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The Wines

100% Grenache, part from sand, part from clay soils on Le Cristia (N-E), Colombis (W), Les Roues, fermented, aged large oak barrel (new in 2006) 18 months, unfiltered, first wine 2004, 8-9,000 b

2018 ()

(tronconic vat, bottling March 2020) dark red; the nose is reserved, centres around plum fruit with a light garrigue herbs backdrop. It’s very unformed as yet. The palate bears spiced red-fruited content, a sound level of richness, takes on a cluster of crisp, smoky tannins. The finish is raw, but can integrate. There’s enough freshness for it to come together. 15°. €90. From 2022-23. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(tronconic vat) dark red; has a good southern take on the nose, black olives, black berry, prune fruit with some dash in its delivery, a soft florality as well. The palate has style, an appealing wavy flow of black cherry fruit with ripe tannins well inset. The length is well sustained, elegant. There is a closing note of iodine, menthol which helps its lift. It’s all well together. 15°. 100% Grenache. €70. From mid-2021. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2015 ()

(barrel) decent red robe. Smoky bacon, blackberry fruit mix on the nose, which is not at all refined as yet, has ways to go. The palate bears still stiff, smoky black stone fruits with tar and tang in the tannins. There is a spot of fruit intensity just before the close, which is encouraging. This is vigorous wine, and needs leaving until 2019 to bring the fruit further forward. It doesn’t do subtlety, and is suited to beef casseroles, for example. 2034-37 Sept 2016

2014

(cask) bright dark red. The nose is potentially stylish and interesting, assembles hints of flowers with plum fruit, a soft thyme presence, pine also. The palate offers an enjoyable run of plum fruit with lift and life in its tannins, so it closes with a good, rocky clarity. All very coherent and well defined, an ensemble in the glass. The mid-palate is tasty. Good potential, has quiet assurance, will be stylish. Possible oak on the finish. This has a good shape. From 2018. 2029-31  Oct 2015

2013

(cask) crimson robe. Bright, dark berry and red fruited nose. The palate shows good depth and complexity for the vintage. Licorice, spice, tobacco and dark fruit feature in it, with layered fruit on the mid-palate. It has a firm, tannic frame, and grips tight on the finish. This appears to have old vine intensity? Modern, but within reason. From 2017. 16°. 2027-28 JL GB £150/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com Oct 2014

2012 ()

(cask, bottling March 2014) dark red; toffee-treacle weight on the nose, a dense red jam abundance of large, ripe berries – loganberry, mulberry. The nose is swish, shows oak. The palate rocks around with zappy red fruit. Its oak is very close to it, and gives a toffee channelling which robs it of precision and, for now, local ID. The content beyond the oak is savoury, nicely profound, so this can make it OK. The finish is peppery, rather demanding, has gummy tannins. From late 2016. 15°. 8,000 b this year. 2031-33 Nov 2013

2011

(barrel) shiny, quite full red. Has a mulberry fruit, sweet-aired nose with a baked, brioche bread underlay. Toffee and black raisin enter the equation, also kirsch notes in what is a weighty start. The palate offers a peppery, relatively dense red fruit, and has lissom tannins wrapped around it. It carries soundly to the finish, has confident depth, is also fluid. There is a lot of dense, thick matter in this modern wine. The flint, aniseed end is overtaken by date notes as it breathes. Not surprised to see 15°. From 2015. 2033-35  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(barrel) sound red robe; red cherry, liqueur-leaning air that has a curve of ripeness in it. The palate starts quietly, with a small offer of red berry; it is reductive, and gathers in a charcoal finale, a tarry exit is the result. It has gras, but that is secondary to the oaking. It is a bit more than just a correct wine, but does not light me up, even setting aside the oak features. From mid-2014. 2030-32 Dec 2011

2009 ()

plum red colour; a nose with some depth, unlike some of the 2009 St Préfert wines – plum fruit, herbal tints, is very primary. Imposing red fruit such as strawberry jam in the flavour – this is sweet nearly all the way through. I would like more breeze and attitude. The length is correct. It needs to settle and refine the finish. From 2013. 2029-32. Bottled a week ago. March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 **** (barrel) matt red, fair robe; creamy red berry, quiet aroma that comes with game airs, and the wafer biscuit of its raising. Pretty agreeable plum fruit with a leaning towards liqueur leads the palate. The finish is a bit detached for now, but has the potential to fuse OK. It needs to be seen as quite a potent wine, built around ripe, high degree Grenache. Late heat and good lip smacking length, the finish being a local herbal-menthol mix. €34. From 2013. 2028-30 Oct 2010

2007 ()

(example) has a pretty, level fruit aroma, with some flowers and herbs in the air. The palate holds nice brisk fruit, even if the sense at the start is of the foot down on the pedal in its preparation – meaning it tapers a little towards the finish. There is sound core matter here. It ends quite firm and decisively, has a floral aftertaste. The fruit heart is good, and there are tannins in evidence, with some heat, too. 2025-28 June 2008

2006 ()

red plum, rather matt hue. Red stewed fruits lead the nose – the sense of floral-aromatic red jam – that comes in a quite wide, compact way. There is some spice also, but the aroma is not that fresh, and has some high tone or varnish in with it. The wine is largely a Grenache style on the palate (tasted blind!), its red plum flavour leavened by some spice trimmings. There is a late tannic moment, and the length is only fair. Rather a plain do. The sort of wine that needs to be rechecked later. 2022-24 Nov 2007

2005 ()

crimson, full red. Has a mulled red berry aroma, with a hefty, nutted nature – there is a “dark” inside to it. It is wide and breathes some fire – there is an eau de vie angle. The palate is a big so and so – delivers brewed fruit with a bang in it, gives a chocolate and high octane impact. You can sip this, no more at a time. There is definite charge in this, and I find it hard work, even though its outer veneer is quite polished. There is almost a beefstock taste, more than a simply fruited one. Beyond its degree, it is actually fairly balanced. I would certainly prefer to drink this when it is mature, and so more complex and looser. Try around 2011-12, thus. 15.5°. 2025-28 July 2008

2004

quite a dark robe; reserved bouquet – lurking berry fruit and smoke, leather aroma, with a hint of gaminess. Ripe grapes used here, the formula obviously as advised by the oenologue – so we get ripe stone fruits with a scented finish. Quite a solid aftertaste, fair length. From mid-2008 on. Tasted blind. 2020-22 Oct 2006