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The Wines

60-75% 1955-1965 Grenache, 10-40% Syrah, 0-20% Mourvèdre from the Vaudieu site (N-E), destemmed, 30 day vinification at 25°C, part vat emptying/refilling, Mourvèdre if present vinified in new-1 year 600-litre oak casks, Grenache, Mourvèdre raised 50% new, 50% 1 year 600-litre oak casks 16-18 months, Syrah raised 50% new, 50% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 16-18 months (Grenache vat raised until early 2010s), unfiltered, first wine 2003, 300 magnums, 4,000-10,000 b

2017 ()

(casks, bottling May 2019) shiny dark red; the nose shows an elegant breadth of black fruits, black olives, blackberry paste, has a nice darkness. The palate is also suave, flowing, purrs along, the smooth texture aiding its pleasure. There are good, concerted flavours of soaked black cherries with some oak thrust, tar, as it finishes. This can be shapely and serene in a large glass. It has a good southern profile, the fruit is high quality, and it has avoided the heat of the vintage and obvious degree. 15°. 10,000 b. 66% Gren, 34% Syr. €50. From 2022 for the oak to absorb further. 2043-45  Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks) shiny dark red.  Smoky oak is attached to some stylish black fruit and an air of black olives on the nose. The palate moves with ease, is darkly fruited around black cherries, is crisp after the mid-point, delivers its content with a swish of freedom. This is modern, polished Châteauneuf. The oak requires another four to five years if you want more typicity. It’s a little bit tame. 15.4°. 64% Gren, 28% Syr, 8% Mourv, From 2022. 2036-39 Oct 2017

2015

(casks) sound red robe. The nose involves cooked red fruits, spice, soaked raspberry. It has an intrinsically sturdy depth. The palate is compact, tight, for now giving only a little compressed red fruit juice form within a firm set of content. The zig-zag of spice-pepper adds to its interest, and it has a naked appeal just now. This is genuine, muscular Châteauneuf that captures the steady heat of the year, perhaps coming from clay soils. 15°. 60% Gren, 30% Syr, 10% Mourv. From mid-2019. 2037-40 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(casks, bottling May 2016) comfortable dark red. The nose is subdued, has an essence of fruit, an oiliness, a low-key black berry fruiting, and a dab of licorice. It needs time. The palate holds crunchy dark fruit, with a swish of movement about it. This is clear wine, with time an asset for its future development. The finish is grainy, the fruit in the second tier there. It is gradually making its way. 60% Gren, 40% Syr. 4,000 b. From 2019. 2030-31  Oct 2015 

2013

(casks) deep purple colour. Fairly dense, dark fruit on the nose with a hint of vanilla oak. This is ripe, full and creamy on the palate. It is at a stage where the oak is present (picking up its oak now), but there is loads of fruit behind. Firm, fine tannins show on the finish. Has a certain power, but is harmonious. 15°. 60% Gren (down from 2012 by 15%), 30% Syr (up by 20% from 2012), 10% Mourv, harvested 27 September + 16 October. From 2017. 8,000 b, on the rise. 2028-29 JL Oct 2014

2012

(casks, bottling April 2014) thorough, dark robe. Attractive, herbs-scented bouquet that centres on plum and blackberry fruit, is deep and graceful, and lingers very well. Elegant sweetness runs across the attack in a wine that is plump throughout. There is fine freshness, and a flint spark in its tannins. It holds blueberry fruit with very well registered ripeness, a wholesome and low-level sweetness. Fine touches contribute to its elegance. Balance good, harmony good. From mid-2016. 15°. 75% Gren, 15% Mourv, 10% Syr this year, 5,000 b. 2031-33  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) steady red colour. Reserved, backward nose – blackberry with smoke and licorice – the nose is compact, unyielding. The palate offers supple, juiced blackberry fruit which works well on the front palate, before quietening down into a subdued finish, where there are mild tannins. In the short-term this is an agreeable drink, for instance with roast lamb. It lacks real “extra” to draw you truly in. There is a very slight fade of its content at the end, a 2011 signature. From mid-2014, since it can be drunk on its first fruit. 15°. 2029-31  Dec 2012

2010

(casks) bright, dark plum colour. Has a broad, nicely traditional aroma – it is meaty but offers fine droplets of strawberry, red fruits within. It can gain ground over time, and express further. There is a smoky top to what is a plump, generous, gourmand palate. The fruit comes in a textured bubble, accentuates its prune fruit depth well, a quality ripeness. It ends on measured notes of chocolate and tar. From 2014. 2032-34 Dec 2011

2007 ()

(casks) dark red with some black in it. There is a coffee-mint combination on the nose – there are grilled, crunchy airs outside a black fruit inner – and it is also very smoky. The palate is upright, formed by its oak raising now. There is a black cherry flavour at its core. The aftertaste is one of coffee - meaning oaken - but there is some gras there. Be patient for a more settled, more local wine. I reckon its fruit can become accessible. From 2012, for instance. 2027-29 Nov 2008

2005 ()

black plum, red robe; cleaning fluid, charcoal smoke aroma that isn`t local – there is black fruit within, bacon – this is a wacky bouquet for now. There is a good first move of juiced black fruit on the palate, followed by oaking that can be absorbed. Still very young, but the juice and some late spice and pepper from the oak come through. Leave until 2001 – at least – for cohesion, until 2013 for local character. It is a cellar intervention wine now, one that lacks real soul. 15°. 2027-29 June 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ****(*) dark red, cherry colour. Soaked, rather classic Prestige wine aroma – prune, violet with oak topping. Oak evident at start of palate, but within a rich foundation. There is a sort of core energy, some muscle in this – it’s very well filled. Esp late 2010 on. 2024-27 67% Grenache, 21% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre this year Dec 2006 Previously Nov 2006 **** fair red colour; wax, nail varnish top notes to the bouquet that is rather raw just now – there is a little black berry jam underneath. Upright, live, primary red fruits start to palate, which bounces along well. Sound length, ends cleanly and with good grip. From 2010. 2024-26 Nov 2006

2004 ()

solid robe; bouquet shows baked stones, some raspberry and toffee with a smoky top. Overtly gourmand attack, with a round texture, this is a tight knit wine and the flavour reflects olives and southern flavours, is well composed. More typical than the Tradition wine this year, holds a character of the south, a full charm and the genuine Grenache herbal, plum flavours. Good length, clear finish, a scented finale. Eat: “roast pigeon, venison, wild boar” L.Brechet 2025-27 Dec 2006

2003 ()

has a mainly full red robe that is still a little bright. Has a nutted, rather severe oak aroma, with a sort of burn in it; the fruit is also turning, is a bit “high”. The palate starts with red fruits, but again there is a sense of burn and excess in the flavour. It ends on a charcoal note, draws up at the finish, where it lacks fruit. This has to be left until 2011, and I find its oaking overdone. It is very tough now, and not local. There is some lucidity in its texture, so it can move along and maybe could advance to **(*). 2022-24 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** sound, rounded Chinese tea, Earl Grey scent on the nose with a mineral fragrance and red fruits fused with some sucrosity. This is a full, broad wine, again with a scented flavour and appeal until it tightens as the tannins come along towards the finish. There is just a bit of oak in the dry texture of the aftertaste. Drinks fine now, but especially from late-2008 for better integration, above all on the finish. 14.5°. 2017-19 The new oak proportion was 30% this year, since the casks had just been bought for the Syrah and the Mourvèdre. “At first we thought it was too oaked,” L.Brechet Nov 2006