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The Wines

60-74% Grenache (late 1950s, 1961-63), 20-30% Syrah (1974), 6-15% Mourvèdre (early 1960s) from 75% Les Garrigues (W), 25% from higher altitude clay-limestone soils (S-E), destemmed, varieties vinified apart, 3-5 week process, with cap punching, part vat emptying/refilling, steel and unlined concrete vat raised 12-18 months, unfined, filtered, 15-50,000 b

2016

(vat) full red colour, all through, legs visible. The bouquet is hunky, broad, has a packed in aroma of red fruits with a glossy nature that stems in part from its degree; there’s a note of lamb stock. The palate has a flavour of mulled black fruits, a savoury aspect, is a modern, polished Gigondas with its power just about an issue. The finish sees the fruit drop away a little for now, and one is left with the assertion of the alcohol. The balance here isn’t quite right, with the headiness inside the wine a distraction. 15°. 38,000 b. From 2021-22. 2032-33 Oct 2017

2014

(vat) red robe. The bouquet is steady, unshowy, presents a pretty broad band of cooked plum fruit, a little sun and sweetness in the glass. The palate bears quite stylish, neat Grenache plum fruit, is softly textured, and flows consistently. Agreeable, if slightly confected style here: it is a wholesome, soft core Grenache wine. It builds a little tempo and strength on the finish, which add to its quality. 14.5°. 40,000 b. €15. From mid-2017. 2026-28  Dec 2015

2013 ()

(vat) rather pale, purple-garnet colour. Has a leafy-herbal nose that llacks complexity and verve. Red fruits are present on the palate but it also has a definite leafy edge. This is light in weight, with sandy tannins on the finish. Its long-term potential seems compromised. 14°. From mid-2015. 74% Gren, 20% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre, 40,000 b, €14.50 at the cellars. 2022-24 JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

(vat, bottling April 2014 onwards) dark red, purple tints. The nose carries a Syrah black berry fruit marking, and an overall ripe, fat tone, good raspberry with a little iris flower: it is going well. The palate is freshly fruited, has lift, while tannins crunch into it with some salty threading before it ends clearly. It very much carries the plump, heated mid to lower zones style of Gigondas. Round and the on the go from late 2015-16. There is mild late grip. The 30% Syrah allows earlier drinking than some. 2024-25  Dec 2013

2010 ()

(vat) attractive, full dark red; Has abroad, well made nose with several layers of sweety fruit and a plump Grenache generosity within, some dark airs, too. The palate flows well from the nose, led by the texture of the ripe Grenache and a plump fat which lasts. Lots to like here. It is fresh right on the point of the aftertaste, but its amount of matter will please and impress drinkers. It quietens down at the end, closes on a mixture of garrigue herbs, stones and tea. From mid-2013. 2027-29 Dec 2011

2009 ()

curious to taste this after bottling, and receive a different impression from that before: red robe with dark tints. Nutty, black cherry stone air, the bouquet has medium scope, is round and a bit simple. Touches of black jam and kirsch show up. Supple, medium richness on palate – there is one small moment of concentration before demanding tannins come along, and it ends on that 2009 baked note. Less true depth and width, and softer tannins than 2 hours ago when tasting it. From mid-2012. 2019-20 July 2011 Previously March 2011 ***(*) (bottling in 1 month) quite dark red. Spicy-peppery front air – good foundation to the nose, which for now is rather square in shape. The palate is solid, sunswept, and builds up to a firm close, has marked tannic edging. The non-Grenache influences play a leading role – this year the wine is 62% Gren, 28% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. From mid-2013. 2022-24 “There was a lot of energy in my 2009 Syrah – the Grenache needed to absorb it. We were happy to have this solid wine – more so than in recent years – so it will have extra keeping qualities.” François Meffre. March 2011

2008

(vat) quite bright red robe. Sweet style plum, plum liqueur baked brioche air, dried red cherry, strawberry – a good line-up of fruit aromas. Grenache-forward palate – the fruit carries sweetness, is largely ripe, continues with quiet body, length. Not have great depth to it in reality. There are some burnt notes along the palate, a dried herbs aftertaste. Overall, a finely done wine. Only 15,000 b this year. From late 2010. 2016-17 Dec 2009

2007

quite a full robe, not bright. Succulent style nose, juiced black fruit, black jelly, light air of licorice. The palate has a tight but refined casing of tannin around its black fruit – it is reduced, so extends carefully, is a wine taking its time. Builds up a tar, enforced finale with some bitter moments. Decant this. The core matter is sound, the end a bit hot. From spring 2011. 2020-21 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **(*) (vat) dark red cherry; has a primary, post-fermentation aroma that is led by cassis fruit with some raspberry. The palate texture suggest a long maceration in the vat, and it is steel a bit leesy in taste. A racking wouldn’t hurt this sample. This will be better judged from mid-2009. It is clearly fruited and the tannins are mostly woven into it for now. 2017-19 Nov 2008

2006

(vat) quite a full plum robe; has a pretty, lateral aroma with pleasing promise in its wild red berry nature – it is broad and a little downhome or reductive as well (tasted blind – now I know, this may be the Syrah influence). The palate black fruit is rich at heart, has a pretty thorough constitution. It ends on clearer tone, with licorice and some tar. There are sweet notes from its ripe fruit, there is some energy in this, even if the end is a little raw now. From late 2009. 2018-19 Jan 2008

2005

bright red plum colour; blackberry and crackly black pepper aroma, with a smoky top air – the blackberry at its heart is quite ripe. There is some vigour, some muscle in the fruit on the palate. This is still a young, lithe wine, with some active tannins around it. The shape is direct now, and it ends on a peppery, vintage-typical note. Put aside to allow more roundness to come through. From late 2009. 2017-19 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) (vat) black cherry colour. Bit sweaty, brooding bouquet – plenty here, and variety to come, is reduced today. Gourmand Grenache, ripe and rounded with a flavour of plum and myrtille (blueberry). The fruit lasts well, its tannins are well set in it. Balance OK. Clear finish, touch of stone fruit and herbs, mineral at the end. The reduction running through it must come from a lot of Syrah. Drinkable and open now, take it from 2008 on. 2015-16 Nov 2006

2004 ()

mid-depth plus red; easy appeal in a jam aroma, has a little background spice, some sweetness. Spiced red fruits jam flavour, easy to drink now, length is OK. Facile wine, but has length and some sweet appeal. To 2009. Dec 2006 Previously July 2005 ** peppery, Grenache-inspired aroma that is quite sleek. There is carbonic gas on the palate, gets a bit in the way: elegant fruit, with a clean and correct tannic outbreak. Decent balance, nicely downhome wine. 2014-16 July 2005

2003 ()

prune, mineral on a deep bouquet. Garrigue style flavour - herbal warmth. Good flesh, round and full wine. Esp 2007 on. 2012-14 March 2005

2001

good content on bouquet, nicely filled. Early palate a touch sweet - rounded, blackberry fruit, runs on well. Pretty length, easy drinking. 2010 March 2005

1997

black-tinted robe; black cherry with a pinch of heat on the nose, which is one-dimensional. The palate presents quite agreeable black fruit with a fair expression. It runs in supple fashion, straight along, is effective. The length is OK. Doesn’t ignite, but is correct. 2008-10  April 1999

1996 ()

black centre, top a pale red on robe. The bouquet has a ripely fruited air, crop with deliberate later harvesting, so a more jam style. The attack bears red, spiced fruit, but it then develops acidity that leaves the front palate dry. Needs time, and can work itself out. Sums up the vintage with its acidity higher than usual. From 2002. 2009-12  April 1999

1995 ()

very good red centre in a still young robe – this reflects the Syrah in it, since there was 40% in the vineyards. Has a “high” air – a wee bit sweaty, manure, degraded fish. Generous start to the palate, then a leaner second half. It tightens up and shows tar and tannin, a firm finale, but still holding gras there. Has a good finish that is both mineral and decisive. Very fresh wine. 13°. 2017-19 June 2010