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The Wines

35-52% Grenache, 18-39% Syrah, 17-33% Mourvèdre from sandy, galet stone covered soils on Cabane de Saint Jean (S-E), La Crau (E), Les Escondudes (S-E), La Nerthe (S-E), Les Revès (S-E), recently whole bunch, but usually destemmed, 2-3 week fermentation of varieties together in large oak tronconic barrel, 70% cap punched, aged 70-100% new 228-litre oak casks, 0-30% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 12 months (all new oak use until early 2010s), unfined, filtered, first wine 1988 (the joint first special cuvée at Châteauneuf-du-Pape along with the 1988 Etienne Gonnet from Font de Michelle), organic wine, 6,900-14-30,000 b

2018

(large barrel) dark red, quite a bright robe. The bouquet has a little mineral presence, shows red berry fruit, with a nugget of freshness. The palate is a good bundle of cooked red fruits with live tannins that extend the finish, a little vegetal crunch there. It has character, and will fuse well. It’s STGT Châteauneuf, lovely and genuine, carries pockets of mystery still. The long aftertaste on the up is well received. The inclusion of stems aids it. 15°. 49% Gren, 31% Syr, 20% Mourv. From 2023. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2016 ()

(casks, bottling June 2018) sober red robe. Sweet fruit and sweet oak mingle on the nose, a coulis of raspberry, some lamb stock. The palate has a flavour of black olives, blueberry and cassis fruit, is nicely sumptuous, its gras squeezy and generous. The finish brings in licorice, is rounded and sustained, munchy. It’s modern, fleshy, comes with a swagger, and will please. 15°. 52% Gren, 30% Mourvèdre, 18% Syr, 20,000 b this year. €75. From 2021. 2036-38 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks) full, dark red. There is an interesting tang above the suave black fruit aroma, notes of black pepper and thyme-rosemary, traces of oak. It has comfortable depth. The palate is well packed with juicy content, gives a line of brisk, up-tempo tannin, with oak, as it finishes. The shape is square for now. This needs to loosen and smile more, so it’s no use trying to drink it early: wait until 2021. The intensity on the finish is noted, a sense of extraction that needs to back off, ease. 14.5°. 2031-33 Sept 2016

2013 ()

(casks) deep purple colour to the rim. This is big and bold on the nose – an aroma of dark fruit with a mocha-coffee overlay from the oak. The palate is tight and firmly textured, the oak again apparent but integrated. Modern in style. There are firm, chewy tannins on the finish. Powerful wine, will need time. 14°. 42% Syr, 37% Gren, 21% Mourv, harvested 24 September, a low 6,000 b this year. From 2018. 2028-30 JL GB £300/6 bots Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com Oct 2014

2012 ()

(casks) dark robe; smoky, Marmite/Vegamite, beef-yeast extract presence with pine, crushed black berries, meat droplets in a rather forceful nose. The palate has a tough, unblinking side, a firm casing, near acetate. It feels stretched as it stands now, the fruit very much in the second tier, with oak and cellar on top now. Some fair late freshness is a good sign. From 2017. 14°. 39% Syr, 37% Gren, 22% Mourv, 6,900 b this year. 2028-30  Nov 2013

2010

(casks) oily looking, deep red robe, black tints. The nose links to the eye – has a smooth, oily, unctuous air, and its black fruits glisten with wellbeing. It offers light menthol, crème de menthe notes. Has a genuine and fresh depth. The palate has an oaked, squeezy, super smooth texture, with oak through it, but lots of gras richness to handle that successfully. Very good length, good balance. High on potential. From 2016. It has more character than the 2009, which is more monolithic, and built on southern delivery. 35% Gren, 33% Syr, 32% Mourvèdre, 14,000 b this year. 2031-33 July 2011

2009

soundly deep, full red, legs down the glass. The bouquet has an outer air of tar and smoke, which is lightly delivered; within, it bears an intense black fruit, a persistent black berry that suggests soaked black cherries, or griottes. The palate is more supple than the nose – there is a rich, profound inlay to this. There are sweet and ripe notes after half way. Hardly showing its outcome today. The tannins are crackly, black fruit and oak grip late on. It will be 5 stars from 2015 or so. From 2015. 14°. 37% Syr, 32% Gren, 31% Mourv this year. 2032-35 July 2011 Previously Oct 2010 **** (casks) dark full red colour; Really oaky front nose led by charcoal and tar, but within lies juiced Grenache and Syrah fruit that is ripe and quite mobile. The palate sets off on a polished trail, offers plenty of free run black fruit, accompanied by its small cask oak (note – better if larger oak cask raising, or not a tronconnique barrel used). The elements are OK for the future, say from 2016, since its juice is present most of the way. The end is dry now, beware of that. Wait. Less oak, please, Vicar, and this would be a better, more balanced wine. 2025-28 Oct 2010

2008 ()

only 3,000 b this year. Three-quarter depth dark red; the nose is entering farmyard, game zones, has a liberal menthol presence, a sheen of gras under that. There is discreet raspberry also, very light coffee, a touch of caramel. Supple start to the palate – this is much more fleshy and open at 3 years’ old than is usual for Cadettes. It runs on with some heft and depth, ending with a steady completeness. There is attractive juice in this, and the freshness on the finish is a plus. It is not very Châteauneuf-du-Pape yet, is modern. From 2015 for more local virtues. It certainly has more secure depth than the regular Nerthe 2008. A mere 9 hl/ha yield this year. 40% Gren, 38% Syr, 22% Mourvèdre. 14°. 2024-26. July 2011

2007 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED – not have enough structure, notably from the Mourvèdre. The end of August was very, very dry, and the Mourvèdre suffered from that.

2006

full, dark red; has a ripe red fruit, almost mulled fruits aroma that hides under its primary oak; there are some straggler airs such as tea, coffee-cocoa and smoke also. The fruit is pretty. The palate holds together well, has a brine-like black fruit that is laced with menthol and a suggestion of violet. The length is sustained, the finish bright, with a tangle of licorice, oak and tar. A wine of density more than clarity. It will be a foresty, cedary affair with flavours such as prune fruit. From 2012. 2024-26 Nov 2008 41% Grenache, 32% Mourvèdre, 27% Syrah this year.

2005

complete dark red with some black traces. Has a smoky, sizzled bacon top air, the oak starting to seep into the wine. It comes with a note of caution from this quite stern but full vintage, while there is a spark of plum fruit at its centre. The palate has a menthol, briar start, with well-juiced black fruits at ist heart, before the oak and tannins line up and take over. A shapely, handsome wine. It is 18 carat now, but will become 24 carat – there is no hurry. The fruit is fine, and the finish reflects a cocoa flavour with dates and sweet spice. From 2012. 2028-30 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***** (final assemblage, pre-bottling) sound red robe; black berry, smooth nose with quite a meaty trail, is nicely live. Gourmand, rounded palate with plenty of savoury flavour and also a smooth texture. Gently ripe, its fruit persists, and good tannins enter on cue at the end. Big and beau wine – all harmony and a quietly ticking ripe expression. This is nearly in the six stars league. 2027-30 Nov 2006 43% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 21% Mourvèdre this year, to be bottled March/April 2007

2004 ()

well founded red colour. Bouquet has an oaked top, and there is a red fruit interior of some style, with herb/garrigue surrounds. Rich, bonny palate, again with no excess – a rounded wine with a surprising 33% Mourvèdre that is obviously very ripe this year. Length is good, and this continues well all through. Has a savoury finish. Would be great with a shoulder or rack of lamb aux herbes. From 2009-10. 2022-25 Nov 2006 44% Grenache, 33% Mourvèdre, 23% Syrah this year

2003 ()

still bright, thorough robe – red plus plum. The nose is restrained, solid and compact, and in a holding zone at the moment. It shows black raisin, coffee and iris together, is solid. The palate has a charged, rich delivery. There is the intensity of Christmas cake but a bonny late floral moment that reminds me for some reason of the Vietnam photo of the girl offering the flower to the tank driver, get that. It gains energy before signing off once more on a muscled, rich, intense ensemble. Interesting wine that needs food such as gigot of lamb, a beef daube, a navarin of lamb. “2003 has never been an aromatic year – it has always been structured and dense on the palate,” Alain Dugas. 2023-25 Nov 2008 Previously Dec 2005 ****(*) smoky, bit burnt aroma, barbecue almost, with black fruits and a fundamental depth. Toasted coffee-style wine, tarry and smoky, with a licorice and hickory imprint later. Black fruit in its core, dense but pretty clean. Needs 3 yrs to settle. Chunky, but not overdone. Big wine, lasts well, is "impressive". 2023-25 47% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 17% Mourvèdre December 2005, CdP

2001

black plum robe; still has the gracious 2001 bouquet at 7 years` old – a sweet tea, black fruit and plum combo with licorice shading, some damp leaf and toffee, brown sugar under the hot grill. There is good juice in the attack, which bears pretty black fruits with a prune tang in them now. It runs well on to a licorice and oak, more upright finale. Its oak raising plays a leading role in it, and is now supporting the wine – it makes up its taste on the final leg of its journey. Tar and chocolate feature on the aftertaste. Still young, but also austere and on a toasted run now. From 2010, for instance. 2024-25 “It is still fresh, and the finish is very long,” Christian Voeux. Nov 2008 Previously Dec 2005 ***** full, thorough, pretty robe. Berry fruits aroma, clamed a little from its ageing, so leans towards rose-hip that floats above a meaty interior. Fruit of great clarity and definition on palate. Finish spiced and peppered, this wine holds very good potential. Texture oily and refined. Very stylish, with a genuine southern stamp. Its freshness coupled with the southern core works tremendously well. Very long, great balance. 2024-27 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre December 2005, CdP

2000 ()

the robe shows some lightening at the top, but is quite full. The bouquet is a wee touch fungal, and shows secondary notes, though the red berry fruit from its youth is still underpinning it. Tasty, enjoyable palate – is beau now, with its youth blending well with some maturity. Good style, soft and welcoming wine. Has a bit of end mineral and tightness as the oak rides off into the sunset – is rich through to the end. 2020-23 Nov 2006 38% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 27% Mourvèdre this year

1999

gradual turn on its red robe, which is handsome. Has a post big oak aroma – damp airs, prune, mineral development, some farmyard and dung – resembles Pinot Noir and soon moves into more perfumed, air-filled area. There are still tar (oak) traces on the palate, with a clear, well-juiced final section. Has a fine nature, an elegant class. Air liberates beguiling floral airs, a soft sweetness and a lovely coating. It ends on mixed cinnamon, clove, cooked plum. Bingo. Great variety, a wide palette of flavours, mental leads, sensations. Lovely jubbly, a grand classic here. I still find oak, which does take time to absorb. “Unctuosity, chocolate, hazelnut, a grilled side in mid-palate – it is very complex,” Christian Voeux. 46% Grenache, 26% Syrah, 19% Mourvèdre, 6% Cinsault, 3% various this year. 14°. 2027-29 July 2011

1998

maturing, matt red robe with a brief line of top ruby; very pretty, sweet layer on the bouquet – simmered beef stock, prune, Piemontese Nebbiolo with fig and a clear tang - there is an intrinsic sweetness in it. Has a rich, sophisticated palate, one with a silken texture, one that sweeps along with great, smooth appeal. It ends roundly, with damson plum in the flavour. Its clarity is really beautiful. On the finish fig, sweet tea, quince paste come forward. Can stay like for maybe another 7 or 8 years. Perhaps the high 37% Mourvèdre is its secret weapon this year. “A sacred wine, with a lot of life to come. I find cedar and Balsamic vinegar on the nose, with a bit of salinity and fruit paste on the palate,” Alain Dugas. 30,000 b this year, too. 2028-30 Nov 2008. 39% Grenache, 37% Mourvèdre, 24% Syrah this year. Previously Nov 2006 ****** ruby notes in the robe; the first aromatic burst is cocoa, with a rich underpinning of dates – after five minutes, it picks up more black olives – is complex and very varied. Round, sweet, aromatic palate, rich, savoury and lissom with its oily flow. Has a very good underpinning of ripe tannin – it`s a real treat at the end. A lot younger than many 1998s that have mineralised already. The aftertaste is a little meaty, viandé with menthe liqueur – a real bundle. Very persistent, leaves a big impression. Has always been just about my favourite 1998, and remains that. A Wine to Convert the Doubters. 14° 2027-29 Nov 2006

1995

dark robe; the bouquet is marked by dark airs of concentrated berry fruits with oak apparent. The palate is more of a brew than a fruit carrier, the flavour on blackcurrant, dark jam, produces some tannin and licorice on the finish. This has a modern extraction style, and the finish is dry. The exertion means that it needs leaving to try to sort itself out, and get away from the cellar influence. From 2002. 2022-24 Oct 1998

1988

minor red, ruby robe with orange tints and legs down the glass. The first aroma reminds me of my compost heap (at least it`s organic!), or a really sultry night in Arabian climes, the incense hanging in the air with the animal sh1t – it is certainly exotic, and suddenly releases a fig aroma. There is a rich Grenache start to the palate, then it skips a beat, provides a hint of vanilla, then gives plum and prune. At first it ends a little dry, but the air solves that, and it starts to close clearly, on dried figs. It is gaining as it breathes, and its persistence moves up a notch or two. Its level was a little down in the bottle. 59% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 11% Mourvèdre this year. “We laid out the Mourvèdre on a plastic table to concentrate it this year,” Alain Dugas. 15-20,000 b of Cadettes in those days. 2017-18 Nov 2008