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The Wines

60-65% Grenache, 25-30% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault from 6 hectares on S/S-E facing clay-limestone soils on Les Pallières (N-E) at 220 metres, hand harvested, 70% destemmed, 4-6 week vinification, 2 daily pumping overs, 4 cap punchings, a part vat emptying/refilling, enamel lined vat raised 20-22 months (before 2013 aged 67% vat, 33% 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks, until late 2000s aged 30% large 30hl & 50 hl barrels) 12 months, unfined, filtered, 10-20,000 b

2016

(vat/casks) full, dark red. The bouquet has a clear air of black berry fruits, menthol and laurel, a splash of local colour, to the extent of some dustiness also included. It could be a tiny bit clearer. The palate holds concerted dark berry flavours, a note of prune ripeness and sweetness. It could have more lift, is still in a rugged state, and will require until mid-2020 to be more integrated and open for business. It ends on cassis and blueberry fruit with some punchy tannins and a little dry assertion from them. 14°. From 2020. 2028-29 Oct 2017

2015

(vat/casks) full, dark red colour. The nose gives an intense aroma of sweet, cooked black fruits, not quite yet jam. There is a little meatiness around them. The palate is bold on the attack, spreads widely, delivers a good stream of tangy black-fruited flavour, with a wide finale. This is a concerted wine with some active charge in it.  The length is good, very secure. The finish needs leaving until spring 2019. 2026-28 May 2017

2014 ()

(vat/casks, bottling Oct 2016) full robe. The bouquet is rounded, offers harmonious black cherry-berry fruit with a black olives presence, a note of lees and juniper. There are salted notes as well. The palate strides out manfully, delivers black cherry, blueberry fruit. It gives a feel of extraction, since the finish is clamped down, and the juice becomes compressed. The sign-off is tough, dry. Not sure this can make it. 14°. 10,000 b. €13. From 2018. 2024-25  Dec 2015 

2013

(vat/casks) deep, bright purple colour. Has a slightly reductive nose with cassis-blackcurrant and dark cherry/kirsch notes. The palate is sweet and fleshy on the attack, then develops grippy, drying tannins on the finish. Slightly over-worked, the extraction perhaps a bit heavy. 14°. From mid-2016. 2024-25 JL  Dec 2014

2012 ()

(vat/casks) dark red. Peppermint fused blueberry, blackberry fruit air along with licorice and some garrigue dust, a baked note in the bouquet. The palate has a suavely fruited centre, the tannins smooth and typical of 2012; it ends with a minted freshness, and dry, grainy touches - the tannins needing two years to integrate. This can make quiet progress, bit by bit. The length is decent. From 2016. 14°. 10,000 b. €12.50 2024-26  Dec 2013

2011

(vat/casks) quite a dark red. The nose mixes mulled fruit berries and chicken stock; there are nutty undertones, some herbs in what is a bonny, mixed bouquet. The palate bears the ease of 2011 on the attack, is supple and open, before taking on grain and a buffer of tannin, a more smoky darkness. Genuine, unpretentious Gigondas, with STGT leanings. It has a sound structure, gains through the palate, holds up well to the line. From mid-2014. 14°. €12. 2025-26  Dec 2012

2009 ()

(vat/oak) full, dark robe, a good start. Chocolatey, nutty, black raisin airs, with the definite influence of being still raised. There is black cherry fruit here. The palate has a stylish density, a fleshy, juiced start, with oak restrictions in its late stages that fence it in and border it. Promising. From, say, 2014-15. Really good length. 2027-29. €6.90 export price, sound. July 2011

2008

mild red robe. Red jelly, pepper and herbal airs which have the tightness of the vintage about them, like a string drawn across the bag, the shape concave. Thus it isn't surprising to find a peppery, upright and airy palate, one that needs leaving until mid-2011. It ends on white pepper, crisp, chalky notes – and just makes it to the finishing line. To 2016 or so. 15,000 b this year, and no oak in the raising. Dec 2009

2007

full red. The nose is like matted hair, all over the place – it is a tangle of prune, smoke, brewed coffee, some animal on the side, earthiness – it is local, traditional, has character. Blackberry fruit lead on the palate, has a fresh, juicy run and fine late tannins. Well-shaped and balanced, its fruit is enjoyable and the tannins enter right on cue – are a touch grilled from the oaking. Good length, terminates in a fresh, decisive sign-off. Hearty, traditional style Gigondas, STGT wine. From spring 2011. 2022-23 Dec 2009

2006 ()

quite dark plum red. Snappy, but ripe black fruits aroma, is on a tar, charcoal upright run now, some herbal air rides with it. The palate black fruit is direct in nature, a steady mover. Black fruits are in control – the non-Grenache presence notes in the charcoal, chocolate, oak as well. There is scale in this wine. It needs to work through, but its elements are soundly established. Correct length. From mid-2010. 2020-22 Jan 2008

2005 ()

black plum colour; there is a pine-resin initial air – the bouquet has an upright shape, and leathery notions which may move towards animal. Has an overtly oily, ripe fruit flavour that leans in the direction of blackberry crème that is a little sweet – this soaked sweetness is unusual for Gigondas in 2005. It levels out and tightens more – the finish tastes rather of chocolate and raisin, and is round with correct length. 2018-20 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) (cask sample) full robe; quite generous, jam and raspberry coulis bouquet with cherry and blackberry trimmings – is brisk and persistent. Succulent style of wine with a blackberry flavour lined with some tannin – a nice mix. Is cleanly fruited, the length is good, the tannins peppery – is travelling down a good road. Unpretentious wine that can sing in time. Esp mid-late 2008 on. 2015-17 Nov 2006

2004 ()

(vat/cask) mild red robe. Rather upright red fruits aroma with warmth, a toffee air as well. This is a live-fruited wine, with spring in its step. It has not been made to live long, comes with a clear-cut style and brisk fruit. It suggests land between the Ouvèze and the village. Esp mid-2007 on. Its acidity can fuse. 50% concrete vat, 50% new-5 year casks raising this year. 2012-13 Dec 2006

2003 ()

smoky black fruit with already a gamey air about the bouquet; has an oily, well-formed attack on the palate. There is tannin here, but manageable. It finishes on a note of red fruit gums, with a dry, nutty effect. It's a bit demanding, but is still young. 2011-12 July 2005

2002

the nose bears cherry, with some inky “darkness”, and is good and wide. Decent, quite sleek fruit on the attack – black cherries. Prune and rose-hip on a slightly dry finish. This has some degree of structure in a very awkward year. To 2008. July 2005

2001 ()

simple, fairly weighted nose – stone fruits and a few herbs. Fair content on the palate, with peppery stone fruit. The problem is that it is drying, so drink now. July 2005

1997 ()

sound red robe; the bouquet is hidden and dry in nature. The palate is also firm, suggests underripe crop. The tannins assert on the finish, and the end is really very dry. Lack of a good fruit core. 2005-06  April 1999

1996 ()

fair colour, matt hue. The palate has a southern warmth, is peppery. The Grenache on the palate shows some evolution, is genuine and quite expressive. It skips a beat as it goes, the finish drier than the rest of the palate. Tannins hover as it ends. From 2002. 2007-09 April 1999

1995

black notes in the dark red; the bouquet expresses cherry fruit, some leather, is warm, but still upright. The palate is also upright, in the vintage style. The mid-palate holds up, before tannins take over. The finish is a sweet noted, rather thick affair. It isn’t as clearly struck as I would like: it is a bit soupy. From 2002. 2008-10  April 1999