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The Wines

70% Grenache, 15% 1970s, some 1920s Cinsault, 14% Syrah, 1% Mourvèdre, whole bunch fermentation, natural yeasts, 3 week vinification, daily pumping overs at the start, vats are 1936 in the rock, wine assembled after 3-4 months, aged large barrel 12-18 months, 3 bottlings from March, 18 months after harvest, to Jan, 27 months after harvest, unfined, unfiltered, 32,6660 b in 2018 (mildew-hit), overall production up from 52,000 b to 77,000 b

2018 ()

(large barrel) sturdy dark red; the nose has a brothy, cooked black fruits aroma, notes of prune, a Southern couch of firmness, a sense of basil. The palate has a red fruit, plum Grenache content with noticeable, rather thick tannins. There is plenty of heart in it. From 2023, needs time. This isn’t the freshest sample, but gives an idea, so it’s rated at a basic entry level, could go higher. 14.5°. 32,660 b. 78% Gren, 14% Syr, 6% Cins, 2% Mourv. €19.50 at the cellars. 2039-41 Feb 2020  £87/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181


(large barrel, bottling mid-Sept 2018) sturdy dark red robe. The bouquet comes forward without hesitation, off it goes on pine and rich cassis de Dijon fruit, a touch of licorice. It’s deep, thorough, juvenile, and gives an idea of how healthy the crop was this year. The palate is very well weighted, gives an exciting flourish of typical Grenache cooked red fruits, brings in menthol and is a complete package. Way to go, STGT Gigondas of immense character here – really vibrant and full – it doesn’t capture the imagination, it seizes it. The finish is broad and wavy, bounds with local colour. This will age well, providing interest all the while. Serve in a large glass. 15°. 59,000 b. 79% Gren, 14% Syr, 6% Cins, 1% Mourv. VALUE at €18.50. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(large barrel) handsome full red robe. The bouquet gives a winning bundle of garrigue airs, black cherry, mulberry, basil and violets. It’s fine, broad and electric in its appeal. The palate links closely to the nose, picks up on the basil theme, issues stylish, cool red fruits with a light knuckle of rocky tannin neatly placed after the mid-point. It ends on a garrigue herbs, fresh, fennel-like clinch, the aftertaste savoury and red-fruited. STGT Gigondas that exhibits the finesse of which this appellation is capable. 14°. 78% Gren, 14% Syr, 6% Cins, 2% Mourv. From mid-2018. 2029-32 Feb 2017 GB £83 6 b i/bond The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com/enprimeur +44(0)1438 741177


(barrel, on sale in bottle from Sept 2016) quite a dark red. Cooked cassis fruits with a spirit air, mulled and liqueur treatment of the fruit. Spicing is also present. The palate has a cassis bud, basil, pesto nature, is vigorous, and not yet fused as one. Has a natural life and strength, ends on some southern glow, with good darkness in its tannins. It holds just enough content for its degree. Local attributes are on display here, with garrigue notes. 14°. €17.50. 77,000 b. From 2018.  2027-29  Dec 2015 


(barrel) medium to full purple-garnet colour. There is a high-tone cassis and black cherry note on the nose; the same is reciprocated on the palate. This is flamboyant and aromatic, the fruit juicy and pure on the palate. There is perhaps a touch of oak. Firm, chewy tannins appear on the finish, and should round out with a bit more barrel raising. From mid-2016. 13.5°. 2023-25  JL  GB £78/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Dec 2014


(barrel, small bottling June 2014, main bottling Sept 2014) dark red; marked air of pine, pine tree sap, oak and liqueur red fruit here, shows mint and the now usual basil of Cayron, sage also and meatiness tucked in below. The palate has a rich attack, bears plenty of gras richness before a srpitzy, more chiselled, less fruited and cooler finish. Not yet cohesive, has a wild make-up now. It stokes up power. There is much pesto-basil flavour on the palate; the gras is reassuring for the a good development. Finishes a bit drily now. From mid-2016. 14°. 52,000 b. €17.20 at the cellars. 2027-29 Dec 2013


(barrel) typical Grenache plum red; has pine, perhaps basil, laurel aroma that I associate with Cayron (tasted blind). The varnish-pine travels right across the nose, a roll of red stone fruit inside it, a note of brioche baked bread as well. The palate bears tasty fruit, has very much the open features of 2011, like sucking a red fruit pastille. It picks up grainier, pumice stone tannins which get in step, and help to lengthen it. Its alcohol is just under control. This will please aficionados of Gigondas. It is traditional, has lots of appeal, has its own take on life. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 2024-26  Dec 2012


(barrel) full, dark red robe; Has a varnish-bosky air, displays supple black cherry, menthol, and a strong air of resin and pine. The palate represents smoky black fruit with minted connections; it has a supple, moderated texture, and its tannin is suave, smooth. The length is decent. There is definite pine in the taste. This will be harmonious, and ready quite soon. From 2013. 2026-28 Dec 2011

2009 ()

mild Grenache red colour; similar to the 2008 – a herbal, basil, juniper air with minted gunpowder, blackcurrant buds. There is a spot of sunshine gras richness at the start of the palate – this is a low-key wine, fine more than powerful. There are chalky late moments., a relative freedom there. The tannins are a wee bit dry. From 2014. I have to work at appreciating this wine that is not really deep. 2021-23 March 2011


fine red robe. The now usual aroma here – pine-basil, some juniper, just so offbeat. It is round, not spiky, and a bit minty. The palate is soft, is there now, gains tannin late on – a vibration of mineral. The flavour is minted, has grainy tannin. Strange. From 2012. 2019-20. Three bottlings: March 2010, Sept 2010, then a last 60 hl bottling from that 60 hl barrel in Jan 2011. March 2011


(barrel) full red-purple; extraordinary aroma like basilic vinegar, maybe a few “high”, mulled berries. The basilic burns off after air. The palate has a nicely rich endowment, and persists with snappy tannins. The length is good. 2021-23 June 2008

2006 ()

slight evolution on the red robe; the bouquet is deep, offers airs of beef stock, a meaty side but also, curiously, an early note of grapefruit. There is great variety on the nose as it takes in garriugue effects. The palate exudes appeal – this tastes well today, shows herbs, fruit perfumes, is a real pleasure to drink, is full of freshness. The palate is stroked by this, the texture great; it makes long and careful progress as it goes, the grip good. Very good – such a pleasure here, an STGT wine. Menthol cut on the exit leaves the palate clean and ready for more. “The menthol is typical of the 1996 at the moment,” Délphine Faraud. 14°. 2025-27  Nov 2013  Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) (barrel) quite a dark plum robe; wild raspberry, wide and open aroma with a bit of liqueur in its nature. Its palate red cherry fruit is prominent, and obtains a savoury stage late towards the end. Rolls, glides almost. Round, quite clear finish. Bonny wine, slightly out of the big Gigondas scale loop. From mid-2009. 2018-20 Jan 2008

2005 ()

sound red robe still. The bouquet is big, explosive, wide: it has airs of menthol and hums with pot pourri dried flowers, basil, rose-hip, has an air of dark fruit. It goes out and widely, is elemental, from the depths of the soil. The palate flavour centres on kirsch, cherry, the texture very oily; 2005’s stamp comes on the finish – that steely cut, straight line attitude. It continues very consistently, bears cinnamon and sweet spice, is a wine of good character. The ending is firm, sustained, comes with pockets of heat, prune, North African, spiced influences. A real game dish wine – Papa Faraud would approve. “It is starting to express itself now – I know it has been in a trough,” Délphine Faraud. 14°. 2028-30  Nov 2013 Previously June 2008 **** bright, dark plum-raspberry colour; there are broad, oily, simmered fruits of a liqueur nature – this is real long hangtime crop, plus blackberries on parade. The palate also displays blackberry and cassis – there is a real, intense burst at the start, set within a fleshy texture. The wine persists on some power and intrinsic guts. It ends on the liqueur note again, followed by a finale of laurel, sweet spice. This is OK now, with its first sweetness, a pleaser wine. Tasted blind – I am surprised when I discover its identity, as if the new generation has opted for a change of style, corroborated by the note on the barrel sample. 2018-20. June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) (barrel) bright, pretty dark red; attractive, broad bouquet that is expressive and well-packed. Well-cut fruit on the palate, a typical Grenache red fruit gum taste. This is a beau vin, its texture is soft, the tannins are ripe, and it persist well. Tidier and softer than the wild wine of yore from here, and I suppose I find myself wondering if more bite might make it more vibrant and arresting. To be bottled June 2007. From 2009. 2021-24 Nov 2006

2004 ()

(barrel) dark colour. Restrained bouquet, builds slowly - appealing earthiness, some violet. Fundamental wine, with a secure fullness, persists well, plenty of fruit and content, nice acidity, also. Touch of end chocolate. Good black fruits here. STGT wine. Can live and evolve well. 2018-21 “It`s fundamentally better than 2003 – we had coulure or failure of the flower to convert into fruit, but the crop was also small, around 28 hl/ha, because of the vineyard’s fatigue after 2003,” Michel Faraud July 2005


full matt, advancing red-plum colour; the tang of iodine and mint hover above a full bouquet, where there is some damp leaf and autumn wood expression: it is still rich at its core, showing sweet tea as well. The palate kicks off richly, and delivers the leaning of evolution in the taste – back comes the dampness. In effect, this is still rather “primary” – the Grenache has a consistent, enclosed delivery that is impressive for its age and its 2003 weather context. It ends on some sweet, rounded notes – a little toffee and date. The texture is pretty, while it tightens and bears some good little grip after that as it ends. A long distance runner, this, on its all-round sweet appeal more than its acidity. 14°. 2018-20 June 2008 Previously July 2005 (barrel, just before bottling) ***(*) open nose, soundly fruited - baked/brewed red fruits. Red fruit, typical Grenache start, continues and broadens, has good cut, rolls along well. Harmonious, drinks nicely now in the first flush of youth. Esp 2007 on when more integrated. 2017-19. 32 hl/ha this year. July 2005


scented, soft and friendly bouquet, a little rose, and some damp woods as it evolves. Spiced, sinewed wine, carries itself quite well. Has some character and fruit, good for drinking with grilled foods at this young stage. Maybe even salads and fish, given its soft make-up. A little final heat. 2009. No Syrah in this - "what Syrah we had was spoilt by the rain." Michel Faraud. July 2005

2001 ()

a bottle from my cellar that isn’t right, but . . . plum red, a secure depth of that colour in a robe that shows a wine in good condition to the eye. Wholesome, brewed fruits air, a bouquet that has an earthy foundation, shows a grilled side, some sternness, possible taint present. The palate shows the rather edgy acidity of the year, and isn’t an entire, rounded whole at first. It is a bit cooked on the finish, with “wild” features, and a rustic, up and down run along the palate. The aftertaste is grainy, gritty. Annoying that it isn’t in 100% good condition. Aftertaste gives coffee and then more cork. 14°. So much for the robe. If clean, would be in the 3.5 stars or a bit higher category. July 2012, Norfolk, GB Previously Nov 2005, California **** pretty red-black robe. Herbs, some violet on the nose. Lovely flavour here, scented fruit, all to come, a harmonious wine that has an earthy tone to it. The potential is strong, and it can unfurl from 2007 on. 2020-23 Berkeley, a wine from Kermit Lynch’s cellar at chez Panisse Nov 2005 Previously May 2003 **** (large barrel) violet, garrigue herns, well-founded nose. Good, kicking wine on the palate, has a lot of character and substance, is tight then fresh on the finish, has good cut. Very typical, genuine. Good chewy finish. Tannins need some time – wait until 2008. 2019-21 May 2003

2000 ()

decent depth on the nose, shows good, gently stewed fruit, is harmonious. The palate is more open, also suavely full. There is the sheen of a southern wine, it has depth and a herbal aftertaste before a tight sign-off. Pretty tannins here - are bendy. Esp 2005 on. 2014-16 May 2003


a little tile in the top robe; red berry and plum fruit aroma that is open and lively. Good, clear fruit on the palate - red fruits with a licorice/fennel tang in them. Some tar and punch on the finish. This is still good and fresh. 2019-21 Nov 2006, London

1994 ()

sound, quite solid red fruits bouquet, a little mushroom lurking under the fruit - interesting, and STGT. Calm, measured palate, still woven together, baked red fruits tart taste. Nice length. 2013-15 Feb 2006

1993 ()

full robe still. Warm bouquet, a little mineral, black jam, prune with a pepper sprinkling. Black stone fruits carry a herbal content on palate, length is good, finish fresh. Mature, still solid wine. Wee bit of burn and tar on the aftertaste. To 2011. Feb 2006

1988 ()

classic example of old Rhône bottle variation here, with reference to the same wine tasted 18 months ago. This is much better: still has a nice, cpmplete red robe. Has a spicy, cedary nose with ingrained ripeness in it – it is attractive, really open and out, broad and liberated. The fine palate is humming along, its tannins still quietly wrapped into it. Really pretty wine that is fruited, young, long. Fresh and live, a good bootle and a very good drink. 13.5°. 2021-22  Oct 2010  Previously March 2009 **(*) well-preserved, pretty robe that is full at heart with a mature red, and only a little advance in it. Chocolate aroma with a cut of graphite in it, shows acetate high tone notions, also Marmite, the English yeast stock, a ripple of red fruit, a wee Brett presence. The palate is broadly-filled with a nice lateral run. The attack is brewed plum, not that clear. Its fullness is typical of this domaine, along with its slight rustic side. It ends a little tamely, fades, after its open fronted start. Irregular wine for me – the large barrel, foudre, raising pays a questionable role. 13.5°. After one hour, the nose becomes more foxy, but the palate fresher. 2017-19 March 2009 Previously Sept 1992 ****(*) very dark, inky, intense colour. The bouquet is weighty, with promise to open out. Very firm palate – big but rounded. This is really holding back – there is great depth here. Plenty of fruit and matter here, ends on heat. A big player with great promise. Drink 1995 to 2005 or so. 14°. Sept 1992