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The Wines

70-95% Grenache, 0-20% Syrah, 5-20% Mourvèdre, 0-6% Cinsault from clay-limestone, galet stone covered soils on Palestor (N), mostly destemmed, 19 day concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, concrete vat raised 15 months (was raised large barrel 14-18 months until late 2000s), filtered, organic wine, 6,000-30,000 b

2018

(steel/concrete vat, bottling Jan 2020) full red colour; the bouquet is heavy weight, stacked with prune, stone fruit, shows the sweet depth of its place. The palate is also coated, copious, offers a gourmandise that will suit sauced dishes, bears a little floral note towards the close, a small moment of restraint there. The black fruits are savoury and prolong soundly. Classic, genuine Châteauneuf here, elegance in its veins. 14.5°. 6,000 b. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv. €21. From 2023. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017

(barrel/concrete vat, bottling Jan 2019) dark red hue. Beef stock, entrails, Indian ink, crunchy black fruit, cocoa beans airs on the nose, which is brooding, weighty, doesn’t dip. The palate issues a thick but rolling content, picks up spice-pepper from its tannins, has some clarity on the close. It’s coherent along the palate, which is a good sign. The finish embraces the south, with menthol, garrigue notes in with the dark fruit and thick juice. 15°. 9,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. €19. From 2022. 2040-43 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(concrete vat, bottling April 2018) shiny dark red colour. There are sweet notes on the bouquet, airs of caramel and crushed red berry fruit. It’s young, not varied as yet. The palate holds easy-textured matter with ripe, gummy tannins attached. It’s not taken its defined shape yet, and will benefit from further raising. The red fruits resemble cherries, and it keeps its power just about under control as it finishes. 15°. 10,700 b. 95% Gren, 5% Mourv. €19. From late 2019. 2037-40 Oct 2017

2010

quite a full red; notably red fruit liqueur aroma in a bendy, supple bouquet –it has a well-balanced ripeness that gives a secure feel, while there is a drift of top smoke for now. The palate has bite, a 2010 directness, in the fruit; it runs quickly along the palate, with chiselled, slightly chalky tannins on the sides. It ends with spearmint tang – there you go. Not that a terroir wine, but it can gain that. From late 2013. €17 at the cellars. 2029-32 Dec 2011

2009 ()

dark, sleek red; Streamlined red fruits, red cherry aroma, a primary nose. Rather hands-off red fruit on the palate – it is all orderly, but lacks real soul, as if made by an adviser, or a school book wine. It is perfectly clean and clear. Shows oak moments late on, largely integrated. Lacks the complexity and variety of Châteauneuf, but can do more if left until 2012. Slight late dryness apparent – foudre, large barrel effect. Bottled already. €14. 2024-26 Oct 2010

2007

(barrel) bright red with black tints; has a steady, black fruits aroma – it is gently wide, and has a pleasing quiet richness; there is also smoky bacon in the air here. The palate has bite from the start – “dark” fruits come with a bit of burn and tar in the flavour. It is rather bitter on the end now, but this can come around, unless it stems from the large barrel factor. It is raw goods now, but will be OK. More upright, stiff than many 2007s. 2023-25 Nov 2008

2006 ()

full, quite dark red robe; has a smoky bacon aroma, like a pack of potato crisps with that flavouring, and a little nuttiness around it and black fruit at its centre. The palate has a cohesive texture, carrying black fruits with some pepper present, and late on some noticeable tannins that need leaving for almost three years, along with oak. This runs directly, in a clear, straight line. Is a little over oaked, methinks, certainly for young drinking. Is a wee bit narrow. From 2010. 2024-26 Nov 2007

2005

raspberry red colour; quite a broad, nicely assured nose, is tarry and has crackly pepper in with some latent black fruits, also violet and garrigue and warm stones in this typical bouquet that holds potential for the future. The palate is punchy and overt, delivers a robust, instant kick of red fruit with a waxen tone to it. There is a late creeping up of tannin that is largely fused, but renders the finish square at this young stage. Shows the firepower of its zone on the finish with some late rawness. Marks for character and no-nonsense appeal. A pepper-spice element grows prominently with airing. Is a touch rustic in tannins and its peppery thrust, and a bit more deep-seated richness would help. From 2009 for a more varied start to middle age. 14°. 2023-25 Dec 2007, East Sussex Previously Nov 2007 *** quite dark; brewed, peppered nose, tight and pretty full for the future, shows smoke n’berries, a little earthiness. Smoothly textured, fleshy wine, plenty of width and a comfortable berry fruit present. Prickle of late tannin, but is round on the finish. Palate is rather dumb now. Esp 2008 on for more expression. 2022-24 Nov 2007