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The Wines

60-70% Grenache (1920s and younger), 10-20% Syrah (1950s), 5-10% Mourvèdre (1960s), 5% Cinsault, 5% mixed – Clairette blanche, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Terret Noir, Muscardin, from Nalys, Cabrières, Cristia, destemmed, 25-30 day vinification in 50% steel vat, 50% concrete vat at up to 32-33°C, daily pumping overs, part vat emptying/refillings, aged 10% 600-litre oak casks, 60-65% large 40 hl barrels, 30% tronconic oak vat 16-18 months (until mid-2010s aged 65% large barrel, 35% 600-litre oak casks 16-18 months), filtered 10-15,000 b


(large barrel/casks/tronconic vat) full, dark red; the bouquet carries a musky, floral side with its sweet plum fruits, has appeal, a gentle curve. The palate is also a rounded affair, sphere-like, expresses Grenache accurately, with its neat plumpness and consistent flow, carries spice near the close. It finishes with enjoyable amounts of fruit and supple tannins. It’s nicely together, has good balance, is a classically refined Châteauneuf. 15°. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% various. €36. From 2022-23. 2045-47 Oct 2019


(large barrel/casks/tronconic vat) full to the brim dark robe; the nose is attractive, combines black olives with nicely elegant black berry fruits, has style. The palate is slinky, bears smooth, rolling fruit, holds good sève [sap] from its old vines, which puts it on a quality pedestal away from the majority. It’s a serenade of a wine, with really faithful Châteauneuf virtues of texture and aromatic appeal. It’s extremely well assembled and all together. The tannins even have a savoury side to them. 15.2°. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% various. €35. From 2022. 2043-45 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks/barrel/oak vat) dark red. The nose has firm aroma of raspberry and red cherry fruit with some menthol, rosemary, local colour. The palate is tightly drawn, has inner strength, runs with some punch and assertion. The tannins are full and require another five years. This has good heart and genuine local virility. It finishes on a fresh tenor, with those crunchy tannins. It has a good swing in its step, is a convincing wine. 15°. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% various. €35. From 2021. 2040-43 Oct 2017


(casks/large barrel) shiny quite deep red robe. There is an attractive curve on the nose, with stylish black berry fruit within. It’s very young, not varied. The palate has a tender grace, starting with fine black fruit juice, followed by mellow tannins that are a snug fit. A nice orb of wine here, for calm drinking. The finish holds the juicy gras well. Attractive, aromatic wine that captures the finesse of Châteauneuf, even if there is hum of power from within. 15°. From mid-2018. 2036-38 Sept 2016


(casks) medium to dark robe. Warm, plummy, red fruit nose with a touch of meat extract. There is generous fruit on the palate, along with plenty of juicy extract. The tannins are firm but rounded. Powerful in style (especially for the vintage). Shows good ageing potential. From 2017. 15°. 2026-28 JL GB £156/6 bots Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  Oct 2014 

2012 ()

(casks/barrel, bottling March 2014) dark robe, wee matt hue. The nose starts on airs of prune and black fruit lozenges, notes of licorice, sweet herbs, has a black raisin intensity: the bouquet will vary. The palate is close-knit, sealed on the attack; this has a good core, grounded depth, just isn’t expressive now, but a steady revelation of its thickset wares will occur. A consistent run of its aromatic content leads into plenty of round matter as it finishes. Promising. This will be showing well around 2020. Decant. From mid-2016. 15°. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% Cins, €33, 15,000 b this year. 2030-33 Nov 2013


(casks/barrel, bottling March 2013) dark robe. Oak drifts across its blackberry fruit, has a latent meatiness, a prune fruit depth. The palate’s clean-cut black fruit has an oaked thread through it, but finishes on the up, flourishing at the end. Tannins add spice, a pine effect, and the menthol, salty exit works well. There are final notes of licorice. It shows late heat. The oak is rather in charge, is tarry. It is promising. From 2015. 2027-30  Dec 2012


(casks/barrel, bottling March 2012) dark robe; violet fineness of aroma floats above good black soil airs – the bouquet is well-rounded, has lots of depth and shape, shows licorice and tar in with meaty notes. The palate offers sleek black fruit that moves on through with some abandon, extends fully, and carries excitement, flair. It ends on a cleanly fruited, “up” note that is very 2010 in style. Good balance, with well inset tannins. There is a charcoal exit for now. The richness is well established and this has very appealing drive and life. From 2015. 2035-38 Dec 2011

2009 ()

nice, pretty red robe. There is a well-prolonged red fruit liqueur and herbs aroma, shows a glow of wellbeing, a good trail. The palate is ripely textured, nuanced with cedar, ash, herbs. Plump plum fruit lies at its heart, with good, properly ripened tannins. This has a good fit between nose and palate. There is an accurate build-up of 2009 power and glow towards the finish, with solid, sustained length. Local, good wine. From 2016. 15°.  2033-35  Sept 2012  Previously Oct 2010 **** (casks) dark robe; sappy, rather funky aroma with implicit sweetness, a violet air also. Its palate richness is shapely, offers black fruit with a juicy core that evolves into licorice and prune, and a ripe coating of tannin – good stuff. Has no rough edges, though I note a touch of volatile acidity at the start of the palate. Has a tarry aftertaste. From mid-2012. 2030-32 Oct 2010

2008 ()

(casks) broad, chunky bouquet led by chocolate, oak, raisin within. There is oak emphasis within the palate's linear black fruit, the oak has a leading role. It is stiff now, offers glints of tangy black fruit and smoke now. From mid-2011. 2019-20 Nov 2009


has a healthy full red robe. There is a smoky, red-fruited opening on the nose, pine and sweet herbs. It is a little still on its cask raising, but the fruit aroma is one of a typical 2006 and its clarity. There is a touch of red meat. The palate offers stylish fruit and content with a gradual pick-up of spice box influences. This travels well, has a savoury clarity as it ends, a wee glow there. It is a very accurate 2006, but needs to continue to shake off its cask raising over time. It feels rather worked on, but is effective. 15°. From mid-2017. 2030-32  Nov 2015 Previously Jan 2008 **** bright, dark plum colour; crème of blackberry, assured aroma with a good heart, has a little flair, spice, is clean-cut in the modern way. The palate gives clear-toned fruit, flows smoothly and continuously. Tannins enter towards the finish, adding extra width and bulk, and are well absorbed. There is good juice in the fruit. Garrigue notes and heat feature on the aftertaste. 2027-29 Jan 2008

2005 ()

black plum robe; clean-cut aroma that is just starting to evolve – hence there are some damp notes in with the black fruits, prunes, and it is still a touch reserved. The palate sets off with restraint; the taste has a marked cocoa imprint that works its way towards burnt chocolate by the end of the palate. There is sound flesh in mid-palate, though, a relief. It proceeds along evenly, is a seamless style of modern wine that because of the vintage is still upright. Drink from late 2010. 2026-29 June 2008 Previously Dec 2006 **** (barrel/casks) good, full red; low profile strawberry, plum fruit air – the bouquet is clear and harmonious, all together. The palate fruit is bright, also clear-cut; it lengthens well, has scope and is broad across the palate. Good quality fruit, an elegant wine that is long on the finish. From 2010. 2023-26  Dec 2006  

2004 ()

has a Victoria plum robe, not yet ruby. The bouquet is interesting and inviting – there are drifts of garrigue, plum, iris flowers, pansies, with a 2004 vintage style leather air, smoke and woods, tobacco. The palate has an agreeably supple start, bears grilled, seasoned dark fruits, the length aromatic. It is on song now; it shows the slight rigour of the year in its texture, and the exit reflects menthol. 14.5°. 2022-23 Oct 2013 Previously March 2009 ***(*) red Grenache, Post Office red colour. Nice, open, good bouquet – violet, prune, a touch of chocolate. The palate is solid, but keeps moving. Has a full heart, extends securely. There is a somewhat dense side to it, but the restaurant (in Châteauneuf) is hot. I note, though, that it does not thrive with air. Benefit of the doubt given. 14.5°. 2019-21 March 2009 Previously Dec 2006 ***(*) steady, even red berry fruit aroma with light spicing – a rounded bouquet. The palate presents pretty red fruit; it has a fresh thread through it, is well woven with its tannins. Is a harmonious wine that can sing well from late 2008. The length is good and mild, the aftertaste chewy. “It was more obviously fruited and expressive before bottling,” Jean-Jacques Sabon. 2022-24  Dec 2006 Previously Oct 2006 *** black fruits with a raw side, a hint of leaves of autumn and smoke. Brisk black fruit off the bat – there is acidity here that drives it along. The fruit is expressive, the black berry flavour runs in a straight line. More varied from 2008. 2019-22 Oct 2006

2003 ()

nicely dark red. Beefy, biggish scale nose, through and persists, a little floral touch adds to its appeal. Well wrapped palate, consistent flavour led by red fruits that are rounded. Quite powerful from mid-palate on, its power is unmasked late on. Tannic grip and chew on finish. Raspberry, white mushroom aftertaste. Esp 2007 on, but drinks OK now. 2021-24 September 2005, London Previously **** nicely full robe; full, youthful bouquet - compact with berries, thyme, a little smoke. Succulent, classy attack, plenty of richness, has an oily, well-textured feel. Blackberry fruit and a swirl of tannin as it runs along. Some final heat - reveals its vintage on the aftertaste, also grilled there from its oak. Esp 2009 on. 2021-24

2001 ()

thorough nose with good potential, has warm edges, depth to come out and declare. The palate takes off, is really wide, bounds along. The core is compact, has a good, condensed flavour. There are tannins and power mixed into it. The length is good. Holds “modern”, cleanly struck black fruit. Esp 2008 onwards. 2026-29 Oct 2003

2000 ()

still pretty full robe. Nicely open, broad bouquet - jam content here, persists, good local dabs, also a little grainy. Good fruit core on palate, brewed and simmered style fruit, Has some earthy, rounded tannins. Red fruit re-merges on finish. Has reached a comfortable, also down-home stage - the vintage shape is that earthy, brewed one. Length sound enough. Drink with wintry foods. Really good 2005-09. 2020-22 September 2005, London Previously March 2003 **** 2 bottles, 1st corked. 2nd bottle: rounded aroma of dark fruits, has a little spice. The emphasis here is on a combination of harmony and power, the length good. It is broad across the palate, quite rounded. 2018-20 March 2003


the top robe is garnet, ruby, with red below. Has a smoky, grilled, gentle black fruit jam aroma with a touch of licorice and a quietly pebbly late air, a southern depth of ripeness that is at a mature stage. Yes – this offers the agreeable bounty of southern vineyards. It is at a beautiful stage now, veering towards mild fortified wine, but it does possess more glow and roundness than many 1998s are now showing. The finish is tender, refined, delicate. Everything is in place, has a mature sagesse or wisdom. Not surprised to see it is 15° on the label (ie 15.5° at least) – it has those instincts. These are serene times for this wine. 2022-25  Dec 2010, East Sussex