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The Wines

65-70% Grenache (1950s-1960s), 15% Syrah, 15-18% Mourvèdre, 0-2% Counoise, Cinsault from mainly sandy soils at Le Mourre des Perdrix at Courthézon (N-E), destemmed, tronconic oak vat fermented then raised 8 months, Syrah & Mourvèdre fermented and raised 75% tronconic oak vats 8 months, 20% 600-litre oak casks, 5% 228-litre oak casks, total 5% new oak, then assembled wine enamel vat raised 6 more months, unfined, filtered, 7-25,000 b

2018

(vat) red robe. The nose is on red fruit, sweetness, is open and primary, the fruit well lucid. There’s inner firmness in the juice with tannin wrapped around it. It gains depth, some chewiness from the tannins. It’s harmonious overall, needs three years. From 2023. 2042-44 Nov 2019

2017

(casks/tronconic vat, bottling Nov 2018) dark robe, black centre. Black olives, rich airs of soaked black cherries lead the nose, pockets of licorice, meat, grilling also. The palate takes up the baton of richness, the plush, mulled nature of the fruit in tune with the vintage. This holds its line well along the palate, develops some dark tannin and an extra couch as it finishes. This is full, close to sipping wine, has genuine southern manners. 16°. 7,000 b. 69% Gren, 15% Syr, 15% Mourv, 1% Cins. From 2022. 2039-41 Oct 2016

2016 ()

(oak vat) full red colour. The nose reveals black fruits, prune, with a husky, brothy setting alongside it. Black olives and airs of rosemary also feature. It carries some mystery. The palate starts on big flavoured black fruited matter, and continues with drive and fullness to the finale, where there are tarred, smoky moments. This reaches the finish still on the first momentum of the attack, is a bold and sustained wine. Serve in a large glass. 16°. 10,000 b. 69% Gren, 15% Syr, 15% Mourv, 1% Cins. From 2021. 2040-43 Oct 2017

2015 ()

shiny, quite dark red robe. The bouquet has attractive depth, bears smoky black fruits with a brisk, upbeat nature. The palate holds dark berry fruit with a sprinkle of herbes de Provence that come forward in an appealing crescendo, the finish marked by good, tangy tannins. This has an ensemble of elements, is well orchestrated and potentially stylish. Its juice continues well, has late brio. The aftertaste is grainy, rocky for now. Has character. 15.5°. 10,000 b. Bottled already – Aug 2016. From 2019. 2035-38 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(enamel vat) sound red robe. Blackberry fruit with a smoky top air features on the nose, which has a plump aspect. The palate offers free wheeling black berry and stone fruit with a crisp texture all through. It finishes with a ping of menthol. This has the 2014 freshness well established. It doesn’t quite capture the imagination. 15°. From 2018. 2027-29 GB £115/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013 ()

bright red, inviting robe. The bouquet is nearly heady, gives a combine of raspberry and rosemary, but it isn’t that expressive. The palate  starts on raspberry, has strength from within, has the concentration of warm lands. It gives a more coherent run than the nose, but needs to swallow its alcohol. It carries the intense, bright juice of 2013: it is literally a bit of a knock-out drop, and poses questions. It isn’t easy to drink this freely. It is very raw goods, and I wonder about its balance. Therefore, it is best to leave until 2019 to permit more fusion. 15.5°. Bottled late April 2015, later than usual. 2032-34  Oct 2015 Previously Oct 2014 ****(*) shiny, quite dark red robe. Blackberry liqueur, brambly essence lead aroma that has a sweet appeal and intensity. The palate attacks on supple,  good quality black fruit, with a sprinkle of tannin from half way. This has nice style, length and freshness. It is all very ensemble, too. There is gras with supple tannins on the finish. From 2018. 2032-35  Feb 2015 Previously Oct 2014 ****(*) (oak vat) medium+ purple robe. The nose is restrained at present – gives a dark and red fruited aroma with a dash of licorice. This is supple and generous on the attack, the tannins ripe and firm behind. A compact wine that balances purity of fruit and structure. Harvested 30 September + 1 October. 65% Gren, 18% Mourv, 15% Syr, 2% various. 15.5°. From 2017. 2028-30 JL GB £132/6 bots Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com Oct 2014

2012

(vat) dark red; smoke-tobacco, flint airs mingle with its prune aroma that combines ripeness with sound cut. There is an air of beckoning raspberry also. This is a fragrant and very stylish bouquet. The palate is sturdy on the attack, bears deep-set red fruit with oak-tar thrust in a square-shaped finale. Grenache leads the palate, shows a light and good typicity of plum fruit and spicing from that. Interesting wine with some hidden corners, one that isn’t trying to do too much to impress. I especially like its Grenache juice, and it is still very much on the go as it ends. Long, continuous wine. 15.5°, the degree a surprise, and masked by its good integration. From spring 2016. 2031-34  Nov 2013

2011

(vat) sound red. The bouquet is quite prolonged, has a raspberry liqueur lead aroma, some brioche baking with darker airs of black raisin and toffee in behind. The palate has the potential to be structured and interesting: it starts on plum damson, oily fruit that is a real winner, fluid and beckoning, almost startling. There is good cut, a fresh and herbal moment on the finish which provides local, authentic feel. The length is live. 15.5°. From 2015. 2029-32  Dec 2012

2010

dark red, full robe. The nose is breathing a sturdy depth, with mystery, plenty of roads to travel. It gives rosemary, sweet herbs, with red berry fruit tucked in. This asserts immediately on the palate, with a prolonged, broad thrust led by raspberry, mulled, liqueur fruits. This assembles garrigue on the finish, and runs well all through. It is savoury, STGT wine with true local imprint. 15.5°. From 2019. 2035-38  Oct 2015 Previously Dec 2011 ****** (vat) quite a big red robe. The Grenache leads the nose, provides a fat plum aroma, undertones of raspberry; notions of tea are here as well, with a nutty, near brioche bread and black raisin factor. The palate fruit has life, energy, moves through it well, extends. This can gain increased nuance, but its purity of fruit and not excessive style is already a good start to its life. The balance is attractive – this will become a singing wine in the future. Clear-cut, admirable ending – this is what Châteauneuf-du-Pape should be – namely finesse, not power - I give it marks for that. From late 2014. 2034-37 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(casks) dark, intense robe. Sizzling bacon aroma, black cherry jam with touches of damp leaf, mineral and some reduction. Glistening, polished black fruit on the palate – it revolves around this first roll out, and keeps going most of the way until a group of crisp, oak-influenced tannins that fit in well. The finish is charged, and glows through – its power is just under control. From 2013. 2029-32 Oct 2010

2007 ()

(vat) full red; the nose is cautious, bearing simmered red fruits that have a redcurrant jelly or raspberry lateral air that is rather refined. There are some sweet spice and herb trimmings, and a tone of some reduction. The palate's fruit is led by red cherries with some extra darkness such as mulberry. The entrance of a toffee flavour after half way suggests some oaking. As per the reduction, it is a sealed wine that needs to air. Late on come spice and pepper to gee it up. Steady, not flashy wine that I reckon can get there. From late 2010. 2026-29 Nov 2008

2006

quite a dark, full red robe; there is plenty of depth in a promising bouquet, with variety in the offing. Its red fruits hold a little mystery, and a tight, mainly Grenache composition. The palate has a suave outset that reminds of the Cuvée du Papet (tasted blind), with a very good sequence and flow of red fruit. Has a pretty silken texture, is a pleaser with potential and good balance. Its tannins are well wrapped, but add late dimension and give the finish some kick. Has a peppery aftertaste in a wide finale. Once it settles, this can be very good indeed. From 2010. 2027-30 Nov 2007

2005 ()

red robe; reductive, stubborn nose with some inherent punch from the baked stones, garrigue effect. It keeps a solid air all through, along with a mild sweetness. The palate flavour is red berry, and it has an interesting, oily texture with a refined tannic inlay, and a local feel about it. It ends on a little oak, tar; its roundness is assured, its width juicy. Charming rather than massive wine. From mid-2010. 15°. 2026-29 June 2008 Previously March 2007 *** thrusting, live, red fruits nose with a herbal sidekick. The palate is still on edge, its tannins prominent. The texture is sinewed. Alert, direct fruit with a local feel to the wine, but it needs to settle. From 2010. 2024-26 March 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ****(*) quite dark; there is life in the bouquet, shows black fruits and an upright tone with some softening from sweet China tea air. Savoury, broad, well-structured wine. Tannins appear on time, on cue and run the show at the finish. There is classy elegance in the fruit and rich matter. Esp 2010-11 onwards. 2025-28

2004

edgy bouquet with high tone, varnish aroma, and alcohol standing outside it. Modest start to palate, not a lot of integrated matter. A bad moment? Herbal finish, the palate is incomplete and patchy. Try mid-2008 on. I would be open to re-assessing this. London, Oct 2006

2003

mild, still cohesive red robe; the aroma mixes baked red fruits, hazelnut and marzipan – has a nice curve to it, and is still largely in its first stage. The palate is led by its Grenache, with a tight aspect about it as it moves forward. The Grenache is pretty clear, with a lateral end that reflects some herbs and lightly soaked red cherries. There is a firm spine through it, and the fruit is agreeable, with some scenting in it. An interesting wine now, and more varied still from 2011, by when the finish will also be more rounded. 15°. 2023-25 June 2008 Previously Feb 2005 *** bouquet still compact, but is prolonged and has scope - licorice, black fruits with a floral outer edge. Interesting, varied flavours, at this stage the texture is upright though there is richness. Red jam on finish, dry tickle from the tannins. Sound length, can become varied. Esp 2009 on. 2021-23 Feb 2005, London

2001

the top robe is a little pale. Broad but elegantly shaped bouquet – gummy fruit, earthiness, some reduction. It is just moving past its youth on the nose. The palate bears distinct fruit with a violet edging as if the non-Grenache presence, notably the Syrah, exerts noted influence this year. A clean wine with a smooth texture and good length. The aftertaste brings together garrigue, herbs, licorice. Rather STGT in make-up. 2020-22  Nov 2005, Berkeley, California

1998

purple, black robe; warm, almost hot bouquet – cherry and cassis, herbs, rosemary also in the air. The attack is assertive, and this has an almost mean structure. Plenty of tannins – these demand it be left till 2005 or so to soften and integrate. I notice its acidity, too. Altogether, it needs time, to settle and emerge as a civilised offering. 2020-23 Feb 2000