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The Wines

50% Grenache, 20-30% Syrah, 10-20% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault, (1960s), destemmed, 3-week concrete vat vinification, aged 50-80% concrete vat 18 months, 40% 1-4 year 228-litre oak casks, 5% new 228-litre oak casks, 5% 600-litre oak casks 12 months (until mid-2010s aged 80% concrete vat, 20% 1-2-3-4 year oak casks 12 months), then concrete vat 6 months (Syrah, Mourvèdre 1-2 year casks, old vines 3-4 year casks) (used to be large barrel 6 months until 2008), unfined, filtered, 30-60,000 b

2018

(concrete vat/casks, bottling March 2021) maybe dark red; the bouquet wells up quietly, has a confident depth of red fruit, an inviting note of succulence. The palate links well, seamlessly, into an enjoyable run of gliding richness, a mixed bag of red fruits, mulberry, plums, with flexible tannins in tow. This is a good ensemble, a genuine, nicely broad and savoury Châteauneuf that persists well, has style. 14.5°. 15,000 b. 50% Gren. 20% Syr, 20% Mourv, 10% Cins. €30. From 2022. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017 ()

dark red colour. Has a solid, wide, brewed bouquet, absolutely filled with the 2017 vintage certainty, has a profound, lingering blackberry aroma in the lead. The palate is richly endowed, covers the palate wide and long, carries into a menthol, well charged finale. There is a good burst of dark berry, spiced flavour from the non-Grenache varieties along the second half here, a hint of reduction from them. The second half is a winner, extremely long. 14.5°. 20,000 b. 50% Gren, 20% Syr, 20% Mourv, 10% Cins. €23. From spring 2021. 2044-46 Oct 2018

2016

(casks) shiny, full red colour. Raspberry and strawberry fruits mingle on the nose, come with inner sweetness, a streamlined liqueur aspect. The palate is tightly knit, bears solid matter with fringes of red fruit clarity. The tannins involve oak as well, are ripe, firm. It has local garrigue influences, and the concentration from the Grenache is certain. This is a dense wine that requires setting aside until 2020. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 20% Syr, 20% Mourv, 10% Cins. 2041-43 Oct 2017

2015

(vat/casks) shiny, full dark red. The aroma peeks out of the nose, blueberry fruit with some understated florality, and a chocolate, beef-like surround. The palate conveys density and a good heart of red fruits with nicely chunky tannins that will meld in over time. This stands its ground well, is absolutely a Châteauneuf for red meat, game. It’s savoury, very long, and involves the drinker well. 14.5°. From 2019. 2036-38 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(casks, bottling Apr 2016) sober red robe. Has a mulled red berry, mulberry, sweet-noted aroma, curvy, open and a bit simple. The palate bears fluid red fruit, raspberry, with a mild insert of tannin. The accusation that it is rather simple is fair. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 20% Syr, 20% Mourv, 10% Cins. A low 30,000 b this year. €20. From mid-2016. 2022-23  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(casks) medium red centre to robe, lighter at the rim. There is a note of spicy oak on the nose, with a hint of herbs – the bouquet is fresh in style but perhaps a touch green? Has a sweet attack but the tannins are raw behind that. It needs further raising, but isn’t a wine for long ageing. Alcohol apparent on the finish. From 2016. 14.5°. 2021-23 JL Oct 2014

2012

(casks, bottling March 2014) healthy dark red; smoky, inky nose that is lying low, gives cooked mulberry-plum, soaked red cherries airs. The palate is close-knit, led by its grain-tannin content for now. The fruit hesitates, then crops up here and there, puts in a cameo appearance, is oily, a little savoury. Time, and it will be OK, but the exit is dry, pinched, so some concern there. 14.5°. From late 2015. 40,000 b, €22 this year. 2023-25  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) dark, plum colour. Prune aroma with a little date seasoning, a mature pot pourri of dried flowers angle with it; the nose suggests a tiny bit of burn, an excess ripeness. Gummy, Syrah-style reduction lurks on the palate that has a sweet centre, a hint of cloy in its texture. Fig and date mingle in its flavour. I would drink this soon as it isn’t especially fresh. Comes from the deliberately ripe cropping fruit school, so its tannins are flexible. Fair length, but a wee bit alcoholic. 14.5°. 2020-22 Dec 2012

2010 ()

(casks) dark red; the nose is upright in shape, has a bosky aroma, with crunchy fruit, leather, and the impression left is of power in its width. Brewed red fruits lead the palate, has a smooth texture, but could have more cut and definition. It is not there yet, since the finish is needed to revive it, producing a fresh roll of fruit and grain. The length is fair. It can join together. Rather local feel to this. Masculine style Châteauneuf. From 2014. 2032-34 Dec 2011

2009 ()

mostly full red colour; broad, brewed nature to the bouquet, comes with a meaty, dark fruit angle, licorice: is well-filled, a touch powdery. There is mild smoke on top of the tight black fruit; has a solid constitution. A prune flavour emerges at the end as the Grenache works back into the front rank. The Grenache is ripe, and shows some dusty, evolving notes. It persists quite powerfully. From mid-2012. 2021-23 Oct 2010

2008 ()

modest dark red; aged, not fresh, red jam fruit, is smoky, nutty, a true Grenache, but labours to impress. The palate has a modest Grenache debut, offers a little red stone fruit, also mulberry and strawberry. The texture is gummy, but the finish gains in depth, has a toffee flavour. From late 2010. 2015-16 Nov 2009

2007 ()

full, lively deep red, black tinted robe; has a blackberry liqueur, a crème de Dijon black fruits air – it is sweet at heart, very supple and young. The palate starts on blackberry fruit, its texture and form is round, while after half way a little tannin shows up, with implied spirit or power. Is on the limit with its alcohol (15° on label = more than that). Starts sweetly, then gains a pebbly side – its length is decent. It is flourishing on this early sweetness, but will close down and tighten as it advances through life. Drink now, or from late 2011. Solid quality wine. 15°. 2022-24 June 2009

2006

mild red; the bouquet has light chocolate airs, with plum fruit under them – is simple, not deep. There is a quiet amount of red fruit on the palate, with a little Châteauneuf sweetness infused. Is made for now, soon, is commercial: there are better Côtes du Rhône Villages than this mainstream do. Late amount of nutty tannin after some sweetness at its core. Robbed perhaps by the Prestige cuvée wine, which is way ahead. From 2009. 2013-15 Jan 2008, London

2005 No Rating

NO RATING – 2 bottles in London: mild red colour; bitter top note to the nose, with acidity driving it. Lactic and disagreeable on the palate. Jan 2008, London

1998

red robe; soft, mild nose – red fruit, spice in a low register. Soft strawberry jam start to the palate, that is also marked by prune, damson flavours. It lacks a little depth, though its tannins are well ingrained. A wine on the gentle, fat side of town. Leave until 2003-04 for more variety. 2011-13 Feb 2000

1995 ()

fair red colour; the nose is reserved, has some discreet Grenache red fruit sweetness. The palate is rather soft, goes for roundness and soft garden fruits appeal, sweet notes red berries. There is spice towards the finish. Charming style of wine, has final chewiness and breadth. There is a nice plump flavour here. It could develop agreeably. From 1999. 2005-06 Oct 1996

1994 ()

quite a good red colour. The nose is gentle, has fair depth – harmony rather than assertion has been sought. It lacks great distinguishing features, though. The palate all happens in the front of the mouth – it has a sappy, quite soft fruit and texture, some easy tannin after that before a touch of extra depth and chew on the finish. Quite straight and simple. Not enough scale to be a good representative of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. 13.5°. 2003-05 Oct 1996

1979

deep, still impenetrable colour, purple, black. Very good bouquet of mixed southern aromas, heat, herbs, some cedar and cigar box. Very rich and full palate, absolutely swinging accompaniment for a filet de Charolais. Very good. To 1998 or so. Sept 1984