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The Wines

80% Grenache, 20% Syrah (included Cinsault into 2000s) from galet stone soils on Cabrières (N-W), whole bunch 3 week vinification, pumping overs only, aged 60% large 30-65 hl barrels, 40% used 228-litre oak casks 10-12 months, 40,000 b

2016 ()

healthy red robe. The nose is smoky, has good life, comes with a flourish of red berry fruit aromas, a bright raspberry coulis in the air. There’s a hint of garrigue herbs. The palate bears wavy, rolling matter, has a set of dark tannins and some near eau de vie strength coming along towards the finish. This is an honest, well grounded Châteauneuf with a good Grenache raspberry, plum fruited core. It hits the finishing line well. 14.7°. From 2020, decanting useful. 2031-33 Mar 2018

2015

ruby touches in the red robe. The bouquet sits back in the glass, needs coaxing out, so decanting is advised. There’s a low-key air of raspberry, red cherry liqueur fruit, with some substance, so it’s on potential more than current delivery. The palate starts on spicy red fruits, with a spot of crunch in the still dark, rather tasty tannins – they bring an extra spur of fresh length before a gummy, surging finish. This has good, traditional virtues, possesses genuine heart. From spring 2019. 2030-32 Mar 2018

2006

largely full red; raspberry, ripe fruit liqueur or jam aroma that is still very primary, hasn`t developed its variety yet. The palate grips tightly, bearing Grenache that is muscled at its core. It runs with purpose, holds together. The finale is broad, and after a toffee burst there is a little dryness in the gummy fruit. Decent persistence, even if it is a bit forced. Trad virtues here. From late 2009. 2018-19 Nov 2008

2005 ()

quite dark red. Nose shows raspberry coulis, with some high tone – there isn’t just Grenache here, I suspect: upright shape to it now. Red berry fruit that is picked very ripe on the palate, and seems a little oaked. Touch dry at the end, needs two years more. Not yet integrated – its various parts are wandering. Bit short now. Uneven. 2015-17 Nov 2007

2004 ()

2 bottles tasted, neither very good: Bottle 2: some advance on the red – early for this. Cooked plums tar and coffee aroma – a little taut. Lacks fruit at just two years’ old – is tending to evolve. Licorice/spice aftertaste. Dodgy balance – I don’t reckon this will be a singing wine. To 2009. Bottle 1: wasn’t right. Oct 2006

1999 ()

the robe has advanced to an oily ruby. Assertive Christmas cake, brandy, black raisin aroma, laden with spices, tobacco and date – it has a notably rich, ripe nature. The palate is mature, with the flavour led by imposing tar and spice notes, the texture oily. From an era when extraction was what counted – this high octane, built-up wine. It sustains to the finish thanks to its strength. It has a grain, pipe tobacco, sultana aftertaste. Excellent with roast beef now, which brings out a more saline, controlled side. Gutsy Châteauneuf-du-Pape, still has fire in its belly. The length is spiced, and it ends on the up, a feisty sign-off. 14°. Bottled at Sorgues in those days. 2020-21  Aug 2012

1998

pale robe, some advance; mild nose with evolution on it – tea, a little iodine, a touch of spirit in a plush setting. Has a plum, spiced flavour, gains a degree of fat, even succulence, towards the finish, where there is some tannin. The Grenache emerges better on the palate than the nose. It will age in a steady way, though it`s a bit funny that there is advance evident already. A genuine wine to give pleasure. 2012-14 Feb 2000

1994

dark plum colour, OK. There is some warmth on the nose, prunes and plum jam with a bit of oak. Seems some maceration carbonique may be involved. The palate starts roundly, has a pleasant, quite easy flavour, with some substance. It follows through quite well, has a slightly sweet and pleasant juiciness. Not a big scale wine, does the job nicely. Decent final matter to chew on. It aims at, and succeeds, in offering early drinking, with ease. Best drunk 1999-2003. 13.5°. To 2008. Oct 1996