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The Wines

100% Grenache (1930s-1940s) from sandy soils on 0.8 hectare on La Gardiole (N-E), destemmed, part pre-fermentation crop cooling, 4 week vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, cap punching at the end, steel vat raised 10-11 months, can be filtered, 1,250-1,500 b

2016

(vat, bottling Jan 2018) dark, shiny colour. The nose is actually grapey, takes in blueberry fruit, a dose of loganberry, is clear-cut and shapely. The palate gives stylish, wavy flavours with still dark tannins circling it, ending on notes of tobacco, gunflint. I feel there is a relative stiffness in the wine due to its raising in steel rather than concrete. It’s a good, natural Châteauneuf, and will reward cellaring until 2021 – it will be more cosy and personal then. The finish builds some depth and power. 15.5° - which doesn’t show through obviously. 2033-35 Oct 2017

2015

(vat, bottling Feb 2017) dark red robe. The nose has a cosy depth led by a mix of black berry fruit lozenges and roast beef: it’s wide, holds up well. The palate has a rather square shape, and a darkness of fruit, prune and ripe mulberry present. It ends freshly, stiffly, backs off there. I find it rather arm’s length in style, perhaps from the steel vat raising, especially if the vat isn’t wired for electricity into the soil. Get it into underground concrete! 14.3°. 1,250 b. From mid-2019. 2027-29 Sept 2016

2012

Grenache plum red colour, slight paleness at top; oily, smoked bacon, plum fruit aroma with pine notes and tobacco. The palate delivers a plump roll of Grenache fruit, while nutty, raisin effects gather after the attack. Isn’t coherent yet – it is rather muddled between oak and its content, while its lucidity of fruit is not assured. From mid-2016. 15.5°. 1,300 b, €50. 2026-27 Nov 2013

2011 ()

sober plum red colour that is matt, not bright. Has an evolving aroma of red fruit, cocoa, coffee, fig; there are some herbs, which will be the best part of the wine inside one year. The palate is sugary, has unconvincing fruit, comes with a date note. It has a sweet prune aftertaste. I find it plain, ordinary, lacking in real stuffing. Old style wine on this showing. From mid-2013. 16°. 2019-21  Dec 2012 Previously Feb 2012 ***(*) the robe is prune tinted, has a sober aspect. The nose shows a prominent line of spirit, and a raisin-date richness. The palate is suave, silken, with chocolate, date and sweet cake flavouring. Overall it is a substantial wine but is textured rather than heated. It happens to be 16.5°. 2022-23 Feb 2012

2010 No Rating

full, dark red; leesy, reductive air that is a barrier for now in front of raspberry fruit, so is nearly like grappa. The palate reflects lees also; it has a well-textured content, the red fruit supple, mobile. A bit spritzy. Difficult to rate. Dec 2011