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The Wines

60-65% Grenache (1960s), 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5-10% Cinsault (1960s, 1970s), much on Cabrières (N-W), destemmed, 18 day steel vat & concrete vat fermentation at up to 30°C, 25-28 day maceration, 70-75% (Grenache, Cinsault) aged concrete vat, 20% (Syrah) aged new-6 year 228-litre oak casks, 5-10% (Grenache, Mourvèdre) aged 2-7 year 600-litre oak casks 18 months, total new oak 10%, (was aged 60% large barrel, 30% vat, 10% new oak 14-18 months until 2004), unfined, filtered, 70-120,000 b

2018

(casks) dark, shiny robe; the nose is punchy, tightly bundled, with licorice, black fruits, cassis present. A note of mulberry adds to its variety. It’s a clear opening declaration. The palate revs up well via its sturdy, steady flow of cherry fruit, backed by nicely firm tannins, the finish well rounded, capable of further softening. It’s a handsome Châteauneuf, its elements well in harmony. From 2022-23. 2041-43 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(vat/large barrel/casks, bottling May 2019) full, deep red. The bouquet has a savoury fullness, damson jam, mulberry jam in the frame, is thorough and deep-seated. The palate holds engaging, tasty rolls of mulberry, dark red fruits with some drive and vigour in the closing moments. This has its own life force. For now, the finish is demanding, tannin-strewn, but that’s a good sign for its structure and therefore evolution. The length is very genuine. 15°. 70,000 b. 65% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv, 5% Cins. €28. From 2022. 2044-46 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat/barrel) handsome, bold dark red colour, black tints. The bouquet is dense, has a deeply set aroma of black fruits, stewed or mulled, going towards jam in their intensity. There are black olives and black raisin associations also. The palate is tasty, gourmand, rolls along well thanks to plenty of rich content and ripe, rounded tannins. The finish is broad and upbeat, very full. It’s an authentic Châteauneuf with a classic nose and good filling along the palate, and a finish that could be magically varied over time. 15°. 65% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv, 5% Cins. From 2020-21. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2015 ()

shiny red colour. The nose gives a lucid aroma of fruit, crushed red cherries, strawberry, red fruit tart, laurel: it is another clear bouquet, in the house style. The palate delivers spiced, elegant strawberry and raspberry flavours, with a good ping in the fresh tannins, white pepper on the exit. There is glow and a good swirl on the finish, its degree breathing there. The length is good. It mixes style with crunch, intent, shows definite promise. From spring 2019. 15°. 2037-40 Oct 2017

2014

red robe. The nose is attractive, bright and very clearly fruited on red fruits, with licorice, toffee. The palate bears juicy red fruits, cherries, with a bit of inner power. It ends on fleshy, munchy moments, a red fruits paste flavour. There is some darkness in it. “The Mourvèdre helped the length,” Alex Favier. Only half the crop: 38-40,000 b. The only wine made this year, no Vieilles Vignes. 2023-24 Oct 2017

2013 ()

shiny red colour. There is slight reduction on the nose – that is due to the presence of more Syrah and less Grenache than usual this year. There is an air of crushed red fruits, strawberry, with tobacco and garrigue herbs in the background. The palate comes with a dark berry gras richness, a line of tannin through to the finish, the Mourvèdre influence. There is refined smoothness, red cherry fruit with a late build in assertion. It grips, and gives late kick, the finale crunchy. 15°. From mid-2018. 2034-37 Oct 2017

2012

shiny red colour. Cherry fruit, raspberry with strawberry feature on the nose. It shows charm and serenity, sings a good tune today, has a neat sweetness. The palate presents gracious, smoothly textured red fruits, cherries and mulberry, raspberry in a good bundle. There is a stealthy gain in darkness until the finish. It has a black olives sign-off, precision, fine juice, elegance. This is true STGT Châteauneuf-du-Pape, stylish and serene. There are mixed herbs on the aftertaste, laurel and thyme. 15°. 2032-34 Oct 2017 Previously Nov 2013 **(*) (vat/barrel, bottling April 2014) medium+ red; the nose is a little narrow, over channelled, has a light dose of black berry fruit; The palate is a tight, peppery knot of spiced black fruit, a more date-prune ripeness after that. It runs directly, without a lot of obvious richness. From late 2015. 14.5°, 80,000 b, US$50. 2028-30  Nov 2013

2011

(vat/barrel) nice shiny red; The bouquet is well mixed, stimulating – smoke, licorice, fig and raspberry feature, with attractive spicing and garrigue dust. The red fruit on the palate is a little deeper than some this year – it rolls along with ripe tannins that are well inside the wine, leading to a calm, round end. The aftertaste is gummy, rather chewy. It has the potential to thicken more. Good length, with a final moment of flint and powder dust. 14.5°. 2029-31  Dec 2012

2010

dark red . Raspberry fruit, deep enough aroma with a good bundle of spices, licorice, garrigue – this is an STGT nose. The attack drives well – offers black berry and mulberry fruit, holds ace fruit and is long, is a Rockabilly, virile Châteauneuf. Excellent freshness and depth, mystery here also. The exit is dentelle or toothsome, clear. The Complete Package. It drinks well now, with lovely mineral cut, which is a testament to its very good balance. Show this to first timers and speak of its sunswept lands, and people will be converted to the real thing at Châteauneuf, far away from the patsy, over jammy wines. 15°. 2034-36. Available at Boutinot GB, around £21.  April 2013  Previously Dec 2011 ****(*) (vat/barrel) full robe. Baked, rather sunburnt air to the bouquet, has a southern intensity, a complete depth. There are grilled, meat stock notes, black stone fruit right at its heart. The palate is fully charged but sensible = a thorough Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It has traditional, local content and a power that is under control, is an STGT wine. It moves steadily along after its chunky start. Broad and encompassing on the finish, its ripe tannins are very well set into it and precede a peppery glow on the aftertaste. Genuine. From spring 2013. €22 at the cellar. 2032-35 Dec 2011

2009

(vat/barrel) full dark red, some black in it. Caramel, raisin, melted honey aroma – shows prune, licorice, is rather rich, is true, and spreads across the glass well: a promising, secure start to matters. The palate is wholesome, based on around black fruits; its main extra influence is oak for now. Has gras, and holds up well, gives juice in patches. Solid quality – I back this to do well, it persists and is long. From 2013 to integrate. 2030-32 Oct 2010

2007 ()

bright, dark plum colour; a sweetness that lies low exudes from the bouquet – there is a gentle curve of aroma here, lightly mulled berries and some meat, bacon. Sweet bounty is offered. The palate gets off to a measured start, with the fruit well established. There is a rather “dark” side from some crisp tannins – which works well. Black fruits predominate. The palate is full and imposing, also long: a good example of a Tradition cuvée wine. It is poised and fresh. From 2010. 2026-29 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 (from Bois Dauphin, 1930s Grenache, cask, malo not yet done) good red colour; plenty of heart in the bouquet. Palate is rich, has good fruit in a forward, open style. 15° at least. Nov 2007

2006

bright, sunny red; the red fruit aroma has a spot of intensity in it, is accompanied by baked airs in quite a wide bouquet. The palate displays loose-limbed fruit, has a gangly, unformed nature, although the fruit caresses in a moderated way. There is power simmering within. It is clearly fruited, led by cherry, and the inherent power emerges through some late kirsch notes. From mid-2009. Correct, not a real rocker. 2022-24 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ***(*) for instance (from Pignan, 2 year cask) oak-marked, wide nose with a soft centre. Very supple palate with notably good length. (from Pignan, 5 year cask) reserved, latently soft aroma, with nice underlying ripeness. Rich, really forward Grenache that slips down extremely well, is round in shape. OVERALL ***(*) these two suggest quite a luscious year, with enough cut to be interesting beyond just the first flash of tasty fruit. Grenache on form here. Nov 2007

2005

red plum, very Grenache robe; there is a nutty, wee grilling air within the red fruit aroma – there is good substance in this, with promise for the future. Its shape is quietly solid, with a little mulberry jam. It is tight now. Red fruits with a firm surround here on the palate, and good balance between its fruit and tannin. Now it is clear, and ends on a dry, decisive note. This is structured, a wine of its vintage. It ends on a slightly peppery note, with the reserves to get together. Good, correct wine with some STGT qualities, its nature defined on the palate by the 30% Syrah-Mourvèdre combo, which invest a firm couch on top of the vintage-typical tannins. Not there yet – needs leaving until late 2009 to start its settling, since it is in a rather edgy phase now. It is evolving consecutively, witness the previous notes on this – a good sign for its length of life. 2024-27 May 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ***(*) full red; very herbal-infused bouquet – with some red fruit that has a nice couch like jam to it – is broad and slumbering in relaxed fashion. This has a warm, red berry-cherry taste; as it is at a primary stage, it is not very nuanced as yet. There is some late pepper grip from the tannins. Has a good heart, without excess, but just needs to settle its tannins. From late 2009: is not a wine for youthful drinking. 14°. “Before bottling, it was more on its fruit,” Alexandre Favier 2023-26 Nov 2007 Previously Nov 2006 *** (pre-bottle) very dark, modern colour of black cherry; potentially rich, warm bouquet, potent touches, has fair style. Sleek, oak dominated fruit on palate, with suave, clean length. Very young and raw today. Has richness but it is severely tested by the oak at this stage. From 2010, and easier to judge a year after bottling, for instance. 2024-27 Nov 2006

2004 ()

tiny ruby top, red under it on the robe; has a red plum fruit nose, with a lissom, even and open appeal – floats sideways not down. Is herbal, peppery and shows a little licorice. Holds an easy, softly red fruited start, and then moves to a more tight, white pepper nature. Starts on the gourmandise, then tightens with herbs included. Another winter will be helpful; this is pretty faithful to its place. Drink from late 2008. 14°. 2017-20 Nov 2007 Previously Nov 2006 **** nice full red with a little black in it; well-knit, well-brewed nose of black stone fruits, laurel and thyme: classic Châteauneuf aromas. Wholesome black fruits start, then becomes a little streamlined. Has the potential for more, is clean cut. Quite meaty tannins. Length and grip are both good. Esp 2009 on. 2021-24 Nov 2006

2003

still pretty bright red. The red berry bouquet starts softly, then gets a late kick and a vintage solidity; there are laurel, licorice present here. Has a good red fruit attack, lots of stone fruit with a jam texture – the jam not excessive, more like fruit pastille. It is tasty towards the finish, and retains a succulent feel most of the way, and ends en rondeur and just a little heat. Successful for the vintage, has good length and is very complete. 14.5°. 2019-21 “It was difficult to select the blend to achieve a balanced wine capable of ageing,” Alexandre Favier. Nov 2007

2001

matt plum colour; the bouquet has an intense wild fruit/berry jam heart, comes with smoky, leathery surrounds. It holds together well; after 90 minutes, it becomes “cooler”, more mineral. This moves smoothly along the palate, presents an immediate, Grenache-inspired soft appeal in its texture. This has a classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape composition; its tannins are well set, and its length elegant. Has a harmonious, nicely live finish. It is showing well early, without sacrificing local character for a commercial style. The mid to late palate works well, while its tannins are open and sprinkle themselves nicely with some air. This can tick over well. STGT wine. 2020-23  Feb 2006, East Sussex

2000 ()

touch of top ruby in the robe; the aroma shows red jam with an outbreak of animal (Mourvèdre here), topped up with garrigue and live herbs. The palate debut is round, squeezy, maturing red fruit with some spicing, and then maybe the influence of the Mourvèdre later on as the texture tightens and takes on a little rigour, although there is width towards the finish. It is showing well now; this is a gracious year in texture. Pretty long, but not rumbustious. Is very correct, and doing well now. 2017-18 Nov 2007 “It was a big harvest this year,” Alexandre Favier

1999

full robe with some top tiling in it. Classic Châteauneuf bouquet here – warm and aromatic, with herbs, coffee and spices mixed into the red fruits. This is a delightful, open and generous bouquet with lots of variety. Good, broad start to the palate, that flows well and has a meaty finale. Lovely Grenache here, this is STGT wine. Spiced prune and an animal heart to the wine, is rocking along in fine form now. 2015-17 Nov 2006

1998

some orange top, ruby and red below; notably high tone, pointed raspberry fruit, sweaty saddle – there is a marked game aspect to the nose, with that hovering, rather taut acetate. The palate reflects a Grenache of traditional qualities – red fruits still lie at its heart, along with a sappy fringe of game and date, light milk chocolate. The length is sound – it retains juice and gras on the finish. Its acidity is a little uneven, I find. 2015-17 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ****(*) ruby robe with a red heart. The bouquet has a coffee-spice outer air, is broad, with interesting depth and the potential for a lot of variety. The palate is richly textured and young, and contains a lot of gras from the Grenache. There is a little coffee undertone, but the red fruit is still nice and live. Has a bonny, oily texture. Its red fruit delivers straight out, down the line, without as yet a lot of nuance. Still very full. 2020-22 “There may have been some carbonic maceration on this, judging from the freshness of the fruit,” Alexandre Favier Nov 2007

1997 ()

ruby robe, legs visible. Blueberries, small red fruits show on the nose, with cedar, pine behind, and geranium, cinnamon, roast nuts. It’s a good, classic bundle of mature Châteauneuf. This is softly delivered on the palate, with sweet gourmandise, spiced touches, good clarity. It is precise, delicate, serene. The red fruits are tickled up by the tannins. Menthol guards the fresh close. This is true Châteauneuf. 14°. 2023-25 Oct 2017

1996

ruby with red; the red fruits aroma is supple, with now sous-bois (damp woods) present. It is delivered in quite a straight form, and beyond the damp airs are some toffee notes. The palate has some late animal after a red jam start. It is oily in texture for this usually crisp vintage – it has swallowed its acidity. At the finish red jam with a bit of meat in it – lambstock, for instance. To 2012-14 Nov 2007

1989

ruby-flecked robe; the bouquet still has a chunky form, with ripe red fruit in decomposition and a light animal air, a sprinkle of spice and coffee. The palate has a rich texture, fruited with dates, prunes and a copious late richness. It then tightens a little from its tannins. It does not act its age – is very wholesome and sustained, is still really rich. Some light chocolate and mocha emerge late on. Never shows any dryness. This is very vintage correct. 2019-21 Nov 2007

1982

pretty ruby; the first impression on the nose is one of softness and roundness, then a spicy, peppered air of scented raisin and mocha comes through, without stripping out the roundness. There are leathery parts on the palate, which has a sweet, perfumato aftertaste, the texture still rich there. The fruit is still present, and gradually becomes more generous with a little air. Still right in the game. 2014-16 Nov 2007 Previously Sept 1995 *** the colour is quite firm, now has a matt hue. The bouquet gives a fair “dark” aroma, but it’s not that exuberant or complex for its age. There is a little bit of a burnt edge to the flavour, it doesn’t swing along. The length is fair; it’s drinkable and still on form, just lacks élan, and also reflects the 1982 vintage with its rather fuzzy, cooked flavours. Now to 2003-06 Sept 1995