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The Wines

60-70% Grenache, 10-25% Syrah, 7-15% Mourvèdre, 3-10% Muscardin from clay-limestone, galet stone soils on Les Serres (S-E), Les Galimardes (S-E), destemmed, 30 day concrete vat vinification at 25°C (increased time, lower temperature since late 2000s), pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 60-85% large barrel, 20% used 228-litre oak casks, 20% used 600-litre oak casks 9 months, 20-45,000 b

2017 ()

(large barrel/casks, bottling Nov 2018) deep red colour. Bulls blood, dark berry fruit, beef feature in a deep, brooding nose, which has a core of concentration, no chinks of light for now. The palate is fuelled with sleekly textured, robust filling, multi-layered fruits, smoky notes attached. This is a ground force Châteauneuf, where the degree peeks out a little as it closes. The aftertaste is savoury. Suited to sauced red meats, game. It carries all the hot sun of 2017 in its density. 15.5°. 20,000 b. 65% Gren, 15% Syr, 15% Mourv, 5% Muscardin. From 2021. 2042-44 Oct 2018

2016

(barrel/cask) dark red colour. The bouquet has an overt aroma of soaked red cherries or griottes, with a note of lamb stock, oregano alongside. There is a hum of the lands of warm stones as well. The palate is closely wrapped together, with the local southern sector tightness and rather wiry young tannins that one expects from there. The aftertaste involves black raisin, date, compressed juice. This is tenacious, very southern wine: leave until 2021, and decant it. 15°. 60% Gren, 15% Mourv, 15% Syr, 5% Muscardin. €18. 2040-42 Oct 2017

2015

dark red robe. The nose shows good potential, has a comfortable depth of black fruits, the fruit ripe, its heart good, drifts of spice with it. The palate is imposing, bears stylish dark berry fruit, with streamlined tannins well in step. The quiet intensity of the juice is exactly in line with the shape of the grapes when harvested.  This is nicely complete. The tannins give a late buzz of tar, and the final moments are savoury. Accomplished, and true. 15.5°. From mid-2018. 2034-37 Sept 2016

2013

red robe; the nose is softly fruited, very much in a Grenache red-fruited vein. It is young and enjoyable, not varied. The palate gives a doused red berry fruit, notes of soaking, with a very bonny lapping, textured quality. It flirts with noticeable degree. The tannins come forward with a degree of crisp crunch. Authentic, has depth, speaks of the garrigue, especially ins late moments. It keeps going very well. 15°. 65% Gren, 15% Mourv, 10% Syr, 10% Muscardin this year. From spring 2017. 2033-35  Oct 2015 

2012 ()

quite a full red colour. The nose presents mulled, fruits on the liqueur side of town, has a definite power surge implicit. Cooked, soaked raspberries spring to mind. It stands its ground firmly, and gives a true picture of a hot summer at Châteauneuf. . The palate gives a rolling display of red fruits with a sweet tone inside the wine. Luckily, the tannins have a cool note, which helps the power from running out of control. This is big wine, and needs game dishes and autumn/winter drinking. Its concentration has been pretty well handled. 15.5°, high. 65% Gren, 15% Mourv, 10% Syr, 10% Muscardin this year. From 2019 – no hurry. 2032-34  Oct 2015

2011 ()

red robe, rather profound. The bouquet is opening up, mixes herbs, essential oils, soaked raspberry and thyme – this has a good garrigue heartbeat. The palate has the warm glow of the southern Châteauneuf sector, is an uncomplicated, “goods on the counter” wine, its texture smooth. Red berry, towards liqueur fruit mixes with grainy, nutty tannin in close pursuit. It is a shade powerful as it closes, which is the challenge for this. For now, there is a slight late dryness and a sense of alcohol. From spring 2015. Decant it – air will suit. 15.5°. 2028-30  Nov 2013  Previously Dec 2012 ****(*) (barrel/cask) dark red; there is a wide sweep of black berry across the glass, has a good essence in it. Small airs of leather, pepper hover. Fruit leads the charge for now, the fruit very clear. The palate has a thorough heart – a black berry flavour with supple, ripe tannins and a very good sequence all the way along. Holds an accomplished structure with a frame of tannin that isn’t intrusive. Promising, has class. Real quality of fruit here. From 2015. 15°. 60% Gren, 25% Syr, 10% M, 5% Muscardin this year. 45,000 b, great VALUE at €14.50. 2028-29  Dec 2012

2010

(barrel/cask) steady red robe; grainy, quite sparky red fruit air, licorice and herbs present, a touch of road tar. The palate black fruit is safe, smooth in texture, has a “play it safe” nature. Easy access, drink from mid-late 2012. No bells and whistles wine, is just there. There are small pockets of late red fruit. Limited horizon as it stands. 2029-31 Dec 2011

2009 ()

sober, three-quarter depth red; reserved nose, has potential, mixes chocolate, cherry and brambly fruit, black raisin. Even keel attack to the palate, has a grunty fullness and robust local infill; the tannins need leaving until 2014. There are dark influences beyond the Grenache. Good, rather refined length. 15°. Proper, good traditional Châteauneuf, and yes, STGT. 2031-33 Sept 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ****(*) full red with a matt hue; red cherry liqueur aroma – you can smell the baked plains, the bounce of heat and dust in the bouquet`s second wave – this is a ripe start. The palate has a supple, charged debut. It broadens and loosens, offers its juice after half way. A wine of raw potential with vintage strength and local character, excesses and all. It is very good and wide en bouche. From late 2012 or 2013. STGT style wine. 2028-30 Oct 2010

2008

mild, correct red; subdued, calm red fruit aroma - there is a little juice in the red cherry, a sense of “high” fruit, with Grenache in the lead. There is rather fine red fruit on the palate – it offers simple access to the Grenache, and even just bottled, it is showing early features – a light, but defined red plum, Grenache-typical fruit. There are dry moments, though, a shade of late burn, and it tightens up after half way. For best results, leave this until mid-2011. It will provide honest drinking after that. 2020-21 Dec 2009

2007

full red robe; cherry and raspberry fruit aroma – it is pretty and varied, combining herbs, baked stones, some nuttiness, flowers. The palate has a tasty, supple start – there is an immediate strike of red berry in the flavour, then some power creeps in towards the finish. In an obviously primary, non-complex state now, but a pretty wine in the making. The fruit is bonny, long and persistent. There is a touch of late burn. From 2010. 2025-27 Nov 2008

2006 ()

full, dark red; high tone aromas, with nuts also, chicken stock – is in transition. The palate has red fruit liqueur in the lead – has a solid, nicely Grenache rich middle, extends well until a snappy, nutty late tannic finale. The red fruit is pretty - juicy and live. There is a late meaty tone. From late 2009. 2025-27 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ***** pretty complete red plum colour; ripe raspberry leads the bouquet, without excess from the cellar, is a little fundamental, and also carries chocolate, date, rum, Christmas cake connotations. The palate has a tasty start, the red berries in a jam style, but good grip alongside. Another example of how good the Grenache is this year. There is a good sprinkling of spice to add interest. Is rich all the way through, a Beau Vin here. Still a touch reserved, so drink from 2010. A very complete wine with good balance. 2024-26 Nov 2007

2005 ()

sound red colour; brewed fruit aroma with a ripe, sweet air, the fruit like raspberries and an appealing floral, bonbon surround. Palate has an easy, soft charm, is sweet and accessible, softly textured. Touch of end bite from the tannins, sound length. Drinks OK now, on its first supple stage. Facile charm, very much a round shape of wine. Scented towards the finish. 15° plus here. 2026-28 Nov 2006

2004 ()

the red robe is already settling into a mild plum as it moves towards its second stage. Has a broad, open nose – shows sweet, mulled fruit such as mulberry, with a damp air creeping in, and some rosemary-laurel herbs behind. The bouquet is appealingly open and authentic, and has definite bite in it, via some raisin. The palate leads with herb, nut-toffee infused red stone fruit – it is very Grenache, but Grenache from a not crisply ripe vintage, so it is a bit blowsy. It is drinkable now, with a tightening, rather gamey stage on the final stretch. This is traditional Châteauneuf, delivered with the side grip of the vintage. The tannins on the finish are a wee bit rustic, but provide life and some thrust. It has come together since last tasted. STGT wine – it is true to its southern zone that makes less robust wines than the stony plateaus. 14.5°. 2021-23 July 2008 Previously October 2006 **(*) Grenache-red tinted robe; honey, baked fruit tart aroma that seems well set, though there is some assertive spice that leaves it a little jagged. Feisty, dark red fruit on attack - this is a punchy do. There are burnt touches on the end palate. Aftertaste is heated. Lacks balance now. Hmm. Leave till into 2008 and hope it can come together – it needs to soften and settle. 2019-21 Oct 2006

2003

the robe is evolving towards ruby. The nose shows damp fruits, a sort of decay, even some fish paste or smoked mackerel – very unusual, as if the sailor just stepped off his fishing vessel. Some concentrated cassis and raspberry jam for the fruit side of it. The palate starts roundly, and is juxtaposed with the nose; there is some sweetness in a plum, honey-raisin cake taste. Ends on a rich, winter treats note – dates, for instance, but there is also a fish, salty or anchovy presence on the palate. These are most unusual flavours. It could be wider and hold a richer layering, and there is a lot going on at only five years' old. 15°. 2020-22 June 2008

2001

pretty red, ruby entering – bodes well for the wine in the glass. This is a classic style Châteauneuf in evolution – we are at the start of the second phase bouquet, so there is prune, date, coffee, some dampness, but also a steady, rich underlay that renders the bouquet solid overall. There are also toffee, light run cake airs also – it is an abundant, varied nose, a real winner. The palate shows the weave of this vintage – it comes along with a duck and dive delivery of red fruit, with the flavour more leaning towards raisin than pure fruit. There is the damp note of middle age, but its sides are still muscled, and its southern origin means it finishes roundly and completely, without an obvious fruit parade. Great with pheasant, more so than partridge, or duck rather than venison. A little tar completes the late picture. Very faithful, STGT wine. 2023-25 Nov 2008

1999

maturing robe – Grenache brick colour at top, but a thorough middle. Some coffee bean with prune, damson jam presence and a minted background on nose. Is a little herbal and sweet and evolving away from the first fruit flush. Typical Grenache mix of Bovril (meat stock), mint, raisin, and is fresh still. Plum, prune flavour that is flecked with mint (lot of this here today!). The fruit remains well-defined and settles nicely though the palate. Calm, unhurried winemaking – the wine is easy to drink now. Some warm tea, stone fruit on the finish with herbs - a classic Châteauneuf mix. STGT wine – nice local style, and true to its southern sector in the appellation. Quietly persistent. Now good to 2014, can tick on towards 2023. Nov 2006