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The Wines

90-95% Grenache (1901-02) from sandy soils on Les Pialons (N), La Girardette, 10% Counoise, Cinsault, Terret Noir, white vines such as Clairette, 40% 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, aged 100% concrete vat (2005, 2006, 2007 10% new 228-litre oak casks used, until 2004 was 100% large barrel raised) 16-18 months, unfined, unfiltered, not made in 2008, 2002, 1997, 1992, first wine 1985, organic, biodynamic wine, 4,000-6,000 b

2018 ()

(vat) dark robe; there’s good ease in the nose, a poised roundness of black berry fruit, finely tuned detail, black olives, black cherries, a bit of grilling. The palate sets off on a lucid opening, really prime black fruits, effortless tannins, great orchestration. It develops salted spurs, and Southern intensity after half way. Elegance and body sit cosily together here. It has captured the vintage’s potential precision very well, the balance on the mark. From 2023. 2045-47 Oct 2019

2017 ()

dark colour, dark red, black tints. This has a sunswept aroma, so there’s sweetness, a dense jam centre to the bouquet, a note of blueberry, iodine. The is broad, fuelled, transfers the heat of the lands into its heart. It’s very concentrated at this stage - demanding on that level. It bears much southern oiliness and layering, leans towards sipping wine, such is the density. It’s best to leave until 2025, decanting advised. The aftertaste is very munchy, - it’s penetrating there, on the verge of being de trop, too much. 15°. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2016

(vat) full red robe. The bouquet lies in wait thanks to the pedigree and natural thickness of the black fruits from the old Grenache vines, has an established oiliness from them, and shows cool sides outside them. Prune, a touch of leather feature. The palate is rich and rolling with a gentle wave of spherical content and luxurious, natural tannins that lead into a black olives, lightly salted finish. This is unhurried wine, with great ageing potential, and, mercifully, no headiness. The layers of fruit and content are impressive. From 2022, so there can be an extra level of variety and stimulation. I can wish for no more from this great Châteauneuf. 15°. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2013

shiny, quite dark red robe. This has a good, all-together bouquet – it shows black cherry fruit, smokiness, light laurel and herbs airs, has the potential for good style in the glass. This is serene and well collected from the attack to the finish. Succulent and clear moments are well combined. Tasty fruit brings up the finish, and its silken tannins are notable. 14°. From 2018. 2031-33 Feb 2015 Previously Oct 2014 ***** (casks) deep purple colour to the rim. This is big, powerful and meaty on the nose, which gives licorice, blackcurrant and dark fruit notes. There is impressive depth and volume of fruit on the palate – this must be made from tiny yields. It is rich and suave, the texture smooth and refined. The tannins are powerful but discreet. It is long and harmonious for such a big wine. Harvested 7 October, 95% Grenache this year, 4,000 b. 15.5°. From 2017. 2029-31 JL GB £186/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com Oct 2014

2011

dark robe. Good wavy blackberry aroma, with an agreeable beef stock, truffly note, has earthy connections, teal leaves also. The palate is big, coated, holds soaked black fruits. This has a deep heart, with marked ripeness at its centre. It has a textured oiliness, is a rich but fluid ride. From mid-2015. It ends on a gummy, grainy note. 15°. 2027-29  Dec 2012

2010 ()

bottled one week ago: Dark, shiny robe. The nose has an oily blackberry depth, and is certainly up a level in intensity compared to the Tradition 2010 from here. It will be varied, stimulating in 2017-18. The palate`s good, dark fruit is wholesome, clear, juiced, approachable, and has good quality grip from its tannins. The balance is sound. There is an extra touch of darkness from its final grain, closes on that. 15°. 2029-31. Only 4,000 b this year. Feb 2012

2009

good, dark robe. Smouldering nose of great, layered appeal – it rolls on waves of aroma. The palate is tasty, has very attractive gras without excess, and straightens near the end. Good vintage expression, has an aromatic, floral aftertaste, the flavour resembles plums. Good balance and harmony, is promising. 2030-32 March 2011

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

(casks) red-purple colour; the bouquet is well-filled and wide – leads with a sustained black fruit, also cherry aroma. There is a smoky top air with herbal outcrops. The palate blackberry fruit has a refined, agreeable nature, with enough acidity to render it mobile, not static. It runs on to a fresh enough finish, and drinks openly. Beau wine, effortless to get into, and very primary now. From 2010. 2021-23 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(casks) has a wide and deep nose bearing pretty ripe black fruits – has a fully extracted, profound core: leave until 2011-12 for variety. The palate starts on a black cherry flavour, with biscuity tannic/oak lining. There is a lot of force in this – is a no youth wine, is all about middle age. The matter is rich at heart, but the foot has been down on the pedal to achieve it. Is a sip, not drink, “pay attention” wine – one for lovers of the full-on and impressive. Dries a bit towards the finish – beware. High octane stuff that would tire me to drink several glasses. From 2011. 2021-23 Nov 2007

2005

black plum colour; broad, dense rather sappy aroma – shows chocolate and ripe black fruit and raisin – just a note of dampness as it evolves. The palate is all a rounded affair, very much a spherical, fat, gourmand wine with a luscious texture. It ends on secure black fruits, its tannins within. Beyond the outer ease it presents, there is power and depth. The nose will become more damp and leafy and the palate will show more bite and tannin. Great richness here, very inset. 14°. From 2011. 2026-28 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 *** (pre-bottle) quite a dark, complete robe. Primary, red fruits bouquet, is brut and a bit gassy now. Rounded fruit with a marked tannic thread. Finishes live and cleanly. Its oak and tannins need 3 years. The early fruit is good. Hard to judge just now, with gas on the palate as well as the nose. From 2009-10. 2020-23 Nov 2006

2001

has a full ruby robe, with a red heart. Has a sweet n’savoury bouquet – shows some beef stock and ripe plum – comes out nice and wide and has good depth. The palate holds lissom red fruit with a gentle depth, and delivers plenty of rich, measured appeal. Its tannins are quite well melded, and the wine is showing well now. The length is good. Has a red berry, herbal aftertaste, and is still in fresh condition. Beau Vin with a local feel overall: its oak raising has been well absorbed. 14°. 2016-18 Nov 2007, London

2000 ()

soft, red fruits aroma that is very Grenache in style with its supple air. There is a pretty, even flow of red fruit on the palate. Has plenty of close-coupled appeal, a well-knit warmth. Holds a touch of late raisin, with some spice. Comes in the gentle vein of the year, and provides nice, undemanding drinking. Some late grip keeps it in good order. 2014-16 Nov 2007. The first year of destemming. 4,000 b this year

1999

good full red robe; has a toasted, big and still fresh, exuberant nose, with very good, live fruit within. The palate fruit shows the best of this vintage – it is young and nicely-bodied, very sympathique. The fact that the fruit is still surrounded by full matter marks it out. The length is good, the finish fresh. 2017-19 Nov 2007

1998

Grenache, three-quarter depth red; the bouquet is smoky, firmer than the Tradition 1998 – rigorous black fruit here which will vary and become more complex as it ages – has a true southern air. The palate is chewy, led by black fruits, olives, pistachio flavours, with evident end tannins. Possible volatile? I reckon it can emerge around 2006, but its evolution should be even, not bumpy. A very ripe, soaked wine which certainly has an alcoholic motor in it. 2018-20 May 2001