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The Wines

19-85% Syrah, usually 20-55% Grenache, but also 15-26% Mourvèdre from galet stone covered soils on La Fortiasse (S-E), vinified apart, assembled in the spring, aged 50% concrete, 50% steel vat 15-18 months (until early 2010s was aged large barrel), first wine 2006, made 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2,500-3,600 b

2017

(vat, bottling April 2020) full, dark red; the nose has scope, is large, comes with reduction, grilling, beef stock, a sweet opulence in its black cherry fruit. The palate also lurks with reduction, rolls smoothly, bears gourmand black berry, loganberry and mulberry fruits. The tannins are polished, enter well as it closes. This is Big Wine, has good all-round appeal, is very coherent, with no false steps in its delivery. The finish offers juicy black cherry, licorice. 15°. 3,600 b. 85% Syr, 15% Mourv. €35. From 2021. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat) quite a bright dark red. Has a beef stock, hunky, rather animal aroma, soaked black cherries at its centre of fruit. The palate bears a flavour of black fruit, black olives, has a tasty tune with ripe, still firm tannins towards the finish. It has a flattering style, and its gummy overtures will be pleasing, if a tad simple. Allow until 2020. 15.5°. 3,600 b. 55% Gren, 26% Mourv, 19% Syr, much reduced Syrah. 2029-31 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(vat) dark red robe. The nose is charming, led by simmered black berry fruits – it is stylish. The palate picks up the baton well, runs with wavy, elegant fruit as if from old vines, has that easy texture. The fruit continues in fine proportion on the aftertaste. It’s attractively well balanced and rounded, with a little salt in the grainy close. Charming, STGT Châteauneuf, finesse the central agenda, just as it should be here. 14.5°. From 2019. 2031-34 Sept 2016

2013

(vat) medium purple hue, light at the rim. The nose gives expressive cherry and plum fruit airs with a hint of herbs. The palate is juicy and quite airborne in build. The tannins in behind are firm and fresh. This is compact and discreet – it doesn't give a lot away. 14.25°. Note the absence of 20% Grenache this year, replaced by 20% Mourvèdre. 3,600 b. From 2017. 2028-29 JL Oct 2014

2010 ()

(barrel) quite a full robe. Has a harmonious nose that centres on gourmand, fat fruit – comes with black olive, sweet herbs as well. The palate also presents itself on its fat, youthful chubbiness, has a true Châteauneuf ball of sweetness at its heart. It runs well to the line, has good reach. Tannins show well on the finish, are in tune with its youth, provide freshness. It is a bit Pinot-like. Good Syrah work here – not to have it too ripe. Dries and shows pebbly texture towards the finish. 2028-30 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(barrel) full up, dark robe; very ripe first fruit impact – raisin, dates, the suspects from extreme ripening policy. Wide and imposing palate – a filled-up wine fuelled by quite high octane matter. The main flavour is of soaked black cherries; its tannins are ripe, and indeed the whole thing is based around extreme ripeness. A touch of the sip after dinner wine here, a vin de nos jours fashion, and getting away from being a freely enjoyable drink. Correct length. From mid-2013. Tasted blind, and when seeing it, I find it curious that the 80% Syrah cuvée should be at €25 against the other more typical Châteauneufs at €17.50, even if more and more Syrah is coming in to play here. 2025-27 Oct 2010