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The Wines

100% Grenache (1918-38) from galet stone covered soils on Les Serres (S), sandy soils on Les Bédines (N-E), clay soils on La Crau (E), part destemmed, 3-5 week concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, aged 0-90% concrete vat (reduced in late 2010s, "demi-muid/600-litre casks bring more complexity, finesse over the concrete"), 10-100% 2-3 year old 600-litre oak casks (300-litre casks also used into 2010s) 12-16 months, first wine 1998, 8-22,000 b

2018 ()

(600-litre casks, bottling Apr 2020) full red robe. The nose has a brothy aroma of cooked red fruits, oak attached, the oak rather out of place. There are garrigue notions and implicit power. The palate also commences with the distraction of oak inside the otherwise rather ample content. It’s a high octane production which lacks come hither, charm. It shows the clash of oak and Grenache, which is never felicitous. Leave until 2023. 16°. 8,000 b. 100% Grenache. €61.50. 2040-42 Oct 2019

2017

(casks, bottling April 2019) firm red centre to the robe. The nose reflects mixed herbes de Provence, some baking, a warm lands angle. There’s a latent meat or lam stock underlay. The palate carries this baked nature with it, beyond its richness, is vintage marked, sturdy, the juice thick and solid. This has a local force in it, and I note the degree, which certainly contributes to its muscle. Carries the signature of the warm lands of the southern zone. From 2023, decanting essential. 16°. 9,000 b. 100% Grenache. 16 months raising this year. 2042-45 Oct 2018

2016

(vat/casks, bottling March 2018) very dark red robe, all the way up, glistens with wellbeing. The bouquet is a curvy, suavely fruited affair, has ease and style delivered discreetly above its depth. The palate is mega juicy, a real basket of abundance, attacks on wavy red stone fruits with flecks of herbs such as rosemary, also laurel. It finishes with serious, lasting and refined length. This handles its power well thanks to the richness, and is a handsome wine, deserving a good haunch of venison or a rich beef dish. 16°. 9,000 b. From 2021-22. 2041-43 Oct 2017

2015

(concrete vat/casks, bottling March 2017) dark plum red robe. The nose gives good intensity of red fruits derived from its Grenache; there’s a coulis depth in them. The palate produces a peppery, engaging run of red berry fruits with a winning freedom in the tannins, a bonny ping of clarity from them. There is glow on the aftertaste. This is genuine Châteauneuf, with a bustling nature, just a little under the class of the leaders this year. 16°. 9,000 b. From 2019. 2035-38 Sept 2016

2014

(vat/casks, bottling May 2016) red-purple robe. Has a cassis, crème de menthe first, quite ebullient aroma; it is round and settled, shows licorice as well. The palate’s oak lends some stiffness to an already fresh wine, and there is a hover of alcohol through it, just discernible. The chocolate on the aftertaste comes from the oak. The mid-palate bears savoury black fruits with a little coating in their texture. Still very much in the cellar, so leave until 2019 to shake off oak, to gain fusion. 2029-31  Oct 2015

2013 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2012 ()

(vat/casks, bottling May 2014) sound depth in a full robe; this has a fat, open, bulging bouquet that holds engaging black berry fruit which has glisten in its curvy air – it is broad, a proper do, will vary over time. The palate is plump, offers genuine gras and sustains that well. The fruit on the finish is tasty – raspberry with nutty touches as the tannins show through. Oaking and oomph come through there as well. The balance is sound – this will do well over time, will sing a full song. The depth is serene, the length agreeable and it covers the ground with a fluid, silken juice and texture. The degree is a bit high, though. 15.5°. Decant this. From mid-2016. 2032-35  Dec 2013

2011 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2010 ()

(casks) rather dark robe. Streamlined, mulberry and dark berry fruit air, has a notably sweet under note and expands into a meat, gravy extra foundation – it is broad, rather open. Loose-limbed black cherry fruit leads the palate – it is clearly struck and mobile through its length. There is a curvy, black fruit jelly style ripeness. Precise tannins are well woven into it. Very young, it lives right on its balanced first flush now. The black jelly fruit is enjoyable, its flavour lingers, without effort. Pebbly tannin features on the finale. All in order. Wait for it to gain more complexity. From mid-2014, but of greater interest around 2019. 2033-36 Dec 2011

2009

(to be bottled in one month) dark red. Smoky, really pretty aromas, varied ones. Soft and beguiling, lovely debut to the palate; it holds really good black berry and prune fruit that is never static. Very good balance. “it has a lot of finesse – that finesse was in the grapes at the start. 2009 is very balanced, “ Thiérry Usseglio. Attractive perfume on the aftertaste. Will vary well over time, and is immensely appealing. From 2013-14. 2030-32 March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ****(*) (vat) full red; baked, compressed, smoky raspberry jam aroma with some freedom in it: the tone is ripe, and there is something of the damp woods within. The palate gives a little and welcome flow, runs consistently along, until it spreads out late on with polish and integration. Sound balance. Has a “dark” aftertaste that mixes violet and prune. It is very ripe, but not discordant, and with time will improve further. From 2014. 2029-32 Oct 2010

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007

(vat) quite a dark red robe; the first aroma is black raisins – this is an amply filled, wholesome bouquet, with toffee, rum cake additions – it is young and primary. The palate is supply textured, full and homogenous – it runs fully and consecutively. It holds a lot of rich matter, and even with its power, it achieves good balance. Ends well, nice and poised - reflects its southerly quartier well. From 2011. 2029-31 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(vat sample) full, dark red; the bouquet has some southern airs – black fruit with a rich core, also olives and mocha, has coffee and some alcohol and power within. The palate starts with black fruits that are infused with a little pepper. The length is OK: this is not a big impact wine, but the fruit is full of charm – berry and ripe plums form the final taste, and violets, too. From late 2009. 2024-27 Nov 2007

2005

nearly 6 stars. Quite dark red robe; the aroma is well curved – expresses full, smoky black fruit with nice leathery touches – it is sustained and has local garigue-herb touches. Its fullness verges on the saturated. The palate has a rather delicious start, the fruit gourmand, a little muscular, the richness deep-seated. It ends in the direction of ripe raspberry, soaked red cherries, the length good. Its tannins are integrated, with the red fruit streaming through them well. Lots of dimension and variety in this very complete wine. 15°. From 2011. 2030-32 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ****(*) dark robe; full, raisin-led aroma with sweet prune and a little mint – plenty of capacity. Soaked, big wine here – is ripe, rich and rather heady, even through it’s wrapped in a velvet glove. Sipping not a drinking wine, no laughs consumption job. Black fruit, violet aftertaste. Rich and full, very wide and enveloping almost to the point of distraction – it’s all in silk but ultimately needs some kick, needs a destination. From 2010. 2028-31 Nov 2006

2004 ()

two bottles needed in London, Oct 2006: Bottle 1: full red with some black tints. 1st bottle – biscuity, yeasty, stalky nose, mercaptans. Tight, black fruit with a slightly volatile side, isn’t very clear-cut. Bottle 2, brought from the cellar, so cool = clear fruit, but then as it warmed and was exposed to the air = yeasty again. Fruit is direct and brisk, with a firm heart. Length OK. Esp 2008 on. 2021-23 Oct 2006

2003 ()

solid robe. Prolonged depth in bouquet - prune, violet, with an intense core - is still young. Gracious, lovely flavour, interesting - is very savoury and luxuriant. Mix of garrigue herbal tastes and violet, with chocolate aftertaste. Pretty wine. 2021-23 June 2006

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001

the red robe is still right there, with a hint of ruby. The bouquet is reserved, and delivers brooding potential. What one can find for now is a drift of elegant, assured red fruit and just a debut of damp leaves. The palate is pretty and supple, after also a rather careful start. This is harmonious, a wine of good spine, and respectful of its vintage – which means that is clear and measured after half way. There is a well set heart in it, with life in its tannins and late energy. It is now at a crossroads – twixt its 1st and 2nd stage. There is an interesting entwining of black fruit and tannin. Can be left until 2010 to access more “juice” on the palate, and by when the tannins start to recede a little. A wine of confident structure. It is very broad on the palate – shows its class there. A wine to be patient with from 2010. 14.5°. 2027-29 Nov 2008