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The Wines

60% Grenache (1960s), 20% Syrah (1970s-1980s), 20% Mourvèdre from stony, rocky clay-limestone soils on Les Garrigues, hand harvested, destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, 70-80% vat raised, 20-30% oak cask raised 10 months, filtered, called Pierrelongue from mid-2010s, 8-15,000 b

2018 ()

(vat/casks) very dark red colour; the bouquet serves an air of oxtail, chiselled blue and black fruit, oak-charcoal, is a dense, fuelled opening. The palate is also grounded, has a firm couch of black stone fruit with imposing tannins that are mixed with sweet oak. The sweetness takes away some of its drive. This is solid quality Vacqueyras, best left until mid-2021 or so. Gren, Mourv, Syr. €15. 2032-34 Feb 2020

2017

dark red; the nose carries reduction, has a cooked plums central aroma, sidings of toffee, sweet herbs, Christmas spices. The palate is ready now, starts with a savoury roll of red stone fruits, grainy tannins following, the finish a little drawn back. It’s workmanlike Vacqueyras, correct enough, but low on buzz, real local ID. Gren, Mourv, Syrah. €15. 2027-28 Feb 2020

2016

dark robe; a coulis of blueberry fruit air leads the nose with notions of black olives, mineral sparks. It has a sturdy depth, can spring into more openness over the coming years. The palate is tightly drawn together, comes with rocky tannins, has “knuckle”. It’s a vigorous Vacqueyras, genuine, honest, has character, is not a streamlined package at all. There’s likeable Grenache juice on the close. This is a Rhône enthusiast’s wine, needs a little study. 14.5°. GSM. From 2020. 2029-31 Feb 2018

2014

sober, quite dark red robe. The nose gives an immediate air of basil with pine, suggests oaking to follow. There is a charcoal intensity which camouflages its dark fruit. The word “clash” comes to mind: Grenache versus oak. The palate suffers from the affliction of the oak, is old school in that overoaking sense. The content struggles as a result. Tough finish. From 2018. 2020-21  Dec 2015 

2012 ()

(casks) subdued dark red. Has a chunky, chiselled, possible older oak air here, pine and pepper, has a traditional style, is a bit “soupy”. The palate is closed-in, serves immediate, dry-toned tannins. The flavour involves dried raisins, oriental spices, toffee moments. It has gras richness. Can get together, but doesn’t have big horizon hope. From mid-2015. 15,000 b. 2020-21  Dec 2013

2011

dark plum red. The nose is neutral, though immediate – there is a latent air of spiced Grenache plum, with a note of rosemary, has good possibilities showing elegance and interest. There is a loose-limbed run of spiced red fruit throughout the palate, though it is a shade dry, its tannins up the beach rather than in the liquid of the wine. This can fuse, say around mid-2014, but that is the main issue – the tannic integration to avoid the dryness of the finish, a classic 2011 scenario. 14°. 2019-20  May 2013

2003 No Rating

earthy, ripe fruit nose that fades. The palate is unconvincing, with a rather bitter feel. May be acidified, this bites, and is not agreeable.  July 2005

2000

robe has advance in the red; rose, baked plum aroma. The palate has a flattering roundness that tapers towards the finish. The fruit is fair, now advancing. Was better a year ago. Drink this up.  July 2005