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The Wines

98-100% old Grenache from a N-E facing slope on clay-limestone, some galet stone soils on Coste Froide (E, 1885 vines and their replacements), and a little from Terres Blanches (N), 0-2% Syrah, late picked, aged 85-90% vat, 10-25% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 2-3 months (down from 12-13 months), first made 2004, 2,400-3,000 b

2017

(casks, bottling June 2019) dark, dense red-black robe; the nose is sturdy, wide, filled, comes with some reduction, the ripeness and therefore the weight of the fruit obvious. There is an aroma of simmered mulberries to the fore. The palate is compact, layered, lengthens steadily, isn’t racy. There is a note of cherry fruit on the aftertaste. The texture takes in the smoothness of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with flashes of garrigue, gunflint, herbs along its path. Decant it. 15°. 3,000 b. 100% Grenache. €38. From 2022. 2041-43 Oct 2018

2015

damson plum colour. The nose is rich, a trifle ponderous, has a ripe fruit and damp vegetation duo. The palate bears smoky black fruits with a chocolate-mocha surge towards the finish. It’s still hardly got going, or fused. There is firmness in the tannins, which line the finish in abundance, just on the demanding, near extraction side of the game. The late juice ekes out a channel. I find it rather hard, low on charm. 15°. Extraordinary early bottling - Dec 2015. 3,000 b. From mid-2019. 2032-34 Sept 2016

2014

steady red robe. Blackcurrant, smoky air, a little stiff for now, a hint of tea here. The palate is crisp, and rather featureless. This hasn’t got itself bedded in yet. There is a direct shape, and it requires time to gather more flesh and depth. The finish is correct. So: wait until mid-2018. Can make progress, no hurry here. Already bottled. 14.5°. 2027-29  Oct 2015 

2012

(vat/casks, bottling Feb 2014) dark red; has a rich and shapely aroma, gives ample black berry fruit with a cinnamon crackle at its centre, a long spice trail, good Indian spices. This is well-textured, has a good, rather plush lining of black cherry, prune fruit, ends roundly. Its tannins are well integrated. There is a minor late glow. This is all an ensemble, the fruit stylish, the tannins adding to its life and interest. It continues well. 15°. From mid-2015. 90% Gren, 5% Syr, 5% Cins, 2,400 b this year. 2030-32  Dec 2013

2010 ()

dark plum; smoky, restrained, broad nose that shows prune, cooked black fruits – it is lying low, but gives a sense of quality. The palate holds a thorough red fruit whose texture is rich, and which sustains well, with no pause. There is the definite sense of power implicit here. Good length. The palate is savoury, layered, and ends on bite, dark tannin. From 2014. 2032-34 Feb 2012 Previously Dec 2011 **** rather dark; smoky, bacon, tight black fruit aroma that mixes cassis and blackberry, menthol and licorice. The palate is suave, offers easy flow black fruit on its lead-off; I can detect its ripeness since it hovers with some power, also gives a sense of eau de vie. A bit pushed along in the cellar. It ends on a tight, slightly extracted firm note. From 2014. Bottled already. 2029-31 Dec 2011

2009 ()

quite dark red; resin-pine aroma, brewed fruit – the bouquet is wide and pretty sustained. Soaked style of Châteauneuf on the palate, with ripe to high fruit present; has a raspberry liqueur-jam nature. Has heart, and persists. 15°. From 2013. 2030-32 Sept 2011

2007

(casks) bright, quite full red robe; the nose is grainy, a bit stalky – the shape is upright for now. Pebbly, charcoal smoke and fresh elements surround black fruit. The palate is also on its hauteur – upright, and very unfinished. Pepper and oak form the underside of its blackberry fruit. The core fruit is rich, and pretty gras lies at its centre. From spring 2011 – this needs that time to absorb and settle. 2027-29 Nov 2008

2006 No Rating

NOT MADE – “the plot didn't express what I wanted – maybe it was having a year of rest,” Serge Gradassi

2005

earthy top note, the bouquet is spirity, violet, above all herbal, with Bovril, meat juice here. Chunky, solid do on the palate. A big frame wine, has a right-on ripe fullness, but firm tannins all the way through. The bouquet doesn’t reflect fruit or suppleness. Its texture is febrile, enervated, is a demanding wine. I would like supple fruit at its heart. Some will like this, but I find it difficult. 2022-25 March 2007