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The Wines

80-85% Grenache, 6-9% Syrah, 4-6% Mourvèdre, plus 0.5-1% each Cinsault, Counoise, Terret noir, Picardan, Muscardin, Bourboulenc, Picpoul blanc, whole bunch fermentation, twice daily pumping overs, aged 90% large 27-60 hl barrels, 10% mature casks 18-24 months, 65-75,000 b

2019 ()

(barrel) dark red robe; the bouquet is rich, generous, has a sweet heart of Grenache plum fruit with a nibble of herbs. It carries the implicitly sweet nature of the vintage, and will vary well over time. The palate also projects a good Grenache story, with a layered, rolling display of plum and raspberry fruit, some thickness in the tannins. It holds its line well, is nicely natural, authentic, STGT Châteauneuf, not too modern or polished up, has real integrity. The finish is wholesome, involving. From 2023. 2045-47 Nov 2020

2018 ()

(large barrel, bottling Nov 2020) dark, full robe; there is an inky quality to the nose, beef stock, squid pulp, entrails, with cassis fruit inside, a cool aspect from that. The palate is robust but well channelled, keeps going with a decisive delivery into a salted close, a spark of freshness there. It’s well built wine which will evolve well, become complex, and be nicely up to beef dishes. Its shape is rather upright, and I sense the inclusion of stems to aid its freshness. The juiciness of the fruit appeals. 14°. 66,000 b. 80% Gren, 6% Syr, 4% Mourv, 1% each Cins, Terret noir, Picardan, Muscardin, Bourboulenc, Picpoul. From 2023. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2016 ()

(barrel/casks) healthy dark red robe. The nose brims up with abundant, soaked  black fruits, blackberry and prune. There are enjoyable, discreet airs of rose and violet. The palate is rich, varied, presents good and true Grenache plum fruit with some late spicing. The tannins weave a mineral fix into the wine, and the aftertaste is pebbly, pretty fresh, as a result. This has character, and is genuine Châteauneuf, the palate more interesting than the nose. 14°. From 2020-21. 2035-37 Oct 2017

2015

(barrel/casks) dark red robe. Brambly, handsome fruit on the nose – mulberry, loganberry come along with a tiptoe of sweetness adding appeal. There are pine-oak notes. The palate is nice and broad, fluid, offers tasty juice and expressive raspberry style flavouring. The tannins fit in well, are rounded. The aftertaste has a salted quality in with the oak. Good potential to please here. 14°. From 2019. 2034-36  Sept 2016

2014

(barrel/casks) dark, full red robe. The nose gives an immediately sturdy impression, produces an image of warm, baked lands – it is deeply rooted in a black raisin, date, thick skin of fruit and charcoal from oak line-up. It has a definite grunt factor, more so than most this year. The palate is charged with black berry fruits and a chiselled set of tannins, swirls of oak. A Big Production, but it gets away with it thanks to its vigour. Let this lie low until 2019. 2031-33  Oct 2015 

2013

shiny dark red robe. Has a very smoky, crisp and upright aroma of blackberry fruit, tar, mocha, while violet airs add appeal. The palate has the vintage clack of freshness, breezes along with dentelle clarity, the juice rolling well into a rocky tang ending. This is a direct, crunched up Châteauneuf that captures the vintage. It has character, can amplify over time, is a good northern take on Châteauneuf. 14°. 2036-38  Nov 2015  GB Justerini & Brooks £150 6 b i/b www.justerinis.com

2012 ()

(casks) thick, dark robe. Broiled beef first air, a resident power in the bouquet, a wide distribution of force in its black berry. There are torrid, burnt, wild notes, black raisin also. Meaty, roasted aspects start the palate; a big wine, with oaking and deliberate scale, a knight on his charger. A little gras juice emerges near the finish. Big, rather powerful on nose and palate, the power on the palate better integrated than the nose. It will please lovers of tarry, big, unbridled Châteauneuf with its full, resinous style. Decant this. From mid-2016. 14°. 65,000 b this year. 2034-36  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) quite dark red, legs. The aroma leads on tar, and has a prune, Radio Malt diet supplement aroma, a rather chocolatey depth, and a raw ripeness. The palate is compact, tight-knit, has decent heart. The fruit is concentrated, and has closely attached grainy tannins. This has hardly got going – it is wide and insistent from its cellar work. Has sound, grainy length, feels a bit forced along. From 2015. 14.5°. 2030-32  Dec 2012

2010

(casks, bottling Nov 2012) nice clear and full red robe; has a bright aroma, smoke and cassis with a meat-like, gravy overlay that adds interest and depth. There are undercurrents of black truffle, dates, and drifts of honey and flowers – this is a good start. The palate holds a scented, waxen red fruit, and is in harmony with the nose. The floral nature comes out strongly on the aftertaste. There is a fine grain finish, a bonny finesse of tannin there. Classy, unforced wine. Good length, too. From mid-2014. Will drink well young, but more complex and stimulating around 2018 onwards. 2037-39 Feb 2012

2009

quite a full red. Has a baked outer air that suggest parched lands, lavender, dry heat. The palate is scented, with rosemary apparent, also some “high” notes; it quickly moves onto firm tannins – the baking of the year comes through. Grounded, manly wine that needs time to resolve its tannins. There is a peek out of late blackberry. The length is correct, it just needs to integrate, and join together. 14°. From 2015. 2034-36. “I find very ripe blackberry fruit, a bit rustic and meaty, something of the horse stable – it reminds me of my grandma's wines which were so wild, and showed dry heat,” Laurence Féraud. Feb 2012 Previously March 2011 **** (casks, to be bottled Nov 2011) dark tints in the robe. Sunny, ripe fruit air, but clarity is here, a good sign for a 2009, also has a quiet intensity. The attack is “dark”, shifts along, has a fine nature, drinks freely. There are clear, crunchy tannins at the end, good and crisp. The aftertaste is smoky, dark, while there are spots of gras along its palate route. Stiff for now, but very orderly, so no worries that it won't bend with time. From spring 2013. 2032-34 March 2011

2008

fine red-plum fruit with herbal, licorice, flinty airs, shows shiny black fruit and is strongly herbal. Enjoyable attack that offers black fruits with licorice flavouring and a free run along the palate. Drinkable – clear fruit is its card, is a w.o.w. wine. I would get on on with this rather than cellar it too lovingly. Bottled Nov 2010. 2019-20 March 2011

2007 ()

maturing ruby-red colour, legs – the robe looks ripe. Has a cedar, sweetly-fruited air, the fruit dwelling on plums and cassis, a fat centre to it. It approaches a Grunt Factor depth, but the heart is a really fat Grenache, nice and plumptious. The palate is retreating, and is now in transition after its youth. The tannin is gummy, ripely done, and a line of spice and cinnamon runs all through it, with a steady increase in tannic grip. Dates and black raisin flavours show on a sweet, round finale. The aftertaste is gamey. Decant this. 14°. From 2017. 2034-36  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2008 ****(*) (40 hl barrel, not yet assembled) quite a full red robe; has an oily, classic 2007 aroma – blueberry, raspberry, luxury fruits, but there are some hidden pockets. The palate presents licorice and black fruits with tannin present – it rocks on well, has a definite sense of purpose. I like the tannin structure in this – its matter is rich in an understated way, and it ends with a promising clarity and the hint of herbs. Accessible early, but may well tighten around 2011. This is high 14° or more, but that is not noticeable. 2031-33 Nov 2008

2006 ()

a magnum: sober red robe with some advance in it. Has a bacon fat, lively raspberry aroma that comes streaking out of the glass. This is a Bingo example of 2006 on the nose, just as it was in its youthful exuberance just after the vinification. It is now on the cusp of secondary notes – a bottle would be more like that. The palate delivers spice, clove flavoured red fruit with a little Châteauneuf succulence in its late stages. The palate isn’t fully on the go, its elements a little apart. The tendency is good, though, for an enjoyable glass with local feel, Grenache and its spicing. From mid-2017. 14°. 2030-32  Nov 2015 Previously Nov 2008 *** plum red robe; has a ripe and willing nose – mulberry, deep plum fruit liqueur with laurel, herbs, sweet spice. On the palate this shows itself to be a texture wine – red fruits, plums in the flavour, one that comes very elegantly. The shape is round, the feel rather nice and sultry. Has good length, is very scented, and its supple tannins are quietly present. A pretty wine with a lot of silky appeal. Drinks well now, is w.o.w. “It is a very Burgundian year; this is a vin de plaisir (a pleasure wine), not one that wins Medals. It`s a bit like a 1997-plus. It started more on live red fruits, then spices came after its oak ageing,” Laurence Féraud. 2016-18. Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 (casks) *** open, generous nose of mulled red berries with a sweet overtone and sucrosity, with some damp leaves (sous bois). The palate is also sweet-toned, has a fleshy, red fruit start with tannins from half way. Runs well with quite a traditional feel to it. White pepper in quite a long finish. This needs its extra year of ageing. There is some power late on, with herbs on the aftertaste. Very sound. From 2010-11, can become interesting. 2023-25 Nov 2007

2005

black berries, black jam aroma, with plenty of sweet appeal, suggest cassis liqueur: this bouquet is wide, but not yet very focused – was bottled 2 weeks ago. Black fruits with a violet thread and ripe tannins come though on the palate; there is plenty of energy here, with lots of life in the tannins, that invest a little late dryness and need 3 years to settle down. There is an interesting weave of black fruit with a brisk texture now, which I find similar to 1995. From 2010. 2031-33 Nov 2007

2004

dark robe; the bouquet poses problems, since I sense there is Brett hovering within it, and it gains that with air. Otherwise, there are soaked black fruits with a mineral, leather, violet trio in attendance. The palate is broad, with a chocolate, raisin, nicely rich flavour; it is still tight, its nature focused with intense black fruits that have menthol surrounds. From 2010 for fuller integration. 2023-25 Jan 2008

2003

plum, a little ruby in the colour; darkly intense and broad aroma – has a definite baked underlay, compressed dark fruit elements of earth and latent game. This is a brooding do – the baking reflects this very hot vintage. Air brings some reduction, perversely, garrigue influences. The palate has a good, full Grenache debut – it fills the mouth, but isn`t at all juicy – more it is packed tight, almost like dehydrated fruits. It ends on tar, date, spice. It is still young, and very much a vintage rather than a terroir wine. It retains good acidity, ends freshly. Prune and spice combine on the finish. A persistent wine that delivers a real mouthful, is good and authentic. 14°. 2023-26 Jan 2010 Previously Feb 2006 *** open bouquet, with bouncy, ripe fruit and good local punch. Scented, full fruit palate, with a sound tannic structure that is integrating with time. Concentrated, baked, red fruits finale. Esp 2008 on. 2019-21 Feb 2006

1998 ()

red plum robe that is nice and bright. Red fruits with a violet, primrose note are assembled in a broad and broody nose of some earthiness; it is on a good, reserved even keel of potential. Red fruit with a nutty, also crisp tone comes through on the palate. The fruit is very clear, and has both movement and direction. It finishes with intent – at the end it is broad and a little heated, nicely so. This wine`s fruitiness is more cleanly cut than many 1998s that went quite funky early on. There is a central wire running through this, and the length is good. The wire note is consistent with its youth, and it can certainly live on. 2023-25 April 2008 Previously Feb 2000 *** (assembled wine from barrel) some latent power in a dark bouquet that is lying low now, violets on the fringe. Chewy, full matter palate that is still firm. Solid wine with tannic length. There is a fair amount of content here, but at the moment it is not very wide or fat. Something of a stern year – wait. From 2003. 6,000 b to be bottled in April 2000, and 40,000 b in Sept 2000. 2016-18 Feb 2000

1997

nice density on the nose, mixes quite powerful garrigue aromas with cooked black fruits, traces of alcohol here, too. Beyond there lie violet and ripened black fruit aromas, plums. The palate carries a lot of power – has an evident alcoholic flourish at the end. May lack a touch of core to handle all this power. The final tannins are very present, rendering it a bit dry. From 2004. Does not possess the greatest balance – it is raw now, and time is needed. A foot on the accelerator wine. 2011-14 Feb 2000