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The Wines

40% Grenache (1950s), 30% Syrah (1960s), 30% Mourvèdre from galet stone covered soils on Le Grand Coulet (S-E), whole bunch use since mid-2010s, 3-4 week vinification in 50% concrete vat, 30% steel vat, 20% large oak barrel, cap punching, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 1-year old 228-litre oak casks 12 months (before mid-2010s given a further 6-15 months in vat after the cask raising), unfined, unfiltered, 16,000 b


(vat) dark, sombre red; the nose centres on its Grenache and a Victoria plum aroma, with a note of red meat from the Mourvèdre, a backdrop of garrigue herbs. It’s a substantial opening. The palate is generous on the attack, gives a wave of red-fruited, rolling matter, has a plump middle, and takes on a spur of freshness towards the finish. All three varieties bring their contributions to set up interest, hidden corners. It’s been vinified with restraint, and carries local notions, a good heart. 14.5°. 16,000 b. €35. From 2023. 2041-43 Dec 2020


dark red; the bouquet has a vigorous quality, mixed herbs, smoke, pine, with cooked red stone fruits behind. The palate is spiced, punchy, delivers a strong heartbeat of the warm lands, doesn’t hold back. There’s a stream of menthol freshness on the close - it goes wham! with that. It’s an authentic Châteauneuf. The finish is assertive, on knuckled tannins, is wild for now. 14.5°. 16,000 b. 40% Gren, 30% Syr, 30% Mourv. €35. From 2023. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017 ()

full, deep red robe. The nose is vigorous, on brewed intensity of black fruits, menthol and coffee notes circulating above, oak apparent. The palate strides out on a concerted run of tangy black-fruited content, ends on tar, darkness, a note of singeing there. It has some of the oiliness of the south in its texture, is a manly, exerted wine with some late gasp from its intrinsic power. It needs time to become more civilised. Decant it. 14.5°. 16,000 b. 40% Gren, 30% Syr, 30% Mourv. Bottled May 2018. €35. From 2022. 2040-42 Oct 2018


full red robe. Has a copious, brimming nose, a plump, lustrous display of black berry fruits, soaked with dampness, a bountiful basket, airs of black olives also. The palate is smoothly textured from the off, bears rolling, fluid content, backed by ripe, savoury tannins. It extends with a sure hand, on thick coulis-liqueur lines. This will please on its silken feel and seamless delivery of southern finesse and fruit. 14.5°. 16,000 b. 40% Gren. 30% Syr, 30% Mourv. Bottled Sept 2017. €35. From 2021. 2038-40 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks) quite a dark red robe. The nose is brewed up, with a smoky air of black fruits and some spice, clove present. The palate issues pretty stylish mulberry-like fruit with a wash of gras that rolls into the buzzy, tangy finish. It’s straightforward, delivers its black fruit securely, and only just escapes being extracted. 14.5°. From 2019. 2033-35 Sept 2016

2011 ()

(vat) dark red; broad, well-filled nose with oak-toasting, licorice and cassis liqueur at its centre, a note of bacon. The palate has a firm, square start, holds mechanical style raspberry fruit. The cellar is on top here. Its content recedes at the end, where there is some dry acidity. Not at all in one place, a disparate wine. There is a feel of extraction. From mid-2015. 14.5°. 2026-28  Dec 2012


(vat) quite a dark robe; smoky, backward nose, with prune fruit on top but lurking below is mulberry fruit, coffee, an implicit oiliness, also an air of tar. The palate is wide; it features still firm, complete tannins that are enclosing its subdued black fruit. It ends on a glow, a low-key power. The firm finish needs leaving until 2015. This is solid by design, a wee bit low on charm, a shade mechanical. It can yield over time, so no hurry. 2031-33 Dec 2011

2009 ()

regular red Grenache robe; oak-bosky first air, the impression of pine tress rather than sun and roundness. The palate is enclosed, drawn in, and there are grainy moments as it goes. Has a potential core of plum red fruit, strawberry, and needs time. From 2014, can move into shape. 14.5°. 2029-31 Sept 2011


(casks/vat) fair depth of red; mix of flowers and black pepper hovers above its black fruit nose, also has a game implant, is Grenache-led in style, and pretty clear. The palate delivers scented, attractive fruit that runs freely, with some style. It ends clearly, has a tinkle of tannin and a subdued licorice aftertaste, also violet. It drinks OK now – marks for clarity and the absence of pretension, the grower is not playing cellar catch-up with this. Balance is OK. From 2011 for most success. 2017-18 Nov 2009

2007 ()

dark robe. Broad, supple black fruits aroma that is forward, has smouldering cassis in it, licorice and gunflint. This is an open-chested wine – its ripe black fruit has a little alcohol spirit through it, notably on the later stages: that renders it a mite taut. Has good weight, though, can run on. Finishes clearly enough for now. Power wine, eau de vie hovers – that is the style. Length is OK. 2023-25 Nov 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **(*) dark red with mauve and black in it. The bouquet shows black fruit, with an oily essence – there is a mix of violet and nuts, and it verges on the eau de vie of different fruits. The palate is tight and taut – the sense of extraction comes through, meaning its core fruit is febrile, not relaxed. There is power in this – I would prefer to retaste it 18 months after bottling, and see how it goes. The fruit doesn't linger on the palate now. From 2011. 2021-23 Nov 2008

2006 ()

dark, blackberry colour; thorough, full nose with plenty of ingrained appeal, a good curve of ripeness. It is a little meaty, earthy, vegetal. The palate fruit moves steadily along, and ends on a wide, complete note, without excess. The flavour is blackberry, backed by some live but ripe tannins. There is a little freshness on the finish. It a bit raw, and the finish needs to fuse, but overall it can come together. From 2010 for added harmony. 2020-23 Jan 2008

2005 ()

matt hue to the red colour; good, secure bouquet, even if its shows signs of evolution = has a refined, peppery top note, a couch of well-knit red fruit under, is an open affair. The palate has a sweet, floral-inspired debut – has come hither appeal, a roundness marked by cocoa notes late on. Its texture does a lot for its appeal – it is supple, with a good thread of tannin in the back. A bit obvious, but provides a comfortable gourmandise. 2017-18 June 2008

2000 ()

full red robe, just a little advance. The nose has a pretty little fresh note at the top, is underpinned by beef stock, a tarry plum aroma, with farmyard and cinnamon. Not for the white coats. Wholesome, broad start to the palate – there is acidity in its red fruit, a note of kirsch. The length is good – this is a wine of some power. At mid way, black fruit with a piercing intensity appears, until the finish gains roundness, expresses licorice, and the final stages are measured as a result. Certainly has pulse. Has gained, can fuse more. 2018-20 Jan 2008 Previously May 2003 **(*) full, quite dark robe; has a heated, full bouquet – good, typical, spiced and quite hearty. The palate is a bit stretched, and overripe. Is rather a cellar made wine rather than vineyard. Some meatiness sin it. Shows late chewiness, some heat and tar. From 2006. 2015-16 May 2003

1999 ()

advancing nose, but generous raspberry in it. The palate is also good – has sappy, ripe fruit and delivers pleasure drinking. A touch of soft leather on the finish. Drinks well now. 2011-13 May 2003

1998 ()

good mix of aromas in a wide bouquet – raisin tart, leather, damp notes. The palate runs straight down the line, the fruit a bit dry, the flavour prune, leather, black berries. It is a wee bit clipped. Can be decanted. 18,000 b. 2011-13 March 2003