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The Wines

70-75% Grenache, 22-25% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre, 2% Cinsault (vines 1960s-1970s) from 5 soils, sand, marl, clay-limestone, galet stones, crushed maritime deposits at 150-400 metres, hand harvested, 3 week vinification, light crush, whole bunch fermentation, 4 part vat emptying/refillings, 2 cap punchings, concrete vat raised 12 months, then aged large 15 hl & 32.5 hl barrel 6-8 months, filtered, 28-38,000 b

2018 ()

(large barrel) quite a dark red colour; the nose gives a cassis lead aroma, with vegetal-dried herbs influences, caramel, nutshells, behind, leaves a dusty trail effect. The palate sets out on lissom small black fruit content, is compact, holds together well. The finish is well enough juiced. This has a little sinewed vigour within it, shows some oaking thickness on the close. 15°. 28,000 b. 72% Gren, 23% Syr, 3% Mourv. 2% Cins. €15 at the cellars. From 2022-23, decant it. 2040-42 Feb 2020

2017

(large barrel) dark red; the bouquet assembles a savoury air of lamb stock, crushed red berries, liqueur fruit, a note of ginger snap, mixed dried herbs. The palate holds red cherry stone flavours with bite in the late stages; it has a surge of darkness on the finish, the tannins punchy there. This is concentrated, big scale Gigondas, an Enforcer. It’s sipping wine. 15°. 72% Gren, 23% Syr, 3% Mourv, 2% Cinsa. From 2022. 2038-39 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(concrete vat/large barrel, bottling Sept 2018) thorough, dark red robe. The nose presents a deep aroma led by black cherries, blackcurrant fruit, has a savoury, meat stock backdrop, a certain tenacity, no looseness. The palate is well charged with good, fluid, rolling content, the black fruit enjoyable, spiced accompaniments attached. There’s a good burst of darkness just before the close, and it finishes on a helpful note of mint-menthol, making it lucid there. The elements are in place for a convincing, STGT glass of wine, nothing overdone, just a good, honest serving of the fruit of the lands. 14.5°. 28,000 b. From 2020-21. 2035-38 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(vat/barrel, bottling Sept 2017) very dark robe. Prune and notably ripe, near sultry, fruit aromas lead the nose. It has an inner sweetness, and a note of musky flowers. This suggests a copious style of wine reined in by the freshness of the year. The palate is also marked by fleshy content with supple tannins in tow. The aftertaste is tarry, assertive for now. The finish is salted, not yet an ensemble. It’s just a bit loose on the second half. 14.5°. 28,000 b. 72% Gren, 23% Syr, 3% Mourv, 2% Cins. €13 at the cellars. From spring 2018. 2026-28 Feb 2017

2014 ()

(vat/barrel, bottling Sept 2016) red robe. This has a pumped up nose led by a raw rather big plum aroma, a light trail of salt clarity, perhaps dried herbs helping it from being OTT (over the top). Raw is the word, though – the lees are present. The palate is very much work in progress: there is direct redcurrant fruit, only fair depth of gras, with a lot of crunch from unbridled tannins, the attack and the finish some way apart. 15°. 28,000 b. 73% Gren, 22% Syr, 3% Mourv, 2% Cins. €12.80. From mid-2018: it needs to be refined pre-bottling. 2026-27  Dec 2015

2013

slightly sober plum red robe. Pepper-spice, bosky first aroma, a small pocket of prune fruit within. It isn’t a wholly convincing start. The palate comes forward with some juiced black fruit gras, attendant smokiness. It runs pretty well, with the finish asserting dark, tar-lined tannins, which take over on the finish. From spring 2017 to encourage a more close-knit wine. 15°. 28,000 b. 2024-26  Dec 2015 Previously Dec 2014 **(*) purple-garnet robe. The nose is light and spicy, with a touch of leafy red fruit. Red fruit features again on the palate, but the tannins feel chewy and extracted. It is painfully dry and buttoned-up on the finish. 15°. From 2016. 2022-23 JL  Dec 2014

2009 ()

attractive plum red robe. The nose is just starting to get going – has a nice, full, raisin-date completeness. Has a raisin-prune debut on the palate, is fully flavoured, and its tannins are ripe, have a solid presence. Traditional, full Gigondas, suited to autumn-winter dishes. Has a nicely rich texture, extends agreeably. 15°. 2021-23 Jan 2012 Previously July 2011 2 vat/barrel samples, neither right. Dry palate, raw nose. July 2011

2008

matt tone to a three-quarter depth plum red colour. Wee game airs, smoke, coffee and black raisin airs – the aroma reflects the low-key fruiting of 2008, has some generosity. Has a maturing cooked fruit flavour, with some live tannin in its later stages, the length is measured. It drinks now, has some body and the finish is rounded and textured. To 2016. €6.80 ex cellars. July 2011

2007

sustained dark red, with some black in the robe; good, oily aroma that mixes mulled red fruits with the reserve and density of some lamb stock: there is a bit of old barrel influence in this, that takes away some of the freshness. The palate shows grip throughout; its inner reaches are thorough, with plenty of tannin and pepper lining the sides. A prolonged wine, currently more inward than some 2007s, so many of which are blisteringly open now. Lacks the freshness of others, and hence the freedom of fruit. On Day 2 it is more curled up. Wait and see until after bottling. To 2021-22 on this showing. Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 ***(*) (barrel) bright purple, a full robe; has a forward fruit nose, with some garrigue and licorice – it is purposeful and direct. There is an elegant run of fruit on the palate, with a likeable blackberry flavour. Tannins appear just at the end – are punchy. Needs leaving until at least 2012. 2023-25 June 2008

2006

mid-depth red-black colour. Traditional style bouquet – oily, plum, smoke, suggestion of damp leaves, some mystery here. Muscular fringe to the palate – this is robust, reserved for now. It gains in push, has peppery depth, as it goes. It's hovering around a dumb phase. STGT leaning here – drink from spring 2010 for more open wine, softer tannins. Manly Gigondas with feet on the ground. Has a good, fresh, live and chewy end. 15°. 2018-20 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) (vat) plum colour; mulled blackberry or cassis aroma with just a hint of game or gibier in its ripeness, and raspberry liqueur. This is a wine with secure richness: its fruit and tannins mingle well, and it has a later rather beefy, solid structure that demands time – say three years. It shows some STGT in its nature. 2019-22. 35,000 b this year. Jan 2008

2005

bright black plum robe; tarry, oily, soaked cherries aroma with some violet and ripe plum in the air, and a shimmy of alcohol. The palate has a well-shaped fruit start, that comes with a latent, but growing impact and punch as it goes. It ends on a refined red berry tone, the raspberry flavour a pretty interlude among all the manliness. It is getting together well, and the final quarter is nicely broad and plentiful. A nutted finish bears some oak imprint, along with late tobacco and pepper. 2019-21. 28,000 b this year. June 2008

2004 ()

clear red colour; nutty, primary red fruit, cherry, aroma with a little sweetness. The palate is simple – this is a Regular Guy sort of wine, lacks a real passion. The red fruit has a wiry mid-palate moment, the finale notably clear and peppery. It is unsettled now, needs 18 months. It needs to gain more core over time. 2015-18  Dec 2006 Previously March 2005 ***(*) bouncy, lively bouquet, attractive cooked fruits. Plenty on palate, a fig tart aspect to it. Fresh texture. Wide on palate, this is stylish. 2017-18. March 2005

2003 ()

ruby colour with a mild red, plum appearance – the colour is toning down. There are sweet spice, Christmas time of the year aromas – rum and sweet Asian airs. The palate is at a soft stage now – its fullness is well assured, and it runs on to a good, rich end, delivering dates, even figs in the flavour. At a good moment now. It is rich throughout, and is tasty on its own - without food – so nicely ingrained is its sweetness. There is a late moment of toffee in the taste. 14.5°. 2014-16 June 2008 Previously March 2005 ***(*) harmonious, light chocolate aroma, with hints of herbs - rosemary - and light spice. Round, compact flavour, some tannins here. Touch dry on finish, though has a rich theme through it. Alcohol of 14.5° not evident. Esp 2007-08 on. 2013-15 Véronique says to leave it until 2009. STGT wine. March 2005

1999 ()

dark robe; there’s a tight mineral presence on the nose, hints of buttoned-up black fruit that can emerge with time. The palate shape is upright, has a lot of near Bordeaux-like structure, a cool middle. It has nice, tannic, chewy but light touch length. This is stylish. The finish is robust enough, chewy, darkly-fruited, shows some oak. Allow until 2005 to unwind; this will age well. 2019-21 Juveniles, Paris Oct 2001

1998

decent, not overdone red robe. The bouquet has poise, promise, cooked plums, spice traces, is very young. The palate is also nicely refined, notably stylish, aided by its good balance and clean run of dark fruit. It’s the sort of wine Gigondas needs more of. 2020-23 Cendrillon Restaurant, New York Jan 2001

1997

dark plum robe; the bouquet is heavyweight, assertive, spiced dark berry fruits present. The palate is thick, concentrated, spiced, peppery. It's full and direct, a sunny wine in feel. The tannins are well within. 2012-14 Cendrillon Restaurant, New York, Dec 1999

1989

ruby, red/black robe. Mineral, violet mix on nose, a little game - bouquet is fresh, minted and complex. Pretty wine - there are floral-tinted red fruits, as if small red berries, on the palate. Still very alive. Soft, sweet length and still shows some of the Gigondas heat on the finish. 14°. To 2011. Feb 2006

1986 ()

red-tinted ruby colour; menthol-petrol mixed aroma that is airborne, comes with floral and licorice airs that impart a pretty clarity alongside the redcurrant fruit. The palate is tight-knit, almost tough as it starts; it gradually shows an understated richness, but is rather strict. After 20 minutes, it becomes more supple and ensemble, and is taking la bonne route now. Red cherry fruit is present, with a careful extension through the palate. This would be a wine of finesse with a bird such as partridge. The aftertaste is also aromatic now, after exposure to the air. 14°. 2016-18 March 2009