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The Wines

100% Syrah (mid-1980s) from loose red gravel soils (grès), a little clay on Cabrières Nord (N-W), 80% destemmed, 25 day steel vat vinification at 25°-28°C, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 2-year ex-white wine 228-litre oak casks 20-22 months, first wine 2015, 600-1,000 b

2019 ()

(cask, sugars finished, malo not) dark colour; there’s depth of fruit on the nose, black fruits, mulled blackberries, prune fruit, the sun in them. The palate holds comfy gras, layered fruits, ripe tannins, fair control on the finish. It gives a lot of nourishment, is knife and fork wine, not heady, just very rich. Sip this. It’s 16.5° to 17°. 20-22 years Oct 2019

2018 ()

(cask) dark red; there are trails of blackberry lozenges on the bouquet’s fruit, cassis leaf. The palate has a flavour of prune fruit, a gourmand style, almost plush, gummy max tannins. There is tar, licorice on the close. I would prefer more definition. I’m not sure about the ID of its place showing. Oak shows towards the rather dry for now finish. From 2023. 2038-40 Oct 2019

2016 ()

medium red robe. The nose shows strong oak, charcoal, which masks some actually quite bright cassis-blackberry fruit within. The palate is a little grilled, has a trim ball of richness, the oak right around it, though, a distraction, on the outside. I find the sweet oak drying overall, so it has to soften over considerable time, while the wine’s gras starts to amplify, then diminish. The parts are not in balance here, and it’s atypical. 14.5°. 2029-30 Mar 2018

2015 ()

(casks, bottling Oct 2017) inky, dark robe, plenty of legs. The nose is a big bundle of black fruit with overtly smoked oak, cassis and black coffee, black olives. This isn’t like a Grenache-founded wine. The palate is broad, definitely muscular, a Large Scale Production, nowhere to hide from it. There is swish-swash of black cherry fruit along the way, a note of violets, perhaps from Syrah (tasted blind). Its cellar exertions remain with it firmly for now, so it needs leaving until even 2021. Is it really Châteauneuf like this? Hmm, not sure. 14.8°. 100% Syrah. 900 b. 2031-33 Sept 2016