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The Wines

65-70% Grenache (1960), 10-20% Syrah (1975), 5-10% Cinsault (1975), 5-10% Mourvèdre from sand, clay-limestone soils on Cabrières (N-W), Palestor (N), destemmed, 20 day vinification at 30-32°, daily cap punching, raised concrete vat 18 months (has been raised 30% 2-year 645-litre oak casks, large barrels), unfined, filtered, before 2010 was called plain Château de Simian 12-18,000 b

2018 No Rating

(concrete vat, bottling May 2020) steady red robe; the bouquet is backward, with a grapey, out of the vat, marc-like presence, notes of power in with its red fruit. It needs refining. The palate is butty, compact, bears raw, concentrated red fruit matter, is very grounded, even dense. It is underpinned with power, strength, needs leaving until 2023. It’s very much one for autumn, winter dishes. The finish is tough. This needs re-tasting. 14.5°. 65% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% Cins, 5% Counoise. €24. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017

(casks/vat, bottling May 2019) quite a dark red; loganberry jam airs, with a sweet delivery, on the somewhat plush nose. The palate runs along with raspberry fruit, is limited in its flow, hits some rocky buffers before the finish. It’s very unmade as it stands, very unfinished. The second half is rather rugged for now. 15°. 18,000 b. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% Cins. From 2021. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2015

(vat) full red robe. The nose carries a little reduction, has a plump aroma of red fruits, kirsch, garden berries and their sweetness. The palate coasts along with compact red fruits, is sealed closely together. It stands its ground well, has heart and stuffing. The finish holds compressed red fruit juice, in the style of this warm to hot vintage. It needs time to help to prise it open. The length is solid. From 2020. 2034-36 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(vat, bottling April 2016) dark red. The nose gives quite a deep nugget of plum and raspberry fruit, with a surround of nutty graininess. It shows some reduction for now. The palate spreads broadly and fluidly, picks up fine grain tannins that pucker late on. A fine frame here, with good quality fruit. It has an understated style. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 100% Syr, 10% Cins, 5% Mourv, 5% Counoise. 12,000 b. €21.60. Leave until mid-2017. 2024-26  October 2015 

2012

(vat, bottling March 2014) good dark red; roast lamb and rosemary debut aroma, soaked plum fruit behind – this is a Grenache-centred bouquet, has local colour, the fruit good and pure. The palate holds a genuine Châteauneuf-du-Pape sweet richness, all in a ball, with a comfortable nutty tannin bolstering its finish. This is going to show well around 2016; the fruit is appealing, its waves travelling widely. The finale is calm, with no excess power. From spring 2015. 15°. 70% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv, 10% Cins, 12,000 b, €21. 2027-29  Nov 2012

2011

dark red. Lightly savoury black fruit, prune air that has a round, curvy appeal. It is pretty much open now, has good Grenache heart. The palate has a soft, squeezy debut; the red fruit mixes strawberry and raspberry. A little nut-grain tannin is present, with thyme and aniseed notes of garrigue. It holds its content, three-quarter weight at most, until the end. From spring 2013. €21.10 at the cellars. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010 ()

red robe, a little top purple. Herb-garrigue, vanilla front aroma with a touch of rubbed stones, fennel. There is also a note of oil or diesel, and cassis. A mixed bag. The palate has a bosky, firm start; it never yet hits a confident stride, comes without a stretch of pleasure. It is strung out rather than compact, end ends on an aftertaste of coffee and chocolate. The black fruits inside it have a closely attached leathery texture. From 2014. €21.10 at the cellars. 2029-32 Dec 2011

2008 ()

(barrel) quite full plum red. Mature, mulled red fruits and cassis liqueur aroma, also cassis leaf – it is a tiny bit medicinal. There is also blackcurrant on the palate, chocolate in its flavour. The late texture is brittle, it narrows down, is a trifle taut, on the stretch. The fruit and alcohol are not ensemble. From 2011. 2017-19 Nov 2009

2007

matt hue to quite a dark robe. Chocolate, meat gravy aroma – bang! Smoky raisin and Christmas fireside airs also. The palate black fruit is wrapped up, rather stern. Has smoky late moments, is relatively powerful. Seems like the north-eastern sector here. Traditional leaning. Hearty, lacks a little finesse. 2022-24 Nov 2009

2006 ()

bright, dark plum robe; simmered fruits, an air of crème de raspberry lead the bouquet – there is tannin within that adds some darkness: for now it is open and out there. The palate holds fleshy, supple fruit with good, vintage-faithful roundness and gourmandise. There is a tasty heart to this, led by its ripe Grenache. The fruit, raspberry in style, persists prominently, and its tannins are well wrapped around it. It sits on a good, even keel, and while there is acidity apparent, that can sort itself. Length is good. From 2009 late. 2024-26 Jan 2008

2005

quite a full red plum robe; red berries aroma, liqueur sweetness in its air, but there fruit is not very clean, even a bit mouldy and there is also a coconut presence. The palate starts with ripe red fruit, as if very ripe Syrah used here. The finish is rather dry, oh oh. An unusual wine, one that is disorganised. Red liqueur flavouring for now. Doubts circulate about whether it can draw together. Try from late 2009. 2018-20 June 2008

2004

ruby red robe. Has a clear, bosky noted nose, 2004 in its upright shape, and restricted in its width. A few herbs scuffle into the picture, mushrooms also. This is tight – the fruit emerges a little, has oak raising lining its sides. It becomes dry too soon for comfort, but still has some gras. It is becoming taut, a bit mean. 14°. &0% Gren, 25% Syr, 5% Cins. To 2018-20  Oct 2013 Previously Oct 2006 ** Grenache, Post Box red; entry of coffee, smoky logs aromas on bouquet reflects fruit that isn’t quite fully, richly ripe. Palate starts softly, then by mid-way there is more cut and the shape becomes upright. More knit, better wine by 2008. This gives an idea of the style to come, but it just lacks some mid-late palate stuffing. 2017-19 Oct 2006

2000

still dark, mature robe; bright, vanilla on top aroma – black fruits that are sweet under that, violet and prune, even ripe strawberry, and the start of coffee as it ages. Soft, smooth palate – it has an oak, nutty flavour – the oak still there. A sappy black cherry flavour is foremost. It ends on the roundness of simmered fruits, laced with a gentle pepper infusion. Length is OK. 2018 Jan 2008-20

1999

magnum: this has a gently advancing robe. The nose is clearly defined, with a mix of black fruit, lowers and essential oils. The palate has a good, springy kick-off; its grip is good, it finishes clearly, The flavour is a mix of prune and violet. There is a hint of developing minerality. Its richness is elegant and live. This is ageing well. 2021-22 Dec 2006

1995

magnum: dark, sustained robe. Pine, violets, true garrigue notes on the bouquet which is nicely scented. The palate texture pleases, and has a really balanced mix of elements. The fruits are dark, lissom, while the tannins are better than many, emerging helpfully. This has good style, is aromatic and full, bears a lot of rather delicious matter. It’s promising, will age consistently, has Southern richness on the end. From 2002-03. 2023-25 Oct 1998