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The Wines

80% Grenache (oldest 1920s on Les Pialons (N, mid-1960s), 10% Mourvèdre (1970s), 5% Syrah (1967), 2.5% Counoise (late 1990s), 2.5% Cinsault (late 1990s), 90% destemmed, 3 week vinification (down from 5-6 weeks into mid-2010s) at up to 27°C, part vat emptying/refilling, cap punching, then pumping overs, Grenache, Counoise, Clairette concrete vat raised 14-18 months, Syrah, Mourvèdre malo in cask, then aged new-1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 14-18 months, unfined, unfiltered, organic, biodynamic wine, 35,000 b

2018

(casks) full, dark, shiny robe. The nose is elegant, gives fine tuned blackberry fruit, blackcurrant, licorice, coffee beans. It’s very much on the fruit alone now. The palate gives good spark in the fruit, is tasty, easy to like, has the rolling, open style of the vintage, gathers a neat increase in depth and layering, extends well. This is harmonious wine in the making, comes with some pinpoint black juice. It’s unhurried, serene, will please with its relaxed elegance. From 2023. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017

dark robe; has a real garrigue, Southern aroma, revs up on black olives, black stone fruits, buffed leather, oily, inky blue fruit – it’s quite a mixed bundle. The palate springs out well, gives peppery, live content, closely sealed tannins that bring a firm, sustained conclusion. It has some inner drive, and the tannins are just a bit baked – usual for 2017 – and virile. It ends robustly, no messing. It’s well grounded Châteauneuf with good heart. From 2022+. 14.5°. 2039-42 Oct 2019

2016 ()

(casks) good shine in the dark red robe. The bouquet is well rounded, has a plump heart of plums, hints of raspberry. It gives a picture of the sunny south, with restraint. The palate is expressive, offers good Grenache plum fruits with savoury tannins that wrap around it very well. There are some delicious moments. The finish is fresh, with a pocket of spice and pebbly feel from the refined tannins. This is genuine, true, STGT, highly enjoyable Châteauneuf, represents its origins well. 14.5°. From 2020. 2035-38 Oct 2017

2013

(casks) medium red robe. The nose is reserved, even a little austere, gives a dark fruit nuance. The palate presents spice, licorice and dark fruit; the style is powerful. Firm, tight tannins bring freshness on the finish. Possibly a good percentage of Mourvèdre in the blend? This needs a little time to settle, but will age. A success for the vintage. 14.5°. From 2017. 2026-28 JL GB £180/12 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com Oct 2014

2011

(casks) rather dark, shiny robe. The bouquet has a treacle, sweet ripeness, an air of blackberry with grilled and roasted notes such as pork crackling behind – the aroma spreads well. The palate delivers crackly dark fruit, a flavour of prune with a Christmas pudding depth on the finish. An untamed wine that is wide, has resolve in its tannins. The finish is complete, in the three-quarter weight of the vintage. The aftertaste is fresh, and it keeps going. Pretty good, no make-up added, a wine of serious content, with floral moments as well. From 2015. 14.5°. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010 ()

bottled one week ago: shiny, quite dark red robe. Has a raspberry fruit front air, along with darker, blackberry notions – this serves a young, straightforward appeal. Middle of the road Châteauneuf on the palate – with fine, simple blackberry fruit backed by grainy tannin. It is reserved, puts on a careful show, and is under the bottling influence, no doubt. It finishes with some grounding and depth. It is not especially arresting. 14.5°. From late 2012. 2021-23. 6 week vinification this year. Feb 2012

2009

three-quarter depth red; musky top air, blackberry jam underlay – the nose shows reduction, but has stuffing in it. Decant this and it would show clearer fruit on the palate as well, but the style is ponderous, rather hang dog. It is nearly a sipping wine only, not a free drinking one. It's a plain drop of wine. I am surprised by this, tasted blind in London, compared to what I tasted in Châteauneuf in March. 14.5°. Now to 2018. Sept 2011 Previously March 2011 **** dark red; sunny, rounded red fruits air, has a mulberry intensity, an agreeable shape. The palate has kick, depth, plenty of local virtues, offers black berry fruit late on. There are smoky-ash touches in it, and the second half shows tannin and grip. From 2013. There is gras present on the finish, good. STGT wine. 5 week vinification this year. 2025-26 March 2011

2007 ()

(vat/casks) pretty robe – red, black cherry. The aroma is mild, with some reserved black cherry jam – Morello cherries and almost a note of damp, dark soil. The palate comes with black fruits that have a sweet nature: the fruit persists. Here is a 2007 with more pull-through along the palate, whereas others have faded after their showy starts. This length is helped by the non-Grenache varieties. Has a tasty flavour – another wine for early drinking. There is a smatter of herbs and olives late on. 2018-20 Nov 2008

2006

dark notes in the red robe; has a clear, black cherry aroma with quite a rich air to it. Holds up fine throughout, and suggests griottes, too (soaked cherries). The palate starts with a rounded, black jam flavour, and the texture continues with slightly sweet appeal. There is a touch of late heat, but this is all easy to drink. It is a bit reserved towards the finish, where some tannin shows up, alongside good and clear fruit. This is primary drinking wine, get up and go, although there is a little ageing potential. From 2009. 2017-19 Nov 2007

2005

This can get to ***(*), I reckon – see the notes: red with some dark zones; quite a full nose, marked by reduction that gives it an earthy nature. Obvious, primary aroma with some herbs – not yet together at all. The palate carries a rather pushed, got up feel. Traditional style, with a weighty sort of sweetness. Broad richness towards the finish, not from the sleek school at all. Honest, but a bit heavy of tread. Not a good moment to judge it now. Plenty of matter here, from 2009. 2019-22 Nov 2006

2003

the colour is a gentle red of some depth; has a notably compact, red stone fruit aroma with a biscuity note. It is still quite fresh, and there are floral notes floating around; there is game in the offing with a little more ageing. There is a sweet-toned, gourmand start to the palate – red berries with ingrained spice in the fruit. This flows with some rich power all through it – the content is typical Grenache. It ends with a spiced gasp, and its tannins are not quite integrated – there is some dry lining to them late on. Regular wine, not more, that has quite a local feel. 14°. 2015-17 Nov 2007, London

1999

quite dark; meaty, quite rustic nose – its ripe fruit comes out directly. Full wine, decent gutsy palate, ripe fruit presented. The fruit is sweet, this is an honest wine of sound length and late chewy tannins. Finishes roundly. Traditional style. 2011-13 May 2001 Last year of whole bunch fermentation.

1998 ()

quite dark; the nose is warm and wide – some ripe fruit airs, also drier notes, cough syrup in here – has the more muscled 1998 nature as compared to 1999 and 2000. There is a lot of matter on the palate, which is big, well packed. Imposing, thoroughly genuine Châteauneuf, which captures the vintage well. It can unfurl really well. 2017-21 May 2001