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The Wines

40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre from galet stone covered clay-limestone soils on Le Grand Coulet (S-E), destemmed, 3-4 week vinification at 30°C in 80% steel vat, 20% concrete vat, pumping overs, cap punching, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 0-40% large barrels, 0-33% 1-2 year 225-litre oak casks, 60-100% concrete vat 12 months (until early 2010s raised 33% 1-2 year 225-litre oak casks, 33% concrete, 33% large barrel), 40-45,000 b

2018 ()

dark red robe; the nose is overtly smoky, trails cigarette ash, with a cordon of plum fruit below, has a sound centre. The palate shows gas, gives tangy black cherry fruits with quite thick tannins, carries a lightly scented side, continues into a rounded close with trim fruit present there. Its fruit engages well, is tasty. 14.5°. 45,000 b. 40% Gren, 30% Syr, 30% Mourv. Bottled Sept 2019. €22.50. From 2022. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017 ()

dark, full, black centred robe. The bouquet is weighty, has an overt stewed fruits aroma, a note of the vat, cooked green apples as well, reduction. The palate has a stewed fruits aspect as well, is disorganised, with the degree not in sync with the content. It’s still close to fermenting. There is a layered presence of red fruits, but this is far from ready. 14.5°. 45,000 b. 40% Gren, 30% Syr, 30% Mourv. Bottled Sept 2018. €22.50. From 2022. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016

shiny, dark robe. Has a good bouquet inspired by garrigue influences, a ready display of mixed herbs, laurel, thyme, with an inset of glistening black cherry fruit, a touch of prune and also tar. The palate swings along with smooth content, sleek black fruit, carries well-ripened tannins that leave a light graininess, powdering, on the finish. This is fresh and the aftertaste is crisp, all good in that respect. The Syrah-Mourvèdre duo have shaped the wine most completely, and their breeze have aided its lift and finishing burst. 14.5°. 45,000 b. All concrete vat raised. 40% Gren, 30% Syr, 30% Mourv. €22. Bottled Sept 2017. From late 2019. 2031-34 Oct 2017

2015

(concrete vat, bottling March 2017) dark plum colour. A lightly floral, aromatic note accompanies a close-knit, sealed black berry fruit air which gives the centre of the bouquet here. There is a hum of southern ripeness, power. It will shape up and vary well over time, with hints of garrigue. The palate has a savoury, flowing nature, with some cool red and blueberry fruit, fine and clear tannins beyond. It’s a trim wine with a little of the Pinot Noir about it, a bonny detail. One for the thinker-drinkers via its subtleties. 14.5°. 45,000 b. From late 2018. 2028-30 Sept 2016

2014

(vat/large barrel) dark, full red, black tints. Oak smoke and free run black berry fruit, polished leather, violets combine on the bouquet. It has a little funkiness, too. The palate is enhanced by the tasty, fluid quality of its fruit, which really captures the imagination. The tannins are nice and bendy, so fit in well. This is indeed a tasty meatball. From mid-2017. 2026-27  Oct 2015

2013 ()

(vat/large barrel) medium purple colour. A flattering, raspberry red fruit aroma is followed by a perfumed but light palate. There is lots of spice on both the palate and nose. Syrah to the fore, it seems? It is really perfumed in style, but maybe there is also a vegetal nuance. Has chewy tannins that carry the finish. Harvested 17 September. 14°. From 2016. 2021-22 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

(vat/casks, bottling March 2014) sound red robe; red cherry liqueur in a cleanly fruited aroma that also gives a buzz of flint, dust and herbs around it. The palate bears good, fluid juice, its texture smooth, with fine grain touches from its tannins. Tender wine, pretty good drinkability. There is a good ensemble between nose and palate. It isn’t nuanced as it stands, is a comfortable ride, polished Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A bit more depth would help. The length is sound – there is late gras richness here; it is already showing quite a lot. From 2015. 14°. €21. 2022-24  Nov 2013

2011 ()

quite dark red; A good ball of ripe, fairly dense blackberry fruit greets the drinker, has a vanilla pod outer air, precise features, is redondo, agreeable. This is good, tasty, wide spread on the palate; has a suave, ripe Morello black cherry flavour, is nicely plump with a lightly pebbly, clear ending. It lacks a little depth, a 2011 feature. The fruit is enjoyable. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 2023-25  Dec 2012

2010

clear, medium+ depth of red. There is a flint snap, a dustiness in the nose with the second layer one of plum fruit and licorice. The palate moves along with freedom, has spiced sides, its fruiting direct, indeed it whizzes along. The tannins are ripe on the finish. This needs to settle in bottle. It dips its toe into the plum fruit on the palate, not more than that for now. From 2014. Bottling March 2012. 2023-25 Dec 2011

2009

the red robe is giving ground at the top; There is a resin note in the nose, slightly singed and scratchy. Small bundles of red fruit lie in the palate, with strictness of style and stiff tannin around them. Unconvincing on the finish, where it is nearly sharp. From 2013. 14.5°. 2019-20 Sept 2011 Previously Oct 2010 *(*) (casks) plum red, bit dull robe. Sweet but already maturing, evolving aroma – plum cake with a medicinal air. Sweet debut to the palate, has plain fruit that lacks purity and lift. It runs on a ripe tack, but the result is more clumsy than fine. I sense that its matter is stretched, and may tire early. From spring 2012. 2018-19 Oct 2010

2008 ()

(casks) matt, quite full red; chocolate-toffee, oaked bouquet that is broad: no clear fruit here in this very young wine. Red liqueur aroma hangs around in the background. Has a sweet, textured debut – the fruit runs steadily, with no gaps, is drinkable now, even though a few tannins, pebbly feel ones, intervene towards the finish. The late heat is more a glow than a gasp, a 2008 feature. A keep it safe wine, made rather by percentages. Dries towards the aftertaste. From spring 2010. 2016-17 Nov 2009

2007 ()

slightly sombre dark red. Quiet simmer of red berry fruit on nose, leans towards jam, shows garrigue, dustiness, beef stock. Supple Grenache-inspired red flavour on the palate – which is a bit tight, upright for now. Fine fruit, local feel, ends on baked note, tannin, possible lurk of Brett. 2016-18 Nov 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **(*) dark red, purple robe. Has a sweet fruit aroma – soaked black cherries or griottes – blackberry jam or jelly here – it is fairly deep, all quite open. The palate holds savoury fruit, comes with a hurrah, waves a friendly flag – it is a get on and drink style of wine with a little tannin in it that rolls around the finish. The fruit is ripe, and this is is not a long liver. A bit obvious. 2015-16 Nov 2008

2006

black berry robe; there is a toasted, oaked top to the black fruit aroma – the fruit is strongly black cherry in nature, along with cedar and violets. The palate fruit is clear-cut, sleek in style; it runs on well, with broad stuffing around it – there is good heart to this. It becomes solid towards the finish. A wine of plenty of charm, grace and generosity, with good length and balance. From 2010. 2019-21 April 2008

2005 ()

steady red with some evolution in it; brewed aroma, with a sense of chocolate alongside a grounding of black fruit that has pepper and a biscuity touch as well – it is a little flat today. The palate runs consecutively, starting with pretty clear fruit, ending on workmanlike tannins that have life and kick - a good vintage marking there. There is a thread of gras running through it. It is moving together, and will be more ensemble and a shade less upright by late 2009. The length is good. Best with hearty foods rather than refined dishes. A golden phase, when it less tannin-marked, but still rich, will be around 2012-16. 2020-23 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **** (pre-bottle) dark robe; brewed bouquet – mixes ripe fruit, some game, mulberry and tea – implies fruit that has been picked deliberately late (a fashionista policy). Gourmand, rich start with spice fringes, is big and broad, a wine of plenty. Quite fresh finish, a little chocolate at the end. Tannins need leaving 2-3 years. Has funky aspects, this is one for the headbangers, is chunky and needs time. From 2010. 2024-27 Nov 2006

2004 ()

thorough, dark robe; slightly sweet Grenache, earthy aroma of soaked cherries (griottes), is just a bit restricted. Supple strike of fruit on the palate, gains freshness as it goes and needs time to settle. Clear, decisive and just enough content to live quite well. From 2008. 2014-17 Nov 2006

2001 ()

red robe; overt bouquet that is floral, with soft fruit such as strawberry. The palate is also supple, is easy from the word “go” - not bad depth of flavour, with red fruit and strawberry again. From the warm side of town; there is fair matter here and charm as it persists. Esp 2006 on. 2015-17 May 2003

2000

nice sappy red fruit aroma. The attack is plump, bears quite enjoyable cooked fruits then precede its tannins. It is a bit disjointed, but will be OK. Leave until mid-2005-2006. 42,000 b. 2012-14 March 2003

1999 ()

funky, down home bouquet that shows evolution. There is a beef soup style about it. The palate holds a solid content, but lacks follow through. Has reached an interesting stage, is a cameo of brewed flavours and dark tones with still some end tannin on display that is wild in style. 2016-18 Nov 2006