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The Wines

80% Grenache (1930s), 10% Mourvèdre, 8-10% Syrah, 0-2% Cinsault from sandy, compacted sand or safre, clay-limestone soils, destemmed, 20-25 day concrete vat vinification, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 50% concrete vat, 50% new & 3-year 600-litre oak casks 15 months (until 2016 aged 228-litre oak casks 12-15 months), unfined, filtered, 15,000 b

2017 ()

(concrete vat/casks) dark red. The nose isn’t that clear at present, has an oily nature, menthol, coffee beans present, they ahead of a note of date fruit. The palate is disorderly, with a loose show of dark fruit, ins and outs en route. I am not sure how fresh this sample is. The finish is quiet, but not aggressive. Try post bottling. For now, **(*). 14°. 15,000 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €20. From late-2020. 2036-38 Oct 2018

2016

(vat/casks) dark red colour. Sweetly fruited black berries, lozenges, with some prune fruit lead the nose. There is a cool thread in it. The palate has a grilled sideline, presents cooked plums from the Grenache, and continues with a calm assurance into a squeezy finale, en rondeur. This is accessible, genuine Châteauneuf, aided by the nobility and plumpness of the old Grenache fruit. The finish is sweet, round, could be a tad fresher. 14°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €20. From 2020. 2036-39  Oct 2017

2013 ()

(casks) dark hue. The nose is exuberant - bright and fresh, with an attractive purity of red fruit. The palate is also pure and precise, gives a jolly fruit expression with a smooth layer of extract. The emphasis is on the fruit all the way through. There is a fine tannic frame behind. A go-to wine for pleasurable early drinking. From 2016. 14°. 2025-26 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

quite a dark red; pine-smoke, smoked bacon debut to the nose – this is chiselled, with some heat in its red fruit – there is a dark side to that as well. The palate presents a tangle of gras richness, acidity, a little heat, a criss-cross of tannins. Holds an acceptable ball of black fruit, with prune and date at its centre. From late 2015. 14°. €19. 2029-31  Nov 2013

2011

(vat/cask, bottling spring 2013) dark red. Blackberry, smoky, attractive round and agreeable depth on the nose, which also issues laurel and coffee airs, a slight damp forest note. Its prominent fruit works well – the nose is tight-knit, promising. There is well-judged sweetness in its black fruit, which continues with consistent appeal; the texture is smooth, the flavour blackberry leading into licorice. Polished and modern - stylish wine that isn’t especially local now. It is long, marked by quiet persistence. From mid-2014 since its tannins are not demanding. It will be interesting around 2017 for more local features. 14°. €18 at the cellars. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010

(casks, bottling April 2012) full robe, rather bright. Blackberry liqueur air that comes with violet scenting, depth from a note of black truffles. The palate has a deep, dark inset of black fruit, while there is energy in the tannins. It feels a little pushed in the cellar, with some front of the mouth acidity. It has a solid make-up, is a bit taut. There is a note of tea and baked bread on the aftertaste. Wait for this: from 2015-16. 2034-36 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(vat/oak) steady plum colour; smoky, licorice, oak-tinted nose, carries an attractive Grenache ripeness to soften it inside. The palate is compact, and hedge in by its oak. There is a fine fruit within, and it main challenge is to settle its acidity. The length is decent, and it ends on floral and herb notes. From 2013. 2027-29 Oct 2010

2008 ()

(vat) quite dark, matt red robe. Honey, mild, rather curved plum fruit aroma, airs of strawberry liqueur and red cherry also. The palate fruit is rounded – it isn't very deep, but is calmly textured, and runs consistently in its low-key way. Has a little style, is an amiable wine without great depth. From late 2010. 2016-17  Nov 2009

2007 ()

(vat/oak still) quite dark robe. Nutty, chocolate-raisin, marked prune aroma that is wide – it is all in the zone of maturity rather than fresh at this young age – it is a sip only wine, not a free drinker. Scented, wee iris influence on the palate – its black fruits are supple, fleshy, and exude a grape essence, a black fruit juice. Mature harvesting of the crop to achieve what is by design a “big wine”. Has an eau de vie nature on the finish, alcohol detaches on both sides of the mouth. Exaggerated wine for me. From 2011. 2024-26 Nov 2009

2006

quite dark, matt robe; sweet fruit pastille aroma, jam airs with a smoky top – the bouquet has an easy simplicity. The palate is softly textured, its wetness comfortable if a little boudoir and scented. The aftertaste is floral. Sappy Grenache here, with a little tannin in it. Sweet n'easy wine, to drink from mid-2009 – earlier than many. 2020-23 Jan 2008

2005

called Tradition: matt, evolving dark plum robe; the nose is quite intense – resin, spiced plum – runs from the glass directly. There is an interesting weave of fruit and tannin on the palate – plenty of content, plenty of length here. A rounded, rich finale works well. Good wine – can be tasty esp around 2011, with secondary influences present then. Has a herb-garrigue baked stones aftertaste. 2023-25 June 2008

2004

called Tradition: mainly red robe; light spice within the bouquet’s red fruit and some white pepper – it holds up OK, and is upright rather than round. Clear cut red fruit on the palate – undemanding in nature, and then followed by a sprinkle of tannin that is agreeable. Fine boned wine – just needs more middle palate. 2019-21 Oct 2006

2003

called Tradition: full, dark red. Sustained nose, cooked, compact fruits, plenty enough here. Full palate, some sweet appeal within. Good Grenache core that moves it along well. Length good. Ripe, tannic finale, a degree of fragrant red fruit at end. Beau vin, can develop. Fruit likeable, well-defined. Esp 2008-09 on. 2023-25 March 2005, London

2002 ()

grapey, level nose. Some black fruit on palate, but it fades towards the finish. 2008-09 March 2003

2001

juicy, rather sympa bouquet, airs of easy, rounded fruit. The palate is also round and easy, shows some juice in a tarry aftertaste. The fruit puckers a little from its oak. The finish is smoky. A bit plain. 2017-19 March 2003