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The Wines

75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 3-4% Mourvèdre, 3-4% Cinsault, 3-4% Vaccarèse/Muscardin/Clairette blanche from Combe & Garrigue, “our great-grandfather Edmond’s blend who planted the vineyard in 1905, when we had 13 ha”, destemmed, vat-emptying, part refilling, pumping overs, cap punching on Syrah, 3538 day vinification, aged 75% concrete vat (Grenache), 25% new, 1-year 228-litre oak casks (Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Clairette, Muscardin) 12 months, then 3-6 months vat, unfined, unfiltered, up from 37,000 b in 2005 to 100,000 b

2017

steady red robe; has a forward liqueur fruit aroma, floral-rose hip influences, musky notes, red fruit gums. There is a good knife and fork depth, fluid run along the palate also, garrigue notions well present. It delivers savoury, appealing flavours, prune, dried fruits, spicing. This is authentic, de la terre, STGT wine. From late 2020. Bottled three weeks ago. 2038-40 May 2019

2016 ()

full, shiny red robe. This has a really curvy nose, a liqueur red fruit aroma, good mixed berries: it peeps out only now, isn’t very evident. It then wells up in a savoury wave on the palate, goes long with a sustained serving of rich content, and covers the ground very fully. It hums with a little power, but is coherent; there are good darts of fresh, live red fruit flavour through it, little sparks. The length is very good. There are well founded tannins within, and a late glow comes through. 16°. From 2022-23. 2047-49 May 2019

2015 ()

(cask/vat) medium red robe. The nose gives a pretty typical Châteauneuf roundness, a shade of sweetness, a “glistening” air of raspberry fruit, on the curve. The palate links well, offering succulent red fruits and a similar dab of sweetness. This is authentic, STGT Châteauneuf of genuine stature; it works on texture and the handsome orb of good Grenache from this refined terroir. It unfurls a lovely carpet of enjoyment. The finish is slightly charged, has local strength. 15.5°. From mid-2018. 2030-32  Sept 2016

2014

this was the only cuvée in 2014: Bottle 1: corked. Bottle 2: fine red robe; the nose is welcoming, floral, red fruits, red berries present – it’s shapely, inviting, carries touches of ground coffee, pine woods. The palate gives a jolie gourmandise right away, bears a great tastiness, much sweet appeal, strawberry fruit with a hint of jam in it. It holds some silken virtues, is a good example of 2014 and its style. The aftertaste is juicy, too, round and curved. This is beau vin. 15.5°. 2036-38 May 2019

2013 ()

steady, bright red robe. Very young, first flush red berry fruit aroma here, baked notes also, compressed raisins, sizzled bacon. The nose hasn’t yet sorted itself out. The palate runs with a tasty, sweet inclination of quite intense red fruit, plenty of tar-inkiness on the end. This is modern, a shade arms’ length in style; best to leave it until 2021, say, for more local feel and better integration. 14.5°. 2031-33  Nov 2015 Previously Oct 2014 ***(*) (cask/vat) medium colour. Meaty, red fruited nose. This is medium weight wine. Grenache generosity comes through, giving a padding of supple fruit. The tannins are firm but finely honed. Appealing wine for relatively early drinking. From 2016. 14.5°. 2024-26 JL Oct 2014

2012

(cask/vat) decent red colour; roast meat, brewed nature to the nose that has definite stone fruit padding, a southern, ripe, calm underlay. The palate’s cooked plum fruit is expressive, with Grenache well to the fore. It picks up a smidgin of tannin before a glowing aftertaste. This is a good ensemble with the ability to become a round and agreeable drink. The length is sound in this nice and broad, good and wholesome wine. From spring 2015. 16°. 2025-26  Nov 2013

2011

(cask/vat) quite dark red. Has a restrained black cherry air with a sweet leaning and outlook, nothing uneven, no gaps in the aroma. The palate is simply fruited, is in the immediate moment now, can be drunk early. There is a black fruit pastille flavour with a light dosing of grain tannin in its late moments, where the fruit is still apparent. A plump wine of round shape, but certainly doesn’t offer much mystery. Some acidity comes through – there is a bit of jar from that. From late 2013. Note the stated degree, and of course it could be a little higher than that. 16°. 2020-22  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(cask/vat) quite a full red colour. The nose is becoming expressive, shows red fruit, raspberry and blackberry jam with a floral delicacy, is broad in shape. There is also a floral, scented theme on the palate, which has give and juice that will please drinkers, is not at all demanding. There are traces of licorice and blackberry in the flavour. It is a shade simple now, and more raising will help it to develop the second half of the palate. It ends clearly, with mid-weight matter wrapped into it. From spring 2013. 2022-24 Dec 2011

2009 ()

matt tints in the red colour; meaty, sturdy nose, red meat droplets, an intense core. Sweet fruit debut to the palate, a measured gras in this, a shade of evolution already. It is wide across the palate, has 2009 juice. The length is sound, and roundness will arrive. From late 2012. 2023-25 Sept 2011 Previously March 2011 *** (to be bottled 18 April, 2011, 43 days' time) dark red; plum fruit with black cherry aroma, with a pebbly, leafy backdrop, also an air of smoke or gunpowder. The palate has a fresh line, with bite in its tannins. Offers black fruits, but is not together as yet. A wine taking its time. From 2013. “There was a lot of residual sugar in 2009,” Pascal Maurel. 2027-29 March 2011

2008 ()

fair red. Bovril, meat stock aroma with black stone fruit within – the air is mild, not bright, slight floral tunes in it as well. The palate advances on a little sense of extraction, the effort of the cellar, which renders it rather dry in the final stages – it is nutty and low on fruit there. Better attack than finish, with oak implied here. Not yet ensemble, a composite wine with its tough end for now. From 2011. 2017-18 Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 *(*) (sample of Grenache to give an idea) colour is bright, OK; the palate is direct, has some stuffing and a streamlined fruit. A drink early wine with correct length. *(*) or ** - depends on which cuvée it goes into. March 2009

2007

has quite a thick, ruby-tinted red robe. The nose is smoky, gives an aroma of garrigue herbs with an inner of sweet plum fruit, plums and peony flowers, is young and open. This works on texture and a flavour of spiced prune backed by smooth and coated tannins, is still finding its way. Intensity is here, but there isn’t a lot of local definition or access. Tarry notes are never far away. From 2018. 14.5°. 2031-33 Nov 2015 Previously Nov 2009 ***(*) quite full dark red. The nose is starting to evolve – there are damp touches in the blackberry jelly and gamey red fruit, an oak-smoke drift at the end. The palate starts cautiously, led by Grenache red fruit. The mid-palate is supple, and gives way to stiff oaked moments on the finish. Traversing a bumpy phase now, but there is some gras towards the end. The oak could be less – that blocks its purity. From mid-2011. 2020-22 Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 *** (final wine, to be bottled next month) full red, purple robe. Has a rather opulent blackberry fruit nose – its air is clear, and there is licorice, with reserves for more to come in behind. The palate is vintage typical – it has a taste of blackberry liqueur or coulis, until it straightens and becomes fresh at the end. This is a light touch wine, one that will drink early – it is delivered with sleek lines. There is a shade of late tannin. I have to say that a bit more stuffing would be good. 2019-20. March 2009

2006

(vat/barrel) largely dark red; the nose is reductive – gummy, mulled raspberry fruit as a result, with floral, sweet notes. The palte fruit is also sweet-toned, and has that gummy, reductive element again – the taste is like fruit pastille sweets or candies. It gains weight and surround as it goes, and the finish is round and well-set. A promising wine that has been simply prepared. Has a nice, gentle, local feel. From 2009. 2017-19 Jan 2008

2005 ()

quite dark, evolving prune colour; tangy, tarry nose that is starting to turn mineral within its black, ripe plum, near prune fruit aroma. The palate has plenty of guts, and a straight, full delivery. Black stone fruits, prunes lead the charge in a traditional, robust way. It ends on the pepper and damp leaf of the vintage, is an honest wine. The aftertaste is coffee-like. 2018-20 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** quite dark; comfortable, ample bouquet, ripe and brewed black fruits with a solid backdrop. Full, complete flavours on the palate – shows tarry, black stone fruits with spice and prune borders. Plenty of stuffing here, a full wine. Tannins need leaving till 2009-10. Altogether quite a potent do. 2023-25 Nov 2006

2004

the robe is still a plum red, with a light orange top. The nose is concentrated on date, dark airs, a spice box of sweet spices. The palate gives a liqueur, black jam flavour; it is pretty free until a more firm, less fruited finish. The attack is tasty – that is the main moment. There is darkness, an intensity of tar, on the finish, which shows its cellar raising as a strong influence. 14.5°. 2021-22 Oct 2013 Previously Nov 2006 **** smoked, mineral aroma with dark fruits – this is a reserved, rather meaty bouquet, but grabs one’s interest with its variety. Clearly textured, graceful fruit that persists, plum flavours. Even though they have changed the house style, this is till a pretty beefy wine, notably at the finish, where it is chunky and vigorous in its youthful way. Good length. From 2009. “2004’s freshness and acidity and balance are superior to 2003’s”, Vincent Maurel 2022-24 Nov 2006 Previously Oct 2006 ***(*) red with some darkness in it; plum fruits, scented aroma with a sweet curl on the bouquet. Good local character with a mix of bosky fruits and pine. The fruit-tannin mix works well, this is a well-structured wine. Good length, has a meaty aftertaste. STGT wine. 2017-20

2003 ()

red with a bit of ruby in the robe; roasted-toasted, broad bouquet that shows black fruits, a hint of game. The palate has an immediately rich start with a tightly controlled tannin; it never develops a straight run of fruit jam; it is stewed in style with sweet touches that will please drinkers. It has a good block of flavour with a dense middle. There is a touch of licorice and mint (“I suspect from the influence of La Crau,” Vincent Maurel) on a solid finish. From 2008. 2024-26  Nov 2006

2002 ()

(vat) red robe; light pepper, black fruited aroma. Easy, quite sympa palate, shows some matter, also tannin. It has some weight, is a bit tough. “We may not bottle this as Châteauneuf-du-Pape,” Vincent Maurel. I find it more like a Villages. To 2010.  Feb 2003

1999 ()

ruby top note to the red colour; has a full, notably funky nose which shows ground coffee, flowers; the palate holds red fruit with a tarry, rather dry end. This has nerve in it, tension, and requires food to get round that – the finale is piercing. Decant it to soften it. It has some rich, secondary flavours but is a bit stiff. Not as good as three years ago, may be dipping. 2024-26  Nov 2006 Previously Feb 2003 ****(*) red, quite deep colour. Has a meaty, three-quarter depth aroma, not yet varied. The palate starts on cooked red fruits, then takes on an intense black fruit flavour – there is plenty here. Its tannins are notable at the end, are likeable. This has cut from its vintage. It is a warm wine, still tight. It needs to settle it taut finish, say three years. I like its freshness. It will have good character around 2006-07. 2023-25  Feb 2003

1998 ()

quite dark; warm, latent nose which for now shows leather, tobacco, a bit of chocolate. The palate has tones of black fruit, spice that precede a peppery end. There is a bundle of influences here, mineral, prune, violets. Upright wine with a chewy end. “This is a ferrous” wine, Vincent Maurel. From 2007 onwards for the most accomplished drinking. 2025-27  Feb 2003

1997 ()

there is some turn in its red robe. This has a gently sweet nose – red jam with a layer of spice. The palate is supple, lacks a bit of core. It is quite savoury overall, but the finish is dry rather than only mineral. Drinks well now. Ends on spice and jam flavours. Is typical of its vintage, is a good restaurant wine. 2008-09  Feb 2003

1990

still mainly red robe. Fungal, earthy nose of interesting variety, cooking plums, leather. The palate starts out broadly, warmly, has good, fleshy content. Tannins circulate freely on the finish. Good, full wine which is very harmonious. I particularly like the fruit on the finish – pure and nicely fresh and clear. Lovely. Its texture is oily and beguiling. “It is not ageing, and was always harmonious, even in the vat,” Vincent Maurel. 2026-28  Feb 2003