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The Wines

85-95% Grenache (1904-1970), 5-8% Mourvèdre, 4-6% Syrah, 2-3% Bourboulenc, 1-2% Cinsault from sandy soils with some galet stones, hand harvested, 90% destemmed, 26-28 day vinification, 1 part vat emptying/refilling at the start, pumping overs, max temp 30°C, steel & concrete vat raised 21-22 months, fined, unfiltered, 16-18,000 b

2018 ()

(steel/concrete vat, bottling June 2020) dark robe; the nose is full, cautious, with red liqueur fruit present. There is a slightly raw aspect to it that will infuse. The palate offers Grenache fruit and content with a smoothness of texture that is typical of Châteauneuf, before gaining some smoky, rather dark tannins. There is enough freshness for this to emerge well, and be a likeable glass. The finish is quiet for now. 15°. 85% Gren, 7% Mourv, 4% Syr, 3% Bourb, 1% Cins. From 2022-23. 2039-41 Oct 2019

2017 ()

even red robe. Has a minted, sweet blackberry, plum fruits aroma with a fresh surround, a cordite spark. The palate carries the fines notes of Châteauneuf, via its texture; the mid-palate isn’t especially full, holds red fruit, spicing. There’s fibre in it, with punch in the tannins, pumice stone on the exit. The finish needs time, but juice ekes its way out of it, so allow three years. It finishes coolly, not overdone. “The late texture is from the bunches not being all together – after all the coulure, they had grapes here and there on them, my yield only 13 hl/ha,” P Bravay.  15°. Bottled 8 June 2019. From 2022-23. 2039-41 Oct 2019

2016

(vat, bottling June 2018) dark red colour. The nose leads with a stylish aroma of blackberry, mixed in with dried herbes de Provence, a note of rose petal, licorice. It will open and vary well. The fruit swishes around the palate well, has a blueberry-blackberry axis, with good, ripe, live tannins wrapped around it. This is a really genuine Châteauneuf with good heart and serious length, a proper from the ground up wine with some delicate aromatics involved. The balance is good. 15°. 16,000 b. 87% Gren, 5% Mourv, 3% Syr, 3% Bourb, 2% Cins. €22 is very fair. From 2021. 2035-38 Oct 2017

2015

(concrete vat) quite a dark red robe. There is quiet serenity about the nose, with a plump air of red fruit at its centre. It’s curvy and will give appeal as it matures. The palate is also founded on a gourmand Grenache red fruit, with a true Châteauneuf plumpness giving its definition. The length is good, still discreet. This will evolve slowly but steadily: it’s potentially a rather handsome bottle. 15°. From 2019. 2031-33 Sept 2016 

2014

(vat, bottling June 2016) medium red robe. Has a drifting blackberry aroma, some pork scratchings or roasting, notes of black olives. The attack is careful, the fruit clear, the content a little light. The fruit washes along OK. It is just a bit tame. 15°. 18,000 b. €20. From mid-2017. 2024-25  Oct 2015  

2013 ()

dark red robe. The nose gives a bright and deep display of mulberry, dark red berry fruit, with a pine-menthol surround. This gets straight into matters. The attack is weighted, and the wine is full all through. It is a matter of approaching at the well-timed moment. It carries Grenache plum fruit with herbs present, and its tannins are on the gummy side for now. It is big wine, not for the faint hearted. Needs a steaming beef casserole or a dish of game. The finish is a touch dry still. 15°. From 2018. 2027-29  Oct 2015 Previously Oct 2014 *** (vat) medium+ depth of colour. Briary, dark fruited nose. The palate is juicy and gives immediate  fruit on the attack. There is a touch of sucrosity on the mid-palate, then a drying finish. A little awkward vis-à-vis its raising at present. Has substance but not pizzazz. Alcohol noted on the finish. From 2016. 15°. 2023-25 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

(vat) dark red; oily and attractive air, led by red fruits, a pine note, wee licorice. The palate has a tasty, simmered berry flavour, appealing juice in it. Raspberry fruit expresses well with a clarity in its dusted, lightly spiced finish. Unpretentious, but doesn’t ignite. From late-2015. Time a help, so be patient. 2024-25 Nov 2013

2010 ()

(vat) quite a dark red; wild berry, loganberry air that is smoky, shows crème de menthe within, some mystery and a hint of high octane, power. The palate holds spiced, fat content, comes with a pitchy side of darkness, ending on freshness. There are muscular moments here, but everything is under control. It feels a little stretched, is cellar-driven fro now. From mid-2013. 2024-26 Dec 2011

2009

(vat) quite a dark robe; crunchy, grilled airs in a youthful nose – it`s not yet showing closely defined fruit as yet, more a sense of black fruit liqueur. The palate starts roundly and juicily. There is a combination of blackberry and mulberry in the flavour – this traces a direct line to the finish. where there is a degree of clarity. Good, has the depth of wines from the northern sector, is secure to the end. A complete wine with good local drive. From 2013 or so. 2025-27 Nov 2010

2008 ()

black traces in its red robe; lactic, leesy, raw aroma, which is temporary, behind lie black fruit which is three-quarter depth. This is under gas, so not straightforward to taste: the palate has quite stable red fruit within, the fruit clean-cut, its elegance interesting, while the texture is mild. Very much still making its way – Grenache to the forefront, is a poised wine with floral moments. STGT in style – not very deep, but sympa. Ends on a nice pocket of gras, has local feel. From mid-2011. 2018-20 Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 (vat - still has 7.5 gm of sugar to ferment, and the malo is on the go, has had no SO2 yet, either) three-quarter depth robe, dark tints in the red; the palate shows a minor gras, and comes with sides – so there is a degree of width. There is a little herbal nuance on the nose. The length is OK. 10 year life. * or very max *(*). March 2009

2007

shiny, quite full red robe. Hung game and reduction show on the nose, with a pepper hover, very much red meat and 2007 depth of mulled red berry fruit within. This has a raspberry liqueur flavour, so states a slightly separate case to the nose. This is a bit of a Wild Ride, but is a stimulating one. It runs freely, with the fruit persistent, a little high octane. Marks for character. 14.5°. 2030-32  Nov 2015 Previously Nov 2009 **** quite a thick dark red. Brewed, beef stock, wide nose – a bit vegetal, smoke and leather combo, is very grounded and dense. The palate holds soupy fruit that lacks lightness of touch. The fruit is ripe, sweet, a mite oppressive. Is very Grenache-centric, an imposing wine. Beefy, wide finale – herbal, garrigue, toffee aftertaste, good for winter foods, hearty stews. Flirts with excess. Its finish is not yet resolved – a touch dry there. From mid-2011. 2021-22 Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 ****(*) (vat) good, full robe; has a wide, copious nose – the aroma sits nice and securely – the aroma is cherry jelly, very Grenache, very typical. The palate has a muscular start, the red fruit is nicely buffed up and textured, and handles its power well – it is all as one. The length is good and persistent . . yes, this really keeps going. Has good, integrated, live tannin. No show business here – just what matters – the truth. Has 2 gm of sugar now. To be bottled end June 2009. 2021-23 March 2009

2006

shiny dark red with an appealing brilliance about the robe. Soaked raspberries, good beef stock depth on the nose – this is going well, is a rock n’roll bouquet, has a good store of herbs and full raspberry. It becomes a little baked after two hours. The palate starts well, gets off and goes; this is entertaining. Has good breeze, oiliness, an appealing savoury aspect. After two hours, it shows more knuckle, firms up at the end. “It shut down after bottling, and has gradually come back,” Philippe Bravay. Still has long ways to go. 14.5°. 90% Grenache this year. 2023-25  Nov 2013 Previously March 2009 **** a level red robe, all the way up the glass. The nose is pretty, and evolving steadily: its stability indicates there is no hurry, and there is a touch of game in the making – interesting bouquet here, with laurel and herbs for now mixed in with a soaked black cherry aroma. There is a good, tight weave on the palate, encircled by plenty of fruit and a solid heart, good length. Nice vintage respect – the wine is clear and sinewed, just as 2006 should be. The tannin is good and interesting, too. Good local feel – herbal, baked stones, a tight drum wine. Gradually getting there – the previous tasting moving into line. 14.5°. From 2011. 2021-22 March 2009 Previously Jan 2008 ** (vat sample) even depth, quite dark robe; blackcurrant crème aroma with floral air – it holds up and persists well, with some smoke and clarity, and is quite wide. There is bit of spritz on the start of the palate, a point of acidity that reappears. This is very brut, very raw now - the tannins and acidity are not as one. Has a chocolate aftertaste. Not easy to be categorical about this: it marches on its power, has rock and roll acidity and a rustic style, with the balance under question. But this domaine produces punchy wines that can get there. From mid-2010 on this showing. 2020-22 Jan 2008

2005 ()

bright, quite dark red robe; the bouquet is just closing down – has soundly installed berry fruit, with plum, damson airs as well: is brisk in nature. The palate holds well-shaped fruit, is tight, and bears live tannins. Good late width – it fans out well. Needs 12 to 15 months to settle its acidity. Not quite ensemble now. 2021-23 Jan 2008, London Previously Nov 2006 **** (pre-bottle) dark, black cherry robe; sleek, straight black fruit aroma with good amount of content; there are herbal, game instincts, is funky in the making. Upright palate, with a full set of tannins. Clean extraction fruit, with a cherry tinge, the texture becomes lissom and appealing through the palate. Has to sort out some current tannic bitterness, which I reckon is possible. The fruit is pure and this can drink well from around 2009 on. 2021-25 Nov 2006

2004

bright red plum colour. The nose is attractive – it gives an oily, roasted, menthol, fresh aroma with a hint of reduction, damp soil, stylish red plum, red berry jam inside. This is a compact package of mulled red fruit and spice, a wee note of spirit, possible lees, towards the finish. That charged note dominates the aftertaste, where there some mineral content. This holds good, bracing red fruit. It is fresher than most 2004s at this stage, an interesting wine. 2021-23 Oct 2013 Previously Nov 2006 *** full, dark red and some black in the robe; herbal, rather indistinct aroma that has a touch of burn and astringency in it. Supple palate, with some sweet, brewed and stewed red fruits present. The length is sound, the raspberry persists, and there is a patisserie tone to the flavour that I have found in other Ferrand wines, from its Grenache. I reckon this can develop and make it by around 2009-10. 2021-24 Nov 2006 Previously Oct 2006 ***(*) quite dark; brooding nose – tight black fruit, no cards on the table yet. Elegant, decisive black fruit on the palate, as opposed to the bouquet, is open and on the case now. Tannins show up on cue and need leaving till late 2008. The fruit holds up well through the palate. I like the mix of grape varieties – their proportions are well selected. 2017-20 Oct 2006

1999 ()

some brick-tile on the top rim of the robe; Has an intense bouquet, as if worked on in the cellar, with plum, flowers and a tight nature. There is good dash in the flavour – it is from the North-West area and that comes through via a certain freshness and refinement. There are rich spots along the palate, but the finish is a little dry. 2017-18 Dec 2006

1998 No Rating

steady red, legs – the robe has held up well. Funky style nose – baked stones, intense, ageing plum fruit, is wide and rather downhome. Some would find Brett in this. The palate is led by its red Grenache fruit, is very wrapped up into its tannins. It stops short with a clatter, and I find more Brett on the palate. Can't be rated. 14.5°. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2006 No Rating corked bottle. The nose has red fruit, is fresh behind the cork aroma, rather vibrant. The palate bears red fruit with a firm tannic push after it. 14.5°. Nov 2006, with Philippe Bravay

1997

(vat/casks) quite dark. The nose has some density, alcohol, the style leathery, with some dark, blackstrap fruit and power. It also shows the dry tones of the vintage. The palate is pretty big – it holds decent matter and its tannins are prominent. The length is decent, the finale still on licorice and firm tannin. The heart of the wine is solid enough. The finish is tarry, a bit fiery. From 2001. Needs time. 2010-12  Oct 1998