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The Wines

50-55% Grenache (1920s and older), 45-50% Syrah (1960) from Le Mourre de Gaud (N-E), L'Arnesque, destemmed, crop cooled at 10-12°C, 25-35 day vinification, manual cap punchings, pumping overs, aged new 225-litre oak casks 15-17 months, fined, filtered, 5,800-9,000 b

2018 ()

(new casks, bottling Apr 2020) dark, sustained robe; the nose engages well, has a liberal offering of black cherry fruit, notes of licorice, suggests the darkness of Syrah in the mix. It is clear, has a pinpoint centre, carries discreet oaking. The palate is stylish, elegant, offers rolling, nourishing gras richness, extends with a sure, polished hand. It avoids any excess or overdoing, is well balanced, and enjoyable, its freshness commendable. It holds excellent quality black fruit, rows of cassis on the trail. From 2024 to ensure that the oak isn’t too prominent. 14.5°. 5,000 b. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(casks, bottling April 2019)  bright, thrusting dark red, black-tinted robe. The nose offers soaked black cherries, griottes, in the driving seat, has a slight green apple, raw touch, to it, along with oak-pine. The palate is marked by oak right away, bears sound depth of content that carries with persistence, the finish extended. With time this will come together, the flavour savoury, black cherry and blueberry fruited. I am looking past some current faults to a future ****. 14.5°. 9,000 b. 50% Gren, 50% Syr. From 2022. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2016

(casks) bold, shiny dark red robe. The bouquet is richly endowed with swirling blueberry and cassis fruits, varnish and pine from the oak attached. There is a beef stock depth within. The palate courses with clear running, wavy content, dark red fruits with licorice present, dark chocolate from the oak. The heart here is shapely and firmly founded, with some raciness in the delivery. From 2022: as usual here, the oak has to be absorbed first before it can be contemplated. 14.8°. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks) shiny dark red. The nose is brewed, pretty dense, comes with black cherry and oaking, all in a tangle together, offers an open start. The palate runs with some stylish black fruits that bring in saltiness after half way, extending the finish in a clear manner. It has discreet balance, is well and purely juiced, and will be enjoyable from 2019. It has frank qualities, no flim flam. 14.5°. 2036-39 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(casks) sound, steady red robe. Pine, oak inflection on the first nose, has a savoury, chicken stock aspect, a knot of clear black berry fruit beyond, as well as a crème de menthe ping. The palate holds streamlined, quite sturdy black fruit content, and builds progressively, leading to an oily, southern finish with patches of oak. This has scope. From mid-2018: time for the oak to infuse. The raw materials are promising. Genuine Châteauneuf. 14°. 2028-30  Oct 2015  

2013

(casks) dark colour. Rich, confit jam aroma - maturity is definitely to the fore here, also vanilla and licorice notes from the oak. The palate is sweet and modern, holds lots of sucrosity.It has a certain opulence, but the finish is a little dry. Extraction slightly excessive for the vintage. From 2017. 14.5°. 2026-28 JL Oct 2014

2012

(casks, bottling April 2014) dark robe; Christmas fruits such as date, prominent liqueur black fruit and beef stock and dark chocolate appear on the bouquet, a ripeness in the form of black raisin. The palate is wide, stretches out a canopy of liqueur, near eau de vie black berry fruit, with late tang. There are moments of light breeze, a more chiselled, cutting note that helps to break down the sweet fruit. Some menthol shows on the aftertaste. A bit manufactured, doesn’t have a natural feel. 14.5°. From spring 2016. 2030-33  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark robe, legs. The nose has a salty top, an underair of ripe fig, with charcoal further on. The nose is interesting, grounded, comes from the soil. The palate holds juicy black fruit with noted grain, nutty tannin that kicks in quite soon, ending on that note – dark notes of tea and tar feature there. The fruit has style, and this can assemble well. It has a serious structure. The oak demands the wine be left for 2+ years, so drink from mid-2015. Good length, has a round finale with oak inside it but present. Impressive, has potential. 14.5°. 2033-35  Dec 2012

2010

(casks, bottling March 2012) dark, inky colour. Has a leather, dark-fruited aroma with a smoke-tar intensity from its oak. The palate sets off on a firm oak trail which wraps itself around some medium-weight richness. The gras shows through fleetingly, gives some encouragement. It is so oaky now that it cannot be drunk young, or with any sense of place, at least until 2016-17. It is simply not interesting for now with all this oak. 2031-34. 55% G, 45% Syr this year. Dec 2011

2009

(casks) complete, dark robe. The bouquet is steadily persistent – suve black fruit, smoky moments from its oak. The palate holds crunchy black fruit, ticks over steadily: this will please. Has fine length, fresh late stages. The elements are in place for a fine display around 2014 especially. Shows good juice on the finish, good freedom there, with a notable oak influence there, which lends a note of overripe orange for some reason. From 2013. 2027-30 Oct 2010

2008 ()

(casks) quite dark robe. Raisin, crunchy oak/fruit aroma – the fruit just about ripe. The palate is strongly oaked, with a rather lean, crisp black fruit inside. It is hard to associate this much oak with with is only medium-depth matter. Hence a narrow drinking window for when there is less obvious oak, but what fruit there is still survives – maybe 2013-15. To 2017. Nov 2009

2007 ()

largely full robe. Pepper, smoke, upright bosky and mineral nose – big scale. The palate is also snappy and upright with oak at its centre. There is enough gras for the oak, the gras is also juiced and reflects a late burst of ripening with mineral and eau de vie in it. A tiny bit hollow at the end. From 2012. 2024-27 Nov 2009

2006

very intense, blackberry robe; there is a curve in the aroma, with its richness marching well with the new oak, offers caramel and vanilla also – from its oak rather than the vineyard. The palate has a rich tone, chocolate within, black fruit, raisin, the content largely rich. There is scale to this wine – leave it until 2011+. It ends on primary black fruit, licorice, dark tea. The great interest for this will be when it is 8 to 12 years` old – lots of complexity, more local feel then. Its tannins need time, notably. 15°. €39 at the cellar. 2025-28 June 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** (cask) dark robe, black cherry here. The bouquet airs black berry with a sweet, slightly creamy nature, some violet and herbs, too. The palate kicks off – gets straight down to business – shows a punchy core, and black fruits with some sweet prune, and licorice strips in it. The fruit peeks out, and this will be accessible around 2010. The length is OK. 2023-26 Jan 2008

2005 ()

quite full dark red; oak traverses the nose – there is a brewed air to this, raisin and cake aromas. The palate is taut, tight right now – seems extracted, with a front of mouth dryness – there appears to be overt cellar construction on this, plenty of oak ahead of vineyard. There is some gras, or richness, so it can integrate if left - until spring 2010, I'd say. The aftertaste is very dry today – leave well alone. 2023-26 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) (pre-bottle) dark cherry colour; recently fermented aroma, violet with high tone and a grapey show, is quite potent. Solid, upright wine, its tannins are obvious, the oak too – is raw today. hunky, big wine, get into it from 2010. Comes in a modern style, its length is OK to good. It’s just a bit straight down the line, and one wants it to get more local over time. 2022-24 Nov 2006

2004 ()

shiny, still dark robe. Roast pork, a hint of rose, tarragon and damp woods air feature on the nose. It is marching on. This takes a modern approach, is absorbing its oak; it shows the early richness of Châteauneuf, then starts to draw in and lose ground. I get the feeling that this is not a true child of the vineyard. It is starting to tire and recede. 14.5°. To 2018 Oct 2013 Previously Oct 2006 ***(*) dark plum, cherry colour; black fruits, plus licorice and smoke, heat and pepper on the bouquet – a southern wine that is brewed, but has clean lines in the modern way. Good attack – a lively, savoury burst of black fruit with a herbal infusion. Becomes more baked and chunky, and its tannins are marked by its oak. Plenty of tannin and plenty of good future days ahead. From 2009 to sort the oak. 2019-22 Oct 2006

2001

good, compact, quite savoury bouquet - Grenache, red fruits-led, some sweetness. Tasty, open palate, its jam flavours are easy to like. Warm, peppery and rich through to the end. Genuine, quite traditional style, its tannins are nice and round. 2020-22 May 2003

2000 ()

ruby at the top of the robe; sweet, meat stock, coffee aromas, also marked sense of herbs – it resembles a scented Bovril (beef stock) drink, and sweet Shanghai spices hang in the air. Its richness is full, round, and brings forth a lip-smacking red plum fruit flavour that has an intense core and persistence. It is velvet in texture, but retains the guts of its place of origin. Ends on clear fruit, accompanied by some oak that leaves a brief dry moment just before the sign-off. 2020-22 Jan 2008

1999 ()

tiled colour at the top of a rather matt robe. Has a waxen aroma – there is breadth to it, but it is a bit limited, shows some damp evolution. The palate is marked by plenty of rich, long hang time fruit delivered with a rich texture, too: comes in quite a traditional style, although it reflects a pre-harvest policy of later picking. Has a copious and coffee-flecked flavour, with a rich, Dundee cake (raisins, dried cherries, plums) interior. It can live on, despite its appearance, and is best suited to drinking in the autumn or winter. 2018-20 Nov 2006

1998

good colour, full red; bosky, ripe skins, spirity, “dark” bouquet – it is quite extreme, burnt airs here. The palate is pushed along, has violets in the flavour, crushed fruit in mid-palate. The plum fruit is trimmed with pepper, it shows some heat, the texture is taut, and it ends on a spirity note. From 2003. 2017-20 Feb 2000

1994 ()

dark robe, some purple and black, legs. The nose is clean, led by straight down the line cooked black fruit. Early flavour of cassis on the palate, late on as well. The palate is also very straight along, making it techno as a style. There is the influence of young oak on the finish. The fruit is not bad. Danger of over-extraction. 13.5°. From 1999. 2007-2010 Oct 1996