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The Wines

70% Mourvèdre (early 1970s, from sunny, windy red clay, galet stone soils on Les Terres Blanches (N), 20% Grenache (late 1960s), 10% Syrah (late 1970s), destemmed, 3 week vinification (down from 5-6 weeks into mid-2010s) at up to 27°C, part vat emptying/refilling, then pumping overs, (cap punching dropped from early 2010s), aged 80% new 228-litre oak casks, 20% concrete vat 16 months (until mid-2010s aged 50% new, 50% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 15 months), unfined, unfiltered, first wine 2007, organic, biodynamic wine, 3,000-8,000 b

2018

(casks/vat, bottling Feb 2020) largely dark red; has a grilled, dark featured nose, thick grape skins in view, oaking, tar notes. It’s not at all set as yet, holds cool black fruit, cassis and smoke. The palate has a wide front, Mourvèdre insistence, drops of blood, iron in its dark content. It really goes for a crescendo on the late moments, woosh – it’s all rather dramatic. This is woollybully wine, on the wild side, a lot of pumping heart. It’s extremely solid, and that steps in front of finesse. 2046-49 Oct 2019

2017

full robe; there’s meaty breadth across the bouquet, a whack of rich black fruit, savoury fullness – it curves around the glass. The palate bears ripe, plentiful black content, tannins drive up and down – it’s all very “dark”. It brews up into a challenging close, the sun of the year well inside, beams of it. It’s a touch close to the limit, and requires much time to civilise – from 2024 - and definite decanting. There is a little iron cut on the aftertaste, which helps. This carries Bandol freshness, Châteauneuf-du-Pape strength, is quite a big cocktail. 14.5°. 2047-49 Oct 2019

2016 ()

inky robe; the bouquet is starting to engage, has a quiet authority, poise, black berry fruits, a little violet touch around it, spring flowers, blood. The palate gives an involving run of black cherry-blackcurrant fruit with fineness in the tannins, a supple firmness from them. It ends serenely, well together. It carries stylish potential, deep seated black fruits. Oak comes through on the aftertaste, the exit lip smacking. It’s a smoked, dark Châteauneuf, not that typical. There’s vigour within, but it handles it. 14.5°. From 2023-24. 2049-51 Oct 2019 Previously Oct 2017 **** (casks/vat, bottling Feb 2018) deep robe, legs visible. There is a swirl of lingering loganberry and cassis fruit with thick oak and its varnish, dark chocolate from that, on the nose. The palate is rich, oaked, aided by the relative coolness of the Mourvèdre, but there is a sense of imposing strength inside this. The fruit and content have style in a wavy manner, but the oak cladding camouflages them for now. This is smoothly presented, sleek wine, atypical Châteauneuf. 15°. 5,000 b. From 2022-23. 2037-40 Oct 2017

2014 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2011 ()

NOT PRODUCED but I was shown it when it was still intended: ***(*) (casks) dark, black-purple robe. Has an oak and liqueur black cherry combination on the nose – it has a deep foundation, is very inky, tarry. The palate is strongly oaked, but has plenty of textured, fluid matter to go with that. The oak is in excess, but can be absorbed. International wine. From 2016. 2027-28  Dec 2012

2009

full robe; high octane, filled aroma, smells of the young vat – shows power and soaked cherries. Juniper, black cherry flavour – it is on the limit vis-à-vis its power, but it is ripe. There are oak smudges on the end. Feels like a wine worked on in the cellar. Ends on menthol, tar. Modernist, constructed wine. 14.5°. 2022-25 Sept 2011 Previously March 2011 *** full robe. Really smoky, cigarette ash air, a bouquet that rolls along. The palate is also smoked, the black fruit correctly stiff and straight down the line given the ratio of Mourvèdre. More variety than terroir wine. Has a chunky, rather gamey end. It is of some interest, but is not really Châteauneuf-du-Pape. From 2014. 2026-28 March 2011

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED