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The Wines

30-70% 1965 Grenache, 10-50% 1990 Syrah, 10% 1975 Mourvèdre, 10% 1960s Cinsault/various, all destemmed since 2005, 3-4 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, aged 50% concrete vat, 30% 20 hl large barrel, 20% new, 70% 1-4 year 228-litre oak casks (the Syrah raised 30% new, 70% 1-4 year 228-litre oak casks) 15-18 months, “drink with meat, cheese”

2019

1) (Grenache, zero SO2, vat, 7 gm sugar to finish, going slowly) **** dark; deep nose, stylish dark fruits, Coated palate, good length, and tannins ripe and rounded. Is 16.8°. 2) (Syrah, zero SO2, sugars finished) ***(*) very dark. Cherry, black cherry in an ample nose, has control, though The palate is well fruited, has definition, the finish thorough 3) (50% Grenache-50% Mourvèdre, zero SO2, 3 gm sugar still, vat) **** dark berries, herbs on nose. The palate is filled, not hot, has spine, the length smooth, compact. Plenty of raw fruit. 25 years Oct 2019

2018 ()

three varieties one by one 1) (Syrah, 228-litre used cask) *** dark colour; licorice, spice, open air of crushed blackberry. The palate is fat, rolling, gummy in texture, with dark flavours, thick tannins, a bit too dense to have good style. It’s 16.7°. 18 years 2) (Mourvèdre, new 600-litre cask) **** dark robe; oak on the nose, a blackstrap, licorice aroma, red meat, dark fruit. The palate dives into a rich furrow of black berry fruit, plenty of ripe tannin, has structure. It has length, and a decent clear end. 21 years 3 (Grenache used 600-litre cask) **** dark; slight reduction, thorough, inky blackberry, prune, herbs on the nose. The palate spreads widely, the fruit flowing on a consistent run, has good packing, is well assembled together. It holds aromatic, sexy juice. It will give very good heart to the wine. 23 years 4) (Grenache, concrete vat) **** lucid palate nice grip at the end, superior structure over the 600-litre cask, with greater freshness, lasts well, is helpful for the blend. 24 years 2039-41 Oct 2019

2017 ()

dark robe; has a graceful blackberry aroma, mulled black fruits, sweet notes, spice. The palate gives aromatic fruits, prune, holds nice squeezy gras, bendy tannins, is more harmonious than many 2017s, has violet touches. With its juiced fruit, it can be drunk now, steered in part by ripe, accessible Syrah. It’s straightforward, cards on deck Châteauneuf that will please. The texture on the close is a touch pebbly. 14.5°. The blend was different this year – 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache (usual 70%), 10% Cinsault, 10% Mourvèdre, although Germany took the 70% Grenache version, note. Bottled April 2019. 2029-31 Oct 2019

2016 ()

dark red; The nose is reserved, round, warm, offers a pinpoint of blackberry coulis, sultry mystery behind, with ink-iron-blood, all those mineral prompts. I like the note of thyme. The palate is cosy, rounded, pliant, centred on mulled fruits, with good rolling intensity, the texture coated before a more saline finish, a good 2016 signature. It carries black truffle notes, of la terre, not the sky. The juice at the end is good and thorough. 70% Gren, 15% Syr, 10% Cins, Syrah, Mourv. 15.4°. From 2021, decant it. 2043-45 Oct 2019

2015

dark robe; animal, brooding, grunt factor nose, on reduction. It has plenty of depth, so its potential is sure. The attack is suave, wide, nicely replete, holds black stone fruits, juicy gourmandise, the tannins more obvious than 2016. It has character, interest, good depth and length, is very good, true STGT wine, the aftertaste peppered. Decant it. 15.4°. 2039-42 Oct 2019

2014

evolving dark red robe; the nose is unfurling well, rests on prune and mulled berries, loganberry and mulberry. There is aromatic filling on the palate, a real suave hand out of mixed stone fruits, supple tannins. It finishes with squeezy, appealing gras, lip smacking tones. It has less dimension than the years after it, but offers good drinking, is very good restaurant wine, is more spiced than the later vintages, which fits with the cool vintage profile, especially on the second half. It’s nice and true. 14.5°. 2033-35 Oct 2019 Previously Oct 2015 **** (vat/barrel/casks) dark red robe. Attractive, curvy air of blackberry with a smoky, tar-eucalyptus angle; it sustains pretty well. The palate holds good, crunchy fruit with a dark side of tannin towards the finish, which is good, crunchy and fresh. This has dentelle qualities, and rocks along. From 2018 to arrange the finish. 2029-31  Oct 2015 

2013

genuine red robe, Grenache at the helm. This has an authentic, garrigue-inspired bouquet, airs of plum fruit, raspberry, summer scents. The palate is crisp on the attack, gives a wave of red berry fruit, then the swift arrival of lively tannins and their stony crunch. Genuine, natural Châteauneuf with STGT qualities, for the purists who will accept its rock-strewn nature, far from the sucrosity monsters. It keeps pulling out a bit more on the aftertaste. From 2018 to allow the dry notes on the finish to retreat. 14.5°. 2030-32  Oct 2015

2012 ()

attractive full red robe. The nose is broad and takes control of the situation straight away. Fasten your seatbelts. The heart shows cooked red fruits, with a genuine, prolonged Châteauneuf depth. The palate achieves full, knit fruit and content, with a relative line of freedom, clarity. The finish is full of running, with tang in its tannins, and a salted, red meat, menthol-cocoa exit. This is lusty, long wine. Decant it. A bit of a hidden gem. From 2017. 2029-31  Oct 2015

2011

the robe shows a little line of ruby and the top, isn’t showing the full vigour of youth - a 2011 feature here and there. Typical Châteauneuf-du-Pape nose here – spicy, loganberry and hedgerow fruits, a good, mixed bag – but note that, while it is stimulating, it is advancing fast at only two years’ old. The palate hesitates just a little on the attack, develops a fair gras richness, has a lesser vintage’s cool spicing, and is already evolving towards some Asian spice, even damp woods or sous-bois. The question hangs: will this hold the line or continue to evolve quickly? Spicy wine with red fruits in places and cigar and tobacco on the sign-off, suited to N African, couscous style dishes. 14°. 2022-23  Nov 2013

2009 ()

(casks) full red; smoky, forward oak on the nose, good depth of red fruit behind, soaked red cherries – it is wide and quite insistent. The palate is blending oak and rather rich, subtly rich plum, red fruits. This has fine quality and class, good purity of fruit at its heart. The finish is dry for now, and you have to get inside its oak to access it – the oak fronts it up big time. From late 2012, needs leaving to absorb its oak. 2026-29 Oct 2010

2008 ()

fair depth of red. Grilled, charcoal oak traces in the nose – they bring in licorice alongside the cassis blackcurrant – it is mainly clear, even snappy, in style. Black stone fruit, prune leads the palate – there is a line of mineral in it from the vintage and its oak. A “site under construction” wine – the attack is very enforced, and air pushes the oak right forward. Just enough richness or matter for the oak. Lightly juiced black fruit peeks out at the end. From late 2011 to allow more integration of its oak raising. 2018-19 Dec 2009

2007

Cask 1 (60% Grenache, 20% each Syrah, Mourvèdre example, new oak) *** the nose is ample, has bite; the palate black fruit has some depth, is a bit forward on its tannin, shows its oak. Is very primary, its fruit is clean and clear beyond the oak. Cask 2 (60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, 2-year oak) **(*) supple, understated nose, a little herbal. This is a wine of some sinew and punch, is also a bit oaked – there is some late power here. It is a touch on the dry side from its tannin and oak. Life of 12 to 14 years, I would say. June 2008

2005 ()

quite bright dark plum robe; good, cohesive nose, all together: there is a scented top note, the fruit just a little “high”, black cherry in style, is a wee bit flat overall, though. The palate has a supple, low acidity start, and its fruit ends a trifle early. A “mature” style of wine – the fruit needs to be clearer. It ends on a note of gummy black fruit and red fruit, the length is fair. No change really from its 1st tasting. 2014-15 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **(*) quite dark, with a matt hue. Soaked, ripe bouquet, is fundamental; and earthy, even maybe a hint of volatile. Fleshy, rather drooping flavour, is sweet and ripe and needs lift. Raspberry flavour with fungal siding. A fundamental wine, of the soil, traditional style. The start is rather clumsy. From 2008. Eat with stews and autumn, winter foods. 2014-15 Nov 2006

2004 ()

red fruit, nutted bouquet that is reserved, hidden – needs 2 years to blossom. Fruit kicks off quite well on palate, takes a time to get going properly, then gains more end tannin and weight. Comes in the rather upright 2004 vintage style. Has a fine-boned frame, is on an elegant but quite powerful path. Not yet settled, has rather an edgy nature just now, isn’t convincing. From 2009. 13.5° on label. 2019-21 March 2007 Previously Oct 2006 *** quite a deep Grenache red colour; Reserved bouquet with some potential – shows smoky, largely red fruit, is a little stiff now in its youth. Well woven, spicy flavour, has clean lines with a crisp finish. Tarry aftertaste. Lacks a little flesh and fat. Try in 2008. 2013-16

2003 ()

quite a pretty red with some evolution on the top rim. There is some power in the bouquet, but it is comfortably broad, with some intense black fruits within; it is just a little spirity, but is stable. The palate holds well-set red fruits – there is a cohesion about it, so it is relatively solid, as one, without great nuance as yet. Has dark honey, soaked cherries aftertaste. Given its sweet tones, the finish is clear, with some still young tannin in it, which adds life. Good length. Has certainly gained dimension as it has aged over the past 2 years. 13.5°. 2018-19 June 2008 Previously June 2006 *** bold bouquet, chocolate, prune, is a touch heavy. Nicely generous palate, mixes herbs, laurel in a jam flavour. Texture is rounded and savoury, this drinks well now. 2011-12 June 2006

2001

tender robe – matt, opaque, ruby above red. Coffee-cocoa combination on the nose, which is upright, has pebbly garrigue airs, red plum fruit, with floral, peony notes – it is not very broad. There is the softened, mature evolution of Grenache here, but it starts to narrow from half way, and while the end shows some richness, it is starting to peak. The tannins now give it dry edges. Autumn or winter foods best with this. 13.5°. To 2015. Nov 2008