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The Wines

mainly from Les Pialons (Pied Long (N) & La Crau (E), 60-65% Grenache (1950s-1960s), 10-15% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, 15-25% mixed varieties inc Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Cinsault, Counoise, 90% destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, part vat emptying/refilling, then small pumping overs, aged 40-60 hl barrels 12-16 months with concrete vat, total 22-24 months, unfined, unfiltered, several bottlings, 50-75,000 b

2015

(has been in large barrel two months, bottling in 18 months) red robe. There is a silky note to the nose, a hum of pepper, raspberry and plum fruit. The palate gives lithe, tight content with some bold tannins on cue – they have a firm stance. It darkens on the finish, is peppy there. There is good structure for the future. The close is a shade demanding. It’s in a raw shape for now. From 2019. 2031-33 Sept 2016

2014

(vat) red robe. There is burnished intensity in a plum-fruited bouquet with a central spike of that fruit, and a murmur of flowers. This is light, gliding, with easy, open red fruits and a smooth take. There is a late pocket of grainy tannin. This isn’t copious, but is fine, the finale round. Nice easy drinking. 14°. 2023-24 Sept 2016

2013

this was the first lot bottled, April 2016: red robe. Mild blackberry shows on the nose, with a hunky note, possible Brett, animal influences. The palate gives a dry course of plum fruit, and struggles to be bright. The finish is dry, pucker. I am not sure about this. 2024-25 Sept 2016

2012

red robe. The nose is developing well, is very typical 2012, has an aroma of shiny fruit and an open nature, raspberry, latent spice. The palate is enjoyable, links well to the nose, comes with soft red stone fruits, notes of mocha and cocoa late on. This gives charming, good drinking. The close is spiced, but has a bit of dryness, so beware of that. Drink with lamb cutlets, steaks. “I like 2012 - the wines didn’t have enormous potential, but are balanced and pleasant now,” Jean-François Méry. 2024-25 Sept 2016

2011

(barrels) sound red. Has a jolly, wavy red fruit aroma whose extra depth is provided by bacon, and brioche, baked bread, and above all raspberry. It has local, mixed outcrop airs. The palate is smoothly fruited, has a redcurrant flavour, nice and loose. There is a small pocket of tannin at the end: a neat package wine. The aftertaste is juicy, bears loganberry and mulberry, and has an agreeable crisp and flinty moment as well. An accurate Châteauneuf-du-Pape. For now there are some reduction notes, so be ready to decant. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2009

(barrels) red-plum colour; modest, quiet nose – has fine graphite-wire airs, a bit of a poised spring ready to come out in 18 months, also red fruits and cherry. Discreet Grenache plum on the start of the palate, stone red fruits, has quite free tannins and nerve in it – not as opulent as some 2009s. There is a late bout of sweetness. A touch plain, commercial. From 2012. 2019-21 Oct 2010

2008

mottled red robe, pale top. Wide, busty, aspirational nose – baked stones, a sense of forcing in the cellar. There are cooked, baked notes on the palate, which lacks a tender moment. It ends on power, a heat that its grainy content does not justify. The fruit departs early, the finale is burnt. Well – what can one say? It is already bottled, so some forgiveness on that front. 2017 or so. Dec 2009

2007 ()

(barrel) full red robe; subdued, slightly herbal red fruits and ripe plum aroma. The palate leads off with friendly red fruit; there is a quiet sprinkle of tannin within, which comes through towards the finish. The aftertaste has a gummy fruit texture and some heat. Easy natured, supple wine that is a wee bit simple. 2016-18 Nov 2008

2006 ()

1st bottle sample not right, sweaty. Bottle 2: black cherry mixed into a full red robe; understated black fruit aroma, black berries here, with possible harmony in the future. The palate black fruits come in an orderly manner, and have a little mineral in them. It runs on well, but there is no great scope in this wine. It is agreeable enough for early drinking, but lacks panorama. The length is fair. 2017-18 Nov 2007

2005

three-quarter depth plum red, Grenache at the helm. Snappy, slightly high tone red fruit aroma with sweet herbs attached. The palate has a welcoming grace, bearing plump red fruit in an agreeable way. It runs consistently along, and is a good, honest, low-profile Châteauneuf that shows the place's inherent generosity. The fruit tapers a tiny bit late on, leading to a somewhat spirity note. 2016-17 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** quite a dark, bonny robe; nicely ample bouquet – reveals brewed, peppery fruit, a little late rigour, is herbal and broad. Warm, round start to palate until the entry of tannins at half-way. Decent structure by design here, with the oak evident. The fruit is ripe, and there are black olives on the aftertaste. Length is OK, this can run. From 2009. 2018-21 Nov 2006

2004

fair red colour; mixed bag in the bouquet – toffee, red fruit, hints of raisin, and mulled berries – is a touch fundamental and just a little narrow. The palate is open now, and shows a certain tannic wire running through the red fruit flavour. Is quite broad as it finishes, where there is some tannin and pepper. Not that profound, but offers solid, regular quality, without brio. The red fruit has a sharp point, and continues well enough. 2016-18. This is much more in keeping with the first of this wine`s three tastings in Feb 2006, before bottling. Nov 2007 Previously Oct 2006 *(*) mild red with some dark tones in the colour. Simple black fruit with a floral aspect and is also marked by high tone on the nose. Straightforward, not especially thorough wine, is a wee bit stretched, and lacks true stuffing on the mid-palate. Some herbal touches in the flavour. Its alcohol – 14° on the label – is an issue, given that it appears to need more flesh. I would like to review this later – it does not tally with the pre-bottle tasting. Oct 2006, London Previously Feb 2006 (one month before bottling) *** smoky, leathery aroma, hints of the herbal plains. Well-filled attack with a good core, the fruit tinted with violets. Classic, understated style. Length, balance both good. Can broaden - its fruit is quietly persistent. Benchmark Châteauneuf-du-Pape red. Just one wine made - that means it has more stuffing then the `classic` wines from domaines making Prestige wines. February 2006

1998 ()

ruby tints. Full bouquet - damp air to it, tea, caramel, a great collection of suspects here. Rich, sweet, damp fruit palate - prune, tea, leather. Very much in the vintage style, lovely depth to it. Has gone past the first jam stage, is now towards plum, cinnamon towards the aftertaste. STGT - great local feel and truth. Well-sustained through the palate, perfect wine for game. Open 2 hours when drunk. 2017-19 Copenhagen, May 2006

1995 ()

quite dark; there is a notion of plum on the nose, which is agreeable, is backed by spice and heat. The attack is rather fine, before its tannins push through and set up a chewy intensity. Pretty decent wine, decent balance. Has fine bone in it, which suggests the northern zone (tasted blind), and in a way is rather a benchmark Châteauneuf. 2011-14 Oct 1996

1994

quite a dark plum robe. The nose is skewed towards some evolution as if the crop was extremely ripe when picked, mixes prune and mineral, is already marching on. The attack is quite full, still in an early phase, could be more clearly defined. Balance is debatable. The question is whether it has enough matter to handle the tannins and all come together. Longish life possible. 13.5°. 2008-10 Oct 1996