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The Wines

80-95% Grenache (1960s-1970s, was 95% until late 2000s), 8-15% Syrah, 0-5% Mourvèdre from sandy, galet stone soils, northern sector, destemmed, 3 week vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 30-70% steel vat, 30-70% 228-litre oak casks 12 months, filtered, 10-20,000 b

2018 ()

shiny dark red; the nose expresses simmered black fruits that carry purity, their depth confirmed. It’s very juvenile, not varied. The palate has a good, local oiliness of texture, a winning sève or sap in the wine, with detail in its black cherry fruit. It’s well assembled, the tannins right in the mix, ripe and stylish. It has poise, is articulate, and the length impresses. 14.5°. 13,000 b. From 2023. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(casks/steel vat) deep, dark red colour. Chocolate, “high” fruit, damp black soils show on the nose, which will benefit from air. It’s not obvious for now. The palate is locked in around black cherry, blackberry fruit with a pulse of Morello cherry stone, some charge in the tannins, the raisiny, tarry finish not yet as one. It hasn’t made up its mind, has a traditional style, needs coaxing out. 14.5°. 13,000 b. From 2022, decanting essential. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2016

(vat/casks) clear red robe. Has good mixed red and black berry fruits aroma, sweet herbs, rosemary, basil attached. Raspberry fruit is prominent, and it gives an open book, encouraging start. The palate is well fuelled by its Grenache red fruits which have good lustre, and are backed by nourishing tannins that add extra layering. This is a bonny, jolly Châteauneuf. 14.5°. 20,000 b. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. Drink from spring 2019. 2036-39 Oct 2017

2015 ()

plum red robe. The nose is reserved, has a sense of oxtail, beef stock, some prune fruit present. It’s all together, just needs time to emerge. The palate holds agreeable raspberry fruit with a fine stream of freshness through it, and gives a little mixed herbs, garrigue on the sign-off, notes of licorice, cooked plum there. Has decent length and cool virtues. 14°. From 2018. 2033-36 Sept 2016

2012

(vat/casks) dark robe; discreet but full blackberry with some raspberry fruit, a scented note on the nose that has attractive depth and the intrigue of other prompts to come. For now it is rather thrusting and arrow-like. The palate has a line of cut, a streaky insert, in its black fruit, and is peppery and gamey as it ends. It starts on a spirit angle, the mid-palate dips a shade. Not at all ready or smartened up. Punchy, a bit raw, the content lacking a consistent depth. Needs review after bottling. From 2016. 2027-30  Nov 2013

2011

(vat/cask) dark plum red; has a well-founded raspberry aroma with good central depth and a mulled liqueur style, some meaty darkness. This is authentic Châteauneuf-du-Pape built around Grenache, a spiced raspberry with a cluster of herb, spice and grainy tannins on the finish. A peppery note enters swiftly at half way. Vintage accurate wine. A little simple. Can be decanted. From mid-2013. 14°. €15 at the cellars. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2010 ()

bottled 1 week ago. Good full red; violet, with a glow of intensity from prune and black coffee on the bouquet which is a good ensemble. The palate gets off to a measured start, holds a spiced richness of gras and contains noticeable tannins that have spark in them, add length and leave a top freshness over its meat stock-black berry flavour on the finish. Good length. From mid-2014. 2032-34. 80% G, 15% Syr 5% M this year, and a good price of €15 at the cellars. Dec 2011

2009 ()

(vat/cask) rather dark red; raspberry fruit aroma, a full bouquet that suggests it will vary well, since there are already some herb and spice airs, and the fruit is ripe. Local, fleshy fruit on the palate – bounty and sweet gras here. Its shape is round all through. A fat, sunny wine – there you go, no mystery. Ready from late 2011. 2027-30 Oct 2010

2007

(casks) quite bright red. Mocha, seasoned black fruits aroma, prune, a hint of iris flowers, toffee, herbal, dusty garrigue – this has a certain elegance. There is laboured progress along the palate, which is tightly drawn, with oak encircling it, and a sense of being pushed in the cellar – hence a “dark”, slightly forced late moment. Alcohol emerges on the end, the fruit is not fully there. A bit on the stretch. From late 2010. 2016-17 Nov 2009

2006 ()

(vat/cask sample) dark red; nice authority on the bouquet – shows coffee, grilled airs and pepper. The whole affair is pretty ripe and knit. Has a clear-cut fruit start – live and bonny black fruits, some cassis and then chocolate/prune. Holds some pretty, low-key sweetness, and is harmonious and balanced for early drinking. The length is good. Supple and accessible, will do well in the CHR trade - bistrots etc. 2019-21. 90% G, 6% S, 4% M this year, 65% vat raised. Jan 2008

2005 ()

pretty, full red plum colour; good, brewed fruits aroma with coffee, cocoa present, as befits this tight vintage. Rather gracious start to the palate, with the fruit melded in and the tannin only appearing on the last quarter of the palate. This is set to round out, esp from spring 2009 or so. Its fruit is mildly juicy, more so than some this vintage. Good length. 2023-25 June 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** assured red colour; the red fruit aroma has an oily, maybe liqueur air that carries on well. Bright, full of beans red fruit start to the palate – this runs along well, and ends freshly with a layer of tannin. Well constructed, with some fibre in its intensity. May lack a little true depth. From mid-2009. 2022-24. Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** full robe with a matt tone. Bouquet at a soft stage, there is a creamy red jam aroma, plus some high tone and some alcohol, too. Palate sets off at some pace – has a live middle with a raspberry aftertaste. A bit out of sync now, but I reckon it can integrate – the length is good, and the fruit nice and clear late on. Today it’s a little angular and straight along. Esp 2009-10 on. 2023-25. 97% G, 3% S this year, 60% vat raised. Nov 2006

2004

quite full red; has a baked black fruit nose with light raisin notes – lies in wait rather than delivers, a bit flat earth. The palate is more live, bearing prune and ripe, scented fruit. It widens and shows a steady, ready black fruit flavour with a little late mineral clarity. 14°. 2020-22 Dec 2007