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The Wines

70-75% Grenache (1960s), 10-12% Mourvèdre, 10-15% Syrah (1970s), 3% Vaccarèse (1950s)/Counoise (1990)/Cinsault from Barbe d’Asne (W), Bois de Boursan (S), Les Bosquets (N), Les Esqueirrons (N-W), La Gardiole (N-E), Les Grandes Serres (S-W), Mont Pertuis (S-E), Mont Redon (N-W), Pignan nord (N-E), Terres Blanches (N-E), soils amount to 50% galet stones, 20% red gravel/marls, 20% brown soils, 10% sand/compacted sandstone, 40% destemmed (old Grenache are whole bunch), 28 day concrete vat vinification at 26°C (lower than in 2000s), part vat emptying/refilling, cap punching, aged 40-60% large barrel, 20-35% 2-3 year oak 550-litre casks, 20-25% concrete vat 12-18 months, unfined, filtered, 35-45,000 b

2018 ()

(large barrel/casks, concrete vat, bottling March 2020) bright, shiny dark red robe; the nose has a discreet aroma of black berry fruit, a little salting. It’s got more to give, can open up a lot further. The palate carries a lining of plum fruits, with spicing and slightly chunky tannins that dominate the close. There is plenty here, with time its aid. Decant it. 15°. 35,000 b. 75% Gren, 11% Syr, 11% Mourv, 1% each Cins, Vaccarèse, Counoise. €28.50. From 2023. 2041-43 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(large barrel/casks/vat, bottling March 2019) deep, dark red robe, black centre. The bouquet “glistens” with blackcurrant, filled up blackberry fruit, hasn’t got going yet, is a deep and doughty affair. The palate has inner strength, power, is lined with dark berry fruits that have a smoky attachment, with a surge of pebbly content as it closes. The degree is on the cusp here relative to its matter, but it’s a sound Châteauneuf. 15°. 45,000 b. 75% Gren, 11% Syr, 11% Mourv, 1% each Cins, Vaccarèse, Counoise. From 2021. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016

(barrel/casks/vat, bottling March 2018) handsome, shiny dark red robe. This has a wide, pretty copious bouquet formed around a blackberry liqueur, roast beef aroma. The palate bears rippling black fruit content, all very well packed together, making for an impressively full glass. It ends with a mark of saltiness and uplift, and is a thoroughly genuine Châteauneuf, bang in line with what it should be in this top vintage. 15°. 45,000 b. 75% Gren, 12% Syr, 10% Mourv 1% each Coun, Vaccarèse, Cinsault. €26. From 2020. 2032-35 Oct 2017

2015

(barrel/casks/vat) correct red robe. The nose gives a slightly spiky aroma of blackberry and cherry jelly; it is garnished by some herbes de Provence. The palate runs with a line of red berry fruit with rocky tannins right in the mix. It shows the cut of 2015 after the mid-point. The finish is butty, chewy, currently demanding. There is some compressed juice on the aftertaste. It needs time – leave until 2019. 15°. 2029-31  Sept 2016  GB £229 12b i/b H2Vin +44(0)203 478 7376  www.H2Vin.co.uk info@H2Vin.co.uk

2014 ()

(barrel/casks/vat) decent red robe. This has a menthol air, a hint of pine, with a red berry jam underlay, the fruit quiet. The palate has a good, collected ball of berry flavour, and some agreeable juiciness, with smoky tannins riding on to the stage as it finishes – they bring a darker, more prune fruit aspect. Fair length. From mid 2017. 2027-28 GB £90/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(barrel/casks) mild red robe. There is a rather firm set of cherry fruit on the nose, comes with thyme and a little smoke, has clean lines. There are crunchy moments inside a compact, tight red cherry flavour that has wee kirsch dabs in it. A garrigue, local expression comes along at the end. Upright, toothsome, clear wine that is loose-limbed and doesn’t have the usual gras richness in it. Adjust your Châteauneuf-du-Pape expectations here; a wine with a genuine link to the vintage, one that can evolve. From late 2016. 2025-27. 70% Gren, 15% Syr, 10% Mourv, 3% Vaccar/Counoise/Cins this year. £199 12b i/b H2Vin www.H2Vin.co.uk orders@H2Vin.co.uk  Nov 2014 Previously Oct 2014 ***(*) (barrel/casks) medium to full colour. Spicy, red fruit nose with a hint of oak ; a bouquet that definitely shows persistence with a second swirl. Oak is again apparent on the palate. That seems a little over-powering at present, but there’s fruit behind that will come through in the end. The tannins are firm but fine. From 2017. 14.5°. 2026-27  JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

(barrel/casks/vat, bottling Feb 2014) dark robe. The nose has an inherent fullness, baked airs, possible Brett and a leather angle. The palate moves off on a black cherry flavour, a flashy debut. Tannins come forward soon, and line the gums. It is a bit foxy, has grunt, is wild just now. Plenty of heart for the future. The style is brewed, shows mulled fruits. Traditional wine. From 2016. 60% large barrel, 20% 550-litre, 20% vat this year. £185 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2026-28  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(barrel/casks) shiny, dark red. Black cherry, mulled or liqueur air with rosemary herbs around it, really sunny, with black olive. This is straightforward wine that continues on clear, loose black fruit – it is pretty tasty and stylish. The tannin on the finish is low-key, will integrate. Pretty authentic, not forced, is a good Road Runner. Tar and chocolate feature on the finish. 14.5°. From late 2014. 2026-27  Dec 2012

2010

(barrel/casks) healthy full red. Good mixture on the nose – spice, chocolate, with crisp but ripe fruit black fruit, raspberry, is not far off ready. The palate rocks along freely, holds good Grenache fruit and a robust but mobile outer casing. It ends on pine, slightly oily notions, licorice, some southern glow. It slips along, but doesn`t have great body within. Correct length. From late 2012. 2020-22 Dec 2011

2009

quite dark, bright and full red. Welcoming, shapely red fruit aroma – immediate appeal, comes with a little smokiness, cigarette ash. Really good palate – tasty start, runs with a consistent flow, strawberry jam in the flavour. Also fresh enough to be clear ended. Very faithful to its place, STGT wine. Good balance. 2023-25. March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 **** (barrel/cask) steady red colour; agreeable bouquet – red fruit, jam with a measured touch, not too sweet, has a good and clear typicity of Châteauneuf, is good and sunny. The palate is a well-filled bundle – red fruits, plums, with an intense core. Heat gradually emerges – this glows towards the finish. That slight burn is vintage typical, shows a bit of tar there. From spring 2012 to adjust that. Forward style wine, is typical, close to STGT. 2021-23 Oct 2010

2008

(barrel/cask) red with some magenta in it. Attractive red berry fruit aroma, sweet cherry at its heart, a little licorice – the bouquet travels along nice lines. Very en primeur fruit on the palate, which has a plump heart, is scented, and runs into a light touch outcrop of tannins, ending on licorice. There is very agreeable here and now drinking in this, right on its well-defined fruit. Length good, and on Day 2 was good and plump. A get on and drink wine, could be w.o.w. 2016-18 Dec 2009

2007 ()

(assemblage example) purple/mauve colour with a dark red top. Has a cassis, simmered black berries aroma with a little game on the fringe – an animal note – with sizzled pork sausage. There is plenty of good, juicy depth in the bouquet. The palate runs with mulled, ripe berry fruit. There is more on the front than late palate, as per many 2007s, but the length is sound – it is just a matter of time for it to complete itself. There are herbs infused in the taste – this is a handsome picture in the painting. Tayberry, fresh note on the finish. The tannins need a little time. Interesting wine – drink from mid-2010. 2021-22 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(assemblage example) full, quite dense red; the bouquet is lively, a vibrant Grenache that is ripe and has a bit of the compote, mulled and touch hang dog nature. Ripe fruit with a rounded texture on the palate; the tannins get up and go after half way, the length is sound. Leave until late 2009-2010. There is a bit of burn on the aftertaste and an earthiness with coffee, mocha notes. Will become woodsy, sous-bois as it ages. 2020-22 Nov 2007 Previously Dec 2006 (example - 100% Grenache, 2/3 destemmed) funky, Big Hound nose, broad and ripe. Good depth with a fleshy core on the palate, plenty here, has a fresh finale. Dec 2006

2005 ()

dark red plum, just a little top lightening. Brewed, tangly bramble fruit aroma – a very good sweet berry air with herbs such as rosemary, spice such as cinnamon. The palate starts well – the richness moves along easily, has a mobile generosity. Really bonny length and expansion through the palate – this is complete and persistent. Its tannins are largely infused now, and lend a bit of extra solidity at the end - good, Nicolas. This makes the pulse beat, is STGT wine. 2019-22 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ****(*) quite full red; pretty bouquet – springy red fruits, with some sweet appeal, has cards up its sleeve for more and character. Good shape to the palate; accomplished red fruits, with a silken feel, is elegant and rounded. Persists discreetly, has good balance. Good typicity, this is STGT wine, with its pure fruit quality. More from 2008, but can go well now. Good sinew with a gourmand sweet appeal – caresses the palate. Long, too. I reckon it must be good value as an above average Tradition wine. 2020-23 Nov 2006

2004 ()

coffee, slightly dry tones on the nose and a meaty underlay – some fair life in this. Palate is more settled than the nose – but it lacks genuine clarity and fruit expression. The finish isn’t very clear for some reason. 2013-15 Oct 2006, London Previously Sept 2005 *(*) clear red colour; tight berry fruit aroma, direct thrust, more open mid-2006 on. Weaves a licorice path along the palate, tight-knit, with a little garrigue and a solid finale. Suitable for white meats.

2003

some ruby in the red; has a red fruits, rather soaked cherries aroma with a little black pepper that provides some impulse and snap. The palate is a steady affair, and holds mid-depth red fruit that gradually tightens due to its tannins coming along bit by bit rather than suddenly. There are no real fireworks in this regular wine: it doesn`t go the extra mile, and for now is just a simple singer of an easy tune. From 2010 to sort out the finish and to soften it there. 14.5°. 2018-19 June 2008

2001 ()

maturing, still full red; good variety on the nose – cloves, boiled ham (like Christmas time), pepper, some red fruit. The palate gives traditional Grenache with its fundamental, earthy nature, lightened by a little floral note. Is not that clear-cut, could be called a rustic wine, ends on rather drying tannins. I wonder if it could rebound, since it is not gone, but I note the comments from 2005. Try in late 2010. 14.5°. 2018-21 Nov 2008 Previously Sept 2005 *(*) colour a little advanced, not very sustained. Aroma is that of an easy drinking, early wine, round and facile- very Grenache with its red fruits, floral-herbal mix. Soft, easy fruit on palate, no great highs or lows. Seems mature ahead of time. Smoky aftertaste. Needs more filling in it. 2019-11 September 2005, London

2000 ()

sober, quite full plum robe with a bit of ruby in it. Has a sweet tea, warm coffee, rounded aroma with black fruit or prune at its core. There is a wee earthiness and herb content present, and the bouquet is intense by nature. There is good balance in the sweet richness of the palate, through which the wine runs very consecutively. It ends roundly, too, with very melded tannins. It is still young – the Grenache has some leathery side notes, and the fruit is “dark” rather than red, rather reflective of the house style over the decades. Gutsy, good wine that drinks well now. Comes in a STGT manner, nice and true. 2019-22 June 2008 Previously June 2006 *** some advance on the nose that is rich, and shows tea and plums – comes in a classic manner. Has a prune, spice flavour that is pretty. Grips well on the finish, where it is nice and fresh. Going well now. 2014-17 June 2006

1999 ()

full, plum robe; the nose combines stone fruit, herbs, baked stones airs – it is very typical and speaks of the garrigue, has a red meat angle, is broad. The palate has a joli, clear fruit start, a rich local Grenache feel; this is a good, tight, rather earthy, STGT wine, has plenty of local dash and character. I like its clean lines. Tannins are still on the go. The finish collects red fruit, herbs, the shape nice and round, even with its tannins. Lots to come. The length is good. A final note of coffee just suggests its age. 2019-21  Nov 2006

 

1998 ()

ruby red; the bouquet is at a clam, mature stage – it is plenty wide, and has latent, confident depth. It leads with elegant red fruits, but there are extras here – herbs, spice, cut hay. The flavour is moving past first fruit on to dried fruits or prune and rum baba and Dundee cake tastes. The late palate is wide, assured. Fresh wine that is still very much in the game, and shows some of the muscle of this big vintage. Decanting best for it. The 1998s can be rather stern, but this is close-knit and ensemble. Really honest, robust Châteauneuf, not a finesse wine. 13.5°. 2020-22 Nov 2008 Previously Feb 2000 ***(*) quite a dark, plum red robe; the bouquet is rather hidden – fruit near the stone, prune, a touch dry, woodsy. The palate commences on the straight, then gains generosity. A tight, chewy wine that has a tannic frame around it. The Grenache has the last word, summoning a little sweet relief towards the finish. Not an ensemble yet. Leave until 2005 so it can soften. 2016-18 Feb 2000

1996 ()

½ bottle from the first bottling in early April 1998: quite dark; measured air of jam fruit, damson plum on the nose. The palate starts on a decent fleshy note, not a lot, but OK. It hides rather a lot of dark flavours that come in a cooked jam fruit style. There is some depth, but this is not a big vintage. Fair licorice length. 2009-10 Oct 1998

1995 ()

solid, dark colour, purple in its red. Quiet, sweet and succulent nose – not especially open, but there is plenty here. There is a good mass of matter on the palate – it is spherical, all in a ball, is very dense. Good, ripe tannins feature at the end. It has lots of matter, but is velvet even with that. Still restrained, but plenty of potential. There is a little final heat. 2015-17 Oct 1998

1994

quite a dark red plum; the nose shows some cooked fruit with warm, upright airs some oak, quite clear overall, fair grain. The attack sets off apace, has push, its flavour up front. The extract goes right through, but is a bit too pushy for me, since its becomes sticky, with a cassis leave-behind. Not sure about its future. Has been pushed along. 13.5°. 2006-08 Oct 1996

1990

tile hue at the top of robe. Grainy, curled prune aroma - the bouquet is gaining in variety, and advances with the air, there is a bit of mineral, hung meat. The palate is warm, has a nice attack, contains a lot of rolled up fatness. Towards the finish, it shows a bit of sous-bois, damp leaf, graininess. It is moving on, but I reckon it can stabilize at this level for a while. “For me, 1990 was more on fruit and heat, while 1989 was more robust, living on its spine,” Nicolas Boiron. 2009-12 Feb 2000