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The Wines

50-55% Grenache (1950s-1960s), 25-30% Mourvèdre (mid-1970s-1980s), 15-20% Syrah (mid-1970s-1980s), 0-5% diverse – Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Cinsault etc from Boilauzon, destemmed, 3 week vinification, cap punching, Grenache concrete vat raised, Syrah/Mourvèdre aged new-2-3-4 year 228-litre oak casks 16 months, unfined, filtered, first wine 1997, organic wine, 12-20,000 b

2018 ()

(concrete vat/new casks) dark robe, black core. The nose has soaked black cherries, griottes, air, a little mineral attached. The palate holds black fruits and rather assertive tannins which render the late moments dry. It suggests extraction. It tastes better on Day One than Day Two, so I would be concerned about its underlying structure. 15°. 12,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Mourv, 20% Syr. €38.80. From 2023. 2040-42 Oct 2019

2017

(new casks/concrete vat) full robe; has a sweetly fruited, almost flashy bouquet that leads on glistening blackberry fruit, cassis present. There’s a slight note of grilling underneath. The palate is smoky, dark, has a pushy mass towards the finish, with some chewy, gummy touches in the tannins. I am not sure how well together this is, as if the ripeness was an issue, the fruit ripeness, the whole grape. There’s an implicit late dryness for now. 15°. 12,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Mourv, 20% Syr. From 2022. 2037-39 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat/casks) dark red, good robe. The bouquet is a suave bundle of black cherry and loganberry fruit, splashed with floral, scented influences and licorice. The palate is a good and clear, the black fruit stylish, moving freely into a chewy, nicely deeply fruited, juicy close. The tannins are firm, but ripe, and give good late support. Its long and fresh, a promising wine with good balance. 15°. 12,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Mourv, 20% Syr. From 2020-21. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2015

(casks/steel vat) dark red colour, nicely full. The bouquet has a cavalier style, a free width of black cherry fruit, a brothy depth, with good life and appealing sweetness in it. The palate picks up well from the nose, prompted by succulent, wavy fruits, neat, small dark berries with well-tuned tannins right in step. The aftertaste has a little spot of freshness, saltiness. This is slightly exerted Châteauneuf with late breadth. 15°. 12,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Mourv, 20% Syr. €36. From 2020 to allow more freedom. 2035-38 Oct 2016  GB £290 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk info@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203  478 7376

2014

(vat/casks) shiny dark red. The nose gives an air of grilling, with a comfortable black berry fruit in behind. It has some southern sweetness, and is lucid. The palate has an agreeable blackberry flavour with a note of mint in a little point on the finish. Fruit-based wine, not big on content, but has its own serenity, and finishes broadly. 15°. 12,000 b. From mid-2017. This will please. 2027-29 GB £273 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk Oct 2015 

2013

(casks) medium to dark colour. Has a rather diffuse nose with a soapy character – it lacks definition and precision. The palate is rustic with abrasive tannins and a drying finish. It is going through an awkward patch, and needs reviewing again later. Provisional score given. From 2017. 2025-27 JL Oct 2014

2012

bright red; interesting blackberry, cassis bud, licorice air with an appealing little sweet come hither. Has a nutty youthfulness, work in progress signals. The debut brings forward sleek, decisive black berry fruit with “shiny”, clipped tannins attached. Cellar over vineyard here, has definite strength of matter. The aftertaste is broad, sustained, glowing. Urban-metropolitan drinkers will like its attacking, busy style, clean fruit. From 2016. £265 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2030-32  Nov 2013

2011 ()

dark red, prune colour. Sweet blackberry liqueur front aroma, an air of damp, dark soil beyond. The palate is easy going, holds supple black berry fruit, with a touch of mint and tar. 2011 fine grain tannins follow after a slight pause. The finish is clear. Drink from late 2014 in order to allow it to fuse properly. Clear drinking here – an early style, agreeable Châteauneuf-du-Pape. 15°. 2027-29  Dec 2012

2010

very dark robe; has a broad, rippling bouquet, a serene spread of sweet-noted black berry – the nose gives a curvy, full start to the wine. The palate has an ample black fruit soaking with oak that seems new on the outside (tasted blind). Comes in an assertive style, has a lot of black fruit intensity, and seems geared for a market such as the USA. It is very much on its oak for now which is mixed up with a rich sweetness. More local, more together from 2015-16. 2034-36. 55% G, 30% M, 15% Syr this year. Dec 2011

2009 ()

bright purple-black robe. Big and broad nose with life in it, a mix of chunky black fruit and tannin. It exudes a sense of purpose, is smoky, grilled, oaked. The palate is marked by licorice-filled black fruit, and has fine acidity, juicy fruit. It ends on Mourvèdre style licorice (tasted blind) that offers firm and steady notes. Its oak means it should be left until 2013-14. Has a typical herbal aftertaste. A classy wine in the making, but obviously presents a lot of oak now. Will be fusing by 2015. 2031-33 Oct 2010

2007

dark red; the bouquet has a cool tone, shows black fruit, honey, the oak entering it now. The palate carries black fruit, for now is a Superhighway wine from its oak, which sticks out just now. This needs to coalesce, so leave until autumn 2014 or so. It is rather in the vein of full-on wines at present, but can get there. 15°. 2028-31  Dec 2011 Previously Nov 2009 **** bright, dark robe. Good spherical nose – attractive black fruit, minor and agreeable sweetness, has depth, is young, ends with a bosky snap. Charming blackberry fruit on the palate – well-balanced, pretty length. This is nice and wholesome, its fruit well-defined. It drinks now. The end is quite fresh, shows some tannic support there. Not a head banger, a measured 2007, thank goodness - the Mourvedre has played its 2007 role well. 2026-29 Nov 2009

2006

dark robe, legs visible. The nose is dense, gives an oaked, rolling chocolate air – it is thick and not easy to define. This is indeed sturdy, thick wine. It isn’t moving much in any direction, and is still involved with its oak raising. A New World Châteauneuf, not a wine of the vineyard. 15°. 2025-27  Dec 2012 Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) dark, black robe; the nose is full of promise with well-organized, well-founded fruit aromas – they move along and across the glass, and there is oak here, too. The palate starts with a richness that has not been pushed, and shows a bonny foundation of red stone fruits and tannins that provide some late frame, and work well. Later on, the impression gains that this has actually been worked on in the cellar, and while there is plenty to come from the bouquet and the palate, it needs to come together. Allow 3 years for this process. The length is sound. From 2011. 2023-26 Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2007 **(*) bright purple; raisin, kirsch airs on the nose, which is oily and abundant, marked by oak top notes. There are lacings of oak in this rich texture – comes in a clearly modern style with a lot of upfront showing – no holding back. May be accessible in 2010. Is broad at the finish. 2022-24. To be bottled March 2008. Nov 2007

2005

dark plum robe; the reserve of this vintage is evident on the nose – black fruits, charcoal (oak effect), barbecue smoke tang – needs leaving until 2010. The palate is close-knit, rather bountiful, comes with good gras that persists with some power around its spine. Good, wholesome wine even if it is still upright, a feature that prevails for now over its richness. Good balance, From 2010. 2026-28 June 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ****(*) bright, full British Post Office red; The nose bears a lot of live red fruit, led by raspberry – there is a firm foundation around the fruit, so potential is in the air. The palate is a good mix of richness and sinew, with tannins that drive it along after half way. Oak and tannin move through late on. This is a live and lithe wine, with plenty of energy. There is gras on the aftertaste. From 2010. Well, it has come together, thank goodness: 2005 can be a slow-burn vintage. 15.5°. 2024-26 Nov 2007 Previously Nov 2006 *(*) (pre-bottle) dark colour. Quite chunky, black fruit aroma, with a smoky, burnt side, acrid. Herbal-tinted black fruit on palate is stop-go, but the tannins are so severe, the style dry and acrid, that it`s hard to get a handle on this, and whether it`s got true resources to make it. From 2009?? To 2023-25 Nov 2006

2004 ()

dark robe. The nose is broad, fills the glass well, has a prune lead air, with mocha and toasting. It isn’t that expressive, though it is young. The palate works on a smooth texture at the start, then develops some bite and more profound moments. This is glossy Châteauneuf, with distance from the vineyard. It ends on caramel form its oak. People will like this, but it is a manoeuvred wine. 14.5°. 2024-26  Oct 2013 Previously ***(*) some advance in the robe, but still in good shape. The nose is settling down, has a supple but still inky air, peppered, weighty. The palate has a thorough foundation, still shows oak along its sides, leading to a finale that shows chocolate. The Mourvèdre plays a strong role – gives structure and style. It grips on the finish. The 30% Mourvèdre is in control now, gives the wine a firm hand. Plenty of route to cover still. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 30% Mourv, 20% Syr this year. 2021-23  Previously Oct 2006 *** dark robe; a strike of oily, streamlined black fruit on the bouquet – has non-Grenache varieties to heighten it, is very thorough with some herbal airs, if a little extracted. Palate starts with a soft but persistent imprint of black fruit – again, gives the feel of an extracted wine. Leather and fine boned tannins late on, length is good. Weighty, quite a potent do. From 2008-09 on. 2022-24 Oct 2006

2003

still full robe, dark plum colour. Sous-bois (damp woods) and damp black soils aroma with a marked air of chocolate, probably from the oak. The palate sets off well, attractive freshness prevails; the second half is tasty, a real bounty presented. The flavour combines full fruit and oak, hence there is a treacle-caramel-mocha note. This has a full thrust. It is a bit too close to the cellar, but is good. 14°. 2025-28  Nov 2013

2001 ()

the red colour is still quite thorough. There is a bonny advance in the bouquet – ripe, red fruits with some sous-bois, damp woods airs, and still some hints of oak – this is promising. The palate holds good, rich matter, and is just starting its second phase. Has a coffee-mocha aftertaste. There is good, rich heart in this, it is a wine of a chunky shape, one with shoulders. It is peppery towards the finish, then overtaken by a tannic, oaked finale. This was the time for high oak “popularity” if one followed the herd. 2022-24 Nov 2007 Previously May 2003 **** bosky, notably warm, cooked fruits with a leather tang on bouquet. Harmonious, likeable dark fruits attack, good and typical with southern push in it. Follows through well, genuine, traditional and balanced. Lots of good tannin on the finish. Esp 2005-06 on. 2021-24 May 2003

2000

bright, evolved robe, with some black in the dark red. Reductive, stinky, fungal nose, with a blackberry, prune, sweet air – almost dates in nature, and rather musty as it moves to damp woods or sous-bois. The palate starts with a crème of black berry, but there is oak working through it, so it possesses a rather dry second half, and ends up tightening more its oak than its grape tannins. Decant this, I insist. There is some crispness in the fruit from the oak, but the texture is fairly rich. Is just a bit limited in its expression. 2018-20 Jan 2008

1999 ()

nice full robe; has an interesting nose, which is live, with caramel and a good upright air, and also garrigue herbs and oak on parade. The palate bears red fruit with a Pinoté nature – has very much a rich style, but oak comes through to grab the final stretch. It is a pity the oak is in the way, since the primary matter is very good. The air brings out the oak too much on top, on both nose and palate. It then finishes dryly, and is simply over-oaked. Pity. 2019-21 Nov 2006

1998 ()

sappy, fleshy bouquet – tea with substance, rather a heavy feel. The palate has an opulent, soaked flavour of black berry. The finish is downhome, but clean, as it were. A full, sappy wine with a soaked texture. It still carries some oak on the finish. Sweet and unctuous wine. 2020-23 Nov 2006