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The Wines

80-86% Grenache (1915-1930), 7-15% Syrah, 5-10% Mourvèdre, from Mont-Redon (N-W), La Gardiole (N-E), Les Brusquières (N-W), Pignan nord (N-E), Barbe d’Asne (W), whole bunch fermentation of Grenache, 4-5 week concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying and refilling, aged 40-60% mature large barrels, 30-40% young 550-litre casks, 10-20% concrete vat 15-18 months, unfined, filtered, first wine 1990, 10-12,000 b

2018 ()

(large barrel/casks/concrete vat, bottling June 2020) matt toned dark red robe; the bouquet has a clove, peppery, slight vegetal aroma, suggestive of a cooler vintage. There’s an underlying fruit pastille succulence. The palate runs in a similar vein, has a musky set of red fruits with a medium weight richness, a bit brief it is. There is plenty of spice on the dry finish. I would welcome more freshness, lift here. It’s a bit plodding. 15.5°. 10,000 b. €41. From 2022. 2037-39 Oct 2019

2017

(large barrel/casks/vat, bottling June 2019) dark red robe; the bouquet is brewed up, grounded, shows prune fruit, dry lands, hovers of baking. It’s from the deep south. The palate likewise is robust, sustained, with meaty, big matter, close to the Too Much gauge. Only small sipping with this; it’s not well balanced, is very vintage marked, carries some extraction. The finish is full, obvious. Decanting essential. 15.5°. 12,000 b. 86% Gren, 7% Syr, 7% Mourv. From 2023. 2042-44 Oct 2018

2016

(casks/vat, bottling June 2018) quite a dark red robe, has a purple hue as well, shows legs. The bouquet is full and gracious, the cooked red fruit gleaming with wellbeing. There is a musky, perfumed hover. The palate is stylish, runs with attractive, scented plum fruits and produces some ripe tannins towards the finish, a slow build from them. This is genuine, interesting, and will give a really authentic STGT glass of Châteauneuf. It has excellent, sustained length, and is a true Child of the South and the garrigue lands. 15°. 86% Gren, 7% Syr, 7% Mourv. €37. From 2021-22. 2041-44 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(concrete vat/large barrel) red robe. The nose has a crisp top air of elder berry, backed by gun smoke, raspberry. There is a little edginess not yet sorted out. The palate gives a tight, concentrated ball of matter, with chiselled tannins on the outside – they rule the roost late on. This hasn’t got going yet, is only a suggestion. There is compact red fruit juice within, which only has a small say in matters. It’s currently a rugged wine. 15°. 10,000 b. From 2020, and decanting a good idea. 2036-39 Sept 2016  GB £363 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk info@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203  478 7376

2014 ()

(casks/vat, bottling May 2016) quite a dark red. The bouquet gives a clear cut fruit aroma, blackberry the lead fruit, is mineral rather than sweet. The palate is direct, crisp, has oak mixed with its dark fruit. The shape is upright: this needs leaving until 2019. It is a trifle spare just now, has a peppery aftertaste. 14.5°. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv. 10,000 b. 2030-31 £337 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk Oct 2015

2013

(casks/vat) mid-depth red. Has a garrigue, herbs outcrop, plum fruit aroma, a light touch of strawberry jam, in a well collected bouquet which can fuse and give a sunny smile over time. This coasts quietly along, bears Grenache plum and garden red berry fruit with a nice nip of tannin bringing life to the finish. A neatly packaged wine, and a good Grenache-founded one, so the usual base to a Châteauneuf-du-Pape is present. This almost resembles a Grenache from vineyards at altitude, a Garnacha nature. The exit is toothsome, with local, garrigue, pebbly notes. Its tannins need another three years of ageing. From late 2017. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv this year. £312 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2032-35 Nov 2014 Previously Oct 2014 ***(*) medium+ purple robe. There is a light wisp of raspberry on the nose. This is fresh, long and linear in style. Its tight, firm frame bodes well for ageing. It needs a little more flesh and body but further raising pre-bottle should help here. 15°. From 2017. 2028-30 JL Oct 2014  

2012

(casks/vat) very Grenache, medium depth red robe. Notably pure, very appealing Grenache red fruit aroma, one of striking elegance and come hither. The finesse of Châteauneuf-du-Pape as it should be here. There are light side notes of smoke, flint. Off we go on the palate: there is a great blend of fine fruit and fine tannin. This is an über elegant, pure Châteauneuf, the sort that has been absent for so many years recently. It ends on mineral, dentelle-toothsome clarity, the red fruit cool, precise – it provides dainty little droplets of that fruit. It looks north for inspiration, good. It is discreetly long. From 2017. £310 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2034-37 Nov 2013

2011

dark red. Oily, prune air in a fat nose. Ripeness has moved it towards an aroma of fig compote, jam, with some incense present. The palate is sweet, unctuous, has a high octane leaning. This is not far off dessert wine. The sweet density stops its free movement on the second half of the palate. The aftertaste is aromatic, scented, and wraps that around its redcurrant fruit. It finishes a little suddenly. From 2015. 14.5°. 2029-32  Dec 2012

2010

bright and dark robe, legs down glass. Engaging, inviting bouquet – a good mix of black berries, flowers, licorice, leather and spice. A really good start. The palate starts on a tasty note, blackberry juice with a roll of crisp, dark tannins that end in grainy fashion, but the finish is fluid. There is lots of width in the flavour. Licorice and good, dark flavouring feature on its full aftertaste. From 2014. 2035-38 Dec 2011

2009

good, full red. Intense, persistent, broad blackberry aroma. The palate has juicy appeal and a good run of black fruit. The texture is supple, not too suave. There are tannins present, but they are manageable, even if a bit dusty for now. The fruit will please, esp around 2016 on. A poised wine, for bottling in May 2011. 2033-35 March 2011

2007

(barrel/cask sample) dark, full red colour; has a red fruit liqueur aroma of plush plum, with iris flowers, and a gentle wave of beef and bacon. On the palate, ripe fruit is accentuated – this comes with a smooth texture, and there is nice, profound Grenache at its heart. There are sleek tannins on the end, plus an oak nuttiness. This is physically and texturally like many wines this vintage, but the intensity of its Grenache, with some low scale beefiness, sets it apart. Has a cocoa, coffee aftertaste. From late 2010. 2027-30 Nov 2008

2006

2 bottles tasted – 1st bottle is aggressive, oxidative. 2nd bottle: low-key black plum robe; ample, verging on opulent bouquet – some fruit berry crème, the fruit is notably ripe. The ripe fruit is also manifest on the palate – this is dense wine with demanding tannic drive in it. It is not that long, and is in an unwoven state just now. The fruit is like mulberry. From mid-late 2009. 2024-26 April 2008, London Previously Nov 2007 *** (casks) full, pretty complete red robe; has a rich, meat stock nose – with some red fruit within, but that is secondary to the other more robust aromas. Has a savoury, rich-toned, peppery palate with a lot of Grenache dash about it. The texture is oily and easy-toned, and the wine ends with a chocolate, raisin ripe flourish, almost Christmas cake. There are ripe flavours here rather than fresh ones. A mature style of wine. From 2010. 2023-25 Nov 2007

2005

quite a full red that tapers at the top; lactic, almost sweaty red fruit aroma – red jam with ripe, almost decaying fruit in it – it suggests a downhome aspect is on the horizon – some alleviation comes from laurel and sweet tea airs. The palate has a sweet constitution, with plenty of tannin, and ends dryly for now. The attack tastes of red plums, with a scented nature, the finish gives black pepper. On this showing it is a bit rustic. From 2011 - it is certainly a wine to keep an eye on as it moves around with age, and time can only do it good. Needs decanting. Its fruit isn't very fresh. 14.5°. 2026-28. June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ****(*) quite a dark red, with a matt veneer; high tone, rather fungal, earthy aroma, also scented tea – not yet at all settled. Gummy fruit with a tight weave on the palate, needs to open and liberate itself, is closed in now. Very Grenache in its ripe vein, and not any excess ripening. Coffee on finish, can come together and be a considered, mature style of wine. Follows through overtly as it ends. From 2009-10. 2026-29 Nov 2006

2004

mild Grenache red; softly expressed bouquet, where spice flirts with red jam, is roundly shaped. Pretty wine – flourishing red fruit with beneficial acidity to lift it. Can settle by around 2008, and will glow after that. Good tannins – are a bit pesky and give it late movement. A wine of character, STGT. 2022-24 Oct 2006

2003 ()

the colour is a largely full red, not yet ruby. Has a ripe and quite intense red jam aroma that is weighty, and even sappy, the air here is sweet and spongy. The palate starts tightly, and throughout is a caged tiger, locked up and ready to explode out. Has a very beefy heart, and is a wine that works on its power and density, with the ripe tones of this vintage. It absorbs its alcohol well – 14° on the label – and ends on a dates, port cake tone. The aftertaste is pebbly, both from its vintage and its large barrel ageing. It is a bit hidden now, and I wonder if it will ever be very clearly defined by nature. From spring 2010. 2023-25 June 2008 Previously April 2005 **(*) quite full colour, red more than black. Toffee, black fruit, berried bouquet - square-sided, smoky with a slight vegetal element. Good strike of fruit on attack, then subdues. Plenty of potential, tannins are ripe enough. Fair length, warm, pretty fruit. Some acidity here. 2008 on. 2021-24 April 2005, London

2001

still a bright plum colour; at first, the bouquet offers very shiny, rounded red fruits, Grenache with a real smile, and a sweet, sympa air to its jam, strawberry jam aroma. After 90 minutes, the air brings out more second stage hints such as damp forest, raisin. The palate is similar to the nose – red berry fruit with a dash of spice, herbs, and licorice and tannin running though it. There is a lot to this – it is beau and robust, as it should be, is very long. It is still upright, on its spine than on expansive body, and there is notably more on the palate than the nose. The fruit advances past half way, then the vintage freshness and tannins take over. Still big and bold, even a bit tough and meaty on the finish. The palate will be more together from late 2009. 13.5°. 2027-29 Nov 2008

2000 ()

Bottle 1 is corked. Bottle 2: dark ruby, red colour. Has a leathery, meaty nose that is intense in nature. Holds a core of solid black fruit. While it is still compact, there is the beginning of some hung meat, second stage aromas. The palate starts with similar density to the nose – this is profound, very inset wine, but its black fruits are fleshy, still young and abundant. It finishes roundly, and is well juiced throughout. Power is apparent on the aftertaste – there is some gasp, but not overdone. Decant this now. Ideally, drink this from spring 2010 after two more winters for a more free expression. It has muscular potential still, and the length is good. 2023-26 June 2008

1999

full, rather dark robe, some turn at the top. Has a big, aromatic, quite obvious nose that is a little heavy – there are floral, but also potent tones such as eau de vie here. A suggestion of tea indicates some evolution. The fleshy fullness son the palate is from an overtly warm climate wine; the flavours include raisin, spice, Christmas cake and brandy connotations that are warm all the way through. Hearty, big style, traditional approach. The aftertaste is spiced, with raisin berries and brandy present. It is strongly Grenache in style. It has advanced, but expect it to tick over on this basis for a good while yet. 2022-25  Nov 2006 Previously Feb 2000 ** dark robe; black cherry heart to the bouquet, but it is in a dumb phase, its darkness is hidden, it is firm. The palate fruit is full, bubbles with power, is backed by tannin and acidity. A rustic style, punchy, even violent. Strong end tannins. From 2007. “Since 1998, we have put in up to 12% Vaccarèse, Counoise and Cinsault, all vinified together, and up from 3% - the Vaccarèse and the Counoise especially complement each other. The new oak is 25%, more than usual, because we are replacing casks rather than aiming for it – next year the Syrah will be the only new oak variety, so there will be less overall.” Nicolas Boiron 2021-24 Feb 2000

1998

(vat) pretty dark robe; quite a heady nose – ripe crop, plums, dried fruit skins. The attack is big, bears a lot of matter, and plenty of lasting content. Its tannins are evident, need until 2005 or so to settle. 2021-24 Feb 2000

1995

(vat) Cuvée Chantemerle name still: quite dark; the nose is rather deep, offers plum and prune, with spice. It has potential to vary and please. The palate is extremely attractive – its fruit is very rounded, is appealing, and finishes cleanly and long. It starts stylishly, before tightening on the finish. Sympa and stylish rather than large scale wine, with good Grenache at its heart. From 2000. 2020-22 Oct 1996

1994 ()

dark plum, attractive robe. Traditional Châteauneuf nose which is upright, mixes warmth with spiced potential, is promising. The palate flows well, is harmonious and balanced. Is has a strength of matter, bonny fruit and well-directed tannins that keep the palate fresh and clear. This is good, above average for the vintage. 13.5°. 2012-15 Oct 1996

1993

called Cuvée Chantemerle in these days: marked advance on its ruby robe, a pocket of red at its centre. Toasted, spiced first aroma that is full of Christmas box appeal, with an underlay of gras, the ripeness of the South. Good, grain and spice airs here. The palate sings a fine tune, its texture combining moderated sweetness with pebble grain. A spice-forward wine, bit its core of low-key gras richness is elegant, and excellent for the vintage. It picks up a becoming, near floral roundness on the finish, and runs truly to the line. The tannins are a very neat fit, with a posting of juice in them. Elegant and interesting, a wine that has always been good. 13.5°. 2019-21 July 2012