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The Wines

50-85% Grenache, 10-50% Mourvèdre, 0-10% Syrah (1950s) from sandy, galet stone, clay-limestone soils spread across Pignan (N-E), Cabrières (N), Palestor (N), La Gardiole (N-E), Boislauzon (N-E), destemmed, 30-35 day vinification in 90% concrete vat, 10% used casks, pumping overs, Syrah is cap punched, aged 50-67% concrete vat, 33-50% 228-litre oak casks, large 13 hl barrel 12 months, fined, unfiltered, "drink with game, beef, cheese", 25,000 b

2019 ()

(concrete vat/casks, bottling March 2021) dark, bold robe; the bouquet is sealed tight, presents a wall of ripe black stone fruit, marked prune with its underlying sweetness, airs of black olives. It’s a weighted start. The palate is rich, concentrated from the outset, has a plunge of mixed berry fruit flavour, a welling up of density, a chunky nature. It risks being a little hard work, especially when young, so the best bet is to allow it to age and loosen. It has a firm heart, an intense Grenache, thickly juiced, centre. It’s not a wine that you can drink much of at a time. 15°. 70% Gren, 30% Mourv. €35 at the domaine. From 2024, decant it. 2044-46 Nov 2020

2018

(concrete vat/casks, bottling March 2020) dark red; the nose has a raw, very primary nature, crushed nutshells, raspberry liqueur fruit within, notes of mixed dried herbs. The palate is enjoyably juicy, with a little thickness in the tannins that engages towards the finish, a touch of glow, power on the aftertaste. This is grounded, lusty, muscular, STGT Châteauneuf, good garrigue wine, a companion for autumn and winter dishes. 15°. 60% Gren, 40% Mourv. €35. From 2023. 2041-43 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(concrete vat/casks, bottling Apr 2019) full, deep red. Good depth on the nose, brimming blueberry fruit, smoke, licorice, and a lusty inner, a child of warm lands here. The palate holds full, sustained content, the tannins pretty lissom, snake-like. This is on the limit vis-à-vis the degree-content ratio, with the finish noticeable for its inner power. The flavour has a kirsch association. I am uneasy about the balance. Time may help it to fuse. 50% Gren, 50% Mourv. 15°. From 2021. 2037-39 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(concrete vat, bottling March 2018) firm red colour. The nose is an enjoyable combo of blackberry and raspberry fruit, has a soft floral hover, and a beguiling sweetness. The fruit has a pure, “glistening” quality. The palate is authentic, comes with southern tones including iodine, black olives, laurel that speckle the dark fruit well. There are dark tannins well embedded, and it ends with momentum, good carry, some gunflint clarity and spicing. This will be a handsome glass in time. 15°. 70% Gren, 30% Mourv. 100% concrete vat raising. €29. From 2020-21. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2015

(barrel) dark robe. The bouquet gives an enjoyable swirl of blackberry fruit and coulis, is engaging on its primary fruit. The palate offers delicious fruit with a sweet epicentre, and the tannins fit in extremely well, a gloved hand from them. This is classic, classy Châteauneuf with the charm and finesse of its place: the rest of the southern Rhône cannot offer this texture and stroking plumpness. A thread of saltiness is a subtle late contributor. STGT, spherical wine: enjoy! 15°. From spring 2018. 2038-40 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(barrel) dark hued red robe. There is a petrol top air on the bouquet, with a deep raspberry filling below, hints of oak. This has well judged depth, and will vary well over time. The palate carries a genuine punch, just a little oak coming through as it closes, so a vanilla and juicy black raisin element exists there. It holds plenty of rich, fluid content to handle its raising. This persists very well. 65% Gren, 35% Mourv, no Syrah. 14°. From 2019. 2031-33  Oct 2015  

2013

(barrel) dark core to the robe, which is lighter at the rim. Herbal, dark-fruited nose that is slightly oblique. Green notes linger in it. There is volume of fruit on the attack, but it then fades to dry tannins. Quite stern in nature. Could improve with further pre-bottle raising. From 2016. 2023-25 JL Oct 2014

2012

(barrel) good, full red robe; graceful blackberry aroma, a note of prune, licorice; the bouquet is round, deep enough, offers floral touches. The palate starts on peppery, smooth fruit with a tar density, its tannins challenging but nicely vigorous. This can settle in successfully, holds late gras richness that allows a curved sign-off. It is a shade pumped up. Best to leave until 2016, for more relaxation. 70% Gren, 25% Mourv, 5% Cins this year. 2032-34  Nov 2013

2011

(barrel) dark robe. The nose is full of prune, ripe and sweet raspberry, also dates. This bouquet is marked by ripe and dark, mature fruit, with an underlay of sweet oiliness. There is a good bundle in the making here, and will move on to herbs and spice. The palate spreads well, combines good, fluid dark fruit with style. Oak creeps in at the end, so there is a meat-stock, Indian tea, laurel herb sign-off. This is building into a good bottle. It has a good fruit core, the fruit polished. It persists well, and delivers assertive, oaked tannins at the end. From 2015. 2030-32  Dec 2012

2010

(barrel) full robe. Prune-plum, black berry jam aroma with a wee hint of mint – it is young, compact, ripe, and there is some earthiness and a light floral note all mixed in. Has a supple, squeezy debut to the palate based on a fluid, rather fat black fruit taste. It picks up pepper and grainy tannins after half way. There is a very good core of dark, ripe Grenache fruit. It extends well along the palate, and there is a good journey to come here. I note some front of the mouth late acidity. It is a little burnt or singed on the palate, and needs time to settle. The aftertaste glows with incipient power. From mid-2014. 2034-36 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(barrel) quite full robe, matt top. Plum-blackberry liqueur lead aroma with a bit of a game tang in behind, plus some oak – this bouquet is a shade narrow and restricted. Is a punchy, upbeat wine: oak and tannins invade the final stages, and the aftertaste is very tarry. It starts on a red fruit flavour that is a genuine Grenache. The finish is rather dry for now. From 2014. 2028-30 Oct 2010

2008 ()

(barrel) matt robe, doesn`t beckon the drinker, mid-depth red here. Smoky-licorice, dark chocolate. grounded nose that has a certain solidity, a square shape reminiscent of old vine Carignan. There is a “dark” debut to the palate, indeed this prevails along it until a sign-off of mocha, roasted notes. The cellar has pushed it in this direction, not the vineyard. No real stand-out features here, but is correct. 2017-18 Nov 2009

2007 ()

good, full red; sealed, but promising nose, its red fruits lying low, a hint of liqueur, mulled fruit in it. The palate is gracious, holds rather clean red fruits, is good and authentic. There is attractive purity, which strikes a clear note. Stylish length and a bonny, appealing texture here, also good balance and a well-presented freshness. This is going well. One of the best Tradition cuvées of the vintage, and obvious value for money. 2028-30 Oct 2009 Previously March 2009 **** full, dark red. Has a well-knit nose that bears compact black fruit berry aromas – it is promising, has cards up its sleeve. The palate is tasty, with a dash of energy and tannin, and ends on a local, herbal-chewy, licorice note. A natural wine that has not been “polished”, has good probity, is STGT wine. Good local character. From 2010. Bottled one week ago. 2025-27 March 2009

2006

attractive, glistening robe with a full red centre. The bouquet is a big old hound dog, comes with feral notes, tobacco, stewed plum – it is a mixed bag. The palate presents live fruit, the acidity of the year, power ingrained. This gives the force of stony vineyards, and I find it is driven by Mourvèdre – that feral side on the nose – which accelerates the length of the palate. Has a good heart, and is a real Child of the Terroir – it has character, and is a Big Boy. There is excitement and challenge in its drinking. The finish brings in cocoa, herbs, licorice tang. “This was the first vintage we destemmed – 80% of the crop. It was always dense,” Daniel Chaussy. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. 2026-28  Dec 2012 Previously Jan 2008 ** (vat/barrel) dark plum robe; stiff, upright, tannic and grainy nose – some coffee and raisin here in a very young bouquet, the fruit is simmered black berries. There is a tight, edgy feel to the palate's black fruit, the shape is pointed, and the aftertaste is tarry. There is a little of firm extraction in its sharp centre. Will settle more, but the imprint of cellar intensity rather than the vineyard's attributes give me cause for concern. From 2010. 2024-26 Jan 2008

2005

full, quite dark red plum colour; has a meaty, wholesome aroma – pepper, snappy spice and some of the vintage dry dust that can be absorbed as it ages. This is a wine of substance, one with a broad chest – it has well-knit fruit and tannin, a good local feel. The core juice is good. It ends on a little oak. A proper manly wine, with well-embedded richness and well apart from the suave Châteauneuf-du-Pape souped-up school. 2026-29 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) (pre-bottle) full, dark robe. Already elegant, full aroma of smooth, cooked fruits, notably soaked cherries. Clean-cut palate, is quite punchy with its tannins on the march. Fruit style of cap punching, a clean extraction. Licorice, rather international finale. Length is OK – this can come together. Modern clean and suave wine with an oak influence. From 2009-10. 2024-27 Nov 2006

2004

attractive, slowly evolving purple colour, a healthy look. The bouquet is a grand affair: it is very deep, reveals open red fruit airs, a red berry, mulberry fruit style with a minor nutty backdrop. The nose is young, and doesn’t yet have the splendour of variety. The palate connects very well to the bouquet; it is also rich and wholesome, and drinks well now. A touch of late tannin adds a soft presence in the wine, a fine fibre and a light spine of licorice and tea. It is advancing very gracefully, is a humdinger. It is unpretentious, exactly what Châteauneuf should be, and highly authentic. Two hours open brings out some alcohol on the late stages, but its gras remains constant. On Day 2, there is a bit more fire – it is honest but not polished. 14.°. 2023-25  May 2011, East Sussex Previously Sept 2007 ***(*) the robe is quite a robust red with a matt plum at its heart. Has a sweet-toned, red berry jam aroma – it is inviting, and there are traces of sweet prune and licorice, with tingly white pepper. This is a real child of the garrigue – has herbal, forward red stone fruit and sloe berries in the taste, with a tannic border that leaves a toffee, slight nutted-cashew nut aftertaste. Is well drawn together, and handles its vintage and the alcohol well. Is round and seamless now, with good ripe tannins late on, that summon a brewed, warm tone. Traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in the STGT corridor. A bouncy, live wine, on form now. 2021-23 Sept 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) tender, mainly red colour; floral bouquet with a bonny scent, is oily and appealing, though there is some tannic darkness late on. Supple, gourmand Grenache that is markedly spiced from half way along the palate. Has a warm, rounded texture. Good fruit quality, clean and persistent. The tannins need two years. Good length. 2019-21 Nov 2006 Previously Dec 2005 **(*) (vat/barrel) has a brewed, quite “inky” aroma, a bit of the sweaty saddle and leather – the fruit is ripe, long hang-time. The palate has a peppered start, and develops a sinewed thrust through the palate. Is a little extracted, and reveals some alcohol on the finish more than clear fruit. A wine that wants to be meaty and imposing. Its tannins are prominent, the aftertaste is peppered. Not for the faint-hearted. Esp 2008 on. 2022-24 Dec 2005

2003

sound red; has a baked, raisin tart style aroma, prune present – very 2003 from the baked plains. The palate has a full, broad start, then from mid-point onwards, it dries, narrows. The tannins are dry, and this needs time if it is to come round. Try from 2008. 2020-22 May 2006

2001

red robe, slight advance. Baked fruit aroma, black raisin, lurking spirit = power. The nose reflects the sun bouncing off the stones, the fruit red cherry. This is a wine from dusty plains, rather shut down now. Shows muscle, sinew late on, is long. A big, honest Grenache wine. Authentic, STGT, and very good with venison. “It was a good vintage – we had a small crop, but the late summer weather was good,” Daniel Chaussy. 2022-24  Nov 2009

2000

gamey, hung meat aroma with a tinkle of mineral as it ages. Tight-knit and also rather meaty wine from the traditional school – loud and clear. Lacks fruit, and the end is a bit heated. Not really inspiring. May trundle along. Needs big country foods to show best. 2012-13 Feb 2006 Subsequently Jan 2008 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape – corked bottle.

1999 ()

full core to the robe, with a top layer that is tiled. Has a harmonious, refined nose – shows a little tea, with flowers such as rose hip and black, spiced fruit below – is varied between smoke, fruit and spice. The palate is tight-knit, with through black fruit and a prune style flavour. A wine of good flow that is now in its second stage, but is well established and fresh. Sings a little via its cherry flavour, and is comfortable in its skin. Has a good, rich finish. Has bounced back from last tasting. 2022-24 Dec 2006 Previously Feb 2006 **(*) meaty, gamey, fungal aromas that are quite brisk still. Chunky, almost chocolate flavour, then from half way it tapers and loses its vigour and freshness. The nose is superior to the palate. The palate is muddled, as if it needs to get out of itself. Try on this showing in 2007, maybe decant it, too. Can live, and take further turns in the road. 2020-22 Feb 2006 “I was still finding my way in 1999; maybe I left the 1999 too long with its 4 week vatting. With no destemming, it could have had less time in the vat,” Daniel Chaussy.