Login | Subscribe
twitter

The Wines

80-100% Grenache (1942, 1960s, 1982 from Pied Long, Terres Blanches, Colombis, Barbe d’Asne), 0-15% Syrah, 0-5% Mourvèdre, mostly destemmed, 23-35 day vinification in 70% steel vat, 30% concrete vat, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 85-100% 3-13 year old 225 & 600-litre oak casks, 0-15% steel vat 12-15 months, (before late 2000s was aged 33% each steel vat, used 228-litre and 550-litre casks, large barrel 16 months), unfined, filtered, first wine 2003, organic wine, 2,500-13,000 b

2018

(casks, bottling Apr 2020) matt-hued dark red colour; the nose leads on an air of cooked, simmered black berries, blackcurrant touches alongside. There is a certain smoky freedom about it. The palate holds savoury appeal, is lined with black berry fruits and pliant tannins that fit in well, the finish munchy. The juicy fruit will entertain, and is its best quality, encourages a second glass. High drinkability here, w.o.w. Châteauneuf. 14.5°. 11,000 b. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. €20. From spring 2021. 2039-41 Oct 2019

2017

(casks, bottling Apr 2019) full, dark red. The bouquet engages well, on black olives, brewed black fruits, has a sturdy, thorough heart, some barbecue, ash smokiness. The palate is genuine, with sweet herbs, lining of plum fruit, good typicity right off the bat. It takes me back to the wines of the 1960s and all their garrigue connotations. Well handled 2017 here, an STGT wine. Smoky, pumice stone, mixed notes on the close with a nudge of grain there. This is appealing and provocative. Great in magnum for an anniversary year, will develop in a slow burn way. 14.5°. 10,000 b. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. €20. From 2021. 2042-45 Oct 2018 

2016

(vat/casks) sustained red robe. This has a big, thick bouquet, a dense concentration of ripe, old vine fruit with some Châteauneuf floral finesse wrapped around the plum fruits. It’s a proper display of mature Grenache vines. The palate is generous, full of suave abundance, runs with thorough delivery, a real extended length. It also carries the Châteauneuf refinement. This is hand made wine, a first class STGT example, graced by its perfumed red fruit content and suave tannins. The finish takes on more obvious charge that comes from within. 14.5°. 13,000 b. 80% Gren, 15% Syr, 5% Mourv. 85% cask raised, 15% steel vat. €17 is VALUE. From 2020-21. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2014

(casks) quite a full red colour. The bouquet gives a joli, floating, aromatic red fruits pastille aroma, and as it breathes it gains in lift and a floral presence. This has a sweetly fruited liqueur style palate, the texture supple throughout. It is a good, Steady Operator, holds mild tannins, ends on tar and oak, the length decent. “It needs another six months in cask to gain amplitude,” Bernard Friedmann. From spring 2017. 2024-25  Oct 2015

2013 ()

(casks/barrel) medium colour but the robe is pale at the rim. There is a light, jammy, red fruit expression on the nose, with a herbaceous note behind. It is light and simple on the palate, with a fairly short finish. This seems destined for early consumption. 14.5°. From 2016. 2022-23 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

(casks/barrel, bottling Feb 2014) sober plum red; the bouquet has an inky depth with violet and primrose flower airs, licorice, a minor beef stock intensity. Potent notes underlie this. The palate bears engaging black berry, simmered fruits appeal; the tannins slot in well, adding depth and a more grounded finale. It has a compact promise, a proper drinkability as Châteauneuf should be, is very enjoyable, a sort of w.o.w. wine that is high on charm. The fruit is notably tasty, very typical of 2012. Very good fresh finish. From mid-2015. 14.5°. 2022-24  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks/barrel, bottling next month) quite a dark red. Smoke, toasted air, bacon, black cherry liqueur, a nose that is a touch vegetal, has oak hints. The palate is darkly fruited, with a  free, live run of that, on to a pebbly late stage. It is still stiff, seems a bit worked over in the cellar. It dries towards the finish, and is still on its nutty, oaked raising. 14.5°, €17, 10,000 b this year. From 2015. 93% G, 5% Syr, 2% M this year. 2025-26  Dec 2012

2010

(casks/barrel) shiny, full robe; dark, intense nose – has a sweet and slightly floral take, presents a smooth, welcoming first impression – bienvenu, willkomen, is this pre-War Berlin? The palate is bestowed with a good, oily fruitiness, a juice and texture ensemble. Sound length here, runs to the line. Blackberry and blueberry combine with a semblance of tar and oak on the finish. Good balance. From late 2013. Nice and natural. From late 2013. Recommended at €17 from the cellars. Only 2,500 b this year. 2030-32 Dec 2011

2009

(casks/barrel) good full, dark red; the bouquet is rather reserved – shows black fruit with a bit of a chalky air, is wide. Well-shaped, generous palate, a wine of plenty of rich attributes, with the richness sustaining well, finishing nice and complete. Good balance and ripe tannins. This has potential, will be popular. It is a bit straight and down the line on the finish. From spring 2012. 2026-29 Oct 2010

2008

(barrel) correct red robe, not very deep. The nose mixes a little sweet red fruit with a resin, more edgy side, red cherry here. Has a true Grenache red fruit flavour, with acidity prominent towards the finish. In a raw state now. Agreeable enough, without being very full. Has middling depth. Can emerge around 2012. 2016-17 Dec 2009

2007

(casks) full dark red robe; mulled red fruits aroma, that are well on the way to jam with laurel and thyme present – it is compact and full. The red fruits glide along well and flow securely on the palate: there is an even and smooth texture throughout. Ripe tannins greet on the finish. A spherical wine in the making – it has a wholesome body, the fruit is very good and there is both freshness and dimension. From spring 2010. A w.o.w. wine. 2019-20 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(casks) full, quite dark robe; has a sweet, quite profound nose: beyond the black fruit lies caramel and raisin, with some secure and quite sweet underlay. The palate is a mixed-up affair – in and out. The black fruit is soft, a little bit sweaty and perhaps false. Has some pepper that comes and goes. I worry that it will not achieve a true balance, but this is not the final wine - so the door (red) is still open. Has a bit of a smoked bacon aftertaste. Try from mid-2009. A wine of modest horizon from this sample. 2015-16 Nov 2007

2005 ()

full, bright robe; peppered, lithe red fruits on the bouquet, has decent filling and latent power, some sweet, minted appeal. Refined, nice and consecutive fruit with good flow on palate – has clean lines and is fully fruited in the modern, fairly pristine way. Has some local tone via a herbal snapshot near finish. Holds a fleshy texture, has plenty of appeal. From late 2008. 2019-21 Nov 2006