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The Wines

60-70% Grenache (1965-1970), 30-40% Syrah (1990), 3 days cool maceration at 11°C, then 3-4 week vinification, 2 pumping overs a day, cap punching at end, aged 600-litre oak casks that were new in 2007 for 12 months (until 2006 aged 60% new 600-litre oak casks, 40% 3-5 year 228-litre oak casks 12-15 months), fined, unfiltered, made every year since 1996 except 2002 and only a little in 2006, 3,000 b

2018

full, dark robe. The bouquet has flare in its nostrils, a beefy, cooked plum presence, with a hint of roses. It’s a clear, ripe, deep start. The palate engages immediately with a good wave of rolling red fruits, raspberry and red cherry. The tannins have a layering of thickness, and the finish is a trifle stewed. There is certainty in its delivery, with intensity in the juice; it’s a punchy Gigondas, not for the faint hearted. Decant it. 15°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. From 2023. 2040-42 Feb 2020

2016

(casks, bottling this week) slight TCA here on this 1st sample. has a very dark robe. The nose has an air of Marmite, yeast extract, dark chocolate, with a sturdy black fruit presence within. The palate rocks along at first, then recedes, ends very dry. 2nd sample, from the cellar today: very dark robe. The nose combines racy black berry fruits with black olives, low-key grilling. The palate bears loose flow cassis fruit that rocks along well, picks up some slightly baked tannins but has the richness to prevail overall. It’s a wine that is full of beans, expressive black berry fruit at its heart, with licorice in the tannins. Upbeat Gigondas here. From mid-2019. 2032-34 Oct 2017

2014 No Rating

(casks) 2 cask samples, neither right: full robe. Inky, copious nose, soaked brambly fruits within, with note of Brett, I think. It has a baked, unpolished saddle nature. The palate holds wavy black fruit but backs off on the finish, ending out on its own, fruit-free. Neither sample is correct. Retaste in bottle. Dec 2015 

2013

(bottling in 2 weeks) deep, bright purple hue. Dark cherry and spice show on the nose and the palate. It is juicy on the attack, then firms on the finish. This is tight, firm and marked by the limestone terroir. It is powerful and structured in style. It needs a little more mid-palate fruit to be the full package, but presents well. 14.5°. 65% Gren, 35% Syr. €25 at the cellars. From 2017. 2027-28  JL Dec 2014

2012

dark red; generous red stone fruit aroma with oak-charcoal, some top freshness. The palate bears easy, savoury berry fruit with prominent oak all around it. The fruit has clean strokes, but the oak is grainy, charry right now, and hard to escape. From 2017 – before then the oak will be too intrusive. The fruit and the richness are swish, fluid. Decant this. 14.5°. 3,000 b. 2023-24  Dec 2013

2011 ()

bottled yesterday: dark red robe. Yeasty, brioche first air, also mocha and a fruit that combines blackberry and blueberry, has some cool life. The nose is wide. The palate starts as a savoury affair, has oiliness and red meat notes, prune and blackberry, with a chocolate-honeycomb (Crunchie bar) flavouring towards the finish. The oak has squeeze in it, isn’t too dry, so will absorb. It ends on prune, black raisin. Good Regular Guy Gigondas. From mid-2014. 15°. 14.5°. 2024-26  Dec 2012

2010

(casks) shiny, wholesome dark robe; chocolate, brewed black berry and minted nose that is wide, has a definite solid side to it, is chunky, smoky. Full and robust, it gives airs of meat and entrails. Has a knit, close-knit debut to the palate – it holds blackberry fruit with oak running along its spine. It exits on licorice and tar, the fruit secondary there. A wine of firm structure – not for youthful drinking – go straight to 5-6 years old. There is prominent oak in with the gras at the end, the finale is grilled. There is a little aroma in its fruit, is a modern wine. From 2016. 70% G, 30% S this year. 2016-19 Dec 2011

2009

healthy, black-tinted robe, legs down the glass. Notably clear black fruited aroma with the potential to vary and become more intricate – the fruit air travels evenly across the glass, provides hints of leather and violet. The palate holds tasty, rather fine fruit with a smooth bearing – it has a rather classy, sustained run. It is bang on for its age, all to play for in the future. It lengthens consecutively, holds well entered tannins, on the inside of the wine. The finish is clear, and there is a wee salty tang on the aftertaste. Good balance. €25 at the cellar door. 2022-24 July 2011

2007 ()

a pretty dark red robe; has a black cherry, soaked griottes aroma: it is a round and wholesome affair, with a pretty ripeness. The palate has the ingrained, handsomely ripe fruit of this vintage, and plenty of body and width. It gains notably as it goes, and spreads out well at the end. Has very good tannin content – there is a classic structure and sequence here. Enjoyable raspberry liqueur end, and a tight finale. Well balanced, persistent wine of a silken texture. Right up there in the front rank. Bottled just one week. From late 2011, for instance. 2023-24 Nov 2008

2006 ()

full, bright red; has a sweet, red berry aroma, raspberry liqueur here – it is primary and runs along clean lines, is not yet nuanced. Has a red fruit, raspberry taste, also in an early, primary state; it is only mildly oaked, and is a wine with curve in it most of the way. Drinkable now, with its fruit just a bit “high”. Wine to drink with game, and quite strong cheese. 2014-15 Nov 2008

2005 ()

still full red colour; a touch of turn is starting on the nose, with hung game or animal in the air, along with a ripe mulberry, a compote (stewed fruits) of red fruits. The palate is more direct than the nose – it rocks along well, has a pretty substance and well-founded matter. The taste is of logan or red berries. It ends on some tannin and kick. Cocoa and licorice lies in the aftertaste, but it is fresh there. It is still reserved and tight-knit. From late 2009 – no hurry. 14.5°. 2017-20 “It is still young, and can be kept another 4 years before drinking,” P.Cartoux. Nov 2008

2003

raisin, prune aroma, baked side to bouquet. Assertive palate, with chewy texture. Violet flavour at finish. Big, rather potent. Its oak stiffens it. From 2009. 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah this year. 2012-14 July, March 2005

2000

scented nose with some garrigue herbs, warm stones – warm and open. The palate is full, glows with ripe content, the fruit raspberry. The style is direct. It becomes chewy in texture as it travels. Sympa, clean wine with extra depth and some mystery beyond its modern veneer. 2013-14 Nov 2002