today, is turned in on itself. Not a big hitter, but can sing an easy tune. A few late tannins, length is OK. 2018-20 Jan 2008

2005

quite a dark, still young robe; creamy, black fruit aroma that comes in a liqueur, cassis style with some herbs and rosemary, but also an overripeness that means it is quite weighty. Round, easy, tasty black fruit start to the palate, has a hint of the boudoir with its ‘shiny opulence’. Olives, southern, savoury finish that will benefit and be more varied if left until 2009. Modern style, with the hand of the maker well apparent. 2021-23 April 2007, London Previously Nov 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape ***(*) (pre-bottle) dark colour; chunky, chocolate style bouquet, also herbs – is big and stands four-square today. Also solid palate, a masculine Châteauneuf; the mid-palate is rather severe, with darting, dark flavours, but decent clarity. Appears to be from a warm quartier in the appellation. Holds a rich interior of macerated fruit. From 2010. 2022-24 Nov 2006

2004 ()

matt cherry colour; earthy, raspberry aroma with some fungal imprint in it, has a local air. Beau Grenache on the palate – a wine of good local feel. Good length, it sustains well and comes in an elegant form. Has a few tannins, and I like its balance. Drinks on the mark now, but can evolve harmoniously. 2020-22 Oct 2006