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The Wines

40-50% Grenache (oldest 1902), 25-30% Syrah, 20-35% Mourvèdre, from Le Rayas (N-E), La Crau (E), destemmed, 30-35 day steel vat vinification up to 25-28°C, pumping overs, cap punchings, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 40% new-2 year oak 228-litre casks (new 7-9%), 10% used 600-litre oak casks, 40-50% concrete vat 18 months, unfined, filtered, 16-30,000 b

2018

(casks/concrete vat) full, deep red robe; the nose carries a sweet, caramel presence, a couch of black stone fruit, notes of black olives. The palate is swell, holds gourmand, ample content with enough movement to avoid being “too much”. The finish is rounded, lip smacking, sustains well. There is a smoothness of texture that helps it. It’s a dense bundle for now, so wait until 2023 at the earliest. 15.5°. 30,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. €32. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017

(casks/concrete vat) the nose is broad, well filled with black berry fruit, has a confident depth. The palate is rich and rolling, tasty, endowed with squeezy richness and a flourish of fruit on the finish. The tannins add a little depth. This is genuine southern wine that carries appropriate ripeness to give a full, savoury glass of Châteauneuf. 15.5°. 30,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. €31. From spring 2021. 2038-40 Oct 2018

2016

(casks/vat) sober dark red colour. Laurel, blackberry jam, fruit of some intensity lead the nose, with notes of black olives also. The palate swishes along with good running fruit and matter, has a juicy heart, clear black cherry fruit at its centre. The length is good, the fruits persisting well, and the balance is on the mark. too. This is attractive Châteauneuf, a self-contained sphere. 15.5°. 20,000 b. 50% Gren, 25% Syr, 25% Mourv. €31. From 2020. 2040-42 Oct 2017 GB £210 12 b i/b https://www.sundaytimeswineclub.co.uk/jsp/content.jsp?pg=rhone16

2015

(casks/vat) full red robe, with a sheen. The nose is reserved, has a southern density, an implicit oiliness, with cooked black stone fruits, a note of dates. The palate is sealed together, has a strong core of black fruit matter, a prolonged density. This lives on discreet power, and will require leaving until 2020 to loosen it and extend it. Its heart is good – the promise is there. It’s extremely long, a possible STGT wine. 15.5°. 2038-41 Sept 2016 

2013

(casks/vat) dark purple colour. The nose is tight and reserved, has a slightly smoky, mineral note. This is fleshy on the attack, then follows through on the tannins. It is powerful in style and frame, and will need time to settle. 15.5°. From 2017. 2026-27  JL  Oct 2014

2012 ()

(casks, bottling Feb 2014) dark red; mulled berry fruits such as mulberry and blackberry feature in a polished bouquet, not a lot of extra variety. The shape is square for now, but there is a lot of ample potential. The fruit starts off subdued, but then gradually emerges and lingers well, a fine juice rounding it off. The black fruiting has some meaty weight, while sleek tannins encircle the finish. Thorough wine, no blips, this runs truly to the end. Modern school, clean fruit, a good and peppery finale. It can move on well. From 2016. 15°. 40% Gren, 35% Mourv, 25% Syr this year. 2032-34  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) the robe has a rare darkness for 2011, legs down the glass. The nose gives an air of rich prune and blackberry jam or jelly, along with licorice. There is a lactic, “high” note on the attack, followed by crunched up tannin. A game of two halves, not ready. It lacks immediate harmony, but can move, is chunky, modern. The fruit recedes towards the finish, which is dry, and it has oak cask raising blues for now. From mid-2015. 15°. Marked on what can be.  2029-32  Dec 2012

2010

(casks) dark robe; the nose is potentially deep, offers waves of black fruit aroma, and has hardly got going or yet expanded its repertoire. The palate holds tucked-in black fruit, with a good, crystalline element in it. It is very “shiny”, and accomplished. The fruit reaches out well, has grace and movement; the balance is successful thanks to well-placed, ripe tannins. It ends on light tar and licorice. Elegant wine. From 2015. 2036-39 Dec 2011