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The Wines

60-85% Grenache (oldest early 1900s), 11-25% Mourvèdre, 0-15% Syrah, 0-10% Cinsault, 0-5% Bourboulenc from the plateaus of Les Brusquières (N-W), Tresquoys (N-W), 70% destemmed, 4 week concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying and refilling and manual cap punching, aged 50% concrete vat, 20% used 228-litre oak casks, 20% used 550-litre oak casks, 10% large barrel 12-18 months, unfined, unfiltered, 30-42,000 b

2018 ()

(concrete vat/casks, bottling June 2020) full red; the nose is dark, black berries and black olives in harness, a slightly husky note as well. The palate gives a steady run of black stone fruit flavour, with medium weight tannins bringing a small note of extra layering. It plays it pretty safe overall. The finish is restrained, with plum fruit present. 15.8°. 41,800 b. 61% Gren, 15% Syr, 11% Mourv, 7% Cins, 5% Bourb, 1% various. €16.50. From late-2021. 2038-40 Oct 2019

2016 ()

(vat/casks, bottling June 2018) Grenache-inspired plum red colour. The bouquet is a true southern presence, dried black raisins, dates and figs in the mix, a floral note, a core of sweetness. It will become a pretty classic Châteauneuf nose, with good variety, in time. The palate rumbles along on a smoky, spiced trail, has a good, healthy kick, with unbridled tannins running around its compressed matter. The long, secure aftertaste is peppery for now. This is a good, traditional Châteauneuf, with character, captures an STGT essence. 15.5°. 40,000 b. 70% Gren, 15% Syr, 10% Mourv, 5% Cins. €16.50 is VALUE. From 2020. 2033-36 Oct 2017

2015

(casks) fair red robe. Cooked plums, prune airs lead the nose; there is a husky side to it, and it needs refining later on its raising. The palate is grainy, peppery, holds fair, fluid content, but lacks the arresting richness and style of the leaders. There is a flash of red fruit, but it’s a bit basic. The length is fair. 15°. From spring 2018. 2028-30 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(casks) very Grenache, mild red robe. Jam airs, cassis bud, a note of raspberry all feature on the nose, and a little petrol, curiously enough. The palate offers direct red fruit, its crispness always present. It finishes on a cool tang, and the length is there for the future. Very vintage 2014 in its slightly clipped texture. Put this away until 2018, allow it to gain more flesh. Naked wine as it stands. 2029-30  Oct 2015

2013

(casks) medium red colour. Pale at the rim. Meaty red fruit nose. Palate round, sweet and chewy. Meaty again. Little warm and one-dimensional. Spice on the finish along with some tannic grip. Sturdy and traditional. From 2017. 2026-28 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

(casks) quite full red; smoky, dark red berry, raspberry air, combines pine, sweet herbs, flint and gunsmoke – the nose is granular and peppery. This is strongly centred Châteaunuef-du-Pape: the Grenache red plum fruit has a surround of some fire, a sparky tannin, definite thrust as it ends. Manly wine, with fibre. From 2016. Only 60% Gren this year, with 15% Syr, 15% Mourv, 10% Cins - there is usually no Cinsault in the wine. 15°. 2026-28  Nov 2013

2011

typical Grenache plum red robe. There is an agreeably sweet coulis-liqueur angle on the red berry fruit aroma, which is a true southern display that invites the drinker. It is evocative of lazy summer days. The palate rolls along on an orb of red berry fruit with a munchy, sustained depth of tannins. The quality and nature of this wine comes from within; there is a lot of spiced flavour on the finish which helps its lift. This is really persistent, and truly goes long. It is a real grass roots wine, STGT, straight from warm lands. Way to go Papal wine. 2028-30  Sept 2015, Oslo Previously Dec 2012 ***(*) (casks) red robe. Has an aroma of wild strawberries, with traces of dust and spice, crushed stones – this is certainly garrigue-like. The supple palate brings forward gourmand red fruit, with a tic-tac, a criss-cross of fine grain tannin. Has a fresh, bonny ending, nice and clear. The palate and the nose both reflects soaked fruits. Good character, local, STGT wine. From late 2014. 15°. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2010

2 elements, then those two together: (barrel, here since 3 months) *** good red robe. Has a grilled, oven baked air, roasted and toasted, almost like a burnt pastry, quetsch plum note. Grenache fruit with an oily content on the palate, with a resinous presence. The fruit is nice and rolling, presents itself well. Slight sweaty side late on. (vat) ****(*) bright, dark red; gummy air to the nose – blackberry fruit with a grilled semblance, ground coffee. Spiced, engaging red fruit on the palate, which has sound body and matter, and an enjoyably oily core. There is a becoming gush of late fruit, the elngth is good. Genuine wine, has potential, the fruit lasts well. The blend: **** dark robe. Has a prune, black berry fruit air with a light grilling effect, slight singeing in it, smoke, tar and licorice. The palate starts well, holds pretty black fruit that is abundant and fleshy, has life, continues very well, and exits freshly. It benefits from the assemblage, but I note it is still roasted on the aftertaste. From 2014. 2028-29 Dec 2011

2009 ()

quite full robe; ripe, fruit jelly style air with dark, smoky implications – it is prolonged in the glass. The palate has a deep attack, in keeping with the nose, is muscular wine. Has firm, dark tannins that need to integrate, are very much on the licorice route, nearly scorched. The finish is the main issue for now, but a good sign is the freshness of the aftertaste. From late 2013. 15°. 2026-28 Sept 2011 Previously Nov 2010 **** (casks) red-purple colour; wide, rather brimful nose – red cherry with latent power, a suggestion of eau de vie, is very rich. There is a very good strike of fuelled fruit right away. Has an imposing style – really delivers. There is a red cherry theme all through in this primary state. Has the potential to be an all-round, Grenache-led drinker, esp around 2014. Can drink from mid-2012. True wine with good juice and flow in it. From mid-2012. 2020-23

2008 ()

(casks) mottled fair depth of red. Blackberry lead aroma – sweet, simmered fruit, low-key couch of tannin below, rather modern maceration style. Sweet, clean black fruit pastille flavour here, moves discreetly until a brief gathering of tannins at the end. Smoothly textured, rather slight wine. The finish is a bit of a muddle, tapering but it can sort out and becomes fresh and clear over time. From spring 2011. 70% G, 25% M, 5% Syr, 10,000 b this year. 2017-18 Dec 2009

2007 ()

(casks) red with some black traces; has a somewhat fungal, damp leaves top air – there is fruit that is so ripe it smells as if the fruit is on the turn, past its best. The palate holds juicy, sappy black fruit. It has a wholesome heart and smooth tannins towards the finish. It runs calmly all through with a blackberry flavour. The fruit is nice and ripe. This is traditional Châteauneuf, one that has a robust core and shows late, local heat. 2017-19 Nov 2008

2006

mild red, some depth; restrained, plum-prune aroma that is baked in nature: it is compact now, but promises potential. Approachable, rather fleshy red fruits on the palate keep going steadily, and end on a correct line-up of tannin, have good length. There is a good kick of juice in this, it is a true local, hand made wine. 2018-20 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 **** (casks) full, mature red; warm, sultry nose, has a touch of fungal, with toffee notably, the fruits are not “pure”, suggest raisin tart, Garibaldi biscuits, has a funky nature. The palate is also on the baked fruit tart trail, with raisins, gigs and tea flavours. The texture is quite rich, the tannins which lie well within are pretty ripe. There is a secondary herb, laurel, olive impact. This has real good traditional guts, is a wine with shoulders, marks for character. Not at all mainstream, thank goodness. From 2010. 2022-24 Nov 2007

2005

matt robe, fair depth. Raspberry aroma with latent power, a brewed content, is promising, even if a little straight. Supple, full start to palate – wild red berries with a minted trim, is savoury and very Grenache. True character here. Has a herbal, licorice finale. Beau content, gutsy wine without excess, has a good, unpretentious flow and nice length. STGT wine. From 2008. 2018-20 Nov 2006

2001 ()

the robe is at a ruby red stage, with decent brightness in it. The outer bouquet is smoky, above mulled red fruit, while the undertone is game – traditional. Prune and violet mingle with some chocolate – this is wide and elegant. The palate starts richly, led by mature red plum, stone fruits: it is a bit feral, funky and thus authentic of the place from days gone by. Its gras runs through it, and there are pepper fringes. It comes in a complete, southern frame and its length is good. Drink it now. It may dry at the finish. Funky, but good wine. 2012-13 Nov 2007, London

2000

maturing plum red, pretty enough robe. The bouquet reflects high Grenache content – it has a peppery top note with an orb of red fruit within, some hints of tannin, smoke n’dust – it is well varied. As it airs, a greater smoked, cinnamon and bacon influence comes through. The palate is full, with a firm hit on the attack. Its fruit is a little rustic, with a touch of burn. Hearty wine with a tint of alcohol stepping out towards the finish. Not a wine to analyse too closely, one to drink with stews and hearty cooking. It softens and melds with some air, contains a marked thread of tannin. Has a punchy, “wine of yore” inclination, the Grenache presented honestly. The finish is a bit clumsy. 14°. 2014-17 March 2006, East Sussex

1999

dusty first effect on bouquet – underneath it is oily, with hedgerow fruit, vanilla touches, plenty of content, floral and cherry, is attractive. Rounded, well filled fruit on palate, with an interesting tannic presence. Just moving into an abundant second stage, with the non-Grenache varieties helping to form its still rather upright shape. The tannins are a bit assertive, the fruit at its heart is rather fragile. There may be new oak at the end, which leaves a vanilla smattering. Toasted finish. Honest, but a bit limited. Now to 2011-14. November 2006