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The Wines

70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 6% various inc Clairette rose, Grenache gris, 4% Cinsault, destemmed, 24-30 day vinification, natural yeasts, pumping overs, some cap punching, part vat emptying/refilling, aged new-10 year 228-litre & 600-litre oak casks, 30 hl barrels, tronconic oak vat 12-15 months (new oak max 5%), assembled at last minute, unfined, unfiltered, organic, biodynamic wine, two bottlings end June & end October, 45-75,000 b

2019 ()

(large barrel/casks/oak vat) dark, replete robe; the bouquet carries interest via its really neat air of black fruit, with a refined rose-floral touch, is a shapely opening, good style. The palate presents an elegant flow of black berry fruits with sparkles of clarity and precise, fresh length. This is a really well put together, well balanced Châteauneuf, most commendable for its poise and refinement, is an accumulation of many trim contributors, like a pointilliste painting. A salted inflexion towards the finish invites a second glass. From 2023. 15°. 2046-48 Nov 2020


(large barrel/casks/oak vat) dark red; the bouquet is clear, dense, with notions of red fruit, but largely hidden for now, shows an oily fullness, notes of black olives. The palate holds cassis, blueberry, cool fruit with a streamlined delivery, fresh tannins alongside. It has fibre, the texture pretty crisp, with a dark, tar note on the good, clean close. It captures the clarity of the vintage well. 14.5°. A very small 45,000 b. €35. From 2022. 2041-43 Oct 2019

2017 ()

this is the first, end of June 2019 bottling: shiny, attractive red robe; the bouquet has a plum, mulberry air, caramel, comes with a ripe, thick nature. The palate debut is sturdy, is a wrapped ball of thorough red stone fruit, a couch of ripe tannin. It’s very unformed still, not defined, but to its credit the tannins are ripe, not chewy. It’s a vintage to take time over – from 2023 or later. A little pocket of late fruit appeals, too. “We lost 40% of the Grenache from coulure this year,” Antonin Coulon. This could be back to **** in time. 14.5°. €36 at the cellars. 2041-43 Feb 2020 Previously Oct 2018 **** (large barrel/casks/vat) dark red, full  robe. The bouquet has a comfortable aroma of blackberry fruit, prune, with a smoky touch, suggesting oak, and a soft dab of violets, spring flowers, menthol. The palate is well lined with black fruits, a blend that isn’t resting mainly on Grenache, it seems. It has cut and a spearmint presence late on. There is some dash in its delivery. It’s not a usual Châteauneuf in style, is more northern than that, and the texture is grainy all through. It has quality in the fruit. 14.5°. 45,000 b. €35. From 2021. 2039-41 Oct 2018 

2016 ()

(cask/barrel/oak vat, bottling April 2018) sturdy red robe. The nose is elegant, above average this year in that respect, offers a winsome air of raspberry, red berry and red cherry fruit, some herbes de Provence to vary it, a little smokiness. The palate runs with effortless ease, holds neat content with good definition and purity; it has elegant length. The finish involves gummy tannins that add a discreet extra layer of depth. There’s a very clear show of Grenache here, very good poise provided by it. This charms by stealth. Serve in a large Burgundy glass, enjoy the stylish display. 14.5°. €29.50. From 2020. 2039-41 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(cask/barrel) dark red robe. The nose gives a measured aroma, en finesse, of blackberry, with a little coolness, a note of blueberry and licorice as well. The palate holds attractive, pretty stylish black fruit with a touch of smoky tar towards the finish. It has a fine composition, with some cut and smokiness in the tannins late on. From 2018. 2033-35 Sept 2016


(cask/barrel) attractive dark red. Raspberry fruit and a smoked, coffee backdrop show on the nose, which has reserves for the future. The palate bears a good filling of dark red fruit, with a tannic, licorice build-up on the second half. This is currently quite raw goods, but has a well organised abundance and plenty of potential. It goes pretty long and sustained as it ends. It is linear for the moment, will amplify. From 2018. 2030-32  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(cask/barrel) deep purple hue. Quite a bit of extraction along with oak shows on the nose but there is plenty of dark, ripe fruit behind. Vanilla oak is again to the fore on the palate, but the fruit pushes forward again. This has a modern interpretation, with sucrosity and a glow of alcohol on the finish. Its tannins are firm but fine. 14.5°. From 2017. 2027-28 JL Oct 2014


(cask/barrel, bottling July 2014) dark red; the bouquet is good, all close together, offers potential, gives a firmly layered mass of smoky, dark berry, tobacco. It has a bulge of future promise and variety, black fruit lozenges – it is plump and true. The palate bears accomplished black fruit with an appealing fresh breeze down its spice. It is well-directed, ends with clear intent. The fruit is stylish, and will be a good ensemble. Thorough, persistent, fat, spherical wine. The finale involves menthol, smoke, cocoa. From late 2015. 14.5°. 2031-33 Nov 2013

2011 ()

(cask/barrel) sound red. An air of raspberry fruit is holding back its full display, has a bonny sweetness and depth, a wee note of licorice. This is an elegant, well-filled, very good mixed bouquet. The palate has a smoky dark red fruit flavour, a good garrigue tang in it, mint and flint. A long wine of sound potential. From mid-2015 to integrate, develop and open. Real benchmark Châteauneuf-du-Pape, STGT wine. 14.5°. 2030-32  Dec 2012


(cask/barrel) good-looking, shiny robe. The nose is promising, has the air of its lees, but within lies quality red fruit. Has a full backdrop, notes of licorice, black raisin and a hint of sweetness and florality. Forward bounding red fruit with life and movement in it greets the drinker. This has the agile, active edging of 2010, ending on a cherry fruit, somewhat liqueur note. There is a good Grenache foundation. This is moving in the right direction. From 2014. €25 at the domaine. 2030-33 Dec 2011

2009 ()

red robe, some dark tints. Hum of black cherry, ripeness, almost muscular southern aspect in the nose: it is primary, without nuance beyond the fruit for now. Broad spread of black fruit across the palate, which sustains at its mid-point, and works on power towards the finish. Licorice, black cherry aftertaste. 14.5°. 2025-27 Sept 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ***(*) good full red; red jam with baked airs, the fruit is up front, comes with a little herbal influence, and licorice. The palate has a generous debut, is nice and flattering, the fruit gourmand and tasty, its sweetness beckons. Has a fine tune length, suggests itself as a wine for early drinking. Very fat and uncomplicated, a real crowd pleaser. From mid-2011. 2024-26 Oct 2010


quite a full red colour; graceful, floral, medium depth fruit aroma, comes with airs of soaked black cherries (griottes), and an offset of salt and thyme. The palate offers peppery black fruit, has a neat spot of gras richness, leading into licorice and further black cherry on the finish. The tannins are attractive, and are rounding out. Good now, still grips well. “Graceful” is the word. 14.5°. 2020-21 May 2012 Previously Dec 2009 *(*) mid-depth red, not dark. Smoky bacon, compact red berry and redcurrant fruit with Grenache prominent. Primary red fruit here, a wine that is grainy and a bit gritty in its later stages, where there is a live urge – it is direct there. A light Châteauneuf, one that lacks nuance. From mid-2010 – it will have a bit more cohesion then. 2016-17 Dec 2009

2007 ()

the robe is bright purple, with violet. Has a hickory, briar aroma that also comes with a nice twang of leather and licorice. It holds pretty fruit that is accessible, and is simply presented; the flavour is red cherry and plum, in the modish 2007 jelly style. There is a touch of late tannin. It can be drunk early, but to gain variety and interest, I would come back to it from 2012 onwards. Can be drunk from 2010 - just the straight fruit then. 2025-27 March 2009 Previously Nov 2008 *** red, light purple colour; bright, sleek red cherry aroma that opens with two days airing; initially it is subdued, and comes with a top layer of smoke. The palate cherry red fruit has a mildly concentrated core, though it is rather narrow for now. A pleasant wine in the making, and its fruit will be open around 2010. The length is fine, and the wine ends quite freshly. It is a little febrile and wiry for the moment. Time will serve it well – it is tight and wrapped now. 2024-26 Nov 2008

2006 ()

charry, dark bouquet, that is still young, shows soaked black cherries, green pepper, thyme – there is also appealing lift in the nose, which isn’t all earth-bound. The palate is also tarry, has gone back in on itself, with its raising come back into play. There is a dark intensity about it. It starts on ripe fruit, then takes on a dark hump of tar as it were. The finish is oily in style, has a pine angle. 2023-25  Nov 2013 Previously Dec 2009 ***(*) quiet red robe; baked fruits, peppery aroma with nice, good “dark” spots in it – cinnamon spice. It persists well, and sets up the palate well. The palate has drive, interesting fruit, rocks along. It is based around black fruits. There is good Grenache heart in it – red fruit there. Sound length. Has come together in the last year. 14.5°. 2023-25. Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **(*) dark red; supple, hammock-like red berry fruit aroma, the fruit ripe and spongy; has a floral top scent, raspberry and high tone, garrigue, baked stones. Steady red fruit lies on the palate, with an intense moment before it finishes. The flavour is raspberry, with grip and a tannin-alcohol clamp towards the end. The length is sound, even if the fruit drifts late on. From spring 2010. 2024-26 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 *** (assemblage example) dark red with a purple hint in the robe; very primary aroma, just after its fermentation. Some lees, with soaked black fruit within and some nuttiness from the oak. The palate starts softly, black fruit of a straight nature, but no real hit. It lengthens well, the black fruits have a smooth, near-savoury texture. Is a linear wine on the palate, but the core is sound in quality. All to do with time and allowing it that space to emerge and meld. Could rate a little higher later on. From 2010. 2021-23 Nov 2007


well-knit, broad and smoky bouquet, has a meaty, rather gamey side. Clearly struck palate with stylish plum fruit. Has a salted end, nice and fresh length, too. Well balanced, good élan here. The tannins need leaving until 2009 – they contribute a pebbly but ripe feel to the texture – makes a good mix. 15°, but that is not evident. 2025-27. “ It hasn’t shut up, unlike the 1995 that was a bit similar,” Daniel Coulon. March 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) thorough, decent dark red; latent potential on the nose – shows sustained black fruit, cherry stone aroma, is a bit yeasty but there is plenty here. Good fruit strike on attack, black cherry flavour again, is ripe but not excessively so. Flows smoothly, has hidden reserves. Suavely fruited wine with a clear finish. Is wide en bouche late on. I can see this beguiling drinkers. Esp late 2008 onwards. 2024-26 Nov 2006

2004 ()

quite dark. Balanced, harmonious bouquet with an interior of red fruit and also some herbs – holds potential. Clean-cut palate fruit at first, but then it dries and its tarry finish lacks roundness. Should hold together more than this at two years’ old. I suspect may come and go and this is a dodgy moment. I reserve judgment, given its earlier possibilities. Try in 2008. 2014-16 Oct 2006 Previously July 2005 ***(*) various combinations - 90% Grenache, 10% various (cask) sustained bouquet, knit, fine, can be floral; very clear, expressive fruit, good lines, oily without heat, gracious. Round tannins lend good support. 18-21 yrs, ***. 60% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre (cask) solid, tight bouquet; chocolate, chewy density on palate. Good length. Again, good freshness, tannins a-plenty, ***. 60% Grenache, 40% Cinsault (8 yr cask) berried fruit, soft bouquet, attractive; gains weight through the palate, jam touches here, refined. Cinsault brings finesse, ***. 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah (2 yr cask) berried, deep nose. Evident fat, broad and open, generous wine. Balanced, tannins are well set inside it, ***(*). 80% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre (3 yr cask) compact, full aroma. Rich core on palate, good length, pepper, tannin here, deep wine. 18+ yrs, ***(*). July 2005


Bottle 1 corked. Bottle 2: dark red plum with some matt in the hue. Has a comfortably set aroma – it travels across the glass, and its depth is well-knit. There is red jam, with some agreeable oiliness in it, red fruit liqueur in the air. The palate holds herb-trimmed red stone fruits that are ripe in nature – there is a gourmand side to this, especially through its mid-palate sweetness, that is followed by some late punch. This is still pretty young; the finish, which has some dry areas, needs to soften. The length is OK. From spring 2010 to sort out the finish, which remains dry. 14.5°. 2020-23 June 2008 Previously July 2005 **(*) suave, scented jam bouquet, compact and smoky, sustains well. Red fruits, cherry/prune flavour, quite solid end tannins, decent thrust. Better from 2008. A near Pear William aftertaste, the pear skin. Touch dry on aftertaste. 2016-19 July 2005

2001 ()

pretty, bright red; has the sleek, more floating aroma of a modern school Châteauneuf, as opposed to the Trad wines: it offers a still fresh raspberry aroma that has a curl of maturity but like the Trads it has reached a state of harmony at seven years' old. The palate carries its vintage badge, thanks to an ebb and flow of red fruit and darker influences such as licorice and tea – but it is still young, and hasn`t budged a lot over time. It is more wiry, less really compact than the full Grenache wines, also less nuanced. Has a clear, minted aftertaste. 14°. 2022-24 Nov 2008


plum red robe that is still youthful. Has a well-sealed aroma – lightly scented black fruit with a mere hint of change to its second stage, the fruit just a little “high”. On studying it further, roasted pork aromas join in, with the compact berries and a little dustiness. Maybe could be decanted, then drunk, no long wait after decanting. The palate holds secure black fruits, with some comfortably set tannin – this is a wine where the non-Grenache grapes have contributed structure and longevity (tasted blind). There is still more youth than middle age in this. Ends on a little leathery note. It is not really local as yet – from 2010 for that. Good poise and cohesion in this. 2020-22 June 2008

1998 ()

magnum at the Palais des Papes, Avignon: dark robe with a good, thorough depth. Soaked fruits, blackberry, notably prune aromas in a lovely rich, young setting on the nose, strong airs of rosemary, green olive tapenade. The palate is reaching an attractive serenity, with its full message from the plains – black berry fruit, some leather, the tannins softening. It has a good, fresh as a daisy, finish. There are notes of violet and the real offer of influences from the warm lands. It motors strongly on the end, is really going as it signs off, no halts. Bingo! 1998 as it should be, not falling apart early. 14.5°. 2027-30 if in magnum Dec 2012  Previously Feb 2000 *** sound, dark plum robe; warm, rounded nose, gently stewed fruit present. Full palate – it grows as it goes, offers a pretty, sweet touch, good garrigue local feel. Tannins on the finish are a little burnt. There is good potential in the early fruit on the attack, just needs to sort out the ending. Pebbly, herbal elements are faithful to its place. 2021-23 Feb 2000

1995 ()

purple, dark cherry colour; very dark, intense bouquet, a wall, a really strong dark fruit aroma here, down the line, not yet varied. The palate has a firm flavour, not much variety in it. Berried fruit lies at its heart, and I sense a cellar influence here in its making. The length is fair, and the tannins noticeable on the finish lie in support, are not pushy. It is a bit hard to read, as to where it goes. New oak present. Try from 1999. 2019-21 Oct 1996


quite good red, legs. There is agreeable dusty grain in the nose, backed by damson fruit, some pepper – a pretty typical start. There is early sweetness on the attack, which leads into a peppery middle, has fairly good length. Some chewy licorice on the end. Likeable in an understated way, is local in feel. Upright in shape, with its finish rather dry for now. From 2000. 13.5°. 2015-18 Oct 1996