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The Wines

100% Grenache on sandy, compacted safre soils on the south side of La Crau (E), 50%-100% destemmed, pre-fermentation crop cooling 2-3 days at 15°C, 4 week steel vat vinification at 26-28°C, min of 2 part vat emptying/refillings daily, cap punching, aged 1-year old 350-600-litre oak casks 12-18 months, unfined, filtered, 1,800-2,200 b

2016

(casks, bottling March 2018) dark red with black touches robe, legs. The bouquet is copious, sweetly and obviously fruited, a thick serving of mulled plums such as Damson or Victoria on the way to being sweet jam. The palate is thickly coated, a tad oppressive because of its weight. We are heading for dessert wine here, which is where Châteauneuf-du-Pape loses the plot. It’s sweet and plummy in flavour, the finish rounded. It’s low on pleasure, sip only. 16°. 2,200 b. €52. From 2021-22. 2034-37 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks) bright red robe. The nose is rounded, presents raspberry fruit with a curl of sweetness, a coulis density apparent. The palate is marked by a little toffee alongside its red fruits, garden fruit such as strawberry and its relative finesse. The finish is textured, oily, calm. A wine with a Burgundian note, a ripe Pinot aspect, with a pleasing openness. 16°. From mid-2018. 2028-29 Sept 2016

2013

(casks) medium red colour. It is unwise to present a sample like this. Slightly sweaty red fruit nose. Fruit appears cooked and extracted. Oxidised, bruised apple notes. Finish is tough, chewy and dry. The portents are not good - especially when you see the alcohol. 16.5°. From 2017. 2025-26 JL Oct 2014

2012

(casks, bottling Jan 2014) quite a dark red, wee purple. Blackberry liqueur, cassis de Dijon, strong blackcurrant first air – hence is gives sweetness, an obvious ripeness, with notes of tobacco. The palate is charged up, kirsch in the main taste. This is another Production Line Prestige wine. It gives the sense of performance in the cellar, the finish extracted, the tannins out on their own. Requires patience to have fun with this, but even then, there is the query about extraction in it. The aftertaste is rasping now. 16.5° - who wants to drink this knock-out drop? Pas moi. 50% destemmed. From 2017. 2025-26  Nov 2013

2011 ()

steady red colour; attractive, slightly oily, blackberry aroma with a sense of power, a certain degree inside the bouquet. This is lusty, rather high octane wine: its alcohol is on the limit, and therefore it has a real glowing, hot soils base, even eau de vie instincts. Alcohol upsets its balance at present. Try from 2016, and hope it grows together. The fruit is pure, but there are questions to answer. 15.5°. 2024-25  Dec 2012