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The Wines

60% Mourvèdre (oldest late 1940s, 1950s, and subsequent hand grafted replacements from the Courrieux vineyard site near the château of the Ch du Pape village), 20-30% Grenache, 5-10% Syrah, 5-10% Counoise (was 70% Mourvèdre, 10% each Grenache, Syrah, Counoise until early 2000s), aged large barrel 18 months, fined, unfiltered, 3,500-7,000 b

2018

(large barrel, just 26.5 hl this year) intense, dark colour, black with a purple rim. The bouquet is stylish, sophisticated, on the most pure cassis, black berry fruits that sparkle in the glass. It’s curvy and sustained, hasn’t yet varied much away from the fruit trail. The palate bears blue fruit, licorice, has a pinpoint detail, with smooth tannins in support. This breathes pedigree. It’s altogether a more polished, wavy, elegant Hommage than, say, 20 years ago, with top notch fruit from this tricky vintage. The balance is great. Served in a large balloon glass, it will be most entertaining and satisfying. I really like its feathery finesse. From 2023. 2045-48 Oct 2019

2017

very dark robe; the bouquet is firm, thorough, interesting, on mulberry, liqueur of raspberry, a little note of meatiness, and appealing iodine, cool notes that lean towards blueberry. The palate is savoury, engaging, carries well layered, stylish black fruits, with a nudge of grain in the tannins. It moves discreetly into a crescendo, and the late juice is tasty, sunny. It carries cool threads that will allow it to age well, and flourish over time. This has mighty length, and breathes the South, the best of the South. From 2023. 2049-51 Oct 2019 Previously Oct 2018 ****** (large barrel) very dark, ink-stained robe, the Mourvèdre in full bloom. The bouquet is wide, sustained, shows some animal of the Mourvèdre, but leaves a prolonged, wide impression. Bulls blood, black olives notes mix with some iodine. The palate bears a healthy, sustained charge of deep-seated black fruit content with driving tannins, minted edges from them. This is big scale Hommage, a tribute to the old Mourvèdre that also comes with the smooth silk of the best Châteauneuf. It’s not strictly typical Châteauneuf because of the high Mourvèdre influence, but who cares? The aftertaste is mighty, just goes on and on, brings in iodine again, blue fruit, black olives. Capital, Dr Watson, as Sherlock would say. Fab for a child born this year in magnum, say. From 2024-25. 2048-50 Oct 2018

2016

(large barrel) immense, inky robe, black with a peep of purple on the top. The bouquet assembles mixed dried herbes de Provence with cool, smoky black fruits that have great definition, really precise lines. There is an oily note to it, a hand out of bounty. The palate is suave and rolling, bears “glistening” fruit with a silken feel, has a thread of freshness through it, a note of carbonic gas for the moment. The black fruits, black olive flavours are serene, and it runs with the most winning continuity, never a false stroke, and the finish is rounded, calm. This bears the unctuous fruit of the old vines, and is a major French red wine. It would be a real treat for a godchild birth year in magnum or jereboam form. It has primo balance. It is showing well now, but will close. From 2023. 2049-51 Oct 2017

2015

very dark robe. The nose is fresh, varied, filled with subtle prompts – smoky bacon, polished leather, varnish, cedar, cassis fruit. It’s wide, and carries mystery thanks to its depth. It will be great and impressive served in a large glass around 2025. This is closely packed, seamless, has a chunky heart, and the Mourvèdre tannins deliver a firm casing to the late stages. It’s spiced, live and black-fruited. This is a dark vintage wine in the eye of 2005, for instance. It will take time to come fully out on stage. The close-knit and firm density will allow it to live towards 2038-41. The 2016 is potentially more stylish, more gentlemanly, and a bit better balanced. Oct 2017 Previously Sept 2016 ***** (approx 60% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 10% Counoise, 10% Syrah, pre-assemblage, 50 hl barrel, bottling in Sept 2017) very dark red. Bundles of bright and ripe fruit show on the nose – it really glistens, has stylish depth, airs of nutshells, mulberry, raspberry, licorice; the fruit aroma is very prolonged. The palate starts with good juice, savoury red fruits, some tang from the tannins that fit well. There is intense juice here which is good and fluent, the raspberry fruit coming with floral notes. It is both handsome and pretty. It is long, has a coolly fruited close. From 2022. 2043-46 Sept 2016

2014

very dark robe, inky and black. The bouquet has refinement, even with a sealed, tight and sturdy layer of cooked black fruit. It is wide, and soundly filled. The palate holds dark fruits with pockets of mystery and nudges of complexity; there is the scope for variety to come forward. For now, there are compact black fruits with every now and then some mulberry or red fruit, and some licorice-dark chocolate. It achieves airborne finesse above its assured content. The finish gives a freshness, saltiness. This is interesting wine, perhaps more interesting than the big vintages which are obvious as a rule; it’s been very skilfully blended. It reminds me of a river with little inlets supplying it. 14.5°. From 2021. 2032-35 Sept 2016

2013

sustained dark red robe. There is a biscuity fullness in the nose, a serene depth with bundles of raspberry, dark berry fruit, small cherries, a note of sizzled bacon. The palate is broad, flowing and comes with classy tannins that accompany it like a velvet glove. There is a prolonged cassis, tasty aftertaste. Very beau, stylish, and more polished than previous young Hommages. The fresh, mixed herbs sign-off and its precise juice of fruit clinches the deal. Tasty, long, topping wine. Bottled late August. From 2019. 2033-36  Oct 2015 

2012

shiny, deep robe showing black with a purple rim. Grilled sausage, meaty, pork-like aroma with spark in its black berry fruit, a really consistent width, no chinks, notes of violet and garrigue, summer scents, menthol, rosemary and thyme. This is tasty! Ample amounts of Liqueur de Dijon cassis blackcurrant and mulberry surrounded by lissom tannins, a great concerto. The fruit is immediately striking, and provides a sweet-noted centre to the late palate, the young Mourvèdre extending the flair well. This will take care of itself in good fashion over time. From 2019. It is an ensemble that will run on wheels. “I adore this style – fresh, not heavy, but rich – this balance, “ François Perrin. To 2036-38, especially if in magnum. Oct 2013

2011 ()

full red robe; grilled, readily aromatic front seat of the car bouquet – it is ready to give what it can, is willing, shows dark red fruits, lamb stock. The palate reveals a tangle of dark fruit and a criss-cross of tannins, along with rosemary and sage seasoning. Its darkness at the end is very Mourvèdre-marked, with violet drifts within. Interesting – this isn’t an obvious wine to read. It has sweet depth and foundation, a sunny ripe fruit persistence via serried ranks of black berry, punch delivered in a glove not a fist. Has character. “I like its velvet on the nose, and vivacity on the palate, where there is nearly a candy note. It is rich but not exuberant,” François Perrin. I agree. From 2017. Bottled June 2013. 2030-33  Oct 2013

2010

good, thick dark red. There are running lines of black berry fruit across the glass, with notes of grilled bacon, a sweep of the berry – the nose is slotting into shape, the jigsaw makes progress. It is very profound, still has work to do. Handsome, muscular wine with a well-packed central to late palate, has real fire in its delivery, goes very long. Mourvèdre at its height here, with Provençal scents, implicit garrigue seasoning. It has a lot of striking content – no glass is too large for this amount of well shaped, widespread wine. Captures vintage and place extremely well, is STGT wine. From 2019, say.. “It is one of the three or four Grands Hommages, with 1990, 1989 (although that was a lot more ripe in style, the first year we made it), 2007 (very ripe),” François Perrin. 2044-48  Oct 2013

2009

very full robe, dark, dark – shiny black, black cherry colour. Brioche and blackberry, a bright black raisin air, wafts of chocolate cake. It is a blackberry and blueberry fest, as if you are looking into the pot making the jam from these two berries. There are hints of floral elegance coming through; I can sense the bounce of the heat of dry lands in the aroma. The palate is ultimately suavely textured, and starting to fuse, having been on its ripple of great intensity. There is a lot of coating – it trails a dense black-fruited banner. Its wide juiciness is striking and very complete in length, too. A big scale wine that is all the same under control, and will be more and more refined and integrated and pleasurable as time passes. The flavour is really thorough. It is taking on more attitude than in March, becoming more teenage as it were. From 2016-17. 2040-42 Nov 2011 Previously March 2011 ****** (barrel, to be bottled next 2-3 months) dark, full, bright robe from its Mourvèdre. Liqueur black fruit, very sustained nose – this is a black cherry fest – it is very intense, shows just the fruit, comes with no sidecars for now. Super juicy, sleek black fruit on the palate – bundles of layering, rippling Mediterranean waves of fruit that remind me of the beach at Pamplonne, Saint Tropez. Has an absorbing texture, round fruit and lissom tannins, violet scent on the aftertaste, juicy prune flavouring. The finish is just great, the balance good. From 2017-18. “It is extremely powerful, extremely fine,” Marc Perrin. 2037-40 March 2011

2007

full, dark red – dark, black tints within the robe. There is an ample spread across the nose, a mix of oak and honey, rich black fruit and a lurking feral-game air. The fruit side is oily, reflects liqueur blackberry from Dijon, to which is added the smoky licorice of the Mourvèdre. The palate offers a big ball of black fruit, layers of fat richness. Tar, tar, more tar on the aftertaste, licorice on the rampage. A Big Jungle Beast – though there is enough life on its sides to not be OTT (over the top). It is powerful wine that coats the palate with an intensity of “dark” sensations. Balanced wine, so it will live long. Its length is enormous, lasting. Cedar, cigar box aftertaste. Wait until ?? 2019, for instance. “The hot summer produced a lot of structure, a lot of texture,” Pierre Perrin. 15.5°. 2038-41 May 2011, Maldives Previously June 2010 ****** darker robe than the Beaucastel 2007 – good and dark, it really is. Has a sweet appeal nose packed with generous dark fruits, also liquid honey, raspberry jam, a little leather – bounty on offer, off we go. The palate is also very full, exudes a quantity of packed flavours – there is very, very ripe Mourvèdre here – it is a solid 6-pack operator, but one with a winning smile. Holds very persistent black fruits, ends on a roasted, toasted note, very young. Like the Olympique Marseille football motto, it is a droit au but, “straight to the goal”, wine, is very complete. A truly southern wine – has the warmth and filling of that. Black olives, tar on the finish. It is exuberant now, but from 2016 there will be more variety and comings and goings. “It is rich, but not heavy,” François Perrin. 2040-43 June 2010. It is 60% Mourv, 20% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise this year, bottled Jan 2010. Previously Nov 2008 ****** (barrel) full dark red with black in it. Has a really good oily and suave aroma – shows sweet black cherry, is sympa and round, with some herbs and hay present – vanilla ice cream, blackberry also. Blackcurrant leads the palate taste – has a squeezy, juicy, wholesome flavour and texture – it makes very good, gradual progress along the palate, and shows a classic Mourvèdre end – blackberry, licorice – with real, silken delivery. More polished than the Beaucastel classique red 2007, is more caressing, a shimmer of duck down feathers in the mouth. Stylish, balanced wine. It will be a pity to drink this too soon, since then you would “only” get the good fruit, rather than its cornucopia of possibilities. From 2017. 2042-46 “Leave this 10 years,” Marc Perrin. Nov 2008

2005

very full, dark, black cherry robe; very sealed, very complete black fruits nose: presents a solid set of features to the world. The shape is rectangular, and it is sustained, with delightful harmony in the long-lingering fruit. Beautiful, crisp and very clear fruit: wham, off it goes with a carefree run. There is great finesse in the texture, before it gains a more considered, savoury tone late on. There is a lot of rich elegance here. The fruit percolates through some late tannins that provide good frame to it. The balance is primo. This is very beau, Grand Vin for its supreme elegance. So balanced that it drinks OK now. This will SING! 2039-42 Nov 2007 Previously Dec 2006 ****** very dark robe; filled bouquet, with a biscuity top, and lingering, intense black fruits underneath. Beautiful, rich attack, generous and broad, is a bit more plump than the classic Beaucastel. There is very good Mourvèdre ripeness this year. From the start this is a generous wine, full of black berry fruits, savoury and full tones, and again a clear, persistent finale. The tannins tickle away at the end, and need leaving until 2010 or so: they lend good support, and the wine is very long. Great structure here. 2034-36 Dec 2006

2004

quite a dark cherry robe; chocolate, cooked black fruits aroma, almost burnt toast wisps, with prune within. Serenely rich start to palate, has really good, open flesh in it, and lots of appeal. Very good balance: for those who like balance and flow in their wines. The fruit is very silky. Can drink from 2008 since it is so elegantly fruited. The tannins will be more wound in to it from around 2010 on. On the cusp between the jolly 5 and the supreme 6 star status, whatever that means. 2027-30 To be bottled Jan 2007, tasted Dec 2006

2001

darker robe than 2000 – a thorough dark red, with a matt core. Fragrant top air to the bouquet – there is a lot here, but its expression is reserved for today. Cooked plums that have been well-ripened show through, while there is also a brief yeasty moment. After two hours, black olives and a strong licorice air come to the party. The 2000 Hommage nose is more earthy. The palate is direct, well-knit. The fruit has the clean nature of 2001, and gras is present, but never really grouped together. Still a free runner, giving the sense that it will become silken, by 2018, for example. There are thorough waves of black fruit before the finish builds up brewed coffee and ginger. Another great variety of flavours and sensations. Decant if drinking now, leave for two hours, or drink from 2014. 13.5°. 2034-37 “We had the time to wait calmly for the right harvesting moment this year,” Pierre Perrin. Maldives, May 2011

2000 ()

the robe shows tiling, has a plum core. This has a greatly deep set bouquet, an explosion of plums and sweet red berries. There are hints of buffed leather. It’s an uplifting start. The palate gives spiced, hound dog Mourvèdre with great generosity – it’s a high, sustained pleasure wine, with the classic outcrops of Mourvèdre tannins and their rather rugged bite. It ends with perfume, raspberry liqueur, complex prompts. It is singing well now. 13.5°. 2030-33 Sept 2017 Previously Oct 2012 ***** magnum, near the bottom of it, London: plum, dark ruby, bright robe. Game and coffee on the nose, which is well-lifted, gives a strong sense of licorice and Cassis de Dijon, blackcurrant liqueur, also charcoal notes. The start is tasty, aromatic, and there is an unexpected floral influence after the nose’s concentration. It keeps rolling with a compact and full nature, and has graceful, somewhat airborne lines. There is a grainy typicity on the finish, the Mourvèdre not being prone to easy fat, as it shouldn’t be. The deft touch on the aftertaste, that dab of finesse, is striking – it involves rose, elder, cassis, mild coffee. 2029-30 if in magnum. 13.5°. Oct 2012  Previously May 2011 ****** dark, well-sustained colour with plenty of purple in it. The bouquet boldly parades the Mourvèdre – square in shape, with red meat, tea and coffee aromas. There is great extract on the palate, with lovely packing, that is till very young at 10 years. Is very thorough at all levels, with just some final heat. The second half of the palate is firm. Red jam on the palate, with some meatiness, and plenty of licorice-tinged tannins. Length is very good. 2018-23 April 1999 “It never went through its animal phase which occurs later rather than earlier with our best vintages here,” F.Perrin

1989

dark, well-sustained colour with plenty of purple in it. The bouquet boldly parades the Mourvèdre – square in shape, with red meat, tea and coffee aromas. There is great extract on the palate, with lovely packing, that is till very young at 10 years. Is very thorough at all levels, with just some final heat. The second half of the palate is firm. Red jam on the palate, with some meatiness, and plenty of licorice-tinged tannins. Length is very good. 2018-23. “It never went through its animal phase which occurs later rather than earlier with our best vintages here,” F.Perrin.  April 1999