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The Wines

80% Grenache (late 1970s/early 1980s), 20% Syrah from 12 hectares on the Sarrians plateau (clay-sand, stone covered), part destemmed, 4 week vinification, blended after malo completed, aged 50% vat, 50% large barrel 12 months, fined, filtered, 20,000 b down from 50-60,000 b

2018

dark red robe; the bouquet is wide, has a good core of black berry fruit, stands up well in the glass. There are additional notes of coffee, licorice, spicing. It’s a good start. The palate carries agreeable depth, has style, and carries well along its path. It shows a typical Vacqueyras depth, sits close to the lands. The finish is full, resolute, holds well. From 2022. 2035-37 Oct 2019

2017 ()

full, dark robe. Brooding, lingering nose, very much a child of the garrigue, has an earthy, fuelled depth, and persists well. There are notes of black cherries inside it. This is profound, carries a baked stones ground force, develops a chewy charge towards the close. It has good nourishment value, is a superior Vacqueyras with its good picture of the place conveyed. The finish is thorough, lingering. From 2021. 2034-36 Oct 2018

2016

(vat/barrel) dark red. Has an interesting, mixed bouquet – herbs, smoke, plum fruit, garrigue warm stones. It’s an STGT debut. The palate gives a burst of salted black berry fruit with brisk, live tannins attached; it lengthens freshly into a spiced, bustling finish. It holds sound core content. From mid-2019. 2026-28 Oct 2017

2015

dark red robe, a lighter rim. The bouquet is sturdy but closed, has an aroma led by smoky, blackberry jam fruit, has black olives notions. The palate is tasty, welcoming via its enjoyable richness and well shaped finish, where the tannins add pep. This has good local qualities, is an STGT Vacqueyras. The tannins will be milder in mid-2018, but it’s perfectly drinkable now, with red meats, duck breast, game stews. I wish there were more Vacqueyras reds of this standard. 14.5°. 2024-25 Oct 2017

2013 ()

dark red; has a flashy, raspberry fruited aroma, delivers immediate fruit, licorice and a scattering of herbes deProvence. The palate gives tasty, swirling mulberry style fruit, is a polished Vacqueyras with dusted tannins on the premises late on. It is faithfully centred around Grenache, with the coolness of the vintage helping its elegant restraint. Can be drunk now, with a full, fluid drive. Or from spring 2017 for more fusion on the finish. 14.5°. 2026-27  Oct 2015

2012

dark red colour. Warm, encompassing nose, mulled, simmered blueberry and mulberry fruit, smoked bacon – a modern approach. The palate gives a fluid run of rather fat, textured fruit, goes into a well-built finish that is dark, more spiced, makes a statement. Dark fruit and good garrigue expression here. Its tannins are smoother than many Vacqueyras, and it also has more ample breadth. Long wine. From spring 2015. 2023-25  Oct 2013

2011 ()

full red, small black tints. Blackberry jam, black olive, ripely soaked fruits and mixed Provencal herbs appear on the nose – the sun’s ripeness in the glass, almost a squeezy black raisin, a plumpness of aroma. The palate is sweet-noted, has a date and full blackberry flavour which persists. Tannins wrap around it, so the shape is circular. This combines fat with movement, and the length is good. A juicy, rather gourmand wine, with a fine late cluster of tannin. There is a show of raspberry coulis or liqueur on the aftertaste. I find a slight lack of filling towards the end. From 2015, and for more variety in the flavour and the wine, from 2017, in its second stage. 2022-24  Oct 2012

2010 ()

dark robe; has a crunchy nature, black berry-cherry aroma with a nutty backing, an oily air – it is early days still, shows smoky black raisin. The palate links to the nose, is sweetly fruited, and starts suavely. It gains in intensity, pepper, tannins, but the latter are notably ripe and well embedded. The tannins at the end are fine. Blackberry and licorice moments come on the aftertaste. A wine of upright structure, definite promise. From 2014. 2026-27 Nov 2011

2007 ()

shiny, full red. Copious nose – smoky, mulled fruits but clear red fruits, also fennel and a crisp side to it. Has a good, vigorous palate with pebbly, somewhat fiery instincts led by the Grenache. Ends on a ripe, plum fruit note that is Grenache in nature, with a snap about it. It is more simple than the Gigondas. 2018-19 June 2010 Previously Nov 2008 ***(*) (vat/barrel sample) full, dark red robe; has a cherry, verging on liqueur cherry, aroma, or almost raspberry eau de vie. The palate holds rich, modern fruit, all smooth, blackberry in the flavour, before “darker”, more potent elements come along – tannins are here, the outer coating is ripe, but there is definite muscle. There are traces of oak, and it ends on a red cherry liqueur and white pepper flavour. A wine of Big Shoulders – it needs leaving until mid/late 2010. It is compact and powerful from its clay influences. 2018. Nov 2008

2006

quite dark, bright raspberry colour; has a savoury, quite creamy red fruit nose, shows mulled red berries that come with sweet airs, and the whole affair is supple. There is an immediate, sweet core of red Grenache fruit on the palate, with a lengthening from its tannins – this is a correctly structured wine, donc (thus). It ends a little early, with the fruit behind its tannins. Needs leaving 12-15 months, ie to spring 2009, but there are sound red fruits at its core. A workmanlike Vacqueyras, from the safe side of town. 14.5°. 2015-17 Nov 2007

2005

black traces in the red robe; smoky black berry aroma that veers towards prune – it is ample and on the march, rich, ripe and curvaceous. There is a peppery shadow across the ripe fruit on the mid-late palate – the fruit becoming fused with overt black pepper. The attack is oily, then comes a tightening phase and abundant tannin. It comes in the 2005 vintage style, is a bit demanding. A wine for autumn or winter drinking. From 2009. 2015-17 Nov 2007 Previously Nov 2006 *** full red robe; dark fruit nose, the fruit ripe and surrounded by some leather. There is a good, caressing punch to this, the flyweight boxer; its tannins are live, its black fruit confidently set. Ends on a herbal, meaty, tarry tone. From mid-2007. 2015-16 Nov 2006, London

2003 No Rating

a foxy, rather sweaty nose, and no 2nd bottle alas, at Beaucastel, March 2005