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The Wines

75-80% Grenache, 15-20% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre from Brotte vineyards on Les Pradel (N-W), Pierre à Feu (S-W), Beau Renard (N-W), Combes Masques (N-W), destemmed, 30 day vinification at up to 28°C, pumping overs, most supple & fruited Grenache raised large 40 hl barrel & vat, Syrah, Mourvèdre & most tannic Grenache raised 33% each new-1-2 year old 228-litre oak casks 12 months, total raising is 30% concrete vat, 30% large 40 hl barrel, 20% new 228-litre oak casks, 20% 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 12 months (until mid-2010s aged 50% vat & large 40 hl barrel, 50% new-1-2 year old 228-litre oak casks 8-12 months), filtered, 30-40,000 b

2017

(large barrel/casks/vat, bottling March 2019) dark red; the bouquet has a rounded, cooked plum, mulled red berries aroma, a typical Grenache presence, some menthol. The palate presents easy content with a supple texture all through, extends with some fineness, ends softly. Good typicity here. The length is sound. It is unpretentious, pretty genuine, its restraint successful. Burgundy meets Châteauneuf to some extent here. 14.5°. 35,000 b. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. €34.60. From mid-2020. 2038-41 Oct 2018

2016

(casks/vat/barrel, bottling March 2018) dark red colour. The bouquet is rich, oily, gives a layered aroma of dense mulberry, plum fruit, with some herbs’ notions. The palate is generous, immediate, hands out a good serving of gras richness with supple tannins well placed around it. It ends on sweet herbs, some toffee from the oak, a note of tar. This is thoroughly genuine, sweetly-hearted Châteauneuf: drink from 2020, serve in a large glass. 14.5°. 35,000 b. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. €30. 2037-40 Oct 2017

2015

(casks, vat) dark plum red colour. Pine cones and a roasted angle come forward on the nose, a dustiness of the trail. This is raw, unrefined. The palate bears a rounded content wrapped together in a ball of berry fruit, has live tannins with a little menthol and tar edge. It’s still loose in its youth, and has acidity that will serve it well over time – time to fuse and vary. The length is good. This is genuine Châteauneuf. 14.5°. From 2019. 2034-37 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(casks, vat) handsome dark red robe. The nose gives an air of grilling, sizzled bacon, bustling black fruit, with a darker note such as tar and cough medicine. It is a pretty full start, on the go now. The palate runs freely, bearing a trail of black berry fruit with a note of mint clarity. Expressive, in the instant and enjoyable. A rare w.o.w. Châteauneuf, if a tad simple. 14.5°. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. 32,000 b. €28. From mid-2016. 2024-25 Oct 2015

2013 ()

(casks, vat) pale robe. Has a delicate red fruited nose – not over-expressive. The attack is sweet, then gives round fruit and light, sandy tannins. There is a certain freshness on the finish. Neat, concise and balanced, a wine with its Grenache character affirmed. 14.5°. From 2016. 2025-27 JL Oct 2014

2012

(casks, vat) thick red colour. There is rather imposing depth of black berry fruit and some licorice on the nose, a little rose-violet perfume present – the nose is ripe and ensemble. Its hover of degree is just under wraps. The palate continues in a serene, full vein. Has ripe, pliant tannin, and a spot of extra late darkness. Heading for harmony. The fruit centres on cassis, some blackberry, with a grainy input from its tannins. Good late grip, which is tight and clear. From mid-late 2015, no hurry. Has potential, and pretty good balance. 15°. 2029-31  Oct 2013

2011 ()

decent red, a trace of matt in it. The nose is changing: it shows a firm side, is granular, also some spirit, the fruit not on the front foot, some garrigue, small note of raspberry liqueur. The palate lacks a stable HQ, centre: again, a wine on the shift, leaving a more dry, tannic last impression. The fruit has receded for now. It is disjointed, lacks the ability to give pleasure. From 2016. 14.5°. 2025-27  Oct 2013 Previously Dec 2012 ***(*) (bottling March 2013) inviting, shiny red robe. There are notes of damp forest, a blackberry, light tar liqueur setting, pine and bosky airs. This is a good, varied bouquet in the making. The palate has a grainy black fruit start, a comfortable medium weight gras in its middle. It ends on prune and ripe red fruit. Three-quarter weight wine that has a light tone of herbs on a dusty, pebbly finish, where there is a charge of power. Plenty to tuck into here – hearty, genuine Châteauneuf. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 75% G, 20% Syr, 5% M this year. 2025-26  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(casks) bright, three-quarter depth red colour. Assertive, smoky, bit edgy nose with a direct line of red fruit inside it, raspberry fruit that resembles the Syrah. Crisp red berry debut to the palate, one that sets the tone. Inside the nutty effect of the raising and oak the fruit is tasty, and again I find a sense of Syrah on its second half, the extra lift from that variety. Plenty of juice on this. It ends on spice, black pepper, and is long. From 2014. In keeping with the vintage, less Grenache than usual – 75% Gren, 20% Syr this year. 2031-33 Dec 2011

2007

(casks, to be bottled Feb 2009): complete red robe; smoky, lissom aroma that reveals densely packed, simmered cherries – they come with a little freedom or snap. The palate has a black cherry flavour, along with more mature items such as prune and Christmas cake. The oak brings a toasted and ground coffee late note, but there is ripe fruit at the heart of this. Is a mild, easy, polished wine. From mid-late 2010 to allow the oak to absorb. 2023-25 Nov 2008

2006 ()

gently maturing red robe, legs down the glass, with a ruby top. Prune, cedar, cigar box aroma – the bouquet is a very classic example of maturing Châteauneuf-du-Pape, also has airs of cold tea. It is developing its variety well. The palate has the looseness of the year after its flourishing start; the content has started to fall back, which is what has happened to an extent here, with the proviso that the nose gives great encouragement for even more in the future. The texture is appealing, has lots of spice speckles, with a date, Christmas tart, mince pie, dark cocoa end that has cut, goes “clack”.  It is very vintage faithful, and genuine. 14.5°. 2023-25  Dec 2012 Previously Nov 2008 **(*) steady red; the top air is of oak smoke; there lies a couch of latent red fruit under that, some of the baked stones of the south. There is more freedom on the palate attack than on the nose – the fruit is rounded, quite facile, doesn't have the greatest depth or core. It tapers rather at the end, though there is some chewiness on the aftertaste. Perfectly nice, a touch simple. 14.5°. To 2021 Nov 2008

2005 ()

steady red core to the robe, with shift in the top rim of colour; Honey, sweet, mulled fruits aroma – Grenache apparent, raisin and red fruits in a comfortable setting. Has a raisin, plum flavour, with growing tannins after half way – indicates that it should be left till mid-2010. Structured and more upright than 2006 and 2007. The second half is interesting thank to its tannins, and the aftertaste is good and fresh. Fine texture to this. Has absorbed its oak well. 14.5°. To 2023-24 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** quite dark robe with a matt tone. Brewed nose with a quite potent top note, combines raspberry and mint, is ripe and round and shows promise. Supple start to the palate, grows elegantly as it goes, with reserves in behind. Orderly flow suggests a good, consistent evolution. Soaked texture with oak sides and touch of end oak. Plum wine with a rich core, has been well assembled. Some end tar from its oak. From 2009. 2022-23 Nov 2006

2004

evolving robe, not a full red; subdued bouquet, with a Grenache imprint, some tar but the fruit is not springy, is flat. Solid, quite chunky, local style of wine, without flair. Chocolate on aftertaste. Not moving forward well – shows too much evolution already. 2010-11 Oct 2006

2003 ()

move towards orange above the red of the robe; maturing, evolving Grenache nose – scented prune, jam aroma. Indeed, the nose is still complete, quite unchanged in its depth and concentration, even if the top air is a little advanced. It serves to set up the palate well. The start is sprinkled with pepper – this has gourmand qualities, with a interesting second stage marked by raisin and date flavours. Good, complete length on it. This is going well now. Only 13.5° - maybe they picked earlier than some. To 2019-21 Nov 2008

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001 ()

top of orange, black plum below it; prune, plum, soft liqueur nose – there are trails of nut, , very ripe blackberry, brewed black coffee. The palate represents a mix of old and young – it has evolved to a point where its texture is still wholesome, quite rich. The flavours combine red fruits (youth) with chocolate, cocoa (age) and are gently presented. A little late acidity is a bonus, and there is even a bit of oak still there on the finish, suggesting it was more clumsily done in those days. The finish shows cake, toffee. Subdued now, more boom in this from 2010. 2019-21 Nov 2008

1999

pretty red, touch ruby robe; grainy, provocative nose – it is upright, has the cool air of its vintage, leads with overt pepper, and has life in it – a classic, varied Châteauneuf bouquet. The pepper infusion also features on the attack, and leads to a supple mid-palate, followed by a rich, mature Grenache finale. This bears the virtues of traditional Châteauneuf – a touch of animal, but a rich core, a wine great with winter dishes. It would be written off by the modernists, those who love spotless living. The nose and the palate are complex. 2020-22 Nov 2008