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The Wines

95-100% Grenache, from sand-clay soils on 2 ha on Charbonnières (1900-01, 98% Grenache, Grenache replacement of Muscardin, Counoise, Vaccarèse, all lower degree varieties, 2% Mourvèdre, Cinsault), from 1 hectare on Les Esqueirrons (1900, some 1925, most 1950, partly stony brown clay soils), until 2012 included Les Galimardes (1935) when tired vineyard taken out, each plot usually vinified separately, Charbonnières in concrete vat, Esqueirrons in large tronconic oak vat, destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, wild yeasts, 2 early pumping overs, then one or two more, concrete vat-raised 18 months (since 2001 – before was 50% vat, 50% 3-4 year oak casks), from 2006 12 months in oak vinification and raising barrel, then vat-raised 6 months, unfined, filtered, organic wine, 4-4,500 b

2018 No Rating



thorough red robe; there is sweeping breadth in a “roll out the carpet” aroma, cherry liqueur, on the nose, one with a little ferrous clarity, laurel, has some snap. The palate sequels well into a wave of bounty and deep seated, prolonged depth of accumulated red fruits, raspberry and plum. It builds smoky tannins late on, is intricate within, with high quality fruit, and prime elegance. Harvested 26 September, 2017. The two plots were vinified apart this year. Bottled 2 April 2019. 15°. From 2023 or later. 4,000 b. 2049-51 May 2019


(vat, bottling April 2018) extremely dark robe, full up. The bouquet is sturdy, hums with sweetness, gives a coated fruit aroma led by blackberry and blackcurrant, has a touch of licorice. The palate is a swell affair, runs most smoothly and continuously, offering suave and sustained richness all though. Boy, this is wholesome! It captures the vintage perfectly, a year of abundance and southern bounty, but with balance and limits to any excess. There are pockets of perfume and a musky presence within the deeply set red fruits. The aftertaste is lip-smacking, extended. It’s almost knife and fork time here, so deep is it. 16°. 4,000 b. 100% Grenache. €100. From 2021-22. 2038-41  Oct 2017


attractive red robe. The bouquet has a glistening, bright and assured red berry fruit air, a pristine raspberry fruit at the helm, prominent soaked cherries or griottes present. The palate delivers tasty and refined content, has a sleek nature and mighty elegant tannins. This is wholesome – you can eat this on its own. It has lovely finesse, is a proper, true Châteauneuf as it should be. From 2020. 2035-38  Nov 2016 Previously Sept 2016 ****(*) (vat) dark red, deeper than the classic 2015 red. The nose has a chocolate intensity, is a broth of depth, with black raisin, date aromas, a hard core intensity of ripeness. The palate issues strength in its prolonged dark red fruits with a potent stretch of content and ripe tannin before the finish. It’s extremely long. I actually prefer the gentler scale of the classic 2015, a more measured wine it is, with easier drinking on the cards. This has more primal roar in it. Decanting a must when young. From 2020-21 2035-38 Sept 2016 GB £950 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk info@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 478 7376

2014 No Rating


2013 No Rating


2012 ()

(barrel) medium depth Grenache red; serene width and depth on the nose, a murmur of herbs and earthy influences – for now, the bouquet is very primary and not complex. The palate proffers a flow of stately red berry fruit that is simmered, has a coulis style. The fruit is attractively precise, the texture is round, smooth and certainly filled. The fruit has a thread of mineral, smoky coolness in it. Its elements are carefully assembled. This will be singing well around 2021. Take your time with this. From 2017 £800 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2029-31  Nov 2013


(vat) dark red; has a raspberry liqueur first air, a mystery of the garrigue follows, implies herbs and outcrops, has good Grenache presence. The nose beckons well. The palate tastes of red cherry and red currant liqueur, while good tannic cut comes along in the later stages. It has a salty, menthol exit – good lift there. The finish is purposeful, pretty full. It is a blackberry liqueur, sweet pleaser, it gets off and goes, shows rounded, fat Grenache generosity. From 2015. 15°. 2028-30  Dec 2012

2010 ()

dark robe; black raisin, black fruit coulis, elegant berry fruit aroma – the nose also features chocolate, and liquid honey. The palate manages a cool, elegant start, even with an intrinsic power in it. The nose is elegant, the palate has more driving force. This finishes widely. It is a formidable wine, with a lot of intensity packed into it. The tannins are smooth, and add a line of dimension. The finish is big and coated. I find it needs time to offer more graceful drinking – for now, its youth shows its packed-in power just a bit too much. From 2017-18, thus. 2032-35  Sept 2012  Previously Dec 2011 ***** (casks) dark robe. Friendly air of blackberry, sweet and ripe fruit, all on easy offer, has a soil element of depth to it, is quite wide. There is restraint in the palate`s black fruit – it starts juicily, then tones down, takes on pebbly, rather firm tannin. Set to be elegant and enjoyable; its fruit carries well. Late tar on show, a plunge of deep prune flavour. This will be harmonious around 2016. Not forced along at all. 2028-31 Dec 2011


full red, dark tints. Blackberry prominent on the nose, smoky touches – it is more intense and smoky than its usual suave red fruits air – this year I find fine black cherry fruit within. Textured debut to the palate, comes with discreet power within, slips out quietly. A bit low key today, pre-bottling. Has steady length, fine fruit, a black cherry flavour at the end. Reserved today. From 2014. 2029-31 Previously Oct 2010 ***** (vat/barrel) full cherry red robe; bright, rather alert red Grenache fruit air, has a little varnish hovering above the red fruit liqueur tone, while its power is just within control. The palate mixes a silken outer with powerful drive inside. This is very smoothly textured, but the power means it should be sipped carefully. It can fuse and quieten, notably around 2017-18. Its scented fruit ticks over on the aftertaste, and keeps going. A power-based wine with a for now demanding finish. No hurry – from 2015. 2028-30 Oct 2010


(barrel) pretty, full dark red robe; has a stylish red fruits aroma that runs across the glass – it is balanced and very harmonious, with pretty depth. True to type Grenache leads the palate, which is nice and full. The red fruits have dance in them, running freely and offset by a little late tannin. There is end heat, nothing untoward. Beau vin, with good juice at its heart. From mid-2010. Ways to go, thanks to that balance. 2025-27 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(casks) pretty full, bright red robe; has a suave, red fruits nose with an oily air, and a little toasting. Has a profound, but not pushed depth about it. The palate has good, genuine and rich heart – red stone fruit such as plums are here, with some maybe kirsch, eau de vie influence. There is plenty of late body, and some power. Gets very strong grip as it ends, and there is a risk its alcohol may detach. Air makes it more demanding, dries it. Ways to go, let`s see after bottling. Could be above today's rating in time. 2021-23 Nov 2007


full red robe; oily, liqueur style aroma – sweet-toned red fruits, a little nuttiness; the nose is elegant, assured with a herb-garrigue presence. The palate continues in the same vein – straight into a refined, attractive red fruit that has a suave texture, a poised allure. Tremendous harmony here – wow! It is very consecutive and persistent, its refinement classy. The taste is plum, not quite to the extent of kirsch, in its beautiful palate. Gentle tannins pop up here and there. It drinks fluently now in its first youth, but there is more complexity to come around 2010-11 onwards. Great balance, a wine that shows the striking finesse of Châteauneuf-du-Pape when it is made from Grenache - all or mostly. Has made great strides after its assemblage and bottling. 15°. 2030-34 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **** (vat) pretty quite dark red; tight red fruit air in the bouquet, with a fresh top note and a herbal fringe, has a fundamental leaning, earthiness. The palate is very sustained, carries a stone fruit flavour, is tight and complex and the tannins are tarry at the moment. There is some alcohol a little detached at the finish – is over 16° - and needs careful handling and food selection. From 2010. Has a rich heart, and a peppery nature, but the alcohol on the nose and late on is a little concern at present. Best to drink between 2010 and 2019. 2021-23


red stone fruit aroma, with a silken manner, is a bouquet that persists and graces the air. After a measured start, this takes on a chunky shape, with persistent red fruits. A beefy wine, with width. A mixture of grainy red fruit and white pepper appears on the finish, which is punchy. 15.2°, is a true vin de sud. A meat and potatoes do this year, not offering the graceful stuff. Leave till 2009. 2022-24 Nov 2006 Previously Oct 2006, London ****(*) full red robe with some black tones. A very Grenache, baked red fruits aroma, though is rendered just a little anxious by some underlying acidity. Also earthy, and its plentiful nature suggests ripe crop left on the vine for a long time. This is classy Grenache on the palate. There’s a herbal tang in the red fruit flavour that is pretty dense. Wine that could be underestimated over its actual power and content. It holds an elegant texture and runs on well. Needs leaving till 2009 to integrate, but I fully expect it to improve. 2021-24 Oct 2006


2 bottles tasted, the first reduced and severe on the palate. Bottle 2: elegant nose, with a lurking expression of rose hip, flowers and herbs. There is juicy, fragrant fruit on the start of the palate, which runs along a refined path, ending with a round harmony. The matter is well woven, and there is plenty of variety and appeal in the flavour. The end is quietly robust, with sound shape. Has the sweet-toned juice of the year at the end: this is promising. The challenge of the year, with heat and dry tannins, has been overcome. One of the best 2003 Prestige wines I have tasted. Can continue in a rich vein as it ages. 2022-24 Nov 2006 3,800 b this year


nice full colour; quite tight, elegant red fruits aroma. Genuine, elegant wine on the palate – I find it interesting, has character, and is pretty live, as if the acidity was good, without excess. It persists well, is largely harmonious, and the red fruit is laced with a little nutty aspect. From 2006-07. 2017-19 Nov 2002, Paris Only vat raising this year, no oak.

1999 ()

purple, violet robe; tight bouquet – leads with cassis, blackcurrant now, can go places. Assured richness on the palate that is nicely dense, vibrant as well. There is a lot of deep Grenache here, bringing out an oily finish, with smoke and spice there. Pretty, well wrapped wine with attractive fruit, some dark chocolate alongside it. 15.5° plus this year. 2017-19 Feb 2000

1998 ()

(550-litre cask) dark robe; really appealing bouquet – well-defined red fruit, violets, is stylish and offers plenty of variety to come. The nose is quite potent, and its alcohol is more apparent than it is on the palate. Good, genuine density on the palate – this is really delicious, the flavour lasts well. It is more supple on the palate than the Tradition. It can just get away with its power. For now, the finish shows a little burn, dryness. Can sort and soften if left, maybe to 2006. 2022-24 Feb 2000

1989 ()

good dark colour, very sustained black cherry, purple at the top. The bouquet is very dense, dark, closed, shows some sweetness, blackcurrant, very intense damson, concentrated jam, with a note of road tar. This is mountainous on the palate, very intense, has great depth of extract, the tannin only noticeable on the finish. It holds lots of thick, well integrated elements, very crushed fruitiness. The balance is good. It’s hard to predict its ageing possibilities – it could be over 25 years, it’s hard to be precise. The degree is off the scale – 15.4°. It’s a mighty beast. Bottled Nov 1990, after just five to six months in oak. 80% Gren, with Terret noir, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Bourboulenc, and, off the record, Alicante, rather like Jean-Claude Sabon of Mont-Olivet with his Jacques hybrids. 2019-23 July 1991