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The Wines

60-65% Grenache, 14-20% Syrah, 15-20% Mourvèdre (2000, its share rising to 20% since then), 1-5% Cinsault, whole bunch fermentation, 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, aged 50-70% 1-4 year 228-litre oak casks, 0-15% large wooden vats, 15-50% concrete vat (until 2006 was 40% vat) 12 months, unfined, unfiltered, biodynamic wine, 45-49,900 b

2018

(casks/concrete vat) largely dark red robe; the bouquet has a prune, spiced make-up, a gentle note of raspberry, low-key sweetness. The palate is densely composed, holds musky black stone fruit content, prune and tobacco, spicing in the mix. It’s well set, has nice assurance, takes one step at a time. The length is steady. It will show well in a large glass around 2028, as a ripe, aromatic Gigondas. 70% Gren, 15% Mourv, 14% Syr, 1% Cins. 20% new oak. €24 at cellars. From 2022-23. 2039-41 Feb 2020  £120/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017

(casks/vat) full, dark red; the bouquet offers a bright thrust of ripe, upbeat blackberry fruit, with a salted fringe. It lasts securely. The palate is also free with its gourmand black fruits, has a vintage density and insistence. The tannins are demanding, on the rugged side, bring a tar chewiness to the finish, change the landscape there: there’s a question mark over them. 70% Gren, 15% Mourv, 14% Syr, 1% Cinsault. From mid-2021. 2035-37 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks, bottling spring 2018) full, dark red colour, legs visible. The nose has a subdued of black berry fruit, cassis fruit with a touch of sweetness, coulis style. There is a whisper of mixed herbs. The palate is quietly chunky, holds its ground based on compact black fruiting, firm tannins that render the shape square for now. It finishes on a sweep of menthol, laurel – local influences. It’s marked by its non-Grenache elements for now (tasted blind), has a thorough heart and is really sustained, prolonged, on the impressive finish. There’s a lot of wine here, with some oaking and its tar to take care of. 15°. 30,000 b. From 2021. 2038-40 Oct 2017

2015

(casks/vat) sturdy, dark red robe. The bouquet is sleek and filled, leads on airs of racy, spiced dark red fruits and varnish from oak. The oak also brings a tarry note. The palate delves into richness with a free, clear style, and rocks along to a brisk finish, oak present there. Tar and licorice feature on the aftertaste. This has raw potential, is a breezy wine that requires patience: leave it until 2020. It will unfurl gradually, and has captured the fresh dance of 2015. 2034-36 Feb 2017 GB £95 6 b i/bond The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com/enprimeur +44(0)1438 741177

2014 ()

(casks) full red robe. The bouquet offers elegant potential, a discreet and winsome raspberry fruit, has tender but well resolved qualities, will continue to grow and vary. The palate offers lightly sweet strawberry fruit with a neat roll of gras richness; this is indeed Burgundian Gigondas, with definite links to the north, except for the small cluster of rosemary, sweet herbs on the finish. Serene, savoury, balanced, accomplished wine. Its oak is for now pretty well inset. 14.5°. €18 at the cellars, is very fair = VALUE. From 2019.  2031-34 GB £83/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Dec 2015 

2013

(casks) bright purple colour. Has a complex nose of spice and dark fruit with a minerally edge. Spicy Syrah is even more defined on the palate, which is round, sweet and fleshy. Firm but finely honed tannins appear on the finish. Atypical, but well done. 14°. From mid-2016. 2028-30 JL GB £89/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Dec 2014

2012

still has a dark plum red colour; the bouquet is large, expansive, with spiced plum prominent, and hints of menthol – it gives a vivid and steady depth of local influences, iodine, damp notes, sweet herbs. It has the potential to be much varied. The palate is also Grenache-inspired, with spice-cinnamon threaded through its red fruits, and brisk tannins in play from the mid-point – the tannins still young and out on their own. This is vigorous Gigondas with plenty of running to do, is still forming itself. The length is good, the aftertaste a mix of freshness and glow-power. It carries very good, typical Gigondas freshness. 14.5°. From 2023. 2040-42 June 2020 Previously Dec 2013 **** (casks, bottling March 2014) full, dark robe. The nose combines good fruit depth with a few crisp sparks, clear blackberry, a touch of fragrance aiding its style. The palate has an oaked inlay that strengthens its frame and stiffens its outer casing. Holds decent but subdued black fruit; the fruit gives a murmur of acidity to help the wine’s development. Acidity plays a big role here, time is needed, and I back it to become poised. It extends on fresh length. From 2017, though for now the oak’s role is a leading one. Decant it. 49,900 b. 14.5°. 60% Gren, 20% Syr, 18% Mourv, 2% Cins. 50% concrete vat, 50% 228-litre oak cask raised this year. 2035-37  Dec 2013

2011

(casks, bottling Feb 2013) dark red. The bouquet is led by prune, with date, treacle aromas, pine and a note of ripe red berry. The palate is smoothly, suavely textured, its oak in control in the final stages. Quite delicate matter lies within, a scented and fluid fruit. This has the precise, new wave Gigondas style, Burgundian notions (tasted blind). It holds perky, fine fruit. From 2016, say. 14.5°. 60% Gren, 20% Syr, 18% Mourv, 2% Cins, 50,000 b this year. Good value at €14 at the cellars. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(bottling in 1 month, final wine) sound red robe; restrained nose, but is deep, has a secure foundation, shows earth-stones, black raisin, and is a little mysterious. Hood, local wine on the palate, has a grounded nature and content. There is plenty of matter to interest drinkers, and there are rather prominent, solid tannins, and the wine is a good whole. STGT style to it, offers style and authenticity. It lengthens on a tasty spot of gras richness. “Since 2005-06 the percentage of Mourvèdre has grown from 5% as the young vines` fruit has come on stream,” Louis Barruol. 14.8°. From 2014. 2028-30 Jan 2012

2009 ()

(bottled 2 weeks ago) full red-purple. Persistent nose – waves of fruit with spice in them – the aromas roll out of the glass, have licorice glints. Grippy start – the coolness to the fruit works well. There are live tannins around it that add muscle and vigour. Promising, well-structured. Has a herbal, slightly sweet aftertaste with raspberry fruit within. Very true wine. 35,000 b this year after hail. 2028-30 March 2011

2008 ()

(casks) red plum robe. Tarry, funny diesel effect on nose, burnt airs that are eased by rose wisps - a strange mix. The palate has a feature of some 2008s – singed fruit, tar-char, with an auster sign-off. In a raw state, but there is gras inside this envelope of charring. Patience needed. From mid-2011. 2016-18 Dec 2009

2007

steady red robe. Cooked, rather sharp aroma, pointed red fruits, with a trail of fine smoke behind. Pliant red fruit which quietly extends along the palate. It tightens, gets a bit bitter at the end. Needs to sort the finish – leave until 2011 spring. Shade simple. 2018-19 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **** (casks) full robe; has a level, pretty full, compact nose – it implies a good grain, the fruit is bright and its crispness pleasing. The palate is well shaped – the fruit persistent, polished and cleanly cut – it comes with good bite and freshness and tannins that lend healthy support. There is late oak, which is taken care of by its rich matter. Stylish and faithful to its roots; the aftertaste summons up herbs and licorice. From late 2010. It can sing over time. 2020-22 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 (cask/vat) full, black plum colour; oily, but free-running black fruit aroma with a little tannin inherent. There is good clarity and roundness in the palate fruit – an early kick of oak and tannins. Needs leaving until 2012. 2023-24 June 2008

2006

bright, pretty dark red, black tints. Enclosed bouquet – a mix of the fundamental and also poised black berry fruit. Tasted on a low pressure day that brings out raisin and chocolate airs rather than pedigree fruit. Enjoyable black fruit on the palate, has an earthy tenor about it, a ripe, three-quarter weight southern surround. The flavour and texture are a little “cloudy” today, but this has bags of potential. Good length and flow, the fruit is notably pretty, also the depth appealing. From mid-2010. “This never stopped improving, and can age well thanks to its balance,” Louis Barruol. 2020-22 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** (casks) quite a dark plum colour; has a minty, snappy black fruit aroma, with some restraint in its power – it is broad and quite deep, bears toasted, cocoa aromas also. There is a nicely ripe tone to the palate fruit, with some oak advancing through it. Its gras can keep it going past the oak over time. The oak needs to infuse, so drink from late 2010. The length is correct. 2019-20 Jan 2008

2005 ()

black plum robe; blackberry, blackcurrant leaf aroma with a mint octave in it – there are chocolate notes and a bit of black raisin in a pretty broad affair. The start is nice and full there is plenty of content shaped around black fruit, some pepper, sweet spices and a growing, well judged level of tannin on the final quarter. Authentic wine – a good, full Gigondas. Good length. 2021-21 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **(*) (casks) dark colour; ground coffee, tar and plum aroma with a fundamental, earthy surround. The palate starts directly, has no special width, and travels in a straight line as if the non-Grenache elements are quite a high percentage. Is a touch upright, lacking in genuine fat. From 2009. 2017-18 Nov 2006

2004

sound red robe, a little evolution. Red berry, raspberry jam aroma – elegant, with a little meatiness for extra weight. Easy, approachable palate, with sweetness in the red fruit that is bright on the finish, a clear thrust there. Has a good, clear taste, drinks well now, with no tannic complications. 14.5°. 2015-16. Nov 2007 Previously July 2005 (casks) *** full, chocolate, slightly reduced aroma, a tinkle of flowers to bring charm. Good generous feel to it, tannins supply sound support. Holds a lot of fruit and gourmet appeal. Acidity here, so can live and evolve. Esp 2008-09 on. 2019-22 July 2005

2003

elegant black fruit, aromas roll sideways not down into glass, is fine, with herbal perfumes of the area. Palate also finely done, the attractive baked fruit of the Grenache, appealing, charming. Fruit is secure, can take its ageing in oak, runs well through it. Some richness here, then tannins come along on cue, leave a tasty, chewy finale. Esp 2006 on maybe. 2013-15 July 2005

1999 ()

middling red robe, still in the game. There is a gentle curve of red fruit on the bouquet, which has a grainy depth; that brings in more black fruit beyond, which has good heart, carries licorice with it. Salty, fine fruit lead to the palate – this is fresh, runs straight and true, the freshness is sparkling. It ends on an accomplished length, thanks to a really tasty herbal-floral flourish. The tannins are a bit gritty still. 2023-25. The only wine made this year, which has beefed it up since the first cask tasting when it was on its own. July 2011 Previously March 2000 ***(*) (cask) ripe, even aroma, black fruit with a pepper trim. Good fleshy palate that is rather open – is more supple than 1998, the tannins soft, plenty of matter present. Good richness within. An agreeable wine. Will drink really well around 2005 on. 2013-15 March 2000

1998

for bottling in 3 weeks, “I racked it yesterday since it is so closed,” Louis Barruol: good, dark robe, black-purple present. Dark fruit, raw meat aromas, a square shape to the tight-knit bouquet. Good palate, a lot of matter here, very knit together. Has a really intense, potent Grenache flavour. A classic, big, rather tough Gigondas youngster. Has a very good tannic structure, too, and is clean-cut. Long life ahead. 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Cinsault this year. 14.2°. 2017-20 March 2000

1997

green tea, sweet prune airs in the bouquet, also licorice. There is quite a lot here – and still some cards up its sleeve. Rich and open on the palate, in an easy way –makes for nice drinking now. Has good, leathery length. Light flavour of plum, spiced jam. Stops a bit short. Goes well with lamb from Mont Ventoux cooked in its own juice. 2010-11 “We had a very beautiful October, so the end season made up a bit of ground this year,” Louis Barruol. Nov 2006

1994

fine robe, light top, clear aspect. Lightly spiced nose, with acidity and “breeze” in it, red peach, redcurrant and a pleasing air of rosemary herb. The palate is a touch “high”, but the fruit is fine, floral, and caresses gently. Its acidity advances towards the finish. Still ticking over, but the lack of thorough ripening comes through on the second half, making it a bit lean. The attack is frank. The fruit is very fine, note, and the wine gains roundness with air. I wouldn’t decant this, but I would let it breathe for 30+ minutes. 13.5°. To say 2016. June 2010

1993 ()

black fruits, tarry bouquet – shows leather and a little floral air as a counterpoint, and some dried apricot – where did that come from?? Sinewed texture on the palate – the prune flavour is laced with leather, and a little welcome thread of sweetness. Some laurel herb on a finish that is a bit dry. Still in good shape, given this extremely difficult, drenched vintage. 13.7°. To 2010 Nov 2006

1991 ()

this was the only wine this year. Ruby colour, fair red core, legs down the glass. There is a baked top note to the bouquet, date, North African fruits and menthol – it resembles a Barolo, I find, is fresh, toasted and grilled. The palate stands around the tightness of the year, then gains depth as it breathes. A bonny gras develops with air, aided by an easy freshness. It widens well late on. It can still live well, a common event in quiet years at Gigondas. 13.5°. 2021-23.  Dec 2011

1986

sympa, mild red robe. There are floral and rosemary herbal notes lying in a rather rustic nose, also gummy fruit, earth, vegetal, some decay. Beauty and the Beast, the latter strong. The palate red fruit is wiry, offers some freshness, lives on its acidity. It has held well given its age, but ends on a curly note, then bounces back with some life. Needs food such as lamb with rosemary or courgettes in olive oil. “This was bottled after six years in vat. Dad kept back 32 hl of this,” Louis Barruol. 2015-17 Jan 2008

1969

pretty robe – red within, also ruby. The aroma is full, offers a willing black fruit that is not hidden at all. It is sunny and open, fresh and round, comes with licorice and fennel. There is gras de vieux – a richness of old wine – here on the palate; it is very pretty, its length sustained. It has evolved extremely well, in line with the early style of the vintage. “I find thyme on the nose,” Louis Barruol. March 2009. There is a good story behind this wine, presented in a Champagne bottle, bottled in Switzerland by a client of Henri Barruol’s. “It was stored at a constant 13°C in Switzerland, which helped it to do better than if it had been kept in Gigondas,” commented Louis Barruol. “It is 95% Grenache – we planted our first Syrah in 1969, so the 5% difference came from our half hectare of Mourvèdre, plus a few Alicante and Carignan here and there.”