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The Wines

70% Grenache (1940s-1950s), 15% Syrah (1987), 15% Mourvèdre (1960s), destemmed, 3-week steel vat & tronconic oak vat vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, cap punching, malo done in tronconic oak vat, steel vat, 600-litre oak casks, raised large tronconic oak vat 9-10 months, then steel vat 9 months, 3-6 year 600-litre oak casks (228-litre casks also used until mid-2010s) 18 months, total new oak 5%, steel vat 18 months, unfined, filtered, 10-15,000 b

2018 ()

(casks/vat) bright red; the nose is reserved, promising, shows smoke, raspberry, a good, clear glint in its fruit. The palate has a soft delivery, a juicy hand out, is aromatic, with rather fine tannins on the spot. It’s coherent between nose and palate, is attractive, appealing, floral. From spring 2021. 2038-40 Nov 2019

2017

(vat/casks) deep robe; The nose is opulent, on a sweeping curve of black berry fruits with a good centre of gravity, depth. It’s strongly fuelled. The palate reflects a hot summer, glides along on a steady flow of mulberry-blueberry fruit, with typical Châteauneuf silk in the texture. It’s generous and sustained, manages its degree pretty well; that is the one caution. 15.5°. 15,000 b. From 2022. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks/vat, bottling June 2018) dark red. There are briar, heather airs on the nose, a neat inset of blackberry, with a murmur of black raisin, sunshine depth and garrigue herbs. The palate is wholesome, filled with tasty, thorough fruit that leans towards prune, cooked plum. This has pockets of mystery, and will develop well. The length is good, with the aftertaste a little smoky and crisp, a good sign. I like its subtleties. 15°. 15,000 b. 70% Gren, 15% Syr, 15% Mourv. From late 2019. 2039-42 Oct 2017 GB £120 6 b i/b https://www.sundaytimeswineclub.co.uk/jsp/content.jsp?pg=rhone16

2015 ()

decent red robe. A blackberry, loganberry aroma leads the nose well, with a cooler note of blueberry in behind, a hint of saltiness. It’s pretty wide. The palate offers expressive juice with a tang of tannin and menthol before the finish. The 2015 thread of freshness helps its life along the late stages. It’s a bustling, busy Châteauneuf suited to grills, roast meats. I would drink it on the up: from spring 2017. 15°. Bottled already. 2033-35 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(vat, bottling April 2016) mild red robe. Has a soft, slightly floral nose, a quiet intro; there is a small note of baking. The palate runs with a free expression of red fruit, Grenache with its herbes de Provence attached. There is crunch in its late tannin. Nicely unpretentious, a local, traditionally styled wine, has some STGT qualities. From 2018. 2029-30  Oct 2015   

2013

(vat, bottling April 2015) dark plum rather dark red robe. Smoky, blueberry fruit aroma with a soft air of rose hip present, and licorice – this is a decent start. The palate holds tight blueberry/blackberry fruit with a nutty, compact angle. It is a little stubborn for now. There is a sense of compressed juice late on, that drifts towards date and raisin in flavour. It is a bit uneven, though the length is sound. From 2017. 2032-34  Feb 2015  Previously Oct 2014 *** (vat) medium depth robe. Has a slightly diffuse nose with dark fruit and herbal notes. The palate has a decent amount of extract but appears a little raw. Has a solid tannic frame with a mouth-puckering, robust finish. This will need a little time to settle. 15°. From 2017. 2026-27 JL GB £102/6 bots Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  Oct 2014

2012

(vat) shiny, dark red; comfortable black berry coulis fruit air, the fruiting pleasing, squeezy, almost edible in style, with a few top notes of herbs: a sense of weight comes over. The palate has a deeply cast centre with currently flashy, fleshy fruit outside it. Its heart is plump, with a sweet, rather liqueur nature. The tannins show bite, intensity, a grinding tar aspect. It is a bit cooked along the palate, especially towards the end. Needs two years to knit. 15°. From late 2015. 2032-34  Nov 2013

2011

(vat) quite a full red. There is a certain inkiness in its mulled red fruit air, some thyme and sage attached, and an aroma of licorice, fennel outcrops. There is a grainy start in the red cherry fruit liqueur flavour, and that helps to buffer the finish. Has a toffee, quite clear aftertaste. Sensible, modern wine, a bit mainstream. From mid-2014. 15°. 2029-31  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(vat) shiny, quite full robe. The first air is grilled, with a solid, of the baked plains note behind that. It is rather wall-like in its density, has lots of raspberry fruit strutting around within. The palate connects well to the nose, offers plenty of flavour and unbridled matter. It has a firm sweetness and deeply inset tannins that are right on the mark to sustain it for the future. Good balance. From mid-2013. Tasted blind: when I see its ID, I am glad that this cuvée seems to be on the up again. 2034-36 Dec 2011

2009

(vat) very dark red; coffee, resin, prune aromas, plum eau de vie points power forward. The palate is good and compact, the mid-palate and the finish are both generous. Lots of juicy pleasure here, and also shapely, integrated tannins. The palate is showing more openly and abundantly than the nose. From late 2011. 2030-32 Oct 2010

2008

red cherry colour; local aroma – baked, garrigue, red fruit, red jam and jelly – good and typical. There are clear lines in the palate's Grenache fruit – it moves along with purpose, has a quiet spell of richness. There is a pebbly, nutty finale. Sound enough length here. A rather light but local, STGT Châteauneuf-du-Pape. From spring 2011. 2020-22 Dec 2009

2007 ()

full red; gummy, initially reductive bouquet that carries mild cherry – it is broad and has potential. The palate red fruit runs smoothly and surely, is very suave and silken in texture. It has a herb thread in the flavour, and ends on a red cherry, liqueur, mainstream modern note. It is not especially full, and shows a sprinkle of late freshness. Very primary now, and will be more varied from 2011. Can drink early, without that extra variety. 2029-31 Nov 2008

2006

(assemblage example) quite a full red; red plum, raspberry aroma that is ripe and holds up well. Spice elements also. After two hours becomes more downhome and gummy. Tasty, spiced red fruits start the palate, with good flesh around a fine tannic thread. Has good life in it, a rich heart with the need to put it away for two years. Well-ripened, expressive Grenache with a lot of classic red jam in it, and good width. Persists well, has local stamp. 2029-31 Nov 2007

2005 ()

dark red, plum robe that is bright. The nose gives black berries in a discreetly simmered, pre-jam state, also ripe black cherries. There is a touch of sweet spice behind, a gracious curve to the aroma. This is a sensory wine, its texture silken, suave – a charmer from that quality alone. Its raspberry, soaked cherries flavour is well-founded and consistent until a little late tannic tightening. Sympa length – there is a good roll all along the palate. Very reliable, attractive wine, offers pleasure and come hither. Has gained some weight, so much the better. 2028-30 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **(*) dark robe; tea, scented, sappy black fruit aroma, which persists and is wide, has a sweet n’easy style. Already soft palate – works in an easy fruit way, without variety or much nuance. Slips along easily, drink from 2008. May well be lessened by other cuvées. 2024-26 Nov 2006

2004 ()

raspberry red colour; stewed red fruits and a cherry aroma with some laurel – moving to a softer stage now. The fruit theme from the bouquet comes through well – is supple and gourmand with a broad, pretty Grenache heart to it. A little mineral on aftertaste. STGT wine. 2020-23 Oct 2006

2003

medium depth colour. Refined bouquet - scented strawberry, licorice, mint also. Suave, rich red berry flavour, streamlined tannins. Good core to it, still limited in scope as it finds its way. Pleasant roundness, tannins revive on finish and bring a fungal side. Solid quality in its range, this amounts to a w.o.w. wine. 2021-23 Feb 2005

1998

black, purple traces; quite a deep bouquet – laurel, sweet, slightly spiced fruit, note of alcohol. A good block of flavour leads the palate, cherry in the lead. Its tannins are detached from its body for now, the finish is dry. This needs time. It also fades towards the finish. From 2004-05. 2019-22 Feb 2000