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The Wines

80-90% Grenache (oldest 1920s, 1930s), 10-20% Syrah (1983, 2007-08, rising to regular 20% over time), 5% Mourvèdre, Cinsault (1981), Counoise, Clairette rose, whole bunch fermentation, no yeasting, 24-28 day vinification, twice daily pumping overs only for 8 days, max temp 27-28°C, aged large 45-50 hl barrels 12-24 can be 36 months, 4-5 bottlings of 6-12,000 b at a time, unfined, unfiltered, 25-50,000 b, 2,500 magnums

2016

(vat, Grenache with a bit of Syrah, a bit of Cinsault) at least ****: quite a dark red robe. Very aromatic, floral-plum nose, curvy appeal. The palate has inner strength, comes with sustained red fruits, is really long, has good heart. There is a dash of raspberry. This is generous, well balanced, very promising. 14.3°. “It’s more perfumed than rich (gras), with good small tannins,” André Brus. 2036-39 Oct 2016

2015

(50 hl large barrel) dark red. There is grunt factor in the nose, a dark swoop of black berry fruit; it’s tightly sealed together. Reduction and an aroma of thick blackberry coulis also show. This is beau, savoury, honest. It is good, grass roots Châteauneuf with a heart of rich, firm matter. The tannins aren’t refined, but are nicely chewy. There is the flavour of prune on the palate, with some gritty, grain from half way. Decant this. 14°. From 2020. 2029-32 Oct 2016

2014 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED, ALL SOLD IN BULK TO MERCHANTS

2013 ()

½ bottle: red robe, clear top. The nose leads on airs of sweet cooked plums, spice notably; this is a genuine, garrigue, herbs and dusty lands bouquet. The palate asserts right away on stone fruits inner intensity. This is good, authentic, traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape with some fire in its veins. I imagine it’s starting to ease, especially on its tannins. I would drink it now until 2022 foe the rugged local expression, with game or red meats. 14°. 2026-27 Oct 2016

2012 ()

½ bottle: plum red robe, lightening at the top. Sweet plums, berries feature in an evolving nose, with pockets of damp vegetation, cooked strawberries, flowers. The palate also revolves around sweet red fruits, a ripe coating of them, with spice, waxy trails. The tannins are munchable, just easing now. This is genuine, traditional, extends on compact, butty content. From mid-2017. 14.°5. 2027-28 Oct 2016 Previously Dec 2012 ***(*) (large barrel, bottling Jan 2014) steady red colour. An air if red fruit jam runs across the glass, with a small note of toffee and also prune, soaked cherries. It is unfinished as yet, and will take on more snap. The palate starts on a juicy, pretty free run fruit that is spiced, and delivers bite late on, a final charge of extra matter. The aftertaste bears licorice, is chewy. It has the nerve of Syrah (20-25% this year, high), drinks well potentially, is a clear-cut Châteauneuf, distant from the hot year wines of recent times. 14°. “I fermented this at 22-24°C this year to avoid a big extraction,” Régis Barrot. 2026-28  Oct 2013  Previously Dec 2012 ***(*) (sugars, malo completed, 67% of the final wine, 60% Gren, 30% Syr, 10% Cinsault) subdued red. Has a sparky red fruit air that is fresh, has floral touches, the spice of Cinsault, white pepper – the nose is less intense due to the 60% Gren than usual here. The palate has a spiced roll of fluid, discreet red fruit, is heading for good drinking. It is easy to drink even now, supple, with grainy, quite crisp tannins. Not a big wine. It seems likely to be less long-lived than 2011. The aftertaste is floral, aromatic, based on strawberry fruit. “I think it will be superior to 2011 on the level of depth – it is more fine but more round and complex, has a lot less alcohol,” Régis Barrot. 12-14 years. Dec 2012

2011 ()

quite dark plum red colour. The bouquet has a “strong” debut – it breathes deep southern origins, is comprehensive, and shows date, North African style airs. The palate is overtly spiced, takes on gras, cedar – pine, spice darkness, perhaps from the two final weeks at low temperature. Has a lot of traditional Châteauneuf character, and would be popular in Britain. Its tannins are still a shade imposing, a bit dry. Its cocoa-pine influences are strong, and it is very spiced. Modernists wouldn’t like its tannins – they are too robust and downhome. 15°. From 2015. “”I left it in the vat for 30 days – 2012 was 24 days – since the crop was in an excellent state, and therefore I could allow it a maximum extraction. In the last two weeks, I didn’t touch it, so it could find its way,” Régis Barrot. 2025-27  Oct 2013 Previously Dec 2012  *** (large 50 hl barrel, assembled, 88 Gren, 10 Syr, 2 Cinsault, Counoise, Clairette rose, first bottling will be Jan 2013) pale, fine red. Smoky, bosky air that offers pine, woods, vanilla and smoky, spiced Grenache plum fruit – a very spicy first impression. The palate gives traditional spicing and thrust with tannins that are a shade brittle. This is spiced, up-front wine, very open. Doesn’t have any really great depth, is fresh and a little strict. Coming back to it after the 2009 and 2007, both big wines, it does well, though – shows plum fruit pretty well, so passes that test. It can find its rhythm – waiting will integrate and round it. Marks for honesty – it summons an image of pine tree-lined vineyards. 15°. “This gives more an impression of alcohol than 2010,” Régis Barrot. 25,000 b this year. 2022-24  Dec 2012

2010

a belle, full robe here. The nose is wide, deep, has a lot of potential, is sophisticated alongside the 2011. A mixed bag of cocoa, sleek fruit, dark berries are served, with lots of life and lift in them. The palate is wholesome, lots to taste, a lot of content, a real explosion. It gives a very good strike of dark fruit, that lingers and leaves a trail of eucalyptus, menthol and coffee which is clear. Extreme length here; it is STGT, has a true Châteauneuf nose, well varied. It runs well on the finish, its tannins still gripping well. A great outdoor ride on a half-tamed horse. Very expressive, very good toothsome qualities. 15°. “It is complete, more broad and ample than 2011. At first I didn’t see a Grand Vintage, but now I am agreeably surprised,” Régis Barrot. 2030-32  Oct 2013  Previously Dec 2012 ****(*) good plum-coloured robe. Smoky bacon, implicitly sweet aroma of blackberry compote, prune – a rich air, is deep. There is an additional air of raspberry liqueur and spicing, earthy and leathery notes. The palate shows classic Châteauneuf gras richness, is all very smooth, and well-founded tannins fit in well, and provide good late support. This is based around mature, ripe Grenache, with a wee touch of singeing at the end. There is a rumble of spiced flavour across the palate. Faithful, traditional, STGT wine. It picks up fine acidity, and is fresh towards the finish. It persists, and has a very clear-cut finale. 15°. 90% Gren, 10% Syr this year. Bottled Sept 2012. “There is good balance between nose and palate,” Régis Barrot. 2030-32. Dec 2012

2009

plum coloured, quite thick robe. Has a sun-soaked aroma, fat and plumptious; there is plum fruit at its centre, smoked bacon with game touches, sweetness and touch of treacle. The palate connects well to the nose –it has a lovely fat and width, and rolls on a classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape richness and warmth. Redondo, rounded, full wine with good spicing, notes of fig and date, cocoa at the end. It holds a lot of tannin which is rich as well. Really enjoyable now for its ample features. The tannins on the finish are still grainy, so this can be left until spring 2014. “It is a very, very Grande Année, it is my chou-chou,” Régis Barrot. 80% Gren, 20% Syr this year, 30 hl/ha. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED IN BOTTLE – a vat sample was tasted before that decision: ** (vat, close to the final assembly, sugars fermented through, malo not yet done, 14°) red robe with a sound heart; aromatic, floral, gently packed aroma, with herbal sides to it. The palate holds direct, agile fruit – has an approachable style, and runs consecutively without great interior weight. It extends nicely, and shows wee late heat and a pepper aftertaste. Nothing overdone – they haven't stretched out the vinification to over extract. From 2012 or mid 2011. To 2019-20. “It has a lot of fruit, but may lack a little structure,” Régis Barrot. Due for bottling Jan 2009. Nov 2008

2007 ()

good red robe, largely unchanged. The nose is brewing up well, breathes southern ripeness, prune and spice box, cedar – this is good and typical, has traditional virtues. Deep, soaked fruits and flowers such as iris come forward in what is a great bouquet. The palate is robust, fully coated, goes widely, has few chinks in its texture, is sturdy. Has a roasted, running, complete finish. Game dishes a must. There are thick servings of cooked fruits, prune jam with coffee notes in the flavour. It isn’t going anywhere fast, is very stable wine. There is a lot in the glass. It surges along on scale – ripe, punchy notes are presented. 15°. “It will last easily another 10 years. This was raised three years in large barrel, the last bottling of all,” Régis Barrot. 2026-28  Oct 2013  Previously Dec 2012 **** sober plum coloured robe. Has a wide, brimming nose – cocoa, mocha, cooked plum with a hint of flowers, licorice. This is a textured, coated wine of earthy provenance. It holds deep-set cooked red fruits, has a spiced moment towards the finish. It works on texture to a large extent, with robust power on the late moments. There is a light note of breeze, clarity as it ends. Big Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is solid and persistent on the aftertaste. Going well now. 15°. Bottled spring 2011. This is the last bottling. “It is a very robust, big tannic year, one that made you gasp in the first two to three years. You can feel the power – there is a lot of matter in it,” Régis Barrot. 78% Gren, 19-20% Syr, 2-3% the rest. 2027-29  Dec 2012  Previously Nov 2008 **** (barrel, the final assembly wine) pretty full, dark robe; juicy blackberry aroma with good, sweet heart – it holds up well, is bright, not heavy and there is mystery in it, a good sign. The palate carries sweet-toned black fruit, and there is a really tasty burst of fruit from half way – this flourishes as it goes. The length is satisfactory, and there are pockets of late tannin that is ripe and comfortable – that little chewiness rounds it off well, and adds character. STGT wine. From 2010. 2022-24. “It is now starting to round itself – it was very powerful, but the barrel raising is rounding its tannins. It has good acidity, and will keep easily for 10 to 15 years, “ Régis Barrot. 15.2°. Nov 2008

2006 ()

dark plum colour; the aroma is open, an overt air of mocha here, with smoky blackberry behind, with charcoal, maybe leather – the drier side of matters, as opposed to the sweet showiness of 2007. The early palate texture is oily, delivers black fruits spiced at half way, then a more peppery, grippy finale. Broad, genuine wine that is robust but not excessively so. Has a tasty, quite juicy mid-palate. There is a pretty infusion between its herbs and plum flavours. OK to drink now. 2018-21. “I would give it 5 to 10 years more,” Régis Barrot. Nov 2008

2005

sober red robe, the top matt. Has a sweet spice-leather aroma – it is “dark”, intense – comes with brewed coffee and black chocolate airs, reflects this powerful vintage. The palate is solid and rich, with an immediate crisp note from its tannin thread. It runs along well and directly, culminating in a good, fresh finish. There is almost a limestone snap on the aftertaste. There seems to be a wee menthol presence in this. It is not a texture wine – it has more tannin and solid drive through it than that would imply. It will become interesting and varied, notably between 2012 and 2015, for instance. From 2010. “It is a very grand vintage that was not easy to vinify – we had to work hard to cool the crop because it came at the time that my father fell ill,” Régis Barrot. 2021-23. Nov 2008

2003 ()

reserved, tight bouquet with non-fruit emphasis – more leathery, mineral, even tea in the air. Good black fruit with some energy on the palate – has a sound constitution that is settling down. Nice and gutsy wine, without excess heat. Good tannic bordering to it. Beau, with good length. Drinks fine now, can tick along to 2015. Rather STGT in nature. June 2006

2001 ()

has a pretty, considered red robe; the bouquet is rounded, with some game in its undertow, and notes of spice, mineral, pepper, mint. The palate has immediate impact with a nobility of texture, a complex set of flavours and good, fresh length. The black fruit is laced with a tar tone, and the finish is certainly fresh. This (served blind) is not from one of the hot vintages. The air does not serve it well – it becomes dry and very peppery, ending a little bit tough. 2018-20 Dec 2007, Copenhagen

1994

quite a dark robe, legs down the glass. The nose is broad, reflects cooked fruits, power, some alcohol. The palate is fairly full, has dark flavours, pretty good weight. Its tannic surround asserts from mid-palate on, leading to a really chewy ending. This lasts well, has a a warm finish. Decent quality wine, can age well. It is still upright, maybe a bit firm. Needs time to soften, is a hot, cooked, very traditional wine. 13.5°. 2013-16 Oct 1996

1981

has a gentle Oxford Marmalade (Frank Coopers) robe, with a dark core; The aroma is rich – damp soil, fruit pastilles, cough syrup, maybe truffles. The palate has a lovely depart – it is really dense and as one; it has held together its richness better than my great 1981 yardstick, the Beaucastel, but then it contains more Grenache. There are fungal, savoury flavours late on – the richness is excellent. Floral, violet and plum notes on the palate. A real beauty. Ends wonderfully clearly, with just a little raisin and chocolate on the aftertaste. Only 13.8° - before the Warm Up. This shows the tender nature of Châteauneuf – a wine that provides access to the past. “It is 99% Grenache, maybe some Mourvèdre here and there; it was raised a minimum of 2 years in large barrel, but this bottle received at least 3 years in barrel, and was lightly filtered. We started to replant in 1983, so this has old vines with a minimum of 70 years of age in it,” Régis Barrot. Nov 2008