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The Wines

90-100% Grenache (inc 1930s), 0-7% Syrah, 0-5% Cinsaultfrom sandy soils on Maucoil, 80% destemmed, 20-28 day steel vat vinification at 25°C, pumping overs, aged 50-100% used oak casks, 0-50% concrete vat 18 months (from 2009 down from 36 months in large barrel), “drink with game, meat, cheese”, 2-5,000 b

2016 ()

handsome dark red robe. A stream of black cherries, crushed and soaked, comes from the bouquet, with ripe, southern notes such as black olives. It’s very primary, and has some welcome lift. The palate moves with a smooth, very consistent flow of cherry fruit, delivers tasty, munchable tannins and ends on fine powder texture, a little crispness. This is natural, well crafted Châteauneuf, with the gourmand qualities of the vintage. The balance is good, too. It gives a lovely drink. 15°. From late 2019. 2035-37 Mar 2018

2015 ()

dark red robe. The bouquet has a traditional Châteauneuf nature, leads on cooked plums, a robust darkness, some meatiness, has an inner sweetness from its warm lands, a near sticky fatness. There’s a hint of menthol to lift it, which is welcome. The palate is brewed, dark, destined for autumn/winter drinking and steaming game dishes: it’s fully laden with prune, black stone fruit flavours, and plenty of thick tannins. It’s a bit of a wild boar itself. The finish is full, charged. 15°. 2,000 b. 100% Gren. €45 at the cellars, US$65. Bottled Oct 2017. 2030-32 Mar 2018 Previously Sept 2016 ***(*) (casks/vat) complete, dark robe. The nose has a ripe, black raisin nature, has the raw vigour of youth. There are notes of red meat, beef stock, southern ripeness. The palate bears surging black fruit with overt saltiness, has gusto and charge, catches the attention. The fruit is clear, well struck. It is very ripe, but long wine. Its ripeness may find it out in the long run, failing to preserve as result. 15°. From mid-2019, say. 2030-32 Sept 2016

2014

dark red, full colour. The bouquet is large, has a dense aroma of cooked black fruits, implicit sweetness, a sense of tobacco. The palate offers pine, cedar flashes with its soaked red fruits, has the smooth, wavy texture of Châteauneuf, with a local, genuine feel, in the traditional vein it is. The finish is rounded. There’s plenty of wine in the glass, even if it’s a little top heavy in terms of degree. 15°. 2025-26 Mar 2018

2012

(vat/casks) 100% Gren this year: dark plum red robe. Soaked red fruits such as plums and mulberry on the nose, airs of rosemary off the garrigue and also a more fundamental, damp woods angle. The palate offers open abundance – it rolls off the start line with a gush of red berry liqueur fruit, has the oiliness derived from the ripe state of the harvest. It is rather flashy, has a pumped up sense to it. The tannins are searing towards the finish, travel far. Some disorder here, balance not primo. From 2016. 15.5°. 5,000 b. 2023-25  Nov 2013

2011

(vat/casks) dark red. Has a pretty big nose – shows tea, oxtail, oaked prunes in syrup, comes with a note of damp leaves, woods after rain. The palate has a chubby start, then gains grainy tannins. The fruit is ripe, on the limit, close to suppressing freshness. It lacks a little personality. 15°. 2025-26  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(vat/casks) complete, quite dark robe. Spiced, black leather, black fruit, black raisin aroma – it is prominent, provides a secure, comfortable base for the palate. The palate is marked by rich but mobile fruit, and picks up grainy, rather fresh tannins and smoky herbs. There is pepper on the tangy aftertaste, also prune. Good cohesion and future ahead of this. From 2014. 2027-29 Dec 2011

2007 ()

(barrel) bright, full red; the red fruits aroma is measured, with reserves as in more to come, but a silken caress for now. There is a sweet, plump, rather ripe nature to the plum fruit aroma. This is a fun wine of very silken flow. It carries mild red fruits – is a good, primary wine with a little late tannin and extra body after half way. It will provide easy drinking from an early stage, but now I discover its ID, I know it is subject to long barrel ageing. It has a likeable thread of energy, and if it is in good order after bottling, will be a w.o.w. wine. 2017-19 Nov 2008

2006 ()

2 bottles, 1st bottle seems to be tainted, scorched, drying, possible Brett. Bottle 2: darker robe than first bottle, a dark plum. The nose is wide, expresses mint ahead of a chocolate air, black raisin. This has a chunky, prune-fig flavour, and raw tannins that evoke growers going hunting and the olden days. It tends to dry towards the finish. Old France would like this traditional wine – it is full-hearted and technically flawed. 14°. 2019-20  Dec 2012 Previously Nov 2008 * handsome, black robe; has an oak, raw pistachio aroma – these influences dominate its latent black cherry fruit. The palate holds sleekly style fruit, but oak is running the show, so there is little else in town just now. I am not sure why it needs all this oak, since the content is gentle, round, unless it is because ONE WANTS TO IMPRESS. It is a mix and match wine, not borne of vineyard conviction. Its matter will for long be in thrall to its oak, which props up its length. From late 2010. 2017-18 Nov 2008

2005

dark robe, with a matt tone. Bouquet is tight, but latently full, with stone fruits and nicely fashioned oak. Sleekly drawn palate with a supple fruit start. Comes in the Superhighway style, safe n`modern. Black fruit in a restrained style, will be more expressive from mid-2008 on. From 2008 – needs that time to vary and to raise its interest level. Respectable, safely made wine. 2018-20 Nov 2006

2001

ruby-tile mix on robe; hickory smoke, herbal waft on the nose, with an under bite from a coffee air, also spiced plum and damp leaves – it is certainly on the move. The palate presents mature fruit at a harmonious stage, is supple in texture, tastes of red jam, and is tasty all through: the sweet Grenache invites drinking this solo, without food. There is a late shade of tannin to restrain the sweetness. A bonny wine that is singing gently, is very textured. This is a mature, wholesome moment to access the Grenache. Late heat is very authentic, too. 14°. 2011-12 Nov 2008

1999

ruby-orange top tint, the robe is full at its heart. Stewed meat, Bovril aroma that is fundamental, earthy, a Big Grenache style here, bosky also. Expressive herbal start to palate, is hearty and full, with plenty of core flavour. Again, there is a meaty filling with some red fruits. Nice width, a local feel, suggest a big barrel raising of 2 years or more. The end fruit is damson, some scented tea on the finish with soaked cherries. BUT – reverting to it after 1+ hours, the wine becomes closed and volatile, lacking in generosity. Drink straight after opening. I’d give it **** 4 stars if it were more stable. Issue maybe of quality of the barrels. November 2006