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The Wines

70-80% Grenache, 10-20% Syrah, 0-5% Cinsault, 5-10% Mourvèdre (av age 65 years), destemmed, 3-4 week vinification in 50% steel vat, 50% concrete vat at up to 30-32°C, daily pumping overs, part vat emptying/refillings, aged 60% large 40 hl barrels, 40% tronconic oak vat 16-18 months (until mid-2010s aged 20-35% 600-litre oak casks, 65-80% large 40 hl barrels 16-18 months), filtered, first wine 1981, 15,000 b

2018 ()

full, inky robe; the bouquet is dense and swirling, based around black cherry, Morello fruit, with a note of liqueur sweetness. The palate is stylish, bears comely black fruits with squeeze in the tannins, a wholesome second half rounding it off well. The fineness of Châteauneuf is in the glass, not matched in neighbouring regions. It has a lip smacking aftertaste. It’s tuneful and engaging. 15.1°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €24. From mid-2022. 2042-44 Oct 2019


(large barrel/tronconic vat) deep red robe. Beef stock, cardamom, curry powder airs lead a nose with a solid couch of black fruit within, a paste of black berries. The palate gives bright black fruit on the attack, gets going well, and continues with a sure hand, bringing in black olives’ notes as it finishes. There is a pleasing savoury side to it, the heart tasty. The length is good, even stylish. 15.1°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €23.50. From mid-2021. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(oak vat/barrel) bright red robe. Mulled fruits such as blackberries and prunes are the prime feature on the nose; it has a slightly baked nature. The palate holds black fruits offset by some tannins that encroach early. This lacks freshness, is a condensed, compressed wine, one that works on its warm lands strength. It will become a complete unit over time, but don’t be in a hurry. Decanting necessary. 15°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €23. From 2022. 2041-43 Oct 2017


(casks/large barrel) bright dark red colour. The nose has a blackberry lozenge quality, a core of sweet depth, with a hint of iodine and subdued blueberry fruit. The palate sits widely in the glass, has a good, cool fruit presence, continues consistently to the finish. This is coated, suavely intense wine with a corral of dark tannins circling the finish, and a grapey display on the aftertaste. It’s a big glass. 14.5°. From 2019. 2035-38 Sept 2016

2013 ()

clear red robe. Has a supple raspberry, red berry aroma, comes with some lurking potential and variety, dried herbs. This is a typical clear strike 2013 on the attack, raspberry fruit with breezy, tarred tannins. It is gradually coming together, has cards to play. The rocky finale is cool and clear: there is a light concentration of red juice there. The finish is rather rugged. Decant it. From spring 2017. 2032-35 June 2016 Previously Oct 2014 ***(*) medium+ red. Reserved, briary, red and dark fruited nose, has a plummy nuance behind. This is sweet and chewy on the palate, with a fairly broad texture. The tannins are firm on the finish, but are finely honed. A solid Châteauneuf. From 2017. 15°. 2024-26 JL GB £114/6 bots Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  Oct 2014

2012 ()

(casks/barrel, bottling March 2014) full robe; there is plenty in the bouquet but it is reserved for now, suggesting prune and a ripe depth, has nice peppery lift. It doesn’t give much definition currently. The palate attacks broadly, with spice to the fore, and a good, persistent, rather thick black fruit juicing. Glass filling Châteauneuf-du-Pape, for big flavoured dishes, one that is STGT, coats the palate and expresses the place well. A genuine, copious, proper Châteauneuf. It ends on a good sweep of coated content, with no excess heat. Decant this. From 2016. 14.5°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv this year. €22. 2028-30  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(casks/barrel, bottling March 2013) dark red. The bouquet gives a raspberry fruit aroma with a game, hang dog implication; the fruit is ripe and resembles mulled berries. The debut of the palate is marked by a juicy, fluid, savoury red fruit, followed by a nutty crunch of late tannin, which is not yet integrated, but will achieve that. It is round in the 2011 style, a Regular Guy style wine. It closes down on the finish. From 2014. 2022-24  Dec 2012

2010 ()

rather dark red, legs down the glass. There is a gamey intensity on the nose that comes with a brewed red berry, raspberry, centre, a jelly fruit fat glisten about it, also minor spicing. This offers young appeal, the fruit fashionably sleek; that takes it a fair way, before the darker tannic forces assemble. It has a good, nuggety clarity on the aftertaste. The fruit is fine in style; it persists quietly, and there is a promising clarity on the exit. Decant this – it needs coaxing out. I like the lift on the late palate, which invites further drinking. From 2016. 14.5°. 2036-39  Nov 2013  Previously Dec 2011 ****(*) (casks/barrel, bottling March 2012) shiny, dark robe; minor reduction present in a rather stylish nose – it is also beefy, shows some Bovril extract, a yeasty note, is in a raw state now. Has a grape essence, a crushed grape flavour, with an extension of some drive and power. A big scale wine with push from its attack onwards. It reaches along with drive, purpose. It is exerted in the cellar, but is not quite excessive. The finale is “dark”. It ends on charcoal for now. There is plenty here – be prepared. From 2015-16. 2035-37 Dec 2011

2009 ()

bright dark cherry colour; the bouquet has a brewed top air, gives a nicely concentrated liqueur berry fruit aroma within. It has a near salty clarity, a glistening air of black cherry. This is young and sportive wine: the palate has an ample, fluid dimension, rolls smoothly around and keeps its drive to the finish. The fruit is good and clear – this provides wholesome drinking, is on form today. Really enjoyable. 14.5°. 2026-28 March 2014  Previously Oct 2010 ***** (casks) dark, complete robe; there is a solid air across the glass – the bouquet is good, has wide shoulders, shows prune, tea, raspberry and suggests definite potential. There is a good foundation to the palate, a thorough richness, delivers grounded qualities, a couch of compact black fruit and prune flavouring. Good length – it ends all together. The finish is clear, and it runs well to the line. Polished wine with fine, classy fruit. From late 2012, but no hurry. 2024-26 Oct 2010


largely full robe; there are possibilities in the bouquet – it has reserves: for now, it suggests variety, and lucid fruit as it evolves and gains roundness. Restrained, rather stylish black cherry fruit leads the palate, a black cherry jam presence. It ends with a steady filling, mocha and laurel there. Can sing a melody from 2012 – it is a fine-limbed wine, not very fat, but the delivery is steady, the fruit mildly-weighted. 2017-18 Nov 2009


mottling dark red, Grenache yielding to time. Slight vegetal note, smoky, bosky airs here – black fruit with some snap behind, a bit of game. The palate fruit is settling into a comfortable zone, has a certain roundness and easy length. In a primary state, no extra notes of variety for now. There is a good little bout of late muscle, and this works as an ensemble – encouraging. Nice balance, beau, cleanly made wine. From spring 2011 for more variety. 2021-22 Nov 2009

2006 ()

quite dark plum red; has a secure, currently restrained black berry aroma that is marked by cassis, blackcurrant – also gives a little tannin and pepper, its nature direct and somewhat earthy, fundamental. The palate fruit has a thorough core, and reveals richness after half way – a Grenache fleshiness that is agreeable. The fruit is both wide and mobile, and flows well – its sequence is promising. Good finesse in this. Its final tannins bring a licorice tang, and sit slightly on its outside for now. From mid-2010. 2023-26 Jan 2008

2005 ()

red plum colour with dark interior. Good width and dimension on the nose – black fruit with some cocoa in the air – there is assured depth to this, plus a certain nobleness of its place and old vines – authority, if you like. The palate is good and homogenous – the fruit is still upright but bend in it can come, from 2010 or so. The texture is good, consistent all through. This is one of those Prestige wines with cocoa-prune-raisin, Dundee cake, eau de vie flavours – some like this sipping style of wine more than others. 2022-24 June 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ****(*) (barrel/600-litre oak casks) elegant red fruit aroma in a quietly rounded bouquet. Has a savoury, oaked start, bears a lot of gracious red fruit, shows a touch of confit jam but is clear-cut. Harmony, good width and really good fruit here. From 2010. 2028-30  Dec 2006

2004 ()

soft red colour; red plums/raspberry with some pepper and dust in a nose that has a soft, fruit gums effect – there is a marked Grenache core to this. Likewise, a soft start to the palate with a mingle of acidity, a wine still forming itself. Holds the vintage shape – lithe and clear. Drink before 2012-13, so you catch its slightly fragile body. Oct 2006

2003 ()

sound red, not greatly deep. Baked, red fruits aroma, but there are gaps, vacant patches in it. Potent style on palate, is a brewed wine. Ends with coffee, even tea aftertaste. Flavour is tone fruits - plum or baked plum tart. More varied from 2008 on. Rather locked in now. 2016-19 September 2005, London Previously February 2005 **** baked, raisin pie aroma, warm jam at its centre, agreeable and can vary. Herby, scented flavour, wholesome richness. Easy to like. Licorice aftertaste, with ripe tannins. Good width towards finish, I especially like its genuine richness. Esp 2008 on. 2020-23 February 2005, London

2001 ()

fair warmth, attractive fruit – a suave bouquet with floral aspects. Good attack, is full of flavour and refinement – holds tasty, smoky black fruit: this is potent and well-wrapped with a fine-tuned elegance, its ripeness balanced. Black olive notes on the finish. Esp 2007 onwards. 2020-23. Oct 2003

1981 ()

full, really complete bouquet with rich airs, prune fruit. The palate is also rich, holds black fruit laced with mineral grain touches. Is in a rich phase now, with generous, prune, cooked black fruits. It is still sweet at the end, the finish clear there. It reflects the military year – it is upright, and the fruits are black, not red. The shape is clear-cut, and all its elements are still in sync. 90% Gren, 8% Syr, 0.5% each Mourvèdre, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Cinsault. 2017-19  Dec 2006