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The Wines

85-95% old Grenache (1930s and older from Le Moulin à Vent (S-W), Coste Froide (E, 1930s), Cabrières (N-W, early 1930s), Terres Blanches (N), and other plots, 3-10% Mourvèdre (Le Moulin à Vent), 2-10% Syrah (Les Blaquières, E, early 1980s) 1% Cinsault, destemmed, 25 day vinification, part vat-emptying/refilling, cap punching, then pumping overs late on in fermentation, aged about40- 50% concrete vat, 25-40% large 20 & 30 hl barrels, 12.5% 1-year 600-litre oak casks, 12.5-20% 1-2-3 year old 228-litre oak casks 14-15 months, cask-vat proportion varies, unfined, filtered, up from 13,000 b late 2000s to 12-20,000 b

2018 ()

dark plum reed colour. The bouquet has an air of stewed red fruits, is a little “fuzzy” for now, has a rather baked, husky, raw side. The palate bears a core of cooked red stone fruits, with chiselled, slightly dry tannins in attendance. It’s rather plain, lacks distinguishing features, goes on its way in a low-key register. I’d prefer brighter fruit, more lift. 15°. 15,000 b. 85% Gren, 10% Mourv, 5% Syr. Bottled Sept 2019. €18. From spring 2021. 2036-38 Oct 2019

2017 ()

dark red robe; has a beefy, virile bouquet, deeply set stewed fruits, plums and prunes, with a sense of sweet herbs. It gives a good image of its warm lands. The palate delivers some of the essence of the garrigue, menthol and plum fruits with spark, likeable cut. This is genuine Châteauneuf, has good mid-palate heart, but comes with a proviso that the finish is still gnarled, on chewy, touch dry tannins, which might have been softer if allowed more time before bottling. Decanting essential. 15°. 15,000 b. 85% Gren, 10% Mourv, 5% Syr. €18. Bottled Sept 2018. From 2021. 2038-40 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat/barrel/casks, bottling Nov 2017) deep red colour. The nose shows bright fruit, a sleek air of black cherry, also some blueberry, with dustiness, herbs such as rosemary and a dark note of Bovril, beef stock. The palate has a steady, smooth stream of black fruits that extend into a neat, quite fresh finish which carries garrigue, mixed herbs influences. This feels hand made, and its oily, unctuous nature comes directly from the age of the vines. This is STGT, classic Châteauneuf, from the roots up into the glass it comes. 15°. 15,000 b. 85% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv. €18. From 2020. 2037-40 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(large barrel/cask/vat, bottling Nov 2016) quite a dark red colour. The nose is subdued, gives some brewed fruit, prune, without having the clarity of many this year. The palate sets off with medium weight red fruits, has a coil of tannin on the go after the mid-point. The finish gives some tar, dark elements, spicing. Still naked, needing another two years. From 2019. It’s a Regular Guy style of Châteauneuf. 15°. 15,000 b. 2033-35 Sept 2016

2012

(vat/barrel, bottling Feb 2014) Grenache down from 90-95% to 85% and Syrah up from 2-10% this year; quite a full red; smoky, sizzled bacon, vegetal-herbs air, a bouquet with a plum, Grenache heart – though it is just a bit on the edge. The palate has a waxen side to its red fruit, leans towards acetate without going that far. It brews from within, has an eau de vie sub power through it. It is broad, pushy towards the end. Modern, a bit stretched and in the cellar. There is plenty of charge on the aftertaste. 15°, 12,000 b, €16. 2023-24  Nov 2013

2011

(vat/barrel) dark red, legs. Pine, oily liquid fruit air, blackberry with smoke and pine – it is woodsy, authentic, round and quite full. The palate is abundantly textured, has an insistent flavour of mulberry coulis. There is a good charge of matter, ending up on a fired-up heartiness. Good, robust length, good drive. Authentic, traditional, character = STGT wine. 15°. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(bottling in 6 weeks) dark robe; good, traditionally full bouquet that is ripely fruited, bears herbs, sweet spice, flowers. Its gras comes forward on the palate, accompanied by an attractive line of tannin alongside its richness. Good length, a nice velvet kick on the end. Interesting wine. From mid-2014. Good price - €10 export, about €15 at the cellar. 15.3°. 2031-33 Feb 2012

2009 ()

(vat/barrel) mid-depth red; real dash of raspberry jam/jelly on the nose – sweet and succulent, a real crowd pleaser. Similarly sweet debut to the palate, with a rather strict set of tannins after the start. It ends on a singed note, a 2009 feature in some cases. It can fuse its finish, and build on its sweet, fat start. The aftertaste glows. From 2013-14, no hurry. 2020-22 Oct 2010

2007 ()

(vat/barrel) bright red colour; sweet red berry aroma that is accompanied by an air of nuts and hay or cut grass, with smoke and raisin inside it. The palate carries measured red fruit, with a grip that grows as it goes along. It ends on a mix of the red fruit still lingering, with a pebbly touch of tannin. There are sweet herbs late in the flavour. A sympa wine in the making. Has local integrity. 2023-25 Nov 2008

2006 ()

purple, mauve robe; there is a fragrant, easy nature to the violet, blackberry bouquet that is a touch simple, has a waft of licorice as well. The palate offers mild early black stone fruit, flows evenly, but lacks dimension, is perfectly pleasant and quietly rich for early drinking. Not really have the nobility of Châteauneuf. 2019-21 Nov 2008

2005

quite full red; smoked, broad nose – it reflects oaking and a muscled black fruit content – the intensity of the cellar more than the vineyard. There is plenty of matter in it, the black fruit revealing some richness in with the oak at present. It ends on a charcoal-oak note – it is upright from its cask ageing. From 2011 so it can settle, and absorb its oak. The aftertaste conveys herbs and sweet spices. 2024-26 June 2008 Previously April 2007 *** soft, pliant aroma of red fruit gums, cherry and brioche bread. Easy fruit on the palate, that moves quietly along without high points. Has a true Grenache character but more depth would be welcome. Its alcohol is in check, and it can settle with some extra age. From 2009. 2023-25 April 2007, London Previously Chât-du-Pape March 2007 ****(*) mild red colour. Real lurking potential on nose – red fruits jam and harmony above all, some wee marzipan here: all comes in a wide panorama of potential. Brisk fruit at start, has surprising cut given the ‘big’, earthy bouquet. Genuine, full-bodied wine. Ends with a nutty, black fruits aftertaste and lurking richness. Bouquet more massive than palate. Likely to shut up shop, I suggest leave until 2010 or drink through to spring 2008. Is well into the 15° zone, but not evident. 2022-24 March 2007 “This year we went for vat raising for half to keep freshness, to avoid a wine that was too brutal, also one that could be drunk earlier,” Serge Gradassi

2004

sustained plum red colour; smoky, tar-pepper-green tea aroma with a touch of wildness about it – is a bit raw at this early stage. Direct, peppery wine which is a little short on fat. Needs to gain a little roundness and weight in ageing – may make a little progress with time. Smoky, tarry. Length is OK. From 2008. 2015-17 Oct 2006 Previously March 2005, London *** (barrel sample) very clear, scented fruit bouquet, smoky, fair weight to it. Harmonious start, live attack, gets off and runs. Three-quarter weight, has an interesting live side to it. Correct length. Tannins need till 2008 to settle. 2019-22 raised 65% barrel, 35% vat. "We want to keep the vintage`s freshness - that`s why we used the vat. " S.Gradassi

2003

good, bright red robe with some advance. Has a mulled red cherry, almost kirsch aroma – it is still young and peppy, with pine and high tone present. There is smoothly textured red fruit with a gum smacking appeal on the palate. Tastes of fruit pastilles, with some floral infusion, and ends roundly and comfortably. There is decent acidity in this – it can evolve OK. It drinks agreeably now, before its middle age. There some firmness and roasting on the aftertaste, a persistent little bout of heat. There is a lot of good Grenache in this. 14.7°. 2018-20 June 2008 Previously March 2005 *** balanced, jam aromas, lightly nutty, fruit is cherries. Full, good clear lines on the palate, the fruit is decisive. Decent length, but a wee bit of alcohol on aftertaste. Discreetly weighted, not overdone. Wait until 2008/09. 2019-22 March 2005, London raised 90% barrel, 10% 2-3 year cask

2001 ()

sound, full plum robe. Open and aromatic now, nicely ripe, garrigue herbs, flowers. Evolving red fruit as if picked wild from hedges on palate, with good life from its tannins. Elegant matter, and life within it from the acidity. Harmony and style here, is showing well. Honest wine. March 2005, London 85% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre, 7% various

1999

ruby tints on robe. Brewed aromas, some leather, violet and prune. Juicy, fleshy wine, just leaping forward too fast, doing too much. Risk of end dryness, though still has content there. Is aromatic overall, but there is a wobbly side to it, as if not quite right. 98% Grenache, 2% various

1998

bouquet reflects resin, pine, pepper, is traditional and is honest in a rather sweaty way. Palate has an outreach of supple, rather high, stewed flavour with a red jam sweetness. Unconvincing finish that drifts rather than grips. Subdued wine, out of step with the domaine’s approach today. “This was made in the days of 18 month old barrel ageing, 100% Grenache, days when we also sold most in bulk. We only did pumping overs then, no vat emptying/refilling.” S.Gradassi