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The Wines

90-100% Grenache (100+ years), 0-10% Syrah from galet stone soils on Les Galimardes (S-E), cool pre-fermentation maceration, destemmed, 4-5 week vinification/maceration at 25°C, pumping overs, some vat emptying/refilling, aged 65-90% concrete vat, 10-35% new or 1-2-3 yr oak 550 litre casks 14 months, then 4 months assembled in vat, unfiltered, organic wine, (until 2001 was 60% 1900s Grenache, 35% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, Grenache, Mourvèdre vat raised, Syrah new-4 year oak aged 18 months, 10-15,000 b), 6,000 b

2018

(vat/casks) mainly dark red robe; the nose is stiff, compact, raw and still in the vat, has red cherry fruit with a waxen presence. The palate takes up a red-fruited baton, gains intensity as it goes, runs into a busy finish, with crispness in the tannins, cut from them, and a note of blood on the aftertaste – indicating its mineral leaning. The aftertaste is lip smacking. This is an interesting mix of diverse elements, which can draw together with time. From 2023. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(vat/casks) dark red robe; brewed, brothy aroma, beef stock with some extreme ripeness, prune, North African fruit. The palate is assertive, compressed, the tannins not ripe enough to allow steady flow. The aftertaste is spiced but dry, the fruit receding there. From 2021. 2035-36 Oct 2018

2016

full, dark red. The bouquet has a big, beefy nature, releases a compact run of black fruits, with black olives, has a meaty, animal side to it. The palate courses with rich, thick content, brings in violet notes above its prune flavour, the prunes an indication of the heat of the summer. The finish has a cool touch of saltiness, menthol, a welcome spur of clarity there. This is big, “impressive” Châteauneuf, more for sipping than free drinking. 15°. 90% Gren, 10% Syr. €55. 90% concrete vat, 10% new oak cask raising. From 2021. 2038-40 Mar 2018

2015

(vat/casks) dark red robe. The nose has a note of iodine that hovers above a set of black berry fruits with a plump ripeness in them. The palate issues blueberry fruit with inner drive, meaning the length is sustained on that rather crisp, fluid angle. There is a savoury build as it nears the long finish. This has potential complexity, isn’t one of the obvious wines of this vintage. Excellent length, with style. From 2020. 2036-39 Sept 2016

2011

(casks) dark red; this has a full nose which offers sweet raspberry – it is ripe, sunny, inviting, the fruit accompanied by thyme, mixed herbs, licorice. The palate is nicely fat, tasty, supple. It has the immediate, soft fruit of 2011, an attractive density that carries well, into a little settlement of aromatic tannins, a light dusty, cocoa, darker note. This is good to drink quite young, but will evolve and vary, so there is interest to come. Has an incipient meatiness. From mid-2014. 15°. 2028-31  Dec 2012

2010

(casks) dark, shiny robe. Has a wide and muscular air, a mixed bag of aroma that includes Indian tea, tea leaves, meat stock and gravy, along with vintage typical cendré or ashen notes and garrigue herbs. The palate is chunky, the flavouring oily; it brims up with pepper-spice, plum and prune fruit, ending on tar, raisin, a little menthol. Powerful wine – there is a lot here, near sipping rather than drinking status. The aftertaste is robust, chunky. From 2015. 2034-37 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(casks) quite full red; there is a little breeze in the red fruit of its bouquet, along with a 2009 sweet ripeness, some local herbs – starts with a rather good local, unpretentious air. Has a black cherry and berry flavour, with persistent round sweetness. It is fine tuned in its delivery – there are no discordant moments, and really does offer a smooth ride. Good Grenache old vine fruit here, classy and local. It brews up late on, shows tar and bite, and can assimilate that. STGT wine. From 2013. 2031-33 Oct 2010

2007

(vat) dark red/black robe; the nose is raw, primary – out come unbridled black fruits with some leather in the siding, and a little ripe, floral lacing, raisin and Dundee cake (raisin, brandy, dried cherries). The palate holds full fruit that is not excessive; there is a violet, scented thread running through it. The fruit is ripe, prune in its flavouring. This is the high octane, sipping sort of Châteauneuf that is à la mode now – it comes with a lot of intensity and alcohol – it is over 15°, whatever the label may eventually say, but that is camouflaged by its rich matter. Has an Asiatic spice, herbal aftertaste. From 2011. 2027-30 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(casks) dark, oily robe, with legs. The bouquet is knit together – has a gourmand nature, being ample and thorough, based on black berries or cherries that are ripe and almost rancio – is somewhat “post modern”. Holds a ripe cast of black fruit on the palate, black stone fruits, and runs with a rich tone. Ends quite roundly, with its tannins ripe and largely infused. There is plenty of power here – is a muscular wine with a smooth coating delivered in the modern style (or post modern). Bit of an extracted, wannabe, I have to say. From 2010. 2026-29 Nov 2007

2005

red robe is lightening a little. This has a Heap Big Nose – large depth, max ripeness, is big and wide. Very strong sweet red fruit air. The palate is rich, is a sipping wine with a lot of depth. I find it not easy to drink with pleasure. The texture is thick, and the sucrosity on both nose and palate renders me disoriented. Quo Vadis, Livingstone? is the question after this fruit bomb. Maybe I am just getting old, but this is not how Châteauneuf-du-Pape should be. It is also made in this way for deliberate effect, and is not an accident of nature. “We started to appreciate the 2005s in the past year. Gallimardes becomes a mineral wine once it has aged,” François Giraud. 2028-31  Dec 2012  Previously June 2008 ****(*) full, quite dark plum colour; the bouquet is compact, buttoned up for now – prune, black fruits of some depth and flesh – it has a confident, lightly sweet air and is really very wide in the making. Big, intense wine on the palate – the black fruits, soaked cherries have violet and tobacco nuances in them – the flavour is wide and well-established. This is a long keeper, a rich-cored wine that you sip rather than drink. It ends as an ensemble, is long and for now is fenced in by a lot of tannin. 15°. From 2011. 2027-30 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***** (pre-bottle) dark cherry colour; compact, smoky berry/prune nose. Well-lined palate, has a tight, densely packed fruit. All its elements are in sync, its expression is clear. I like its tannins – they bolster it well and ripely, and are tasty. Good length, finishes freshly, with a herb-licorice aftertaste. Local character here, STGT. “It was more closed before now,” Marie Giraud 2026-29 late Nov 2006 100% Grenache

2004 ()

robe still quite dark. Mulberry, red berries from the hedgerows with an earthy undertone (but I am conscious of the South Wind today that could create that last impression). Palate is a closed book, I can detect some black fruit, prune and coffee traces, mint towards the finish. For now its texture is leathery and it suggests autumn season drinking. But its fruit is clear, even though there is less bounce than the 2005. Esp 2008 on. 2025-28 “four days ago it was more open,” François Giraud late Nov 2006 This year is 95% Grenache, 5% Syrah, and 6,000 b. Previously Oct 2006, London ***(*) fairly dark red; tight-knit, red fruit aroma with a firm underpin and light tar presence. Black fruit comes with a clean texture and lengthens nicely, has a tarry aftertaste. Red fruit-Grenache-led wine. Some fungal, earthy hints late on, all in order. 2022-24 Oct 2006

2003 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001

ruby topping to a red robe; the bouquet is a get down, get funky operation, has an aroma of hanging game, some leather, black pepper behind. He palate bears black, floral tinted fruiting, is juicy and bonny. The texture is notable, all smooth and lissom. It is wide and voluptuous near the finish. 2001 here is very good. Real persistence, great length. Up to strong flavours such as venison. The finish reflects herbs, is rich. This sings a great tune, has a lovely, sweet richness. 2025-28  Nov 2006 Previously March 2005 ****(*) full, beautiful robe. Floral, prolonged bouquet - pepper, meat, herbs come along. Soaky, oily textured palate, with brewed fruit that has a sweet feel. Tight-knit from its tannic interior, everything harmonious, and it persists well. Floral, scented flourish on end. Wine with a local feel, I like the chunky finish. Nice power, also freshness, a great combination. STGT wine. 2024-27 March 2005, London

2000

some dark traces in the red robe; the nose carries soaked fruits, prune and a wee vegetal, waxen, mild licorice air: there is nice bite in this, raisins to the fore, and it is a little upright now. The palate shows interesting development. The texture is smooth all through, the palate flavour comes with a compact nature, the flavour resembling damson or prune with some leather and licorice infusion. A good, complete wine. It has correct tannic tightening at the end, where there is some crackly black pepper. The length is good. This palate is, like the bouquet, upright and muscular with its dark flavours. 2022-24  June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** black jam aroma, with fungal notes, smoke and berries mingle here. Coffee, prune flavours lead the palate, which gains a mineral texture, then straightens again. It ends without the roundness of the Grenache; the Syrah channels it directly rather than leaving it broad on the finish, which involves raisin, prune and date. Leave until late 2007. 60% Gren, 40% Syr.  2021-24  Nov 2006

1999 ()

maturing but full robe; the bouquet is bonny, rounded, full and still live – there is plenty of road still to come, shows some leather. The palate bears a good black fruit thread of straight appeal. It hides a bit at the end, which is fresh. This has a latent harmony, holds plenty of mid-palate gras richness before it closes. Date features on the aftertaste. “Drink with a civet of hare,” François Giraud. 2022-24  Nov 2006

1998

this wasn’t destemmed, since they had no destemmer. Ruby, matt robe; animal, black berry jam, truffle airs in a round and maturing bouquet, which does remain alert. The attack is marked by a very soft texture; it flows on that until a more grainy, peppery end. This is intrinsically rich, but less suave than the more recent vintages. It is rich at the mid point of the palate, and there is a nice curl of sweetness as it ends. 2022-24  Nov 2006