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The Wines

40-75% Grenache (much 1962-65), 18-35% Syrah & petite Syrah, 3-10% Cinsault, 5-20% Mourvèdre, 65% from south-west facing blue clay, marl, limestone & sandy soils at 250-300 metres, 25% from clay-sand at 200-220 metres, 10% from clay-limestone at 170 metres, destemmed, crushed, pre-fermentation crop cooling at 12°C, 30-40 day steel vat vinification at 28°C, 6-8 day fermentation, daily part vat emptying/refilling, pumping overs, lees stirred, Syrah raised new-1-2 year 228-litre oak casks, Grenache & Mourvèdre raised new-3 year 600-litre oak casks & concrete vat, Cinsault concrete vat raised with some air-exposed rackings 18 months (until 2008 was 60% concrete vat, 40% (Syrah/Mourvèdre, some Grenache) new-4 year 228 and 600-litre oak casks 12 months, then all vat raised 6 months), unfined, unfiltered, 25-43,300 b

2018 ()

(concrete vat) full red colour; the bouquet has a little meaty depth, holds well, offers an inlay of prune ripeness. The palate gives a calm wave of rolling red fruit, with commendable freshness along its sides, the tannins pure and life-giving. There is a neat cluster of fruit on the finish. This is detailed Gigondas, with local emphasis. Its length is very good, and even with some late glow, the aftertaste is fresh and up. 14.5°. 30,650 b. 45% Gren, 20% Syr, 20% Mourv, petite Syr 10%, 5% Cins. €23. From 2023, decant it. 2043-45 Feb 2020

2017

(casks/vat/large barrel) full red colour; a beef stock aroma leads the bold nose, with damp tea leaves, soil elements also present, small pockets of black fruit. The palate is well charged with salted, lithe, sinewed content, comes from the chewy school. There are notes of black olives, and some smooth run black cherry, Morello fruit on the late stages, with salt and rockiness in the tannins. This will move into shape, and be a vigorous glass of Gigondas. 14.5°. 40% Gren, 35% Syr, 20% Mourv, 5% Cins. From mid-2021. 2037-39 Oct 2018

2016

(casks/vat) very dark robe, black with purple. The nose is discreet, blackberry fruit just apparent, with a darker note of blueberry coulis, also licorice, black olives. It has inner depth, doesn’t show its cards openly for now. The palate is copious, gives a rolling, wavy run of black cherry fruits, some mulberry red berry also. There are flashes of freshness, menthol, along its route. This rests on inner power, and the sustained finish gives a glow from the hot summer. The tannins are well wrapped into it. It’s a Smooth Operator, and will be very good with lamb in rosemary, in tune with local dishes. 15.2°. 40,000 b. From 2020-21. 2036-38 Oct 2017

2015

(casks/vat) shiny, full red robe. The nose is coolly fruited, with blueberry ahead of a note of prune ripeness. It’s clean in the modern style. The palate holds loose black fruits with a little grain of tannin, is all very pristine. This is technically well made, but low on soul. There is a little more fleshy and back palate content to come if it is left until 2019. There is a sense of drift after the mid-point. 2026-28 Feb 2017

2014

(casks, bottling spring 2016) dark red colour. Lamb stock, sweet herbs, cooked plum fruit feature in the bouquet, its Grenache centre assured. This gives an image of red meat here and there. The palate is savoury, wholesome, holds generous content with a rolling orb of plum flavour towards the finish. There are garrigue nuances, and this is well presented. 15°. 72% Gren, 18% Syr, 6% Mourv, 4% Cins. €18. From mid-2017. 2026-28  Dec 2015 

2013

purple hue – light at the rim. The nose is slightly soupy and lacks definition; a hint of Syrah spice comes through on the second swirl. The palate is again soft and a little soupy, but there is an impact of fruit. A touch of alcohol shows on the finish, the tannins a little hard and dry. 14.8°. From 2016. 2024-25 JL Dec 2014

2012

(casks, bottling early 2014) full, thorough robe. Soaked up, supple roll of red and black berry fruit on the nose, with a dark, plum fruit heart: this is fat, “shiny” Gigondas. The palate’s fruit is souped up, scaled, shows some deliberate cellar exertion by the maker (tasted blind) to be “impressive”. There is a fat bundle of berries and prune fruit here, and raspberry touches on the finish. It will appeal to a more sweet tooth set of drinkers. Its tannins are flexible, inlaid. This doesn’t offer especially free drinking, so share it between six people, for instance. It goes quiet on the finish. I suspect its style was pre-determined before the harvest: it doesn’t seek any shady corners, with its cards whacked down on the table. From mid-late 2015. 15°. 72% Gren, 18% Syr, 7% Mourv, 3% Cins. 33,300 b, €18 at cellars. 2024-26  Dec 2013

2011

(casks, bottling early 2013) red robe; the red cherry fruit aroma has a little style about it, is pure and has a small sweetness in it. The palate reflects the nose – it has a low-level sweet plum fruit with quiet tannins, is all pretty easy to drink, no mystery. A murmur of late acidity needs to integrate – it ends freshly. From mid-2014. 15°. 75% Gren, 15% Syr, 7% Mourv, 3% Cins, 33,000 b this year. 2022-24  Dec 2012

2010

(barrel/vat) rather dark colour. Crunchy, biscuity air, prune and date, ripe black fruit in behind. Has a grilled side to it, also a touch of “high”, game. The palate starts on a savoury, generous note – it is very broad and sustained through it, leaves a lot of coating. It holds deep, dark fruit with a point of intensity as it closes. Long wine. It shows licorice and cut on the aftertaste. From 2015. 2033-34 Dec 2011

2009

quite dark colour, matt hue. Tiny reductive, fungal air within an aroma of cooked stone fruits, overall the nose is subdued. Grenache with a slight red jam, wild strawberry compote present. Prune, herbal or thyme flavouring, with fleshy content, ripe tannins. Compact, not an extended wine. It doesn't really stretch out freshly, or with abandon. From 2012. €8.50 ex cellars. 2019-20. July 2011

2008

dark tints in robe, matt tints in it. Pine influence, an oily style bouquet with black raisin, cocoa, charred airs. The palate is rather broad, insistent – all available hands on deck here. A wine of some scale and ambition, thus. It shows charcoal on the finish, and is stiff from its raising. From mid-2012, but too much oak for its matter, and I conclude the presence of some (legitimate) 2007 in this. 2016-17. €8 ex cellars. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% M and Cinsault this year. July 2011

2007

dark robe. Licorice-leather influences on the nose – it is rather “steely”, has fresh black fruit within, is young and direct, has a small sense of game. The palate hops along with cut in the fruit, and a smoky, tangy group of late tannins. Has the vintage clarity and the final fruit is loud and clear. Beau vin, but I have a feel that the fruit is a bit clinical, somehow. From late 2010. 2019-21 Dec 2009

2006

full robe; smoky, slightly soaked black fruits aroma, a lot of black olive, tapenade influence also; then it moves on to caramel, tea and blackberry. The palate is sweet-noted, mainstream, comes with safe, correct black fruit that doesn’t really reach out, is a bit limited. There are flavours of licorice on the palate which softens as it breathes. A safe bet rather than an inspiring one. 70% G, 20% Syr, 5% each Cinsault, Mourvèdre. 20,000 b instead of 25,000 b this year. 2020-21  July 2011  Previously Nov 2008 **(*) bright, nicely full dark robe. Sweet Indian tea, simmered black plums aroma that is ample, comes with a late mint liqueur and licorice angle – a fair amount here. Steady debut to the palate – a fleshy, soaked style of wine. Draws to a lightly oaked ending, and there is heat on the aftertaste, but never loses its plump nature. Not at all in the fresh style of Gigondas, though the end is clear, if a little sudden for now. From mid-2009. 2017-18 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** (casks) mild plum colour; the bouquet has a beefy, oily air, with kirsch and raspberry. The palate`s red fruit has immediate life in it – it is well founded, and the fruit has some bite from its tannins. There is good flow on this. It ends on a decisive, firm note. From late 2009. 2019-21 Jan 2008

2005 ()

dark red plum robe; sweet-toned, mulled red fruits, their sweetness provoked by long hang time on the vines. There is a curved aroma of red liqueur. The palate has a rich, quite fleshy start, and there is an infusion of sweet spice in the red stone fruit flavour. The wine is round, and its matter ripe. Ends on a Grenache fruit jam note, which is comfortable. Its tannins are well inlaid. This is a sweet-tooth wine that can sing. Unpretentious, maybe a wee bit facile wine that can be drunk now. 2016-17 June 2008

2004 ()

quite a dark red, matt robe; ripe fruit that has an animal air in it – it is locked up, not that clear. The palate has a soaked, rather basic fruit start – it lacks spring and is too tarry. A weighty wine that lacks lift – it is uneven. The end is a bit rough, and there is marked late bitterness. This needs trying again. Dec 2006 Previously March 2005 ** (assembled example, vat/cask) pretty full aroma; good, clear fruit on attack, with an oily surround, the smoothness of the alcohol here - that shows through in the high 14°. Fair length. Maybe 2015-16. Review later. March 2005

2003

still full robe, good. Has a rather meaty, black fruit bearing nose, soaked cherries in the air – no doubt the extreme ripeness reflected. There are notes of herbs, and it is moving well. The palate is good and oily, finally ceding towards less stiff tannins. It is complete on the finish. It lacks real soul, but is a correct do, and its evolution has panned out well. 2021-22  July 2011  Previously July 2005 *(*) dark robe; full, Bovril meat stock style nose, with some Grenache red berry. Plenty of dark fruit at the start of the palate – it comes in a streamlined manner, with fair depth. Has an oak-tinged finale, laced with some herbs. Round on the attack, more dry on the end. Its richness is delicate on this showing, but with this vintage U-turns are possible with age. 2011-12  July 2005  Previously March 2005 ** truffly, raspberry nose, leathery, too, is well-knit. Good early fruit surge - spiced berries. There is richness here, and the tannins are nicely punchy. Esp Just a little dry on finish. 2007-08 on. 2013-16 60% Grenache March 2005, bottled one month ago

2001 ()

prune, coffee combination on nose, leather and barbecue smoke. Quite rounded, holds a suave early texture. Drinks fine now. No real intensity to grab the drinker. 2007-08 March 2005

1998 ()

some lessening of its red colour on the top robe. Full, inky, scented nose that has a thorough light pepper backdrop, with game notes, mild leather and polish airs come through. Very clean, defined, elegantly-styled wine on the palate. There is acidity evident, the berry fruit has a tart aspect. It works on muscle and sinew more than nig gutsy matter. Has definite character and a measured, frank appeal. 2015-17 Oct 2005