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The Wines

60-70% Grenache (av 40-50 yrs), 15-20% Syrah (av 20-25 yrs), 5-15% Mourvèdre (1980s), 5% Cinsault (1940s), from La Font du Loup, La Crau, 25-30 day vinification, daily pumping overs, daily vat emptying/refilling for Grenache, daily cap punching for Syrah, Mourvèdre, aged Grenache 20 year barrels, Syrah, Mourvèdre 1-4 year casks 12 months, and 6-10 months in vat, unfined, filtered, 39,000 b

2016 ()

dark red robe. The nose is curvy, on a ripe roll of liqueur red berry fruits that have polish, a cosy quality. There’s a hint of dried herbs. The palate bears quietly sturdy rich ness, flatters a little, has power within. The attack is in charge for the moment, so allow time for it to come together and to express itself throughout. The red juice, cherry near the stone, has discreet intensity, and the tannins are soft, a little furry. It’s a wee bit on its alcohol. 14.5°. From 2020. 2030-31 Mar 2018

2015

medium red robe. The bouquet is calm, has a strawberry-plum fruit twinning, a neat sweetness and floral tone at its centre. The palate sequels well from the nose, bears unfussy scented red berry matter, with curvy tannins rounding off the finish. It’s all very self-contained, has no loose edges, is a sphere that drinks easily now, already. There is a low-key gain in depth towards the finish, and the aftertaste is lip smacking. It could deliver a bit more buzz, is safe. 14.5°. 2027-28 Mar 2018

2014 ()

has the usual mild red robe of this estate. The nose is careful, offers a low-key air of raspberry fruit, a dicing of herbes de Provence. The palate drinks with detail, and agreeable softness, gentle ripples of red berry fruits, touches of florality, along its path, the close a little on cigarette ash, fine tannins. This is very true to its place, a natural wine. 14°. 60% Gren, 20% Mourv, 15% Syr, 5% Cins. 2025-26 Mar 2018

2013

comfortable red robe. The nose has an immediate smokiness, a charcoal aspect that mixes in with prune, mature black fruit. It is a pretty bright bouquet, and sequels into a free running palate, which washes along with tasty black berry fruit. The tannins have a tarry quality. Upbeat, fresh Châteauneuf, with ample supplies of juice to allow tannic fusion over time. From spring 2017. Great with roast beef, sirloin, for example. 2027-29  Oct 2015

2012 ()

(casks) clear red, bonny robe. The nose centres on Grenache red jelly fruit, with fine depth of spiced, darker fruit, a good marriage of the two styles, along with pockets of herbs. The palate is close-knit, has packing. This is promising. It runs directly, in a straight manner, shows good spine. This will do well. It picks up spice as it reveals its tasty fruit. There is a good strike of tannin on the finish; it holds the pure fruit of 2012, and the late energy, wee kick of the vintage. Marks for clarity. From mid-2015, especially to allow the finish to ease on its tar. It is marked by Mourvèdre on the aftertaste. 2026-28  Oct 2013

2011

(casks) modest red robe. The nose is advancing on this cask sample – Grenache with high fruit notes, a liqueur red jam fruit style, a bit earthy. The start is sweet, unconvincing – it shows soaked red cherry - griottes – with gummy tannin attached. A ponderous Châteauneuf. From late 2014. 14.5°. 2022-23  Dec 2012

2010

(casks) shiny, full robe, legs down the glass. Mildly sweet, mulled fruits or red jelly air with a little rose presence, herbs – local touches are certainly here. The palate is based around juicy Grenache that is still making its way, has plenty of content and a glow of power late on. This has an authentic, STGT style with the crispness of the vintage, a flinty take, on the finish. From late 2013. €25.50 at the domaine. 2024-26  Dec 2011

2009 ()

modest red robe. The nose is smoky , a bit lean, some garrigue, licorice-menthol airs here. The palate has some 2009 juice, then a sturdy second half. Grenache from drier zones implied here, draining lands. Has Châteauneuf stuffing, and is not heated on the finish. Authentic. 14.5°. 2020-22 Sept 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ** (cask/vat) steady red robe; baked red fruits air, fruit tart – it seems compressed by the effect of sun on dry, parched lands. The palate is Grenache-forward, a more juicy offering than the nose. It extends quite well, becomes surrounded by firm tannins that are a shade dry. This needs a careful end of raising to avoid being hollow – I have doubts about that for now. It leans towards 2003 in texture. From mid-late 2012. 2019-21 Oct 2010

2008

(casks) fair depth of red. Kind, plump bouquet – blackberry fruit, sweet notes at its centre, some herbal seasoning. The palate has rather bright black fruit that starts cautiously and expands quietly. It ends on clear moments after its early hint of strictness. Time will benefit it, allowing it to open and amplify a notch. Simple wine with some charm. From late 2010. 2018-19 Dec 2009

2007 ()

(cask/vat) red robe with black traces. Has a restrained but promising raspberry/blackberry aroma that runs along a jam trail and ends sweetly. There is the immediate appeal of sweet fruit on the palate – it is all very easy, and runs nice and steadily – comes with this vintage`s smooth texture. A few late tannins add extra snap, and there is a herbal aftertaste. Sympa wine. 2019-21 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 (an example of the final wine) herbal, floating black berry aroma. The palate is nicely measured, holds agreeable gras and is led by ripe Grenache that provides a clear roundness. It tightens correctly on the finish – its tannins have some drive in them. Good quality Grenache in this. From 2011. 2021-23 June 2008

2005 ()

has an even, tight bouquet – with some “dark” red fruit that is snappy and clear. The palate starts with a herbal flavour, has a good weave in it – very much a wine of this quartier. It is fine-boned, and shows decent integration now. There is a little thread of tannin, but it, too, is finely presented. The aftertaste is scented. Very typical Font du Loup - has made strides on that front. 2020-21  June 2008  Previously Nov 2006 **(*) pretty full dark red; cherry, waxen aroma that is unusual – perfectly clean, tidy, soft but leave for 3-4 years. Orderly fruit – cherries, red fruits – on palate. Clean wine, but lacks local character – rather ‘me too’ with its polished red fruits and sleek ways. Only fair end gras. More punch, more garrigue, please. Safe – never seeks the heights – and uninspiring. 2017-19 Nov 2006

2004

full, quite dark robe; brewed, and peppery, the bouquet has burnt edges. Upright, black fruits palate. Tannins run around it and lend a little austerity. Has quiet promise, and can gain width and variety. Length is decent. From late 2008 or 2009. 2017-18 Oct 2006

2003 ()

still has a pretty, bright quite full red robe; the first aroma is raisin, plum pudding – ripe black plums and prunes with a sweet, black berry liqueur air – this is a varied and unusual combination, with damp earth and some finesse in it, which I put surely down to its sandy terroir. This is aromatic, fine-boned Châteauneuf: the attack is a full offering, its texture suave and there are black fruits of some pedigree present. It tightens on the finish, gets a little dry, which presents some concern. There is a honey-raisin mix on the end. It may close up, and re-emerge around 2010. It is not the typical full, hearty Châteauneuf, and its clarity for most of the palate defies the vintage stereotype. 2017-18. “2003 was very closed, it has opened, and now may close up again,” Anne-Charlotte Mélia. June 2008

2001 ()

quite thorough red core to the robe; the bouquet is emerging into a gradual second stage, bearing scented red fruits – it has been open 30 minutes, and decanting would benefit, and awaken it. The palate shows the fibre of this estate – its shape is upright, but there is pretty, clearly defined fruit around its spine. There is a good final fruit flourish, gentle black fruits that are juicy in the early to mid stages. It narrows a bit into some late “dark” tannin. Going well now. Elegant wine. 13.5°. 2017-18 Nov 2008

2000 ()

stable plum red colour; there is a good mix of sweet red jam with some snap of peppered freshness on the nose, but also a little vegetal note as well. This vegetal, waxen note is a bit of an issue. On the palate, red stone fruit is present with a ¾ depth about it; it proceeds securely and ends on a refined, slight mild cocoa, milk chocolate note (think Cadburys chocolate bars). The aftertaste is a shade dry. 2012-13 June 2008