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The Wines

65-70% Grenache (oldest 1930s on Coteau de l'Ange, N-W), 15-20% Syrah, 10-15% Mourvèdre (1920s-early 1970s) from Moulin à Vent (S-W), Terres Blanches (N), Les Pradel (N-W), La Nerthe (S-E), destemmed, 3 week vinification, daily pumping overs, raised 50% concrete vat, 25% large 50 hl barrel, 25% 30 hl tronconic oak vat 12 months (before mid-2010s raised 50% vat, 50% large 60-65 hl barrel 12 months), unfined, filtered, 18,650-35,000 b

2018 ()

(concrete vat/large barrel, bottling Oct 2020) this is the only wine this year: red robe. Plum, damson fruit, spicing on the nose, with hay, dried herbs, air over land here – it’s clear. The palate is medium weight, holds cool red fruits, redcurrants, a touch of raspberry, isn’t yet as one, with some gain in depth, also power, towards the finish. The finish is grounded – it strengthens there, a note of kirsch there. This still has 1.5 gm of residual sugar to ferment. Its body is slightly wiry, but it is clear. It can live and expand on its acidity – that is the best policy, to treat it more like a Burgundy than a Châteauneuf-du-Pape. 15°. 27,000 b at most. From 2023. 2036-38 Oct 2019

2017

(vat, bottling Dec 2019) red robe; red cherry fruits, an upbeat damson jam aroma, a note of licorice – this is a nose that bears warm lands implicit strength. The palate has a naked, clear bearing, rustles up intense, slightly searing raspberry fruit, red berries, towards the finish, the 2017 tannins still needing to polish, are a bit baked. It’s rather all over the place now, vis-à-vis the degree and the tannins, typical 2017 in those respects. It’s a bit wild. 18,650 b this year, low. From 2022-23, a waiting policy essential. 2038-40 Oct 2019

2016 ()

full red robe; the nose is good and harmonious, has airs of red cherries, red berries, a well judged ripeness, has a savoury and steady, assured depth, garrigue herbs on board. The palate is expressive, serene, closely wrapped, with nourishing body, dance in the tannins. This has style, life, gives energy. There is salted friskiness at the end, after touches of white pepper. It’s genuine, real heartlands Châteauneuf, go for it. 15°. 2046-48 Oct 2019 Previously Oct 2017 **** (vat/barrel) dark red. This has a smooth, aromatic nose marked by intense raspberry liqueur, plums. It’s appealing, well together and stylish. The palate glides along well with a lissom feel and “sparkling”, clear red fruits with some spiced notions. This has good balance and style, and hasn’t been made for size counting the most. The aftertaste is cool, precise. 15°. From mid-2019. 2037-39 Oct 2017

2014 ()

(vat/barrel) purple in the red robe. A sweet red fruit greets the drinker on the nose, a mulled raspberry and mulberry aroma, a wide scape to it. The palate is charged up, with a coursing run of assertive red fruited content, and a firm edge to the tannins. This has hardly got going. It carries a kirsch style, and suggests work in the cellar to catch up on shortfalls in the vineyard. The aftertaste throbs with effort. This needs time to tame it. 15°. 70% Gren, 15% Syr, 15% Mourv. 30,000 b. From 2019. 2029-31  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

nicely full red robe. The nose has a concerted red berry depth, goes long. There is a hint of sweet herbs. Its innate strength is well corralled. The palate bears tight fitting red fruits, with an enclosed circle of tannin. This is very good: it breathes its essence from within, has little shade in its quilt, and has a naturally achieved fullness. It is very long. Way to go Châteauneuf. There is a 2013 sign-off via some crunchy, rocky tannins that spring into the air with smoke, ash. 15.5°. From 2018. 2030-32  Oct 2015  

2012

(vat/barrel) shiny, agreeably full red; the nose is robust – full to the brim, a wide and deep cherry liqueur air, smoke and black raisin. Has ways to go. The palate stretches out well, spurred on by a fluid run of live berry fruit. There are oak and mocha moments on the end, and a note of acidity and pepper that light a fuse. Pretty accomplished fruit in it, but less oak wouldn’t hurt. A racy style Châteauneuf, upfront and modern. From late 2015. 15.7°. 2025-27  Nov 2013

2011

(barrel) dark red. Oily pine essence, blackberry-prune aroma that offers the air of mature dark fruits, tobacco and leather – this is a wide and tarry nose. There is a note of carbonic gas in this; its black berry fruit is uplifted by that, its centre quite rich, ending on cocoa, grainy elements. It dries swiftly on the finish. Review this post bottling, when it has been tidied up. There is a sound centre here, so hope exists for more from it. From late 2014. 15.5°. 2024-26  Dec 2012

2010

(barrel) full plum red robe; has a Syrah-influenced, gummy fruit air, light note of brewed cocoa in behind, a sparky clack of freshness, some light floral float and a meaty width – potential here. The palate mixes red stone fruit with an oily ripeness, smooth tannins. It gains in power as it goes, travels pretty continuously. Herbs and spices are mixed in to its red fruits. The length is sound, the finish firm. A little foot down on the pedal in the cellar, but has good carry though the palate. From mid-2013. 2026-28 Dec 2011

2008 ()

(barrel) correct, not very deep red. The bouquet gives some promise – ticks over on a red fruit, plum, scented kirsch, liqueur air, along with herbs, briar airs. There is a rather worked on feel to the palate – its red fruit is rolled up, with a savoury implication. Spherical rather than angular in shape – I reckon it will hit a sweet spot around late 2011. The finish needs to settle – it shows late tar, burn. 2018-19 Dec 2009

2007 ()

(barrel) full red with some black. The bouquet is broad and well-filled, a harmonious affair: beef stock aromas bounce out, along with raisin, a hint of crème de menthe, but also some stalk/vegetal notions. The palate is rich, without excess – the black fruit has a savoury nature, the interior being fat and rich. It is very much on black fruits, as if the non-Grenache elements are high (tasted blind). Gradually increases its weight beyond the fruit. The late tannins are ripe and round, the flavour summoning up Morello cherry. A clear finish bodes well. From mid-2010. 2022-23 Nov 2008

2006

deep, proper red robe. The nose is a busy affair – it needs decanting, for a start, shows farmyard airs. There are also raisin and high tone notes – it is compact and solid, bears a slightly meaty note. This is robust, vigorous, has plenty of drive. Has a good seam of dark fruits through it, is a really good, true, uncomplicated Châteauneuf, full of bounty, tight-knit and vintage true with its clear finale. The tannins are also true to the year through their rather chalky style. Authentic wine, very wholesome and without pretension. Day 2: smoky notes on nose; very dark fruited still, the finish clear. Good punch, good truth. 14°. 2021-23  Sept 2010, East Sussex Previously Nov 2008 ***(*) full robe, thorough dark red, black traces. Cocoa top aroma, with an inner of black jam, a minor give out of garrigue warmth - this is true and local. Sturdy, well-knit start to palate - there is plenty of wine here: it runs across the glass, and the black fruits are juicy and persistent. It ends on a slightly tar-licorice note, all in order. Good local wine, STGT in style. 2017-18 Nov 2008 Previously Dec 2006 no rating yet - early example: (example – 50% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache with still 3 gm sugar left) pretty, well-fruited bouquet. Good, clean cut and expressive palate, tannins show through and give it an upright couch. Dec 2006

2005

quite a rich aroma of brewed black fruits; palate starts out with chewy red fruits, there is a fair amount of heart here, length is OK. Correct, quite a live finish. There is sinew in the wine, with a decent amount of punch, some end heat. Rather dry tones on the exit. From 2009 at least. 2020-23 March 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) dark robe; pebbly, minted black fruit bouquet – is reserved for now, has garrigue tones and a little high tone/alcohol. Like the nose, the palate is upright with red fruits and olives, red berries on the finish and a truffly touch. The core is rich, and there’s plenty to come. Sustains well. From 2009. 2021-23

2004 ()

mild, easy red fruit aroma – plum with a trimming of flowers and earthiness. Bonny and elegant, this has an easy and open charm, is drinkable now. The fruit is clear and is nicely surrounded by refined tannins. Touch of burn on the aftertaste, a pity. 2015-18 Oct 2006 Previously Feb 2006 *(*) scented, elegantly styled bouquet with red fruits at its heart. The palate fruit starts with a clear vigour, and has a vibrant nature, not especially very Grenache in make-up. Its acidity is searching, and the wine needs to settle. Leave until 2008. I have some doubt about how it will go as it ages. 2019-22 Feb 2006

2001 ()

robe still red, some easing in its depth. The nose is entering a fungal, mineral stage, lifting off on violet, floral, thyme notes; it changes a lot, is typical of 2001 with its mineral, cough mixture aspect. The palate is grounded, bears loose-limbed red fruit, keeps going well, is fresh towards the finish. This has held up well. A clear, tangy, upright wine that spreads out its red fruits gradually. “It took time to open, is ageing softly – each year I taste it and it is ageing gradually,” Yannick Gasparri. Very good with lamb. 2018-20 Dec 2009

1999 ()

full, complete red – the robe is still young. The fruit aroma is crisp, cherry and marzipan present, toasting as well. This is a big mixture, shows acetate, high tone also. This has a soaked cherry flavour on the attack, which is followed by luscious fruit in the middle palate. The flavour later revolves around strawberry jam with spice. Corpulent, full wine with a nice, young spring in its step. It lengthens well, has red meat depth as it ends. Its tannins are still evident. The fruit from this quartier is very refined. Beau Vin. 2021-23  Nov 2006

1998 ()

(final assemblage, large barrel) quite dark, clear robe; cherry, some leather, rather tight Grenache aroma; nice amount of chewy, sinewed, direct flavour on the palate, the taste led by blackberry, leavened by a hint of violet. Genuine, cleanly made wine that is still wrapped up in a tight, rather dry ball. Its tannins on the finish are correct. “We find this fine, en finesse,” Yannick Gaspari. 2016-18 Feb 2000

1997

fair red robe; quite a sappy aroma, gently spiced black garden fruits, some grip of control on it. Tight strawberry lead on the palate, enlivened by spice – it is approachable, has quiet end tannins. It is a wee bit stretched, but has more frame than many 1997s that are often loose. Leave until 2002. “You needed a precocious harvest in 1997, because of the rains, and then not too much oak raising after that,” Jean-Claude Mestre. 13.5°. 2008-10. Feb 2000

1996 ()

steady red; there is a ripe air offset by spice, and it is overall a drier bouquet than the 1997. Soft and easy on the palate, but it lacks core, its texture is a shade dry. Some fair, chewy length to this mid-term wine. If left for two to three years, the bouquet will gain, and time may bring a surprise development as it works through its acidity, raising it from **. “1997 has a bit more acidity than 1996,” Jean-Claude Mestre. 2008-11 Feb 2000

1995

regular red, not that dark – typical of their wine. There is a touch of grape skin, dried plum, prune in an interesting bouquet. The attack is handsome – is very well modelled, good and stylish, holds discreet core fruit that lasts well. The style is quite mature, rather than surging, vibrant. Attractive dried prune finish. This has character. From 2005. 13.9°. 2018-20 Feb 2000