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The Wines

50-70% Grenache (1940s-1950s), 20-35% Syrah (2002), 10-15% Mourvèdre (1950s) from sandy, galet stone soils on La Crau (E), Les Cassanets (N-E), mostly destemmed, crushed, 4-6 week steel vat vinification at 26-28°C, twice daily pumping overs, one part vat emptying/refilling a week, cap punching, aged steel vat 14 months (has been aged used 225-litre oak casks 10 months, before 2011 aged large 50-60 hl barrel 6-8 months), fined, filtered, 2-5,000 b

2017 ()

(casks, concrete vat, bottling Nov 2018) full, dark red; has an ample bouquet, a little note of baking, is reserved, holds a thick couch of tight sealed black berry fruit. The palate is rich and rolling, with strength in the second half, from the ground upwards. There are notes of soaked cherries, cherry stone as it closes. There are savoury pockets in what is a big wine. Decant it. 15.5°. 4,500 b. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv. €26. From 2022. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat, bottling June 2018) clear purple-red robe. The nose has an oak-toffee, sweet element above its trim raspberry fruit. It’s a lucid start, not very varied. The palate presents clear red fruits, cherries and raspberries, with an ease of access that is commendable. It has a charming purity. The aftertaste is neat, refined, a little gummy for now. This doesn’t reach for the stars, so isn’t an excess 2016. It will drink clearly and well with roast meats, duck breast. 14.5°. 4,500 b. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv. €24. From 2020. 2033-37 Oct 2017

2015 ()

full dark red colour. The nose is young, has a raw, ex-vat display of crushed red berry fruits, with a brisk, fresh side to it. There is latent pepper and a glimmer of neat raspberry for the future. The palate centres on smoky black fruits with chiselled tannins and their chalkiness. The gras is fluid, but the outside needs time to settle in and soften. The aftertaste is a bit hot. It’s a little low on brio, a touch disjointed. 14.5°. From mid-2019. 2029-32 Sept 2016

2013 ()

(barrel) solid purple robe. The nose is ripe and full, gives a definite cherry air. This is supple and nuanced on the palate, holds a lovely volume of fruit. Caressing tannins follow through into a firm but fine, fresh finish. Not big but elegant, harmonious and pure. From 2016. 2025-26 JL Oct 2014

2012

(casks) steady, quite full red. The bouquet is alert, a busy red cherry and cassis with a note of baking, along with a black raisin depth: it is a bit simple. This is a wine for early drinking, is a freely fruited, free wheeling, uncomplicated Châteauneuf, with a fresh finish based around licorice and black cherry fruit. It gets a helpful kick from spicy, non-Grenache contributors. Grain and light dust appear on the exit. From late 2014. 60% Gren, 25% Syr, 15% Mourv. 2,000 b, €20, 15°. Bottled Sept 2013. 2019-20 Nov 2013

2011 ()

(barrel) sound red plum colour; has a soft, oily aroma, with herbal spice in the red fruit pastille plus licorice and a flinty cut. Attractive, floral and scented debut to the palate – this shows the finesse of Châteauneuf and a charm that evident straight away. It then moves into more restrained, drier zones, leading to a smoky, ash – cendré – finale that implies a wee dryness. Authentic wine with the promise to show attractively, is a natural wine. “We only made 4,000 b this year, and did no rack and return (part vat emptying/refilling), also a minimum of crush,” J Masquin. 2022-23 Feb 2012

2010 ()

Bottle 1: yeasty, grilled nose, dry finish, lacks lift. Bottle 2: full, dark robe; the nose is more comfortable than that on the Mémora CdPape – it shows black fruit with a close surround of polished leather, dark soil and a nicely mysterious note of flowers. There is plenty in the attack, a really good debut, rolling fruit and matter. It picks up live tannins that are fresh and drive it along. Has a good Courthézon, local feel – the power but also the elegance of the sand. Good length, with licorice and dark tea on the aftertaste. Has character, and you can tell this is a hand made wine. From 2014. 2023-25 Feb 2012

2009

sober plum robe; interesting variety on the nose – coffee, prune, date – it is well sustained, and has a good, rather mysterious depth. The palate starts well-textured, has the intensity of 2009, attacks well and that carries it to the line. It hasn`t yet developed its own end of palate character. Grips well, runs steadily. A true Courthézon wine, with its mix of elegance and stuffing, almost power . . Licorice and black raisin feature on the exit, the aftertaste is firm. From spring 2013. 15°. 2022-23 Feb 2012 Previously Oct 2010 *** bottled already: rather dark red; muddled, not clear bouquet – a post bottling effect, I suspect – it shows young wine in vat airs, bacon, soaked fruits – so decant this. Rather brisk black fruit on the palate – this is less sweet than many 2009s. It ends on a chocolate, light tar and oak combo, the texture pebbly there. Difficult to judge truly since it is so close to its bottling. I find it rather clumsy, also has to round out its finish. From late 2012. 2018-20 Oct 2010