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The Wines

30-75% Grenache, 10-30% Syrah, 5-30% Mourvèdre, 0-10% Clairette rose from brown soils, with galet stones & sand, destemmed, 3 week vinification 80% in concrete vat, 20% in steel vat, cap punching, pumping overs, 60-100% steel vat, 0-40% used 228-litre oak cask raised 16-18 months (up from 7 months early 2010s), oxygen added for ease of drinking, organic wine, 12-45,000 b

2019 ()

magnum: sound red robe. The nose is attractively fruited, leads on red stone fruits, with hints of dried herbs, is still coming together. The palate gives plum fruits with a suave, quietly sturdy togetherness, the tannins well rounded towards the finish. It’s a magnum, and just bottled, but drinks exactly how one wants for the wedding of my daughter Marina – it gives enough body to be serious and enough youth to flow well, asking no questions. 2033-35 Sept 2020

2016 ()

(vat) matt hued, quite dark red robe. Sweet raspberry and violets produce a different bouquet to the many this year; there’s a touch of lead pencil, too. It has a tender nature on the surface, but is surely filled. The palate picks up the floral theme, bears quietly stylish content that is a little brief in display. It finishes on kirsch, red fruit notes, with toffee from the oak; the eau de vie sense is a slight disturbance. I am not sure about its balance vis-à-vis its degree. 15.2°. 45,000 b. 30% Gren, 30% Syr, 30% Mourv, 10% Clairette rose. 100% steel vat raising. €24. From mid-2019. 2028-29 Oct 2017

2015

(vat/casks) rather a thick dark plum colour. Prune and soaked blackberry fruits lead the bouquet, which has an overhang of very ripe fruit, later harvesting – a muskiness from that. The palate bears a coated, rather plush, perfumed content, derived from the strong ripeness of the crop. As such, it’s a bit ponderous, and headed toward sipping rather than drinking. There are spice nudges within. It could have more vivacity, needless to say. From mid-2018. 2026-27 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(vat/casks) dark red. Blackberry fruit in a supple, sweet bouquet, is neatly presented, and focused, with smoke and licorice undertones, and some southern weight. The palate bears an inky ball of black berry, scented fruit, a note of black olive tapenade, and is appealing. This doesn’t need long to be well tuned – from spring 2017. Good restaurant, free drinking wine. What you see is what you get in this open wine. 14°. 12,000 b. €23. 2024-25  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

dark robe. The nose is lifted spicy, shows raspberry fruit. It is the same on the palate, which is hugely fragrant and perfumed. Perhaps a high percentage of Syrah? Has a light fruit texture. The tannins are rather chewy and drying on the finish. It is a bit disjointed – it gives upfront aromatics but the finish is edgy. 14°. From 2016. 2023-25 JL Oct 2014

2012

dark robe; prominent, broad air of black berry, cassis de Dijon, a sunny opening with traces of menthol violet, has a serious depth. The palate travels widely, comes with a deeply coated texture, the interior force strong and sustained. This is proper, full Châteauneuf with a vintage calmness. It finishes on ripe tannins, plenty of matter, doesn’t stop at all. It has power, a hum of alcohol, local features, gives lots of pleasure, a stoked-up blackberry fat fullness. It is long, obvious. 14°. From 2016. 12,000 b this year, 60% steel vat raising. 2024-26  Nov 2013

2011

modest red, light top. Cocoa, singed red fruit aromas – a nose that is advancing already. There is assertive red fruit, red cherry on the attack, with a hum of alcohol at its centre. Disjointed parts here for now. Robust late tannins feature. This is dot and carry wine, not collected. It has the alcohol, fat and loose connection profile of 2011. Work to do to integrate. From 2015. 14°. 2023-24  Dec 2012

2010 ()

fair depth of red. Smoky, rather meaty nose that holds plum fruit with a baked notion present. The palate has prominent acidity on the attack – this is a wine that lacks true gras and structure, is a plain do, uninspiring Châteauneuf. There is pepper on its fringes on the finish. The nose lacks clarity, the palate is short on genuine depth, is light, even if the second half is more smooth than the attack. I cannot recommend this. Swift bottling – June 2011; €22 at the cellars. 2018-19 Dec 2011

2009 ()

steady red robe; reductive but curvaceous nose – the reduction muddies it, but has herb, laurel airs with the fruit. This is a piano wine, the fruit gummy, the debut rather flat, lacks lift. It is evolving rapidly, has Grenache at its centre. The finish is juicy enough, the aftertaste is cherry. Limited scope. Drink now to 2016 for the best of its fruit. 14°. Sept 2011

2007 ()

level red robe; has a snappy, spicy nose – polished leather here, and reserves that will allow variety in the future. Red plum fruit with a click of freshness in it – a wine that ends almost saltily and in an upright pose. Not near to being finished. From 2010. 2018-19 Nov 2008