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The Wines

65-77% Grenache, 13-25% Syrah, 0-5% Cinsault, 5-10% various inc Mourvèdre, from Boislauzon (N-E, oldest Grenache 1953), Le Rayas, Cabrières, Mont de Viès, Trois Coups, Les Serres, 30 day vinification up to 25-28°C, pumping overs, cap punchings, aged 40-70% large barrels, 0-30% used 228-litre oak casks, 30-85% concrete vat, unfined, filtered, the second wine of the domaine, 18-35,000 b

2018

the steady red robe reflects much Grenache. The nose has a stewed red berry fruits aroma, “high” fruit, is rather lumpy, has a small musky note. The palate is fat, static, plonks itself down in the glass, needs more drive and lift. It lacks real interest, is solid, rather uninspiring. There is enough juice to allow the finish to start OK, but the tannins are on the dry side, so they are the last impression. 15°. 18,000 b. 77% Gren, 13% Syr, 10% Mourv. €26. Bottled June 2019. From 2023, decant it. 2038-40 Oct 2019

2016 ()

(barrel/casks) dark red. Has an open bouquet led by blackberry fruit, some prune, has a sweet simplicity. The palate is juicy, carries dark fruits with spice and tar towards the finish, a smoked session there. This is straightforward, correct Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The length is sound. 15°. 65% Gren, 25% Syr, 10% Mourv. 85% concrete vat raised. From mid-2019. 2028-30 Oct 2017 GB £130 12 b i/b https://www.sundaytimeswineclub.co.uk/jsp/content.jsp?pg=rhone16

2015

(barrel/vat) dark, intense robe. The nose is broad and well filled, if not overtly expressive for now. Red beef, soaked cherry airs lurk. The palate links well to the nose, is also a robust, properly filled affair with a line of tannin and rocky implant towards the finish. A bold glass of wine, for beef daube, game dishes. It has an honest southern charge, and ends with some gusto. It has STGT qualities, is genuine. 15.3°. From 2019. 2030-33 Sept 2016

2013

(barrel/vat) dark purple hue. The bouquet is a lttle raw – very much straight from the vat. There are briary notes on the palate, which demonstrates a certain power. Has a robust tannic frame with a grainy finish. Not at its best today, but further raising should help. From 2017. 15°. 2025-27  JL Oct 2014

2012

(barrel/vat) dark red; there is a buttery element in the nose, soaked red fruits, a thyme and garrigue undertone. A hover of power is implicit. The palate is broadly fronted; here comes a welling up of cherry liqueur, spiced flavour with good, insistent, ripe tannins pushing it along. There is lots in the glass – this is chunky but fluid. Has true Châteauneuf strength, but the vintage buzz helps it to keep going. The aftertaste is peppered. Promising wine. From 2016. 75% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv this year. 15°. 2027-28  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(barrel/vat) shiny dark red. Has an aroma of dark red fruits, mulberry, decent depth in it, also vanilla and licorice. The palate commences on spiced, seasoned red fruit with an infusion of herbs in it, shows traces of power. It needs to draw together. It is a solid structure wine suited to beef, hearty foods. Has good presence in the glass, is full-bodied, broad. From 2015. 15°. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010

(barrel/vat) pretty red, quite a bright robe. Nicely rounded bouquet, has mixed-in leather and licorice, good variety with its fine intensity of black fruit. Has quiet class, good weight, stands out from the pack of Tradition wines. Authentic, STGT wine on the palate; a lovely display of well-grounded Châteauneuf-du-Pape, has a solid foundation, ripe tannins with a little firm edge to them. The fruit is blackberry accompanied by tobacco, smoky notes. Good, oily length, good balance, pure fruit – bring it on. €22 at the domaine. 2027-28 Dec 2011

2009

(barrel/vat) full red; jam, mulled red fruits aroma – sweetness with herbal notes within. There is power on the palate, which gives red fruits with a rich line through it, a Teflon richness. Be prepared – this is sipping wine. The finish is young, has ripe tannins. Good juice late on. This is on target for roundness and bounty, esp around 2013-14. 2021-23 Oct 2010

2008

(barrel/vat) black, red robe, three-quarter depth. Mulled fruits aroma – not overly sweet and plush – black jam, rather attractive first stage nose with sweet spots in it. The palate continues well from the bouquet – exudes agreeable black fruit that runs to the line. It brings on board some tannins that add good darkness towards the finish. I suspect a Syrah influence that is helpful (tasted blind). There is fresh fruit on the finish. Not a big wine, but a pretty one. Shade dry at the end – needs a little time. From spring 2011. 2019-20 Dec 2009

2007

(barrel/vat) red with some purple; this has a Grenache at heart, red fruit aroma that is lying low, but there is enough depth to be interesting. The palate is marked by compact red fruits such as cherries, and its power is denoted by a little eau de vie in the taste, which appears after the mid-palate. It needs more time to get together, maybe 18 months or so. Its fruit is a little plain. Length OK. 2018-19 Nov 2008

2006 ()

red plum colour; the bouquet sits comfortably, and holds potential for the future. There are herb and nutty traces. The palate delivers snappy red fruit with clear movement in it, and just a little puckering from its acidity. Has a hearty core and is savoury towards the finish. The fruit is ripe inside it. 14.5°. 2018-19 April 2008, London Previously Nov 2007 *** dark red, some purple in the robe; there are oak trimmings in the black fruits aroma; the bouquet has an even, balanced air, with a little licorice mixed in with the brambly fruit. The palate fruit is clean, the oak well handled. Is not very typical of its place at this stage, although there is a touch of late earthiness, a fundamental tone. The interior is pretty rich. Seems to hold plenty of non-Grenache influences. From late 2010 for more local influences, and for better cohesion. 2021-23 Nov 2007

2005 ()

dark red, hint of purple. Smooth bouquet, which is at a calm stage – there is some sweet spice mixed in with smoky, minted airs – smoke and black fruits. There is a brisk outer nature to the palate – this is a wine that holds clean, snappy modern fruit and an oak trim. There is a pretty good fruit core and decent richness, the flavour resembling licorice and blackberry jam. Clear-toned wine whose shape is upright and its tenor still youthful. Small herbal tone on the aftertaste. Wait until 2011 for more local character, variety of aroma and suppleness, beyond the immediate impact of its vintage and its raising. After 30 minutes, the palate is tighter and more pebbly. Very solid, reliable quality, and less mainstream if you are patient. Moves around a lot as it ages. 2021-23 June 2008, Sussex Previously April 2007, London **(*) pretty, quite a full red colour; down home, mulled fruit bouquet with an overripe nature that also carries cold tea aromas, and ends up rather flat. Chocolate and raisin within the flavour, there is a little core fat, but it lacks real depth and persistence. Tightens at the end. Lacks lift. 2013-16 April 2007, London Previously Chât-du-Pape Nov 2006 ** quite dark. Brewed raspberry, nutted bouquet with a dense interior – is holding back today, has ways to go. Rather a made-up savoury tone to palate that disappears. I wonder if there is oak at play, the raising seems an issue here. It’s low-key wine, and lacks stuffing. Flows OK, but needs to be more integrated. Revert in 2009. 14.5° on label 2015-17 Nov 2006

2004

pretty red colour; mild, light cherry fruit aroma. Clean-cut, presentable flavour – the fruit is cherry/red fruits. Comes without many trimmings, but is pure enough. Fair length. Esp from late 2007 or 2008 for more variety. 2014-17 Oct 2006

2003 ()

solid red colour. Fruit gum, berries, licorice bouquet. Open, squeezy fruit berries - pretty Grenache, some charm. Tightens and dries a little towards finish. Lacks sustained flavour. 2011-14 April 2005, London

2001 ()

still has a pretty full robe; black fruits, with grippy leather notes on the bouquet, that shows the restraint of this active vintage at the end. There is some game (gibier) creeping into the nose. The palate is at a singing stage, is very well set now with some ageing likely to bring extra, suave appeal. The black fruits carry a build of pepper, with a definite tannic presence. There is quite a “mean” element on the palate, maybe derived from extraction. Is a little bit rustic, and its alcohol is at the limit: there is a risk that this will detach from the main body as it ages. 15°. 2016-18 Nov 2007

1998

dark, sustained robe. Solid, chunky bouquet - grass roots - has the one item to display, a chocolate aroma. Dense, solid, artisanal palate, with notes of alcohol. Has been open two hours. Tight-knit wine, rather a one-card player with its chunky, heat-tinted flavour. Some herbal taste at end, is pretty sustained all through, and the end reveals a local imprint. May dry as it ages. 2012-13 Copenhagen, May 2006

1994

decent red robe; the nose is soft, bears gently, cooked fruit aromas, has the potential to open on the generous side, is warm. The palate is rounded, quite well filled. Tannins assert towards the finish, are marked and mingle with late heat. It probably has enough core to deal with these tannins, which are a bit dry. From 2001. 14°. 2010-13 Oct 1996