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The Wines

50-70% Grenache (early 1920s), 15-20% Syrah, 12-15% Mourvèdre, 0-8% Cinsault, 5% Counoise, 5% Terret Noir, 2% Muscardin, 5% white varieties from galet stone covered compacted sand, clay-limestone soils on Maucoil (N-W), destemmed, 4 week vinification, cap punching, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refillings, aged 30% new, 70% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 9-12 months, fined, filtered, 4-20,000 b

2018 ()

(used/new casks, bottling May 2020) full red robe; the nose has a sweet plushness, centres on plum, mulberry, shows a little chicken stock. The palate is chunky, has a firm middle, releases cautious red fruit juice, ekes its way through a solid set of tannins. It has an upright shape for now, is a touch exerted. I prefer the attack to the finish, one liberal, the other compressed and dry-toned from its handling. 14.5°. 5,000 b. €39. From 2023. 2040-42 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(casks) deep robe; has a refined aroma of black berry fruit with black olives notes, a sultry curve to the bouquet. The palate is well juiced initially, carries tannins that need refinement. The black-fruited content has drive, goes pretty long. This can come together and be expressive; thee tannins have a note of dryness that needs resolving. Allow until 2022. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks) shiny, quite full red. Soaked fruits, damp zones and soil show on the nose; there’s varnish from the young oak. It’s quite broad. The palate is a sweet confection between the sappy matter and the oak, and needs time to fuse and then become more interesting. It’s heavily in the cellar for now. Plum fruits, raspberry and spice feature in the flavour. 14.5°. From 2021. 2036-39 Oct 2017

2014

(casks, bottling Apr 2016) sober plum red robe. The nose is marked by stewed red fruits – they come with a light note of entrails, animal. The palate holds coated red fruit, and wells up from within towards the finish. This bears a concentration from old vine juice, it feels (tasted blind). It is a very good example of Grenache as a variety of sustained elegance, not overdone. I like its red meat style depth, too, that aided by the Mourvèdre. It has a wild character. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 15% Syr, 12% Mourv, 8% Cins, 15% various. 20,000 b. €36.50. From 2018. 2030-31  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(casks) deep purple colour. Fresh and open on the nose, which gives an attractive cherry note with a hint of orange zest. Likewise, the palate is zesty and fresh, holds supple fruit. This has lots of charm and finesse. Nothing pushed. Tannic grip on the finish suggests some ageing potential. 15°. 50% Gren, 15% Syr, 12% Mourv, 8% Cins, 5% Counoise, 5% Terret Noir, 5% Clairette, Bourboulenc, Muscardin, harvested 28 September, 2.7 gm residual sugar, 10,000 b. From 2017. 2028-29 JL Oct 2014

2012

(casks, bottling May 2014) dark robe, shiny and full. Appealing, floral, soaked cherries and blackberry fruited aroma, some lees still – it is gently curved and welcoming right away. Lissom black cherry fruit rides along the palate, with a stylish addition of ripe tannin that adds to its weight – this is all done with precision, is nice and calm, is a true ensemble, a coherent wine. It lengthens with style , is a good Prestige Châteauneuf, where finesse is accentuated. Minor tidying up required, drink from 2017. 14.5°. 4,000 b, €33. 2030-32  Nov 2013

2011

dark red, dense robe. Has a stewed prune, blackberry jam aroma with a curl of sweetness, a note of licorice – this is a persistent bouquet. There is nice vigour in its blackberry fruit, a thread of menthol clarity perking it up. It ends on that tangy, licorice note. Has a good foundation, is set to do well. Solid quality wine that isn’t especially profound, but moves well, is well-packaged. From 2015. 15°. 2030-31  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(casks) deep robe, black tints, legs. The bouquet is stuffed up, full, has a weighty but manageable air led by black berry fruit, smoke, black coffee. The palate is tasty on the attack, and a fine juice runs through it, followed by a good pockets of final stage tannins with oak a little intrusive. Well assembled, it has character and final richness led by the Grenache. It grips on the finish, a good sign. There is good gras lying inside this. From late 2014. 2034-36 Dec 2011

2009

thorough red; oak-prune aroma with implicit richness, has style. The palate is quietly muscular – there is good quality fruit here, a pleasing flow, and a nice, gradual take-up of tannin and chew towards the finish – it is finely done. It ends on tar. More a fine than a robust wine. Good for early drinking, attractive. 15°. Bottled already. 2025-28 Oct 2010

2007

lustrous black-purple robe; has a suave, liqueur style blackberry jam aroma, delivered with a nutty, animal hide air and traces of licorice. The palate delivers supple, well layered fruit – very vintage 2007 in style; it drinks with abundant juice on its own now – is something of a fruit bomb – thirsty drinkers need not apply – this is sipping wine of clean, modern technique. Its fruit gushes, the mulberry flavour has an intense core. There is a little tannin built in. It provides darned good, plump drinking. Good length. There is an encouraging little fresh note on the finish – suggesting it may close down, and that it can live. Has done well since March and bottling. 15°. 2024-26 Previously March 2009 **(*) (to be bottled next week) quite a dark red; the bouquet has a clean air, raspberry liqueur with herbs alongside and licorice. The palate holds juicy, keen fruit that is forward and accessible. It tapers a tiny bit, and is drink soon wine. From spring 2010. 221-24 March 2009

2006 ()

deep red robe. Mulled red berries aroma with a sweet top air, wisps of smoke – the fruit is like fruits gums or fruit pastilles, raspberry coulis, and the attachments are some earthiness and a light floral tune. This is an easy, open, straightforward bouquet. The palate is three-quarter weighted – it is close-knit now, and shows good, evenly ripned Grenache. It is enclosed by ripe, oaked tannins towards the finish, its length is sound. It works well between the nose and the palate. Very sound quality that will please all drinkers. Late display of floral red fruits. From 2010. 2026-29 Jan 2008

2005 ()

2 bottles tasted - 2nd: black plum colour; the nose is compact, reserved – there are some evolving airs such as prune, a sweet liqueur fruit drink, a touch of meatiness. The palate is wide, and charged at its core – it isn`t yet open or settled. It is dense - a rich, big wine that you sip rather than quaff. The flavour links black fruit and black pepper, finishes tightly for now. From 2010. 2026-28 June 2008 1st bottle: NR matt red colour; curved, sweet by design aroma – there is some intensity in the plum fruit air, plus a granular note such as cold, scented Chinese tea. The palate is maturing, shows dry leanings late on – it is turned in on itself, lacks fresh fruit, the aftertaste is vacant. Falls in a hole on the palate. Needs to be re-tasted later on. June 2008

1998

fair red; alert bouquet with vibrant fruit, cherry and kirsch, implying the ripe weight of power of this vintage. The attack is agreeable, not that deep, its content fair enough. Rather an extracted feel with tannins at the front of the palate. The aftertaste is cherry-fruited. Rather a techno wine that lacks true core. From 2003. 2016-20 Feb 2000