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The Wines

98% Grenache, 2% Cinsault, Clairette, Bourboulenc (all 1920s-1940s) from brown soils on La Gardiole (N-E), all varieties vinified together, crop picked late, 50% destemmed, 4-5 week concrete vat vinification, part destemmed, pumping overs, part vat emptying and refilling, cap punching, aged 20-50% large barrels, 30-80% young oak 550-litre casks, 20% vat 12-18 months, unfined, filtered, first wine 1998, formerly known as Cuvée Grenache, 6,500-10,000 b

2018 ()

(casks/large barrel, bottling May 2020) largely dark red robe; the bouquet is brewed, brothy, on layers of plum fruit, raspberry. The palate is close-knit, on the knuckle still, has a mid-palate pause. It might lack a little ripeness, and consequent richness, though the acidity can infuse over time. It’s a scaled up wine, which finishes rather drily. 15.5°. 10,000 b. 98% Gren, 1% Cins, 1% Clairette.  €37. From 2022-23. 2037-39 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(casks/vat) sound red robe. The nose is careful, has smoky-rocky notes, cooked plum, spicing, a very Grenache heart, can develop. The palate is vegetal, unformed, gives juice here and there, holds tannins that are on the dry side, and which prevail over its juice. There are dry zones late on. This has plenty of work to do. From 2022. 2039-41 GB £345 per 12 b i/bond H2Vin quintessentially@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 073 6655 Nov 2018 Previously Oct 2018 **** (large barrel/casks, bottling May 2019) dark red colour; has a brewed, large scale bouquet – beef stock, black olives, menthol, thick black fruit juice. The palate is sealed closely together into a compressed bundle of firm richness, with ripe tannins there as well. It’s not a fluid wine, will be required a large glass after decanting, and a haunch of venison, or wild boar. There are glimmers of the silken texture of Châteauneuf, and this carries potential, managing its degree pretty well, the aftertaste on power rather than spirit. 15.5°. 10,000 b. 98% Gren, 1% Cins, 1% Clairette. From 2022. 2042-44 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks/vat, bottling May 2018) dark red robe. The bouquet is sweetly and thickly fruited, based on Grenache plum fruits; it has good heart, is curvy, and shows notes of rosemary and herbes de Provence also. The palate rustles up tasty red fruits, stewed plums with a liberal trail of spice and assertion from the tannins that have a slightly rugged edge for now. This is genuine, deep-seated STGT Châteauneuf, which wears its heart on its sleeve, pulls no punches, just like its owner Nicolas. The finish is punchy, good, shows basil, rosemary. 15°. From 2021, not before. 10,000 b. Raised 80% casks, 20% large barrel. 2040-43 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(concrete vat/casks) red robe. The bouquet isn’t easy to define for now, carries a low-key air of raspberry, with a shuffle of rosemary in the background. The palate glides along with suave red fruits that carry spicing towards the finish, where there are powder grain tannins mixed into its supple, savoury content. The shape stays pretty rounded on the finish. It has a calm, genuine make-up, and the length is good. It’s a very good Grenache-centric wine with inner strength. 15°. 6,500 b. 98% Gren, 2% Cins. From mid-2019. 2035-38 Sept 2016  GB £310 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk info@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203  478 7376

2012 ()

(casks/vat) attractive red colour. There is implied muscle in a broad, full bouquet which stacks up its dark berry fruit and serves a notion of ripe tannin. There are elegant pockets of red fruit, raspberry also. This is on a good path. The palate mixes fluid red fruit with smoked, good and active tannins. It keep running well, and for now shows the smoked effect of its cask raising on the finish. Good Grenache heart to this. It bustles along, and will be stylish especially around 2020. Good, genuine Châteauneuf. From mid-2016. £275 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2033-35  Nov 2013

2010 ()

(barrel/cask) dark, shiny full robe. There is latent spice in a big, almost thick aroma that carries ripe southern airs, notes of crushed black olives. The palate shows attractive fruit right away, and runs consistently to the end. Fine tannins lie well encased, the length is good. It finishes on a firm note. From 2014. 2033-36 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(to be bottled next month) rather full red. Smoky red fruit, elegant nose, all very calm and unforced. Good level of red plum fruit with fine tannins on the palate, the tannins a touch powdery through the second half. There are comfortably robust late stages. Its tannins need to soften and round out. From 2014. 2031-34 March 2011

2007 ()

(barrel/cask sample) dark red, black tones in the robe. Black fruits with some high tone, furniture polish in the wide and quite profound bouquet – at its centre is stewed plum, mulberry, ripe raspberry. Smoothly textured plum fruit leads the palate, and a pleasing roundness. This is easy to drink wine – right away, since its tannins are barely noticeable. It widens out its juiciness on the palate, is a safe drinking wine that lacks the extra nuance and mystery to be more highly rated. From mid-2010. 2025-28 Nov 2008

2005 ()

mild red robe, a little turn in it. Has a really comfortable, curvaceous red fruit aroma – prominent Grenache here, with sweet spices and a baked side reflecting the dry year. The palate holds nicely robust, genuine Grenache red fruit, with the entry of oak and tannin late on that renders it a caramel, toffee nature late on. Still making its way – it ends on a cake, prune, date note, with a dry shimmer on the finish for now. From late 2010 to allow tannins and the close to integrate further. 14.5°. 2025-27 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) quite a dark, matt robe; baked plums, kirsch, sweet tea on the nose, and its alcohol is a little detached and evident. Punchy, full-on wine, no prisoners taken here. Roasted black fruits with a peppery end. Too much cellar on top of an already ripe cropping. On the finish there is leather, a pebbly black fruit presence. A wine in overdrive, that lacks discreet nuance: never meant to be that way, I suppose. From 2010. 2023-27 Nov 2006

2003

largely red colour with a wee ruby tone. The bouquet mixes two airs – one of dry, baked fruits, a little oiliness, the other of red meats. This is a varied nose that is worth dwelling on – it shows some advance already. The Grenache red fruit on the palate is tight-knit, with an inherent, not especially obvious vigour. There is good push through it to a solid, broad finish, not a fruited one. This is a Grenache of yore, local punch wine with very clear varietal typicity, and just a late chocolate effect from some oaking. Has STGT tendencies: its richness is very well established, and comes with a gummy texture, in the eye of the vintage. Pretty good length, though the finish is a mite dry. From 2010. 14°. 2023-25 June 2008

2000

red plum robe with a bit of ruby in it. The bouquet mixes plum, raspberry fruit with rose-floral scents – it is pretty, with reserves in it for the future. There is only a slight turn in it towards a damp second stage, and it is both wide and evident. Has a Grenache-led attack (not quite stating the obvious – tasted blind!) of red tone fruit, with berries as well. The fruit clarity is good and consecutive. The finish is good, secure and clear, with a little still helpful tannin – the length is good. This takes high rank for its local integrity and pure lines. There is a lovely ensemble in this, a real rocker of a wine. It is wholesome, with some entrancing fruit and a fleshy texture. STGT wine. 2021-23 June 2008 Previously October 2001 (barrel) ***(*) a rounded wine with kick in it: there is a good middle palate and serious depth. The tannins come through on the finish, the length is pretty good. Overall, it is ripe enough. 19 years. October 2001

1999 ()

plum colour, some advance; has a brewed fruit aroma with a touch of sweetness under that, offers herbs, mint as well. The fruit style of a fleshy raspberry suggests a deliberately long hang time for the Grenache, aimed at open pleasure, all obvious. The palate is a gourmand affair, has a sweetness, is very succulent, while the fruit is well cut. A tar imprint comes through late on from its oak raising. It has a broad appeal, covers the ground – needs hearty rather than refined dishes. Heat and some detached alcohol show on the finish. It strives a little too obviously to be a step-up beyond the classic Bosquet des Papes. 2022-25  Nov 2006 Previously Feb 2000 **** “Cuvée Grenache" – name not yet decided: dark purple, full robe; pretty rounded nose that quietly broods away, has interesting depth, also potential. Good, full palate – has “plenitude”. Good sap, plenty of extract, the fruitiness is complete. Some end tannins help it along. Will be expressive around 2006. Quite firm overall, but has flesh. Touch of alcohol creeps out on the finish. “We want this to be an intermediary wine between the Classic and the Chantemerle,” Nicolas Boiron. 2021-23 Feb 2000

1998

(vat/cask) darkish plum robe; ripe-picked crop aroma that is nice, a touch sweet. Has a nicely assured, ripe, comfortable flavour, with the texture in the grainy zone, as if the tannins are dry in fashion, maybe the summer dry spell is in here. It is potentially a little oxidative, with its finish a combination of dry and sweet. From 2005. I sense the style has been derived not from nature, but by the mind of man, wanting to make this more extreme than it need necessarily be. 2022-24 Feb 2000