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The Wines

60-95% Grenache from La Crau (E), 0-25% Syrah, 0-10% Mourvèdre, 0-5% Cinsault, Counoise, Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Terret Noir and white grapes Grenache blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Picpoul from galet stone covered soils on La Crau (E), destemmed except for Syrah, Cinsault, light crush, 3-5 week steel vat vinification at 28°C, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 20-100% large barrel, 0-80% concrete vat 12 months (down from 18-20 months in early 2010s), up from 10-28,000 b

2018 ()

(large barrel/steel vat/concrete vat, bottling Jan 2020) dark robe; the bouquet is thorough, carries airs of blackberry fruit, prune, black olives, is sweet at heart. The palate parades richness from the off, is copiously filled with red berried matter, pliant tannins attached. It finishes aromatically, with a sweet compression, so time and decanting will both suit it. It can arrange its finish, and move up a gear. 16.2°. 12,000 b. 88% Gren, 10% Syr, 2% Mourv. €23. From 2023. 2040-42 Oct 2019

2017

(large barrel/vat) dark red colour, black tinted centre. The nose is weighted and freighted, shows black raisin, prune fruit airs, is thick, has travelled past the jam stage. The palate holds sturdy content, with blueberry and black cherry fruit aided by a note of iodine, which helps its lift. The finish is solid, sustained. It’s not a wine to drink much of, but has impressive appeal, covers the ground thoroughly. 15.5°. 13,000 b. 88% Gren, 10% Syr, 2% Mourv. €23. From 2022. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016

(barrel) quite a thick dark red robe. The bouquet has a sweet coating of stewed fruits, evident succulence, is fat and rounded affair. There are notes of raspberry flying free of the main mass. The palate is expressive, immediate, carries a tasty, wholesome content with plenty of lift in the ripe tannins. There are perfumed notes within the red stone fruits. It wears its heart on its sleeve, goes for it – which I like. It may be 15.8°, but is quite racy and bright. 28,000 b. 95% Gren, 5% all the other varieties. 80% concrete vat, 20% large barrel raised. From 2021. 2037-40  Oct 2017

2015 ()

(large barrel) red robe, mainly Grenache suggested. The nose offers sweet red berry lozenges, strawberry to the fore.  It has a simple curviness. The palate is also founded on sweet red berry fruits, with a coulis-jam nature. There is fat as it signs off. An open version of Grenache from Châteauneuf: it can take on a little variety of expression if left until 2019. 15.5°. 10,000 b. 2034-37 Sept 2016

2014

(barrel) sound red robe. The raspberry aroma has an attractive floral note attached. It is quiet, but can develop steadily. The palate is marked by a fresh, enjoyable red fruit, its tannins well absorbed. The balance is good. It finishes in tidy fashion, and will sing a harmonious tune over time. A good, precise Châteauneuf, nothing overdone, lots of charm. 14.5°. 78% Gren, 20% Syr, 2% various. €19.50, good Value. From 2018. 2027-29  Oct 2015 

2012

fair depth of red in the robe. Quiet air of red fruit jelly, a simple Grenache fruiting, decent amount of it, and light pepper notes – the bouquet isn’t especially refined. Scented, clear fruit leads the attack; this lacks real richness and its security after half way. Post bottling syndrome, I suspect, so wait for a year at least. Tannins wrap into it, has a charge on the finish, a grainy-mineral exit. Unpolished as yet. From late 2015. 15°. 2028-30  Nov 2013

2011

(barrel) subdued plum colour; has a raspberry jam first air – it offers Grenache plum fruit plus thyme, some garrigue dust, fennel and mint – this is a round bouquet with more to come, is an STGT start. This is a solid Grenache-hearted wine, with a connection to its rocky landscape; there is a minted note at the end, mixing blackberry and prune. Authentic wine that persists, shows more prune on the aftertaste. The sign-off is expressive, has notes of herbs and rosemary. 15°. STGT wine. From 2015. 2030-32  Dec 2012

2005 ()

mild red robe, a little advance in it. Compact, transitional nose – the red fruit aroma has a little nuance in it as it starts to close down, the fruit is “high”, late picked, and is accompanied by sweet spice, pepper, herb-garrigue notes. Full black fruit leads the palate, its interior sweet, fruit pastilles in the taste. It has the merit of ending roundly, with good moist texture, but is fresh as well. Low profile, but good quality wine that persists, shows oak and caramel on the finish. I reckon it will close, then wake up, so leave until 2011 or late 2010. 14.5°. 2025-27 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** sound Grenache red; red stone fruit with wisps of smoke – this is a likeable bouquet that holds up well, and is nicely channelled. Peppery, smoky red fruits on a rather withdrawn palate. Nutty aftertaste. From 2009 for less oak and a more comfortable wine. 2023-26 Nov 2006

2001

good, sound red robe; tight aroma, with red fruits present and dried tomatoes if you please, and a suggestion of herbs. Grenache leads the palate, reflecting baked red fruit. Is an interesting, reserved wine that is tight now, and will show more from autumn 2008. The length is sound. 2020-22 Nov 2007

2000

there is a marked ruby evolution in the robe. Has a gentle nose that is sealed, not varied, led by mild plum and toffee with shades of sweet spice. A pebbly suggestion is here, denoting its ageing. The palate red fruit, with also a rather caramel, toffee character, runs to the finish. This is a steady do, which has no real high point – is trucking along on the q.t. (the quiet, think Danny de Vito). Ends rounded, a little curved. The aftertaste carries some sweet spice. A mid-weight wine. 2017-19 June 2008