Login | Subscribe
twitter

The Wines

24-55% Syrah, 35-67% Grenache, 5-20% Mourvèdre from galet stone covered soils on La Fortiasse (S-E), destemmed, vinified apart, 23 day vinification in 50% steel vat, 50% concrete vat, part vat emptying/refilling, pumping overs, assembled in the spring, aged 50% large barrel, 50% steel vat 15-18 months (can be aged 50% concrete vat & until early 2010s was aged large barrel), 40-60,000 b

2018

(large barrel) full red robe. Attractive black berry fruit leads the nose, with a floral, perfumed note that aids its appeal, renders it skywards. The palate is stylish, bears wavy black fruited content, is tasty and nicely clear into the finish, where it darkens on its tannins. This has a serenity that pleases, and will be well liked, a properly elegant Châteauneuf. The late glow of discreet power can enter into it. 45,000 b. 40% Gren, 40% Syr, 20% Mourv. €25. From 2022. 2041-43 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(large barrel/cask, bottling July 2020) deep, black-tinted robe. The nose shows real concentration, a wall of thick wild blueberry fruit paste, prunes, a solid start it is. The palate sequels well from the nose, picks up on the intensity, delivers cassis concentration, with a minted note in the tannins, suggests Mourvèdre in its tightly assembled, very good length. Good potential here – from mid-2021. It’s a real glass filler, a genuine Chateauneuf, with character, for red meat stews, game. 15°. 40,000 b. 50% Gren, 35% Syr, 15% Mourv. 2042-45 Oct 2018

2016

(barrel/vat) decent red robe, not especially deep. The nose leads on sweet raspberry and plum fruit, isn’t varied as yet, shows a little dried raisin intensity. The palate bears restrained red fruits with a point of concentration towards the finish. There is a toffee element from its raising, and it switches on some power on the close. It lacks real distinction, but is a Solid Operator. 15.5°. 67% Gren, 24% Syr, 9% Mourv. 40,000 b. €21.50. From 2020. 2030-32 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(vat) shiny red robe. The nose is a touch reduced, but inside lies an aroma of black fruit jam, latent sweetness. The palate moves forward on some pretty powerful content, a big wave of compact crushed berry fruits. It is still on the wild side, but has heart. The aftertaste is the product of hot lands, brings in a gush of high octane content. 14.5°. From late 2019. 2029-32 Sept 2016

2013 ()

(vat) medium+ red robe, light at the rim. Has a meaty, gamey nose with a touch of reduction evident. It is fleshy and gamey on the palate. At the moment it is a bit loose-limbed and uncoordinated. Its tannins sit in well, so this has definite ageing potential. 14.5°. From 2017. All time low Grenache at 35% here, with 55% Syr, 10% Mourv, harvested 24 September to 14 October, 60,000 b. 2027-28 JL Oct 2014

2012

(barrel) dark red, purple robe. Fundamental, lamb stock, sweet herbs air, a fat spot of plum fruit – this is a downhome, on the farm, ripe bulge bouquet. This has a Grenache-hearted palate, old vine Grenache at its core; it spreads a peppery, oily message from there. The finish is clear, with an in-built tannic couch to bolster it. The length is sparky, with buzzy late moments. The palate is a whizzer, its fruit very attractive, scented and oily. 14.5°. From late 2016. 44% Gren, 44% Syr, 12% Mourv this year. 14.5°. 2027-29  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(barrel) clear, red robe. Has an aroma mixing raspberry, vanilla with an undernote of hay and grass, also licorice and fennel. On Day 2: a wee farmyard, Pinot influence. This has a red cherry flavour, the palate a tight affair – it is nutty and drawn in on itself. This is raw wine, with zero make-up or fandango. It has a red cherry, nutty crunch as it ends. Marks for potential purity. It is upright for now. From 2015. 14.5°. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(barrel) shiny, rather full robe. There is weight in the bouquet - a low-key sweetness and ripeness that spreads across the glass, a black fruit aroma to the fore. The palate has a pretty thorough inlay of black fruit, shows reduction suggesting Syrah (tasted blind). It ends on a sealed, gummy note linked to the reduction. The tannins have a biscuity side. From late 2013. Maybe decant. 2027-29 Dec 2011

2009 ()

bright, quite dark red; surface air of blackberry, with raisin dryness behind, a dry vintage calling card, definitely a wine of southern, hot climes. Wide, broad chops palate that is fleshy, comes with a smoky, thrusting tannin, a baked vineyard aspect. Vintage correct wine. Leave for two years to soften its tannins. 14.5°. 2022-24 Sept 2011 Previously Oct 2010 **** (casks) handsome full red colour. Broad, filled bouquet – a healthy abundance here, black fruits, some prune, black coffee with violet traces, and a touch of reduction, suggesting Syrah presence. Sweet, rich nature to this – it is all wrapped, bundled together so the shape throughout is round, and its sweetness lingers at the end. Shows good respect for the vintage. A Grenache-led wine that glows on the finish. Has enough quality to handle its power. From 2013. 2022-25 €17.50 Oct 2010

2007 ()

(casks) mild red robe; smoky aroma, with bacon on top of red fruits – the bouquet is lithe, cautious. A careful red fruit Grenache starts the palate – it comes with a measured tread. Has pretty fine length – is in no hurry. The wild raspberry flavour is not flashy, unlike many 2007s. There is tannin and a sense of some burn on the finish. From 2011. 2021-23 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(casks) dark red colour; soft, even air to the bouquet, with raspberry fruit in the vanguard and a little spicing: is round in shape, but a bit limited. The palate bears black fruits that have a kick in them, a peppery infusion. Runs along with locked up potential and shows a little late richness. Quite a punchy wine, with griottes or soaked cherries, and plenty of life in it. From 2010. 2022-24. Can improve, I reckon. Nov 2007

2005 ()

ample red robe; there is a broad spread to the bouquet , which is tight – there are some local herb touches, but its is closed up, as if there is plenty of Syrah in this (tasted blind) – it is rather subdued, and overall, is more cellar than local for now. The palate red fruit has a suave nature, laced with herb and olives flavours. Its texture is elegantly oily, serene. It ends roundly but dumbly for now, is a safe, not flamboyant wine. The fruit runs consistently through it, but it needs the second stage evolution to render it more interesting, varied and local. 15°. From 2011. 2022-24 June 2008 Previously Oct 2007 ***(*) fair red colour, not very dark. The nose is dumb, red berry with a little smoke, rather fine and even restricted for now. The red fruits on the palate have more depth, and grip well late on – more so than the Tradition 2005. Quite a rich black fruit, prune flavour in this. Is low-key now. From late 2009. 2021-22 Oct 2007, London Previously Nov 2006 ** mild red colour; oily, red fruits confit jam aroma – a little baked raisin and chocolate. Rounded red fruit on the palate – comes in a baked and traditional style. Potent wine, a sip at a time. Thread of alcohol evident, its length is OK, but is a heated wine. 2015-17. Enormous difference from its last tasting – this needs sleuthing, I must follow up. Previously Chât-duPape Nov 2006 ***** quite a dark red, some black in the robe; live bouquet that mingles pepper and smoke, black fruits, leather, is dark and peppered. Well rounded black fruits in a scented, jam style on palate – pretty ripe fruit – raspberry and ripe plums late on. The fruit is good and clear, and rocks on well. Stylish, constructive tannins. A rich, not forced wine with flair. Esp 2010 on. 2024-28 Nov 2006

2004 ()

mild red colour; The bouquet is reductive, rendering the aroma damp and sappy, with red fruits on the turn. The tannins assert on the palate, this is now at a crossroads in its evolution. The red fruit with a little nuttiness in it is understated, and the tannic elements are on top. Leave now until 2009. This is not showing well now, and the reduction has not shifted this year. 14.5°. 2017-19 Oct 2007 Previously April 2007, London *** gentle red, rather light colour; scented, plum fruit and herbal bouquet, is a little tarry. Shows some reduction, but also typicité. Has a floral-trimmed flavour with appealing, easy and savoury red fruits. There is some tannin to marshal it. Ends a wee bit short. From 2008. 2014-17 April 2007, London Previously Feb 2006 ***(*) a little marzipan on the nose that although still hidden is well-knit, and carries Syrah impact in its direct nature. Sturdy wine, but there is a good grain of fruit within and through it. The Syrah again leaves its card in the form of clear red fruit. The tannins are quite ripe and need leaving until 2008-09. Elegant, understated style but is quite powerful. 14.9°. This was bottled Dec 2005.

2003

the robe is a still intense dark red; pretty broad, black fruit-toffee nose, typical of the hot 2003, with a menthol top. Dark fruit pastille flavour here, is rich and offering on the attack. The tannins close it down towards the finish, bringing a more raisin, prune flavour there. The fruit shows best on the attack. This needs monitoring for its evolution, may well be a stop-go affair. Perhaps 2009 will be a good moment all round for this, and thereafter, with a watchful eye. Can truck on well. 15°. 2018-20 Oct 2007, London Previously July 2005 ***(*) smoked, black plum, bacon bouquet, is compact, offers potential, sprinkling of black pepper. Good black fruit, plenty of tannin, especially the later stages. Rich enough to handle the tannins and keep them in check. Needs 2-3 years. Slight dryness a worry. If integrates OK, will be fine. Good, classy wine. 2018-20 July 2005 1/3 each Syrah, Grenache. Mourvèdre Previously April 2005 *** cool, mineral, leathery aromas - is not showing friendly fruit - is stern with kirsch, marzipan touches. Facile texture at start, narrows down with dry-toned tannic thrust on finish. Harmonious parts to it, so could work out. 2007-08 on. 2016-18 April 2005, London

2001 ()

ripe, becoming funky bouquet, black fruits, raisins. Nicely textured palate, evolving towards the fungal, mushroom, dark fruits, leather. Tannins still out and about, live and evident. Esp from 2006. 2016-18 67% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 11% Mourvèdre