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The Wines

100% Grenache from sandy, safre soils on Pignan (N-E), destemmed, 30-50 day vinification at 30°C, pumping overs, cap punchings, aged 1-2 year 300-litre oak casks 12 months, filtered, 4-6,000 b

2018 ()

quite a full red robe; the nose has an inky nature, red cherry fruits, spiced plums present, carries an edge of direct, slightly vegetal freshness. The palate bears spiced content, with a thread of juice through it. It feels like a wine from a cool vintage more than a hot one, the glow on the aftertaste one of the only clues about the high summer heat. It finishes decisively, on the up. From spring 2022. 2040-42 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(casks, bottling Apr 2019) rather diffuse red robe. The nose is dumb, suggests a little red berry fruit, a note of mixed herbs. It lacks the real depth of the best. The palate is medium weight, low on a real centre of established content, drifts as it goes. There is a little red fruit, but not enough richness. This is loose, too straightforward Châteauneuf. 15°. €17. From spring 2019. 2027-28 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks) shiny rather dark red colour, legs visible. Exotic spices greet you on the nose, raisins and sultanas denoting warm lands and sunshine. It has a smoky inner depth, with brandy cake and dates apparent, as well as a little florality. The palate attacks broadly, produces coated matter with a deft emergence of red fruits, raspberry liqueur, towards the finish. The mid-palate stands up well. This has the bare bones of a good wine. It’s good and thorough, genuine. The aftertaste has some minted freshness, smoky tobacco. From 2020: the tannins need to align with it. 2037-40 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks) quite full red robe. There is a roasted air on the nose, with pine needles, prune and cooked plum fruits. The palate is a calm, orderly affair, bears soft red fruits with late tingles of dusty spice. It’s a low-key, accessible wine, drink from 2018. 2032-34  Sept 2016 

2012 ()

(casks, bottling March 2014) steady red robe; smoky, dark intensity on the bouquet, one that comes out of the shaded woods, shows red meat, entrails and pork, has “high” airs, notes of coffee grains. The palate is vigorous, holds a liqueur-textured red fruit with a seared outer, a nearly waxen style with red cherry eau de vie touches. A pretty elemental wine – no metropolitan make-up or cosmetics for this. The tannins and the aftertaste are a little dry. A wine of character that goes its own way. Country foods a must for this, Italian country dishes, goat and wild boar. From 2016. 14.5°. 5,000 b. €17. 2027-29  Nov 2013

2011 ()

mild red; smoky, ash smoke, pine woods air with a resin and vegetal side to it, also reflects polished leather. The palate shows a combination of resin, sweet prune and flowers - quite a mix. It ends on rose, Pez violet sweets and prune flavour, which draws you in. Tannins firm it up gradually on the peppery aftertaste. Disorderly but interesting, has guts, some fire, is traditional. Recently bottled. From 2015. 14.5°. 2028-30  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(casks) sturdy dark red; has a sappy-sweet first air, comes with the succulence of the ripe fruit of the crop, the sweetness is perfumato, still shows some lees as well. It brings out its sweetness on the palate, has a liqueur implication. At its heart is ripe Grenache, with somewhat stiff tannins alongside the finale, tannins that can fit in over time. A self-contained wine, all in on itself now, a shade static. There is a good and clear mix on the aftertaste: herbal, flinty, ash or cendré. Fair late expression here, a wine that is not especially broad. From 2014. Bottling Mar 2012. €16 at the cellar. 2031-33 Dec 2011

2009

(casks) full robe, rather impressive. Resin notably, chocolate aroma that is wide and very young, shows charcoal from its raising, the fruit has a glint in it, is oily. “Dark” fruit and flavours, develops gras as it goes, spreads out OK. The finish is lithe, and not yet settled. This will be oaky, in a bosky style with black fruit within. Not a real child of Grenache wine given its cellar handling. A bit constructed and oaked. From late 2012. 2027-29 Oct 2010

2008

correct red robe. Heightened nose, comes with a varnish, pushed air of red fruit, plum liqueur, pistachio nuts. Red berry fruit on the palate, but it is more forced than many 2008s, the finishing grain on the dour side. An eau de vie effect resides in this, as if its balance is questionable. I reckon more power has been sought than was justified given the 2008 crop. From 2011. 2016-17 Dec 2009

2007

full red; liqueur, syrup red fruits aroma that is in the very first flush of youth, thus not varied – the fruit is ripe. The palate offers friendly red fruits, the interior is juicy, and the fruit runs steadily until some late tannic bite and snap, with a mix of licorice and minted black coffee. It winds up with reserves of matter, can develop, I reckon. From spring 2010. 2025-28 Nov 2008

2006 ()

dark red all through the robe; the red fruit aroma has some stuffing and lining, but also carries a pinewood-bosky effect with some high tone; the palate reflects crop that has been left on the vine for a long time – long hang time – and so the wine has compote or stewed, jam effect, and the end taste is not very clear, even showing some farmyard. Fleshy wine that is a little cellar-forced. From 2009. 2022-24 Nov 2007

2005 ()

red robe with a purple tone; the nose has a mineral, rather vacuous air, with an undertone of red fruit. However, one hour of airing brings a more filled, rounded aroma. The palate is more cohesive than the nose, and bears red fruits with a crisp tone to them, and continues with some vigour. This drinks with poise, its fruit persistent and holding a nice dart of life. Decanting will wake the bouquet. Is a wine with some ways to go, but within some limits where flamboyance is not on the agenda. Good, steady stuff. 2024-26 Feb 2008

2004 No Rating

full, bright robe; bouquet is a little herbal, but stalky and acrid. The palate reveals burnt flavours, a sort of Marmite or beef extract, the fruit isn’t clear. Balance is wonky here, and there’s a dry aftertaste. Oct 2006, London

2003

pretty, maturing dark red colour; has a black fruit, tarry nose – suggests Portugal if you please – grapes from baked plains, with cold black coffee, black chocolate, and I can smell alcohol and power. This appears to be a muscular wine. The palate is pretty rich, with a measured flavour of black fruits, fruit pastilles, prune and a touch of rose-hip within. It tightens and loses some fruit just before the finish – is a little oxidative there. Open this and drink it – I am not sure the air helps it. 14.5°. 2015-17. June 2008