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The Wines

70-75% Grenache (early 1970s), 25-30% Syrah, 3% Mourvèdre from 400 metre vineyards, hand harvested, light crush, whole bunch fermentation, 3 week vinification, 4 part vat emptying/refillings, 2 cap punchings, vat raised briefly, then aged 2-6 year (mid-2000s was also new-1 year oak) 228 litre oak casks 12 months, filtered, called Cuvée Futée until 2004, 4,000-5,000 b

2018

(casks) full, dark robe; the nose reflects some oaking, with a red cherry, kummel note behind. It stands up straight in its complete first youth. The palate bears some fine matter inside the oak panelling, comes with helpful energy, plunges deeply. It’s a modern, forceful, still cellar-led Gigondas, so allow until 2025 for the oak to absorb and more real local imprint to emerge. The elements within are sound, assured. 15°. 4,930 b. 72% Gren, 25% Syr, 3% Mourv. €21.5 at the cellars. 2042-44 Feb 2020

2017

(casks) full, dark red. The nose is full, close-knit, bears stewed berry fruit aromas, with black raisin intensity, a coil of sweetness within it. The palate is ample, full of charged content with smoky implants, has rocky tannins to sort out as it finishes. This is punchy, grounded, exerted Gigondas which carries good quality fruit, albeit masked by the vintage sun coat. The length is sturdy. 15°. 72% Gren, 25% Syr, 3% Mourv, €21.50. From 2021. 2036-38 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks, bottling Feb 2018) dark red, with sheen. The nose combines oak-toffee, dark chocolate, with dried raisins, a southern sweetness, black olives; it has a savoury nature, is quite charged. The palate is rich, hums with an underlay of power, its intensity insistent and at present rather overbearing. This is something of an acquired taste, will go down well in the USA. The oak and the tannins combine to leave the finish baked now. It will come together, but will never be a free drinking wine. From 2022. 14.5°. 4,000 b. 2035-37 Oct 2017

2015

(casks, bottling Feb 2017) full-up, dark colour. There is an inviting blackberry intensity on the nose, a genuine filling of fruit to set things on a good path. There is a meaty tone as well; it’s broad and holds up well. The palate bears oak-smoked black fruits with a keen lining of tannin; the fruit carries well to the finish. The content is smoothly textured, with the overcoat of oak and tannin prevailing after the attack. As it stands, it’s still in the cellar, so leave until 2020 for fusion. There’s no hurry – the longer the wait, the better absorbed its oak. 15°. 4,000 b. 72% Gren, 25% Syr, 3% Mourv. €19. 2031-34  Feb 2017 

2014

(casks, bottling March 2016) dark red colour. The nose has a top dustiness that hovers over a wide spread of pretty concentrated liqueur style red berry fruit. It is a broad and muscled start. The palate flirts with high octane status, carrying a punch in its locker. The red stone fruits approach kirsch in nature. Masculine Gigondas on the charge here, lock up your houses. I like its unbridled fullness. 15°. 4,000 b. 72% Gren, 25% Syr, 3% Mourv. €18.80. From 2019. 2028-30  Dec 2015   

2009

modest plum colour, evolving red; smoky, “high” note on the nose, parched stones air, game elements in behind, the fruit is ripe, sunned out, has laurel notes with it. There is a debut of Grenache red stone fruit before a real invasion of oak – there is a lot of oak here. There are moments of red jam within, but it needs to extend more freely and is on balance over-oaked. From 2014, can imbibe that oak, I reckon if waiting, and marked on that outcome. 2020-22. 72% G, 25% Syr, 3% M this year. €10.60 ex cellars. Just been bottled, note. July 2011

2007

full robe, purple within. The nose is inviting - plum, nutty, hints at kirsch, also blackberry, oak lies over it. The palate carries grounded black fruit, delivers a late outcrop of tannin that seals it up. A wine of local virtues and depth within its oak. It runs with vigour to the finish, and can make good progress. There is heat at the end, but not in excess. Good grip, tasty fruit as it closes. From late 2010. 2020-22 Dec 2009 Previously June 2008 *** (cask) black plum colour; crunchy fruit – this aroma is primary, but there is elegance and style implicit in it. A clear strike of blackberry/cassis fruit starts the palate, with a tannic entry at three-quarters of the route. It has not yet received all of its oak, but the core matter displays some stylish flesh. From 2012 at least. 2023-24 June 2008

2005

quite a dark black robe, with a mauve top. The aroma is good and complete in width and depth – bears black fruits and spice/pepper – these sit comfortably within it, the fruit is ripe, the power well handled. There is good poise and clarity on the palate, with stylish black fruit that has a sense of oiliness about it. It runs on really well, is consecutive along the palate. A good combination of local fullness and grace. Has improved since its first tasting in the morning when it was drier; now the oak lends drive to it. Ends on some herbs, Asian spices, raisin, dates, oak. From 2009 spring-autumn. 2020-22 June 2008

2004 ()

(vat) nicely earthy bouquet, led by Grenache red fruit; wholesome, broad fruit on the palate, with tannin inset. Round and full – this can charm. Holds good potential, is ripe enough. 2017-19 July 2005

2003 ()

dark plum red with some evolution on the robe; its quiet red fruit aroma travels across the glass – has plenty of body and width, with some sweet airs, a ripe suppleness, and some red meat. The palate starts with firm, brisk red cherry fruit, but half way on dries, and tightens from the oak, which rasps towards the finish. There is caramel on the aftertaste. Wait until late 2009, and hope that it comes together. Decant this – but I suspect there was too much oak for this already dry vintage. 14.5°. 2016-17 June 2008 Previously Feb 2006 *** pretty deep bouquet, meaty with heat and garrigue present. Firm red fruit start, tannins from the oak surround it. Has a rich core, so is not too dry. Needs more variety, so wait until 2008. 2015-16 Feb 2006