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The Wines

100% Grenache (1910-20), usually from part sand soils at the top, part red clay and galet soils at the bottom of La Grande Terre north of La Solitude, selected by tasting, destemmed, 25-30 day vinification, part vat emptying/refilling, some pumping overs, aged 60-85% steel vat, 15-40% new 228-litre oak casks 15 months, then all in steel vats 6-8 months, unfined, unfiltered, first wine 2005, 2,500-3,200 b

2016

nicely serene plum red robe, a subtle shine to it. The bouquet shows a hover of mixed herbs de Provence, garrigue brush associations, sage and rosemary. It has really neat inner fruit, a joli dab of pure strawberry. The palate bears stylish, flowing red fruit, spiced content, with the heart of old vine Grenache giving it a stately, unhurried presence. The tannins are smoky, the wine showing some oak also towards the finish, but the texture envelops the palate extremely well. There are Pinot links here in the silk suavity of the fruit. Its refinement is special. This is STGT, vivid Châteauneuf: there must be a bottle, or better still, a magnum in your cellar. 15°. 2051-54 Oct 2018 Previously Oct 2017 ****** (vat/casks) shiny, dark plum red robe. The nose shows good, typical Grenache refined sweetness and floral appeal, a gently sweet plum fruit at its centre, with some clove, spice. The palate is smoothly textured, with neat precision in the fruit, no clouding of that. It has a calm savoury nature after the mid-point. It feels as if the grapes have been leant on, not crushed, in the making of the wine, a great hands-off approach that has allowed this serene result. The finish is endowed with quite thick, but fluid juice, the tannins very well rounded. It just keeps going tick-tock in small footsteps on the late moments. This is an STGT, very true, wine in the making; it carries great finesse. It is in line with the great Châteauneufs of vintages from the 1960s, such as 1966 and 1967, even the 1964 Solitude that was a particular favourite. From 2022. 2048-50 Oct 2017

2014 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2013 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2012 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2011 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2009

typically fine red, a real Grenache robe. There is a brilliant essence of the garrigue on the nose, a lovely purity, an infusion of thyme – the bouquet has attractive depth, is finely judged – this is 15°-plus, but there is no trace of that. The palate also gives a finely styled Grenache, fresh and precise . It gathers spice as it goes, has an engaging freedom, a real purity of class. This demands good company and fine concentration on behalf of the drinker – a wine not to be include in a dinner of the Titans, too many fine wines all at once. It is a candidate to become Pinoté in the future – to show Pinot Noir qualities and Burgundian finesse. An intricate wine that involves the mind, is complex, flinty and subtle, rather like the 1995 Cornas by Auguste Clape. “This is the favourite of my Prestige or special cuvee wines,” Michel Lançon. Bottled 6 months ago. 85% vat, 15% cask raising. Will become more restrained, but its class will prevail. Second stage from 2018, for example. 2033-36  Dec 2011

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

good, full red, some top advance. Closed nose, but carries potential – it is big, but just OK rather than over the top: it bears red fruit, spice, baked stones, wee animal influences. The palate is tasty, has a good first flush of youth, moves calmly along, as one. Nice balance and combo of elements. The fruit goes ping, is good and clear. The finish is shapely, rounded. This can stretch out and widen further. There is nice finesse in the ensemble. 2024-26 Oct 2010

2006

Grenache red, some light streaks. Quite mature red fruit aroma, plus melted honey, dates that drift across the glass – the bouquet is becoming open, comes with cocoa and mineral airs that suggest the first signs of evolution. The palate's red fruit is accessible (much more than the Barberini 2006 and 2007 today) and peppery, leading to a fresh, mineral-tinted finish. There is a definite 2006 fibre through this, one that casts off any heavy hangers-on, travels straight and freshly. Decant this. 2023-25 Oct 2010

2005

quite a full red robe; oily, raisin airs topped by red fruits that have a vivacious nature and a herbal, raisin sidecar. The palate is compact at the start, led by knit red damson fruiting, the fruit possessing quiet energy, and running through the palate well. There is a good core, safe and sound. The fruit reflects notably ripe cropping. It ends on a rounded note, with local herb, soft spice influences. The tannins mean it should be left till 2011. Nice authenticity. 2023-25 June 2008