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The Wines

70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault from galet stone sandy soils , destemmed, 2-3 day cooling pre-fermentation at 17-18°C, 21-30 day vinification at 25°C, pumping overs, cap punching, part vat emptying/refillings until 1030 density, aged large 25-45 hl barrels & 600-litre oak casks 12 months, unfined, filtered, 19-23,000 b

2018 ()

mild red robe, Grenache to the fore, a gentle clarity at the top. The bouquet is just starting to emerge, centres on raspberry, red berry fruit with a note of laurel and sweet herbs, minerality, has an airborne over grounded dimension. The palate drinks discreetly, with a thread of Châteauneuf finesse, is nicely unhurried and natural. There are floral, dried flowers undertones and a knot of late, slightly chewy tannin in a spiced finish. Its juice is free and serves it well, before the more knuckled close. It’s authentic, and will pair well with a leg of lamb, North African dishes, tajine. 14.5°. 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault. From 2022. 2034-36 July 2020 Previously Oct 2019 ***(*) (barrel/casks) dark red robe; the bouquet has an oily quality, black berry fruits, black olives, laurel at its heart. There’s a note of chicken stock, a hint of “high”. The palate engages well, gives a butty collection of red fruits with munchy tannins that add a layer or two late on. It’s close to the ground in depth, with the finish in need of time to blend in. From 2023. 2041-43 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(barrel/casks) shiny dark red. The nose expresses mulled red berry fruits with a note of sizzled bacon, a hint of baking. The palate holds comfortable red-berry fruited matter with squeezy tannins curving on the finish. Nice hands-off winemaking here. There is a thread of dry spine through it, the vintage effect, and that develops on the close, which is a bit parched for now. This can develop. From 2022. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(large barrel) dark red robe, lighter top. The nose is marked by sweet red fruits, plums and a discreet note of strawberry, glistens with youth, isn’t yet varied. The palate gives a steady run of Grenache-inspired red fruits with supple, bendy tannins inside. It ends roundly, on a beef stock note, with some lip-smack. It’s not especially fresh. This is a Solid Operator, for now more one-dimensional than many. Leave until 2021, by when it will be showing more variety and spark. 2036-39 Oct 2017


(large barrel) shiny dark red. Has an agile, typical 2014 bouquet led by cassis fruit of some intensity, with a hum of sweet appeal. The palate bears stylish fruit that rolls along well, a set of neat tannins attached. Streamlined Châteauneuf with a little southern fire in its belly, as per the crunch in the tannins on the close. It goes about expressing its place and its strength by stealth. 14°. 23,000 b. €18. Good Value. From mid-2018, has cards up its sleeve. 2030-32 Oct 2015 


(large barrel, bottling soon) full red robe; this has a bouquet of some volume – it is a Hanging Garden of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, has a liberal coating of ripe fruit, a plump centre as well as a grounded earthiness and roasting. The palate continues well, and is more free flow than the nose might suggest. The texture is smooth, with red stone fruit lapping away, offering gummy appeal. There is a gentle increase in depth on the finish, a smudge of tannin and wee late heat there. The fruit runs directly in a pretty harmonious wine, a well made and genuine one. Nice and full. Bang on classic level Châteauneuf. 15°. 20,000 b. €17, VALUE. 2026-29  Nov 2013


(barrel, bottling Feb 2013) dark red. Meaty, earthy nose whose fruit is closed off, but gives traces of blackberry liqueur, licorice and resin. Smoke and thyme also circulate. The palate holds tangy black berry fruit, the texture pretty suave. It flows OK, ends on grainy tannins which have a licorice flavour. It rolls along until the finish, which is a bit pinched. From mid-2014. 15°. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(barrel) even red, plum colour; low level sweetness on the nose; its red fruit has a thyme, warm stones aroma attached. The palate starts cautiously: its flinty nature is vintage-typical. It shifts along the palate, without a truly fixed centre of focus, and I wonder if the crop could have been riper at harvest time. Its shape is pointed for now. From late 2013, for a bit more matter. 2025-27 Dec 2011

2008 ()

pale red; sweet first hit on the nose – baked red fruit, stuffing in it, is quite broad. The palate is not coherent – has a rather pointed debut, while it drifts in mid-palate, ends with a fuzzy flavour. Uneven now – the parts need to fuse. A little gras here is encouraging. Lacks real depth, I fear. From late 2011. 2017-18 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 Syrah/Cinsault sample, sugars, malo completed already: bright red, purple touches; reductive, quite lateral travelling aroma. The palate is comfortable, airy, the fruit a little over mid-weight – it runs along in a rather tasty way, no bumps. Herbal aftertaste. Malo in oak. 13.8°. 31 hl/ha this year, not bad. 26 Nov 2008


steady red; the nose has hit a brooding moment, is a complex mix of fruits, prune, smoke, mineral – is pebbly, has local inspiration. Good snap of fruit on the attack – this is good and genuinely local. Has a firm run of late fruit – it has moved closer to 2005, I think, shows a bit of late alcohol. The length is steady. A good and full wine that runs well. “Fresh, elegant,” F. Boutin. 15°. €13. Bottled 14 April 2009. 2022-24 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 ***(*) (cask) dark traces in the red robe; the bouquet is filled up, has a lateral direction. The black fruits have a smooth air, but there is an earthy snap to them, and a hint of damp leaves. The palate proceeds broadly and is pretty rich – the interior is solid. There are black fruits at its heart, with some chocolate or coffee on the aftertaste. Late power is faithful to its place. From late 2010. 2020-22 Nov 2008


plum red with legs down the glass; the nose is open, with a mix of fruits to the fore – mulberry, ripe red jam aromas, juicy black fruits: it is supple and accessible, with floral-herbal enticement. The palate has a mix of ripe fruit with overripe notions about it, and a line of tannin that delivers late grip. Honest wine that is a touch plain, but is local. It ends on some tar-raisin and caramel, a solid finale. From late 2009. Bottled Feb 2008. “It is flattering, but not quite deeply founded,” F.Boutin. 15.4°. €13. 2016-18 Nov 2008


red plum, with cherry touches in the colour; the bouquet has the “dark side” of the vintage – an intense focus, with black fruits, prune that comes with a garrigue presence and ripe raspberry helping it to lift. The palate is good: its tannin and ripe fruit go well together, it is balanced, and proceeds calmly. A wine of traditional virtues, STGT. Good freshness. From late 2010. “The nose has closed a little, but in 1 year it will start to be drinking well,” F.Boutin. 15.4°. 2023-25 Nov 2008


mottled plum red; the nose is measured – there is some raisin, mocha, ground coffee, chocolate – away from overt fruit: it is reserved, shows a slight advance. The palate starts in a supple way, shows a willing texture that develops tannic grip after half way. The tannins stick out a bit. A wine of sinew, not a straightforward do. It is punchy at the end, and needs hearty food. The nose should be varied by mid-2009. For now, it ends rather suddenly, is austere. Was more on song last time. 14.8°. €14. 2015-16 Nov 2008 Previously Oct 2006 ***(*) quite a full robe; locked away aroma – the potential is there for a wide show from 2009 onwards. Now it’s minted with brewed tea and a little sweet side. Palate starts prettily – has a clear black fruits, prune flavour laced with some Asian spice. Well-woven wine with character. OK to drink from 2008 on. A bonny wine with good balance, and a slow developer. 2017-19 Oct 2006

2001 ()

gentle, slightly spiced bouquet that is sympa, stylish. The palate holds appealing content, has gras, the attack suave. It becomes more tarry at the finish. Fundamental, grounded notes here. 2019-21 March 2003