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The Wines

80-85% Grenache (1930s, pre World War Two on sandy soils on Le Pointu), 10% Mourvèdre, 10% all mixed in the old vineyard (Clairette blanche & rose, Grenache blanc, Counoise, Vaccarèse etc), whole bunch fermentation, wild yeasts, 3 week vinification, pumping overs, some part vat emptying/refilling, aged large 12-15 hl barrel 18-29 months, unfined, usually unfiltered, up to 8 bottlings with 10-11 months between 1st and last, 12-15,000 b

2016

(barrel) full red robe, legs visible. The nose is wide, willing, has an aroma of blackberries with some sweetness, touches of sweet herbs, rosemary present. The palate sets off with bright fruit, dark berries and a slightly tarry set of tannins that are well within its main frame. I sense this is starting to tighten up after some early flamboyance, and will darken and tighten over the next stage of its evolution. There is concentration in its juice, a sound couch from that. Its power is under control thanks to the depth of content, but the aftertaste reveals a little of that power. A good, sturdy, genuine Châteauneuf with good length here. 15°. From 2020-21. 2035-37 Nov 2017

2013

(barrel) medium to full purple hue. Herbal, dark fruited nose with a meaty edge to it. The palate is fairly solid again with that meaty, gamey nuance. A no-nonsense wine with a solid, even robust, tannic frame. Gutsy in style. 14.5°. From 2016. 2025-26 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

Two barrels: 1) (12 hl barrel) *** good red robe; the nose is going well, galloping along, has good depth of red fruit, peppery outcrops, good cut, good glisten in its red jelly fruit and a floral innuendo. The palate bears lucid fruit, rolls well, takes on a dark burst of rather burnt tannin at the end. The palate will drink clearly, with some impact. 12-14 yrs. (2nd 12 hl barrel) ***(*) sound red robe. Light air of reduction – the nose has a closed, rather solid nature. The palate is sturdy, close-knit; it features dark berries, ends running, has an attractive end palate, shows energy, and rocks along. Good, true, is a lovely, naked, genuine Châteauneuf, STGT, that has not one dot of make-up in it. 14.8°. 2025-27 Oct 2013

2011

medium red colour; scented, thyme-laurel air with a cordite tang, a low throb of alcohol. The palate is gutsy, not really defined, holds a red fruit that isn’t properly together. In an intermediary state now. Shows a typical Châteauneuf-du-Pape charge towards the finish, lots of flint and garrigue there. 15°. 2022-24  Oct 2013 Previously Dec 2012 (barrel) **(*) rather dark red; prune, pine-bosky air with ripe weight, a wee note of menthol. The palate red berry fruit is fluid, has a light coating of tannin, and runs its race to the line. It can resolve its dusty, pebbly nature on the finish within 18 months to two years. It does not have great scope. From mid-2014. 15.5°. 2023-25  Dec 2012

2010 ()

sound red, just a bit of matt. The bouquet has several layers in it – it holds lucid, well-compacted red fruit, flint, gunsmoke, violet and peony – it is very much a glass filler, but does that by stealth. The palate has a wide, striking debut, led by really tasty fruit, a fun-filled fruiting, lots of gum and lip-smack appeal. It manages a clear end, and has ways to go, a lot more to give. Delightful tip of tongue red fruits here. Its tannins are live, and streamlined in their close-knit way. There are garrigue herbs and a ping of licorice at the end, with good precision of fruit. The finish will explode more if you are patient. From 2017, for instance. STGT wine, whose exit is still dark, reflecting its large barrel raising. 15°. 2029-31  Oct 2013  Previously Dec 2011 ***(*) (barrel) dark tinted robe. Oily, ripe plum fruit air, comes in a sweet, liqueur-lozenge style, has a yeasty grounding from its raising, plus a snap of freshness. Fine acidity helps the palate to roll along, and is well inset in its red, rather textured Grenache fruit. The ash, cendré nature of 2010 shows on the finish, where there is also front of the mouth acidity. It needs two more years, with its finish needing time to sort out. From 2014. Bottling in March 2012. €15 at the cellar. 2022-24 Dec 2011

2009

(vat/barrel) soft red robe; sweet, mulled fruits, very Grenache air on the bouquet – it is all on a primary tack, comes with a touch of dusty stones, a mild intensity. Sweet red jam, jelly debut to the palate, the sweetness continuing simply and flatteringly. It takes on some late grip and clarity and tang come through. It is a bit restricted in scope, but spreads out OK late on, with light minerality. Balance is OK. Rather a CHR resto wine, a bit simple. From mid-2011. 2019-21 Oct 2010

2008 ()

(vat/barrel) modest matt red colour; pongy outer air to the bouquet – shows “high” fruit, sweetness, is very Grenache with its plum fruit lead. There is good heart to this, is a terroir, STGT wine – good character: crunchy style red fruit starts the palate, ends on its casking. Power simmers within. A question of time – from late 2011. 2020-21 Dec 2009

2007 ()

(vat/barrel) dark cherry colour; the aroma is reserved – there are airs of mint, blackberry, crème de menthe, along with some licorice and barbecue smoke. The palate holds quite deep black fruits, not full depth ones. There is a juicy middle, followed by an extension of tannin that is ripe. The finish reflects soaked black cherries, and is smoothly textured. The end is harmonious, and given extra dash by some tannin. 2016-18 Nov 2008

2006

bright dark red; tangy, somewhat raw meat aroma with good raspberry fruit inlay, some charcoal on the outside. Its black fruits run freely, are suave and sympa – this has good, clear fruit, is a cleanly made wine, good stuff. Has a pristine black cherry flavour, blackberry liqueur, some “dark” tannins that are oak-lined on the aftertaste. The oak is a new influence. Good balance. From late 2010, has a modern style. 2020-22 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 ***(*) quite a dark plum-raspberry robe; has a wide and authentic bouquet – shows herbs, sweet lamb meat, some red cherry – there is no artifice here. The palate has a nice easy roundness, with a clear tint to the fruit, a wine that is smoothly textured and persistent. I like its clear tone – it is bright as a button. It rocks on well, and gives a good gush of fruit for now – should it be drunk immediately. There are herbs on the finish. Its richness is calm, not overdone. Drink now to spring 2009, or from autumn 2010. 15°. 2019-21 June 2008

2005 ()

bright red cherry colour; snappy, crackly, rather sizzling bacon aroma – red fruit (Grenache), with some raw red meat also, and pine needles. There is a bold, robust start to the palate; the red fruit is full, nice and hearty, a little waxen in nature. It runs on truly, with some resin notes late on. Live, vigorous, traditional Châteauneuf that works well. Lots of virile red fruits – this is a good kick ass wine. 15°. 2019-21 June 2008

2001

red still there, just a bit of ruby. Has a wholesome, broad bouquet – there is really truthful Grenache in the nose, the air of a cooked red fruits tart, delivered with lacings of herbs and sweet spice. The nose has set up the palate well – which sets off with also very typical Grenache. There is a lovely cohesion and integrity about the wine; I say “yum yum” to the Grenache fruit, which still has a line of tannin threaded through it. It ends on mixed herbs, the baked plains effect, touches of chocolate and fig. It is always broad – nose and palate – Bravo, Eddie. Good, persistent length, this is a real beauty, an STGT, truth wine. 14°. 2020-22 Nov 2008

1998 ()

core of red, with ruby at the top, a little brightness on this robe; has a shapely red fruit aroma that shows some evolution, and would not be out and about unless it were decanted. But then drink it, don`t let it sit. There is something of the damp forest and also a nutty backdrop, herbs, hickory smoke present in the bouquet. The palate bears lithe Grenache that is typical of 1998 in its evolution towards a mix of mineral and core power, the latter now settling into a rounded zone. It drinks well , now still has energy and length, with the fruit-tannin blend successful. Has pockets of late power, with a raisin taste, and a pebbly, more grainy texture, before a red fruit rebound. Good local feel in this STGT wine. The fruit is quite pure. 14°. 2017-18 Nov 2008