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The Wines

60% Grenache (1910s, 1930s, Valori at Courthézon, sandy, 1930s, Fortiasse, galet stones, gravel above clay-limestone), 30% Mourvèdre (1940s, Palestor/Bois Dauphin, part red clay-limestone, part sand & low part of Cabrières, clay-limestone), 10% Syrah (early 1970s, Cabrières, Fortiasse, dark clay), destemmed, 3 week concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling (not in 2018), occasional cap punching, aged large 34-40 hl barrel 8-12 months (renewed since 2011), unfined, unfiltered, 10-16,000 b

2018

(large barrel) dark red; has a grilled, punchy nose, mulberry, roast pork. It comes with a nice bit of wildness, blackberries off the hedges. The palate holds elegant filling with a good run of concerted juice, iron touches towards the close. There’s good steel in this; it’s genuine, unadorned, has more body than the Tradition 2018. Its tannins are keen, busy. From 2023. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017 ()

dark red; this has a good, curvy bouquet, a very neat trail of black cherry, most engaging, real pinpoint of accuracy in its first real flush of youth. Notes of raspberry liqueur, and cassis de Dijon hover. The palate links well, flows on most smooth, serene texture with gourmand black fruits, very easy to like they are. There’s a gradual, tender gain in ripe tannin towards the finish. Like the Tradition, there’s another good 2017 tannin result here. Lovely style here. From 2022. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2016 ()

(barrel) dark red colour. The bouquet has a secure depth of ripe fruits, black cherry and also raspberry, is curvy, has a serene approach. The palate bears stylish matter, the texture silken; there is a little red berry flourish on the finish. The tannins are well installed, so the shape is spherical. Although it’s 16°, it’s a cool, balanced wine thanks to the quality of the old vine fruit, and the fact that it hasn’t been pumped in the cellar. The aftertaste lingers on dried herbs, thyme, a pebbly dab from the tannins. 16°. 16,000 b. From 2020. 2033-35 Oct 2017

2015 ()

quite a dark red, appealing robe; the bouquet has nice filling, is polished, is right in the zone, is stylish. The palate is smoothly, silkily textured, the tannins fine, more so than on the Tradition 2015. This flows well, is classy, stylish, offers some late, gentle glow. It has lovely gentle breadth. Put this in a large glass, sit back, enjoy. 15°. Harvest started 24 September. €23.50 is big VALUE. 2038-40 Oct 2018

2014 ()

clear, very Grenache red robe; Has a honeyed, serene bouquet, on plum fruit, is nice and accessible. The palate offers finesse, suave drinking, is classic CHR – restaurant-bistrot wine with spice pockets, is rounded and nicely smooth, comes with graceful flow. It will be lovely with lamb and rosemary, is fragrant, nice and fresh, has subtlety. 14.5°. Harvest started 25 September. 2029-31 Oct 2018

2013

plum red colour. Has a bosky, cooked plums aroma, which is a little foxy from the Mourvèdre; there are baked, black raisin notes, the baking very typical of 2013. The palate is tightly woven, upright, gives good menthol in the flavour, local emphasis. The tannins have a dry side, are en route, need time. The flavour centres on spiced, cooked plum. The length is good, tight. 14.5°. €26. From 2022-23. This will live a very long time. “We are just starting to show it – it was animal and hidden before,” Blandine Mayard. Harvest started 2 October. 2045-48 Oct 2018

2010 ()

(barrel) legs down a rather dark robe. Has a curvy, round nose that bears spice, red fruit. The palate starts on a sweet, somewhat oily Grenache note with a shapely mid-palate, the mild sweetness travelling all though it. The finish is fine, all in order. There is some smoke and bite in the wine`s sweet setting. It suggests gradual development over time, the balance is good. From mid-2014. 2028-30 Dec 2011

2007

(barrel) red robe; there is a very primary surge of red fruit that comes bustling out – raspberry/mulberry liqueur, a touch of damp. The palate is softly textured, delivering a full Grenache with intrinsic power, but one that is coated in this smooth texture. The lines here are clean – it keeps going without being stationary. There is a late herbal outcrop and some oak, too. It is faithful to its place of origin. From mid-2010. 2024-27 Nov 2008

2006

(barrel sample) full, bright red with plenty of depth in the robe; has a big, mature bouquet that is ripe and dense, without being excessive: shows red fruits such as plums, with some cinnamon and spice, but right now is a little reduced. The palate is on its primary fruit, and this is unfinished at this pre-bottle stage. Currently there is a good strike of red, spiced fruit with a coating of rich texture around them. The length is good, and the wine moves along well. Is broad and quite prolonged, with a peppery finish, with richness still present there. To 2021-23 Nov 2007

2005

pretty, quite full red robe; baked red fruit tart air to the nose – it is wide and quietly potent. Very much still at its first stage, but there is a firm foundation. Typical Grenache on the palate – with more tannin than usual, the vintage feature – thus it is compact, has a nutty lining. The core is fleshy, rich and authentic, its length firm and definite. It ends on a little oak, with fig, toffee, raisin, pepper – all very Southern. Has the drive and charge of Châteauneuf. 14°. From 2011. 2021-23 June 2008 Previously Feb 2007 **** supple, smoked top to the black fruit aroma, is clear and appealing, has a tar and woods element and a graceful violet-rose tone. 1 hour of air brings leathery, more pebbly, stone fruit nature. Main feature of palate is the black berry fruit with a juicy heart, that lengthens well. Tannins are ripe and barely noticeable. All the parts co-ordinate well. A beefy tang on the late flavour, and air brings out the tannins more. A good example of the vintage – its balance and the well-woven tannins. Touch loose late on after 90 minutes. 14° 2021-23 Feb 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) sound red robe; black fruits, leather, jam and olive in a biscuity bouquet – has an upright shape. Soft, squeezy fruit with a round and easy texture. Red fruits with a little scent in them. Is a sappy wine with a little tannin. Esp mid-2008 on. 2020-22 Nov 2006

2004

agreeable red, a maturing but still red colour that is nice and clear, shows legs down the glass. The bouquet is elegant, thanks to its maturing red fruit aroma; it still has the crisp outer air of the vintage. Air and warmth enhances a floral side and encourages an air of blackberry jam. On Day 2: airs of baked stones, dust, and more weight in the bouquet. This is Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a good stage: red plum fruit with a crackle if fine grain tannin. I like its freshness and uncluttered nature. It is very correct vis-à-vis the truth of the vintage. The finish has grip and spice, a prune and salty combine appealing there. It was undoubtedly a little stiff when young. Air brings a little dampness, extra maturity, but the salty notes are still in evidence after 90 minutes. On Day 1, I find it still holding back and not being really expressive. Day 2: red cherry, still straight along wine, has “wire” in it. 14.5°. 2023-25  June 2011, East Sussex

2001 ()

red with top ruby; the bouquet is open – really prominent, evolving red fruits that have a slight damp air, a “scented” damp woods or sous-bois effect – it is rather noble as a nose. There is still a tight grip on the attack; the mid-palate holds some intense black fruit, a smoked, tobacco nature. Sound length – punchy towards the finish, with marked, smoky tannins that move into tar then cocoa, raisin and a glimmer of late red berry. Very much a Traditional Châteauneuf. A little of the large barrel, the foudre, effect on the aftertaste – heat. 14°. 2017-18 Nov 2008 Previously April 2005 **** ruby colour; scented, fundamental and earthy bouquet, with cooked fruits in the air. Smoky, direct, honest and meaty wine – prune flavours that are showing well now. Open and beau. 2017-18 April 2005, New York