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The Wines

70-75% Grenache (1900-08), 10-20% Syrah (1980s), 8-12% Mourvèdre, 0-4% Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise (1920s and older) from sandy, galet stone soils on Palestor (N), La Bertaude (N-W), Chapouin (N-E), Cabrières sud (N-W), 24-36 hour pre-fermentation crop cooling at 10°C, destemmed, 4 week vinification in 228-litre oak casks, cap punching, aged 30% new, 70% 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks 12-14 months (before mid-2010s aged 60% 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks, 40% large 5-6 year old 40-50 hl barrels 12-14 months), unfined, unfiltered, 4,500-8,000 b

2017

(new/used casks) shiny dark red; apples, green apples on the nose, a bouquet in a raw state ex cellar. There is a pocket of black fruit within. The palate is uneven, not together, with no moment of gravity and HQ. The tannins could be riper. This has much work to do, is not balanced. You have to cross fingers for this. Taste post bottling. 15.7°. 4,500 b. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv. €25. From 2022. 2034-36 Oct 2018

2016

(casks) quite a full red colour. Red cherry fruit, a touch of kirsch, shows with some oak and grilling on the nose. It implies some power. The palate holds lithe content, with sparks of freshness and thyme, laurel, herbs running around it. It has a crunchy nature for now, a rockiness. It has a good, naked style, and will gradually fuse into an interesting bottle, especially once the oak is absorbed. The finish produces some spearmint clarity. 15°. €36. From 2021, no hurry. 2038-40 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks) shiny dark red colour. Spice lines the nose, with an inset of quiet blackberry fruit, and also a slight garrigue herbs theme. The palate gives a firm couch of cooked red jam fruit, bears closely inset tannins, has inner strength. It continues with a sure step, and has the shape of a beau wine in time. The finish is struck with some menthol clarity. It’s a fresh wine with attractive style in its gras. It dips a little towards the finish. 14.7°. From mid-2019. 2034-37 Sept 2016

2013

medium colour. Plum-cherry red fruit notes on the nose. The palate shows gras richness and sweetness on the attack. Tannins are firm and present on the finish. Old vine fruit clearly stamped on this wine. It is tight in structure and has ageing potential. From 2017. 15°. 2027-29 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

dark colour; sweet, obvious nose led by blackberry, red meat depth: it is weighty, shows date and black raisin, a typical Prestige near overripe angle. The palate gives soaked fruits, dates, cooked figs, a near OTT - Over the Top - opulence here: it is hard to drink freely, but has a little clarity as it finishes, a savoury, grainy combination. Decant it. From 2016. Lacks real nuance. 14.5°. 2029-32  Nov 2013

2007

gradual evolution on the red robe. Mulled, not especially fresh red fruits aroma, plus some game and downhome airs. The palate presents supple, mature fruit, has a grounded nature, is a Steady Eddie, workmanlike wine. It ends on a little oak firmness. There is sound carry of its dark fruit through the palate. Quiet end richness. Has local character beyond its oak, note. From mid-2011. 2025-28 Nov 2009

2006

fair red robe. Has a fresh, varied, solid nose, still holding back its cards – there is an air of plum fruit. While it is still reserved, its depth is good. The palate has an oaked density; it is still living on its cask raising. Cherry, plum fruit combines with spice here, but it would be better with less oaking. A full wine, but its sense of place is masked by the oak casks. It has dark, sturdy qualities, and glows on the finish. Drink this with game. 14.5°. 2025-28 Dec 2012 Previously Jan 2008 *** quite a dark red, complete robe; black fruit aroma with oak across it – hence there are airs of pepper and charcoal, also a top note of game. The oak renders it a little sharp for now. It is a modern style wine on the palate – via its clean fruit and oak overlay, with the charcoal on the premises from half way. Within it lies richness, but the oak controls its later stages and suppresses the gras. From 2011 or 2012 – it will be more typical then. Its black cherry fruit is rather international for now. 2023-26 Jan 2008

2005 ()

pretty full, dense, matting red robe; gutsy, broad nose – red fruits such as plums at its heart, with herbs around the sides, and the air of rich Christmas cake – this is bold. Nicely rich start to the palate, its length sustained by some virile tannins – this travels to the end with its native power, is a wine of presence and authority, a true drop. Tannins are still there on the finish. Good depth. Drink from late 2009 or 2010. A wine for real Rhône fans, not the occasionals. 2026-29 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **** (pre-bottle) full, dark robe; quite deep, black fruited nose with a soaked cherry – griottes – aspect, and tea and smoke. Black fruit start with a growing tannic thread through it, the tannic structure is clear, and there is a clean, licorice-infused finale. Nice, direct and promising wine, has fair not abundant richness. Esp 2009 on. 2025-28 Nov 2006

2003

wild boar alert on the bouquet, hound dogs running, reduction, game. There is an air of fat plum fruit within, the wild boar buggers off into the forest, and garrigue, rosemary herbs come forward. It is as if the Garden of Eden has been revealed thanks to an aromatic, always deep air. The palate debut is grainy, full, has a real concentrated juice. Licorice, cocoa and mocha develop late on. It is thick, well sustained, but with this it still manages to offer floral and finesse leanings that are true of Châteauneuf, even in this big contest. Interesting character, has a good surge of flavour. 15°. 80% Grenache, 8% Mourvèdre, 8% Syrah, 4% Counoise. 2024-27 Nov 2013

1995 ()

well sustained, dark plum, attractive robe. The nose is quietly reserved, nicely full and shows potential as it airs. The palate is full and round, has a lot of appealing flavour. It is not that big scale, its balance is correct. Tannins creep out on the finish after good mid-palate fruit. It is Grenaché in style, but the new oak on the finish is unnecessary. Some final heat apparent. Drink around 1999. This is for Belgium. 2014-17 Oct 1996