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The Wines

75% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault, Syrah, Clairette rose, Clairette blanche (late 1950s on clay with limestone soils in the Dentelles at Combe Sauvage (S-E) at 350 metres), hand harvested, destemmed, 18-24 day vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, part vat emptying/refilling, concrete vat raised 7-10 months (down from 18 months late 2000s, until 2004 was aged new-1 year oak casks 12 months, then vat 6 months), unfined, filtered, good quality cork, “drink with spiced dishes, meat of character”, organic wine, 8-13,000 b

2018

full red colour; oak, crushed nutshells hover above a filled bouquet that carries garrigue herbs, deep raspberry fruit with a skip of flowers in it, a note of peony, and a meaty depth. The palate is expressive, up front, with a firm stream of red fruit matter, a definite, firm presence on the close, where there is oak-toffee thickness. It’s a swish, polished Gigondas, at present distant from the vineyard. €17.5 at cellars. Leave until 2024. 2041-43  Feb 2020

2017

(vat) very dark robe; the nose suggests depth, ripeness, has a reserved aroma that fixes on sultry black fruits, sweet prune. The palate reflects the sunny weight of the vintage, is a gourmand, expansive affair, offers cool blueberry fruit late on, licorice and dusted tannins, iodine notes on the aftertaste. Good fruit quality, precise detail here, is a stylish, promising do. From spring 2021. 2038-41 Oct 2018

2016

(vat) full red colour. The bouquet presents an oily aroma of red cherry and raspberry, a note of eau de vie lurking, also black olive tapenade. It’s rather rugged. The palate is grounded, displays definite strength and muscle, with the packed-in red fruit content lined with sturdy, firm tannins. This is wholesome, no-nonsense Gigondas that wears its heart on its sleeve, does not hold back. Ideal with game dishes [beside the log fire]. From spring 2020. 2036-39 Oct 2017

2015

dark red robe. The nose is appealing, with a sweet-noted display of red fruits, coulis in style, and iodine, seashore dampness. It’s a curvy start, and the palate runs in similar vein, with softly textured, free flow red fruits, raspberry and redcurrant that take on a peppery spur towards the neat finish. This is a well proportioned wine with a cosy security of flavour and roundness. The fruit lasts in some fine detail. It drinks well now, and will please. 15°. 2029-31 Apr 2017

2014 ()

dark red. The nose has a little potential, gives a restricted air of red cherry, is rather facile. The palate has a salty nature with crisp red fruit present. The tannins are quiet, a little rocky. The content is limited, may extend a little over next few months. The fruit hits a little ball of gras just before the finish. 14°. 12,000 b. €13.50. Bottled early Nov 2015. 2020-21  Dec 2015 

2013

red robe. Light reduction shows on the nose, with a soft red berry pulp aroma, a hint of dried herbs. The palate issues cautious red fruit, raspberry, with an overt fresh tang, is a direct package with the odd moment of suppleness. There is a little finesse in the gras, but it is shrouded by assertive, clipped tannins. Time is needed to round this out. 14°. 12,000 b. From 2018. 2026-27  Dec 2015  Previously Dec 2014 ** purple colour. Has a light spicy nose with a leafy nuance behind. The palate is fruity, but hasn’t quite got the ripeness to follow through. Its tannins are tough, green and chewy. This is simple – with limited long term potential. 14°. Bottled 20 Nov 2014. 13,000 b. €13 at the cellars. Drink from end 2015 until 2020. JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

quite a dark red. Red cherry, raspberry aroma with rosemary, some sweet herbs – the nose has a quiet roundness. The palate holds simply presented Grenache plum fruit; fine, low-key tannins are tucked in. No bells and whistles here; this is a bit simplistic, ends in low profile manner. It is a tiny bit cooked up. From mid-2014. 13,000 b. Bottled Oct 2013. 14.5°. 2018-19  Dec 2013

2011

medium red robe. Brioche, baked bread air mixed with red berry jam – the aroma is quite thorough, has a sweet curve, the sweetness noted. The palate is burnt, the fruit singed after half way, its tannins lying on the outside. Disjointed wine, with its alcohol and tannin out of step. Medium quality wine, with simple red fruit inside it. 15°. To 2018. Bottled Aug 2012. €12 at the cellars. Dec 2012

2008

not a deep red, but a bright one. Red jam/jelly aroma – red cherries - the only show in town for now, although there is a line of white pepper behind. Live set of red fruits on the palate – these are clear, approachable. This drinks easily, increases its depth in the final stages. Fine fruit for short-term drinking, almost primeur style. There is a little late tar, burn. Another 15° wine. To 2013. Dec 2009

2006

matt, fullish red that is not very bright. The black fruit aroma is not forthcoming, not that clear or set – its style is blackcurrant crème, crème de cassis. Dark fruits commence the palate, all primary in style. There are some vigorous, ripe tannins and gras on the palate, so it moves pretty well to the finish. I like its full, unbridled nature. A wine to get on and enjoy. 2014-15 Jan 2008

2004

robe still replete; tight red fruits aroma, with oak - suggests a live, direct wine. Then the oak takes over on the palate. It is still young, but as a cool territory wine, comes across as rather severe. Lacks body and ripeness it seems. “We are now using less oak to preserve more freshness,” H.Chauvet. 2012-14 Nov 2006

2003 ()

this has got there: soft plum red; waxen air with spirit peeking out – this must be 15° plus; it has the baked 2003 nature, and gives the sense that some mineral is coming in with age, red fruit, medicine, fig are all here. The palate is compact, sturdy – delivers prominent toffee (oak influenced) tannins at the end, which is also solid. The debut of the palate is rich and persistent. In good shape, even if there is some late dryness. 15°. 2018-19 Oct 2010 Previously July 2005 ** modest, light red robe; there is a nutty effect on the nose, which is an austere offering. The palate is reserved, but the fruit gains through it, just comes across a little clinically, sans charm. The length is OK. There is some gras here, but my suspicion is that it lacks core. Wait and see best. From 2007. 2011-12 July 2005

1997

pale red robe, fair. Light pepper air above some cooked fruit on nose, which seems to have advanced already. The palate lacks core, fails to provide interest. It gains a little after the attack, but the feel is a bit sticky and commercial. To 2004-05.  April 1999