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The Wines

60% Grenache, 40% Syrah (vines mid-1970s) from clay-limestone soils on La Plane, hand harvested, destemmed, 30 day steel vat vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, then daily manual cap punching, 2018 250-litre earthen amphore raised 15-18 months, 2015-2017 raised 70% steel vat, 30% new 228-litre oak casks 18 months, monthly lees stirring, unfined, unfiltered, wide bottle, 2,200-2,350 b

2018

(earthern amphore) full, dark robe; the bouquet is soaked, weighted, smoulders with a bear-like intensity, has a red meat, hint of animal aspect. The palate is fuelled, brothy, is outside the mainstream, has a carnal force about it, reduction that needs air. It’s a full scale, wild Gigondas with a vivid bearing, demanding a good three years. Its dark fruiting and ripe tannins accumulate intensity on the finish. Fasten your seat belts before even opening this. 14.5°. 60% Gren, 40% Syr. From 2023, decanting essential. 2040-42 Feb 2020

2017

(vat/casks) dark red; the nose gives a firm aroma of basil, pesto, with blackberry fruit that has a bright centre. It’s a firm, fulsome opening. The palate shows oaking, with a charge of dark fruited content, compact tannins, has a wild surge instinct. It needs time to tone it down, sort it out. It’s foot down on the pedal wine for now, but is vivid, challenging. From 2023, decant it. 2038-40 Feb 2020

2016

(vat/casks) dark, intense robe. A good mix of black olives and black cherries lead the bouquet, notes of licorice, the fruits soaked and sappy in style. The palate comes together well, leading on vigorous black berry fruits, blueberries and cassis, with a thrust from some oak late on. The essence in the content is thorough and rather stylish. It’s a big, grapey, southern wine. The finish assembles black olives again, prune fruit. This is cellar-dominated for now, so leave until 2021. 2031-33 Oct 2017

2015

(vat/casks) dark and wholesome robe. The bouquet is a full, weighted affair with a bulky mass of black berry fruit that is rather stewed in nature, and has curls of oak smoke-varnish attached. This is immediately broad and imposing on the attack, is a fully freighted wine. The black fruit and content goes deep, with the oak texturing the second half with some dry grip. I would prefer a little less oaking, but the core matter is good, and it avoids being over exerted. 60% Gren, 40% Syr. 20 hl/ha. From 2020. 2029-31 Feb 2017