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The Wines

50-60% Grenache, 25-30% Syrah, 4-7% Counoise, 3.5-4% Mourvèdre, 3-8% Cinsault, 2-2.5% each Vaccarèse, Muscardin, 0.2% Terret Noir, part whole grape, intracellular fermentation, part destemmed (Syrah, Mourvèdre), 18-20 day vinification, pumping overs, some turbo cap punching, raised concrete vats 6 months, then aged 50% concrete vat, 50% large barrels and some 228-litre casks 12-18 months, unfined, filtered, 110-185,000 b

2015

(vat/barrel) decent, quite shiny red robe. There is a fruit lozenge intensity on the nose, with mulberry and date mingling, crushed nutshells also. It has weight, and an almost sultry aspect as a result. The palate delivers a compact, concentrated ball of juice, backed by close-fitting tannins that seal it up on the finish. This is a square-shaped Châteauneuf with a touch of exertion and extraction in its style, leaving the finish a bit sudden and dry. Allow until spring 2019, anticipating, and hoping for, more ease. 14.5°. 2028-30 Sept 2016

2012

(casks) full red robe. Hedgerow berries, an air of bacon, boiled beef, hickory smoke, cocoa and garrigue: varied sources for the nose, thus, one that will rock around 2017-19. This is a classic Tradition cuvée Châteauneuf; there is good style in the fruit, and an enjoyable run of that towards a measured, sweet-noted finale, where there is a sign of subdued power. The fruit is pure and clear, while the tannins provide a more gummy context, adding to the texture on the finish. Good length, the aftertaste peppered. From late 2015. Just 51% Grenache this year, with 28% Syr, 8% Cins, 7% Counoise, 4% Mourv, the rest as usual. 2025-27  Nov 2013

2011

(barrel/casks) good dark red. The round, shapely nose has a strong blackberry air with a bonny note of violet attached – it invites and beckons the drinker, has a solid density. The palate also offers a light violet scenting in its flexible black fruit, has tannins that go with the flow, so it ends up being round and supple, with content. One wants to drink this: its alcohol is just under control, has enough matter to handle it. Very drinkable, a typical 2011 in that respect. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(barrel/casks) quite a full robe; earthy, brewed, red plum air, has a coffee-spice-capsicum top note. The palate leads on a grainy Grenache, is reasonably weighted, with a little freedom in its late flow. It ends with some oiliness of texture, and an overlay of powdery tannin. Has some local feel. From mid-2013. 2024-25 Dec 2011

2008

sensible red robe. Nutty first moment on the nose – red jelly backing, garrigue stones, slightly green airs as well. Agreeable red fruit debut to the palate – it tightens quite fast, has a late stage of acidity and a fine, pebbly red fruit that is a bit narrow for now. Not very full matter in this. A clear wine that ends OK: leave until late 2011 to let its acidity to settle. 2017-18 Dec 2009

2007

steady red robe; gentle, refined Châteauneuf-du-Pape nose – floral with a few nice damp airs. The palate holds calm red fruits that are very Grenache-faithful. It keeps ticking away quietly and well. The aftertaste brings in some herbs and local touches – there is rather an STGT feel to this. Its freshness is also well judged. 2020-22 Oct 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **** (vat/cask) purple colour with a dark red interior; the nose exudes sweet fruit, is restrained in its delivery – this is comfortable armchair time; there is good padding and the aroma of mulled red berries or fruit liqueur. The palate comes along with likeable, bright black fruit, is smoothly textured and proceeds very evenly, all the way. A harmonious wine with enough depth to show future potential and variety, providing its ageing process is well completed here. Sunny and sympa wine for now. There is a late bit of tannin expressed as licorice and light black raisin. I revert to this, and like it better. 2019-21 Nov 2008

2006

black plum colour; the bouquet is withdrawn – shows some black fruit and leather. It is a bit soupy, with some plum crème and a little farmyard. On the palate there is an infusion of plum fruit and spice, but the fruit is not very clear at present. The aftertaste is herbal. In a state of flux, methinks. 2015-17 April 2008, London Previously Nov 2007 *** (barrel) clear-toned dark red; has a sweet, black plum colour; the bouquet is withdrawn – shows some black fruit and leather. It is a bit soupy, with some plum crème and a little farmyard. On the palate there is an infusion of plum fruit and spice, but the fruit is not very clear at present. The aftertaste is herbal. In a state of flux, methinks. 2015-17 April 2008, London Previously Nov 2007 *** round, open bouquet led by mulled red fruits with a clear top-note and a savoury, liqueur sensation; there is also a little light meatiness. The palate fruit kicks off well, is very tasty, really lip-smacking. Is lined with some herbs such as rosemary, and the Grenache fat is really good here. Perfumato, easy wine of good length, comes along in a gourmand but balanced way. The texture is silken, and its tannins are ripe and friendly, but couch it well. A wine of straightforward, sweet appeal. From mid-2009. 2019-21 Nov 2007 “As this is a soft year, we only pumped over and did not use the turbo cap puncher,” P.Pelissier, winemaker

2005

(1 week before bottling) quite a full red; the bouquet has plum, red stone fruit present with garrigue, herbal tendencies. There is a good, wrapped ball of black fruit on the palate, which sets out quite richly. This is the wine of most consequence from 2000 onwards. Holds tannins near the finish that require leaving until 2010, are a little on the outside now, as they were a year agosand. 2018-19 “This was a very closed wine all along,” P.Pelissier. Nov 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ** (barrel) sound red colour; primary red fruit aroma, comes in a ‘fizzy’ fashion, is fresh toned, with some flowers, a pebbly cherry aspect, high tone, too. Supple, smooth, modern texture palate, ‘spotless wine’, its tannins are sleek. Stops too soon, dries towards the finish, gets an upright shape there. From 2008-09. I hope it can arrange its finish. 2016-18 Nov 2006

2004 ()

very Grenache colour, a sound red. Red fruits with a reserved nature show on the nose, plus a sprinkle of spice. The palate holds lightweight red fruit with overt late spice: the texture is on the jam trail. This is a little plain comme vin. The length is fair, not more. Drink from late 2008 for a softer finale. 2014-15 Nov 2007

2003 ()

a touch of ruby lies in the red robe; some spiced jam, and notably plum fruit in the bouquet. The palate is like the nose tight-knit, carries red fruit with a little late sweetness, followed by a nutty edge. Has a fruit gum, nutted finish. Has quite likeable, down the line red fruit, with some end tannin, heat, licorice and herbs. Esp to drink from mid-late 2008 to allow it to open up more. 2016-18 Nov 2007

2002 ()

ruby, pale red but still bright robe; Has a pretty, floral nose with supple plum fruit present, and the start of some sous-bois, damp woods. This is engaging, is a perfect CHR restaurant wine, the palate is perfumed and runs along gently, without dry notes. Nice, simple, tender wine, drink until 2010. “We lost 30%, and this has more Syrah than usual, and was bottled early, too,” P.Pelissier. Nov 2007

2001 ()

bright ruby and red colour; the bouquet bears coffee and mocha with a round, quite appealing air, plus the start of sous-bois, damp woods. This has a peppery, fairly rich texture and flavour. There is overt spice, and it is advancing towards leather style expressions. There are grainy elements from its rather stiff tannins in here, and the wine is a bit withdrawn – it does not have a fully-fledged richness. 2011-12 “This was a stern year,” P.Pelissier. Nov 2007

2000 ()

red and ruby in the robe; the nose has hints of earthiness, a little sweet tea, mocha and red fruits. There is quite a soft texture to the palate, with a free flow, what could be termed a quiet generosity. There is decent acidity within to keep it going. Drink now to 2010 to enjoy its roundness. “This was a deeper year, more set than the 2001,” P.Pelissier. Nov 2007

1999 ()

brewed, warm interior to bouquet, is a little sweaty, suggest fruit picked quite late; then has a metallic edge, high tone before some raspberry fruit comes back. Rather mixed up palate – flavour is rather burnt and fenced in. Raspberry flavour within, but the wine never hits a clean stride. Workmanlike, needs food. Isn’t ageing particularly quickly, it’s still fresh but lacks harmony. Try in 2007 and hope. 2012-13 November 2006

1979 ()

1st bottle corked. 2nd bottle: a good ruby robe with a red undertone. The fruit aroma rolls well, with a good, gentle air, expressing mocha, light prune and a touch of coffee. The palate is nicely elegant, and still fresh, with some late bite from the tannins. Drinks well solo, and is in good form. The flavour varies between black fruits, prunes and a little milk chocolate. Beau Vin. To 2018. The cork in this was changed in 1999. Nov 2007