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The Wines

70-85% Grenache (1940 and older, on Cabrières, Le Boucou, Bois Dauphin, L’Arnesque, Calada), 0-20% Syrah (1950s, on Calada), 5-20% Mourvèdre (1900s-1920s), 0-5% Counoise, 18-24 day steel vat fermentation, 32-36 day maceration, pumping overs, a little cap punching, 50% (Grenache) concrete vat raised, 40% (Grenache/Mourvèdre) aged 600-litre oak casks, 10% (Syrah) aged new 228-litre oak casks 18 months (large barrels also used, raising 22 months until early 2010s), unfined, usually unfiltered, first wine 1996, 6-8,000 b

2018

(casks) full, dark red; the bouquet is stylish, wavy, gives a stream of black cherry fruit, blueberry, with licorice in attendance. The palate is also streamlined, has a suave feel all through, is molto polished, sleek. The tannins have a fine powdery nature, and it’s a harmonious Châteauneuf, if a little low on rock n’roll, real local punch, depth. The fruit glistens well, will appeal. 75% Gren, 20% Mourv, 5% Counoise. From 2022. 2039-41 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(casks, bottling May 2019) dark red, full robe. The bouquet has a creamy, mulled fruits nature, liqueur fruit rather than anything fresher. There oak-vanilla implications. The palate gives a steady flow of black fruit, cassis, blueberry, with smoke from oak, some char-tar late on. This pleases via its smooth texture, is a sipping rather than free drinking wine, all polished, modern and spotless. The length is secure. It’s a bit low on character. 15.2°. 4,900 b. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. €50. From 2022. 2042-44 Oct 2018

2016

1) (100% Syrah (1950s) from Trintignant on Bois Dauphin, Sérine & younger clone Syrah, new 228-litre oak cask) ****(*) dark red colour. Black cherry and licorice with an oak underlay, toffee and blueberry show on the nose. Has a rich, fluid palate, stylish length, some floral touches, a good harmony. 23 years 2) (100% old Grenache from Bois Dauphin, 9 year 600-litre oak cask) ***** dark red. The nose is deep, reserved, calmly done, raspberry fruits with layers present. This has a fluid gourmandise, real joy, bright and clear red fruits in it, comes with a gras richness, toffee close. This is a suave and thorough wine, silken. It’s thick, but also fluid. 15.8°. 24-26 years. 3) (1930s Grenache from Cabrières, a bit of L’Arnesque, 10 year 600-litre oak cask) ***** quite a dark red robe. Has a floral, perfumed nose, strawberry with luxury, all very curvy. The palate is sleek, rich and sustained, is based on elegance, holds Rolls Royce Grenache. Its tannins build effortlessly, has brilliant fruit, tannins in harmony. It ends with neat freshness. “It has been refining as it is raised,” Alexandre Favier. 2038-41 Oct 2017

2015 ()

healthy red robe, legs visible. The nose has interesting scope, red berries with some mineral clarity, dried herbs, flowers, black pepper. The palate presents raspberry-blackcurrant fruit with a bonny spiced thread; it builds from within, ends on firm juice, roundness. It’s all very calm, well extended, is an STGT Châteauneuf-du-Pape with nuances to explore. The aftertaste is munchy – there is matter there. “It hasn’t closed at all,” Alexandre Favier. Bottled March 2017. 15°. From spring 2019. 2036-38 Oct 2017

2014 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED: WINE INTO THE TRADITION

2013 ()

red robe, with a plum red top. The bouquet is a spiced, brooding affair, choc full of red stone fruits with a dry, tinder note to it. It evokes a summer of drought. There are airs of rubber and rose petal flowers also. This is thickly juiced, holds firm tannins closely knit into its content. This is still breathing in rather than out, needs time to open and settle together. It carries local garrigue signs – dustiness, dried herbs, the rocky texture. It’s very vintage controlled and a bit of a cussed customer for now. It’s dry textured wine. Suited to autumn or winter drinking. From 2020 – play the long game here. 15°. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv. 2033-36 Oct 2017 GB£29.99 David Byrne

2012

(vat/cask, bottling April 2014) shiny, dark robe. There is interesting potential on the nose, the sum of a series of parts such as ash smoke, blackberry, licorice, black olive, a ripe fragrance as well. The bouquet has a sunny aspect, its weight is good and for now its fruit is a bit tucked in. The palate relates well to the nose, the early fruit supple and warm. Its powdery-grainy tannins need leaving until 2017. Its heart is based on black, liqueur, smoky Grenache fruit. Comfortable quality and a good evolution ahead here. The finish is round, rather fat. 15°. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv, 6,000 b. 2030-32  Nov 2013

2010

(vat/cask) certainly a dark robe; sweet-noted, filled-up bouquet, shows plenty of fruit ripeness lying at its safe heart. An air of damp black soil inside adds the impression of depth, and it is genuinely broad. The palate is suavely juiced, carries an appealing flavour with prune present before its tannins grips in. It is clear, keeps moving and is well-balanced. It will round into a harmonious ensemble. Attractive future ahead here – it holds nice, precise fruit. From 2015. 2032-35 Dec 2011

2005

sound black plum colour; honey –yes – and black fruit aroma with damp airs entering it, dates, sweet raisin, bacon. The palate fruit is sleekly cast, runs on with a pure note towards a modern, quite crunchy ending, has a cap punched clarity. It is all largely cohesive, with the proviso that its tannins need leaving until 2011-12 to fully integrate. Good length, a robust wine whose finish is a bit dry for now, à la 2005 vintage. Put this away for now as it is rather tough now. Has richness and length for the future. 15°. 2027-30 June 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ***** nicely charged red robe; the nose is tight-knit, red fruits lurk in it, and there is a suggestion of plenty to come since it is broad and underpinned with depth. Similar remarks apply to the palate: here there is sealed red fruit, the texture is ripe, and richness is present. There is a good flourish of length and fruit towards the finish. It all works well as it ends – indicates it can go on, with its fruit well-cut and a couch of compact fruit and ripe tannin. Esp 2010 onwards. 2027-30 Nov 2007 “It was more open around July 2007,” Alexandre Favier Previously Nov 2006 ***** (pre-bottle) bouquet is full - shows soaked, raspberry coulis aroma, also herbs and rose flowers – is nicely wide. Tasty, accessible early fruit, supported by well-founded tannins that appear right on cue. Handsome style, a gourmand with depth to it. Balance good, this is on the right road. 2026-29 Nov 2006

2004 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED. “The Tradition and the Vieilles Vignes were too close in quality for me to issue a Vieilles Vignes on its own at a higher price.” Alexandre Favier

2003 ()

bright, quite full red. Roasted-toasted aroma, red fruit with some savoury notes and also herbs: it is prolonged and also shows beef stock and rich damp soil. The palate red fruit is compact, with a growing level of tannin through it. Is a touch challenging, and it is difficult to judge when it will have its serene moment. The red fruit is intense, with a solid surround, and is also wide towards the finale. Try from late 2009. 2024-26 Nov 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ***** (pre-bottle) bouquet is full - shows soaked, raspberry coulis aroma, also herbs and rose flowers – is nicely wide. Tasty, accessible early fruit, supported by well-founded tannins that appear right on cue. Handsome style, a gourmand with depth to it. Balance good, this is on the right road. 2024-26 Nov 2006

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001 ()

wholesome red with ruby; has a well-filled bouquet of oily appeal, with red fruits such as ripe crabapple here: is maturing, the fruits leaning towards liqueur of raspberry and includes earthiness. The palate is very vintage marked, with its clear burst of fruit on the second half. There is good life in it – the red fruits, perhaps redcurrants, move well through, and their appeal is ripe. Finishes roundly and compact, if not that broadly. It is showing well now. 2001 has more intensity and fire than 1999. 2023-25 Nov 2007

1999

solid red core to the robe; has a very fresh bouquet – it is young and sparky, and the only hint of age is some light coffee in it. The fruit notes are like dates and olives. Holds light on its feet red fruits, which have an easy texture. Has an approachable, charming style without lots of showy power. Runs in a refined sequence and ends on redcurrant fruit. 2020-22 “It has come back to form since early 2007,” Alexandre Favier Nov 2007