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The Wines

60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, from 50 hectares Grenache-Mourvèdre (Saint-Gervais, Gard, crop purchase), 40 hectares Grenache (Domaine du Grand Prébois, Vaucluse, own vineyard, clay-limestone, galet stones), 30 hectares Syrah, Grenache (Vinsobres, own vineyard), whole bunch use, flash heated crop, 10 day vinification, Syrah cap punched, aged 75% vat, 25% large barrel 12 months, fined, filtered, 700,000 b

2018

dark red; sweet herbs, grilling, raspberry, red berry fruits mingle on the nose. It has a sweet tone, just skips a beat of depth. The palate is soft n’easy, slightly tame, gives raspberry with soft tannins, has a homely nature, is suited to stews, pies. There is a little density on the finish. It’s on the go now, though the finish can refine with another six to nine months. 2024-25 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(vat/barrel) full red robe; the bouquet is wide, on a little reduction, hence there is a brothy, “high” note. There is a good bundle of dark fruit, soaked black cherries, and licorice from the Mourvèdre within. The palate carries an approachable richness, a musky note as it goes, with grainy tannins still working their way in. It ends on cool black fruit, with the Syrah-Mourvèdre playing a more prominent role than usual this year. The length is sound. There is plenty here to go well with grills, even stews. From mid-2019. 2025-26 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat/barrel) very dark robe. The bouquet is nicely together, based on ripe black berry fruits that are a little low-key in expression for now. There’s a hint of menthol also. The palate holds a good ball of richness, has tannins that are rather firm, and hold it together. From spring 2018: it’s not a flashy, open wine. 2022-23 Oct 2017

2014

dark red. The nose is charming, centred on cosy blackberry fruit, has a juvenile openness, shows a little pepper. The palate bears medium weight content, and runs easily, cooked plums to the fore. Its texture is smooth. It’s a little tame, safe. 13.5°. To 2019 Sept 2016  Previously Oct 2015 *** (vat/barrel) dark red. The nose hasn’t yet truly emerged, holds quiet blackberry fruit, with a curvy potential. The palate is well assembled between tasty dark red fruit and tannins. Tasty is the word. The finish produces a little graininess, powdered touches that fit in. From spring 2016. To 2018  Oct 2015

2013

red robe. Has a smoky bouquet, black berry fruit foremost, with a cocoa, tar extra depth. It gives a pretty full start, and is just moving into second phase aromas, a light meaty note. The palate is in advance of the bouquet, bears compressed red juice with a slightly baked side to it. Decanting would help. 2019-20  Oct 2015

2012 ()

already bottled: dark, shiny black-purple robe, darker than the 2011. Has a swish, ebullient nose that combines soaked black cherries, licorice, some violet – there is plenty of appeal in a here and now bouquet, gives a clean strike. The palate offers good, racy fruit with a toothsome clarity that makes it stimulating to drink. Black fruits, berries lie at its heart, and the fruit is up to solo drinking because it is so breezy. The tannins are crisp, still a little bold, but that feature helps its verve. A Real Road Runner, w.o.w. wine, go for it. Great with grills, a wine that captures 2012 well. Has a sultry, chocolate-like exit. 2019-20  Oct 2013

2011 ()

shiny, quite dark red robe; measured air of red jam, raspberry, a slight shift away from its first youth and gaminess. The best moment on the palate is the fat middle – before that, it is grainy, and after that it is pebbly-chewy, drier. Hence it is indeed in transition. There is bulk in it, but its alcohol and tannins aren’t all in residence with its fruit. Incomplete balance. 2017-18  Oct 2013  Previously Oct 2012 *** (bottling in 6 weeks) rather dark red, legs down the glass. Has a blackberry air with mulled, compact instincts; there is a granular note within, with thyme and tea present. There is a juicy, surprising blast of exuberant blackberry fruit, all like a black fruit pastille. Easy textured, open and fun wine. It shows more on the early than the late palate. Drinks OK solo – drink this without delay. Get on and go wine, good for sausages, burgers etc. 13.5° . To 2016  Oct 2012

2010 ()

quite dark core to the red robe; has a still being raised, nutty air, with prune and blackberry, polished leather, some “darkness” in the aroma, all in a rather sweet setting. This is a finely-tuned bouquet. The palate is tightly woven, shows tannin and some tar-burn in its rich inset. It ends on a strong licorice, with oak and dimension, and certainly a Mourvèdre imprint. The aftertaste has the dentelle-salt of 2010. A serious Côtes du Rhône suited to the table rather than solo drinking. Has the structure to live and offer a second stage. From 2013. 13.5°. 2018-19 Nov 2011

2009

evolving plum red colour; the first air is of reduction – an earthy soil air as a result, a rather fat Grenache red fruit. The nose also brings in licorice, raisin, baked bread that are redolent of a hot vintage. This has a clamp-like start to the palate – is an immobile wine, all tucked into its stays; needs solid flavours, is not suited to solo drinking. It ends on firm, baked notes, is a bit cussed, not charming now. There is a touch of fungal in it, and a very tarry ending. Decant this, definitely. 13.5°. 2017-18 July 2012 Previously June 2010 *** (the final assemblage, to be bottled soon) big red robe; abundant nose – blackberries, mulberries, some baked stones – the bouquet is wide, has scope. “Bubbly” black fruits on the palate – black cherries that lead to a measured, firmer ending, where attractive tannins appear in a good support. Not yet out and about – drink from spring 2011. The fruit persists, with a pocket of late cherry. Can be drunk solo. Darker and more chewy on the finish than the 2009 Nature Côtes du Rhône, which is all precision. 2017-18 June 2010

2007

full, raspberry red colour; the bouquet carries fruit with some alert blackberry and life from its tannins. The palate holds broad, supple, fleshy black fruit with a little late intensity, licorice in that late taste, and a clear finale. There is lots in the bouquet to set it en route. Drinks now. Drink young for its juicy fruit, but can go to 2012. Nov 2008

2006 ()

bright, raspberry red robe; has a streamlined, elegant jam aroma, that mixes plum and berries; comes in an easy, open style and holds a pretty charm. The charm continues on the palate, with a cherry flavour that has spice and life in it, maybe from some carbonic gas late on for freshness. Best young, this drinks fine solo, without food. 13°. To 2010. Nov 2007

2005

slightly more intense robe than the 2006; has a “dark”, black cherry aroma that reflects some of the tannins of the vintage, also has some game and meatiness in the air. The palate is closed in – this is a muscular wine next to the open 2006. It has a berry, black fruit late flavour and intrinsic richness. It ends with dryish tannins that need to sort out. Food is best for this – meats without spices to match its tannins. To 2011. Nov 2007 Previously Dec 2006 ** pretty bright red cherry; the nose is a bit hidden – has a refined, black cherry aroma and a touch of the garrigue. The palate holds pebbly fruit – it is clear, and lengthens well, is clean and easy, provides smooth drinking. There is nice substance through it, and a little late tannin. A get on and do wine. OK now. To 2011 Dec 2006

2003

raspberry top air, light game under air. Soft, rounded start to the palate – ripe red fruit Grenache, good flesh. Sound length, this is an early wine. To 2007 or a little longer. March 2005