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The Wines

80-85% Grenache, 10-13% Syrah, 7-10% Mourvèdre from lime, clay-limestone soils, whole bunch 3-4 week concrete vat vinification, may yeast the first vat, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refillings below 1060 gravity, then light pumping overs, max temperature 30°C, vat raised 6 months, then aged 70% concrete vat, 30% 2-year 600-litre oak casks & large barrel 10 months (before early 2010s was 50% concrete vat, 50% 60-70 hl large barrels, until 2003 100% large barrels), then all the wine concrete vat raised 6 months, unfined, unfiltered, 20-30,000 b

2018 ()

(concrete vat/large barrel) red robe, pale rim. The nose has a salted, vegetal note, sweet herbs present, spicing. There is a minor note of red fruit. It shows the bounced heat of the year in its style. The palate assembles red fruit with spicing all around it, is very Grenache-centric, has thrust in the tannins, finishes with a note of intensity, cooked plums and incense. There’s a raw charge off the plains here. Decant it. 14.5°. 30,000 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €18 at the cellars. From 2022-23. 2040-42 Feb 2020

2017

(vat/casks/barrel) quite a dark red; the bouquet has an oily, mixed fruits aroma, with cigarette smoke, red meats-blood sidelines. It has a strong heart. The palate bears copious amounts of red fruit and punchy tannins that prevail all over the finish. This is well, fuelled, thorough Gigondas that needs time to up the ante on the charm stakes. It has authority, will fill a large glass well. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. From 2022. 2037-39 Oct 2018

2016

(vat/casks) full robe, an intense red. The bouquet is sturdy and savoury, involves beef, ripe fruits such as prune, and grilling. There is a note of sweet herbs, rosemary, alongside. The palate is amply filled, comes with Grenache red fruits with squeezy tannins that pick up a little smokiness, tar, towards the finish, where there are black olives notes. This is fleshy, fat, rolling Gigondas with plenty of heart. It may develop an aromatic side as it evolves, and will do well with lamb dishes. From 2020. 2032-35 Oct 2017

2015

attractive red robe, has lustre. The bouquet rests on an elegant offer of neat, fresh raspberry fruit, with blackberry touches behind, has a little smoky spice and menthol as well. It shows the coolness of Gigondas. The palate is still tight, but clearly defined. This serves a snappy glass, finesse over power. The Grenache is a pure contributor, and gives it its heart. The finish is dark, tarry still, with a little increase in depth from its cool tannins. This is STGT, authentic Gigondas that gives access to the feel of the place. The cool close invites a second glass. From mid-2018 for a little more integration of the finish. 14°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. 2031-33 Oct 2017

2014 ()

(vat/cask, bottling May 2016) dark red. Cassis fruit leaps out of the glass, liqueur de Dijon with a sweet hint. It is juvenile, not at all varied for now. The palate provides suave content and plenty of black berry juice, its tannins just discernible. This is a flashy, eye catching Gigondas with the kick in the tannins needing 18-24 months to settle further. Its juice drifts a mite on the aftertaste. 14°. 30,000 b. €14.50. From 2018. 2025-27  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

(vat/cask, bottling May 2015) purple colour. The nose is slightly muted, gives some crushed berry notes with a hint of garrigue herbs. The palate is minerally and fresh, the fruit light but fleshy. Red berry flavours lie at its heart. There is a firm tannic bite on the finish. It is a little rustic, but fresh and digestible. Authentic Gigondas. 14°. From spring 2016. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv, 20,000 b, €14.50 at the cellars. 2025-27 JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

(vat/cask, bottling May 2014) STGT, VALUE alert. Dark red; round, rather plump cassis aroma, with sizzled bacon, flowers, violets, primrose drifts, light scenting. The palate rolls on an enjoyable carpet of red berry fruit, is suavely textured, all as one with its light dust tannins that finish its route. It holds 2012 acidity that comes through in its final stages and in its breezy, menthol, cocoa moments. Stylish, local, has a good, steady foundation and will run on. STGT, authentic, runs very consistently. Very good. From 2016. 14°. €14 at the cellars, good VALUE. 20,000 b this year. 2028-30  Dec 2013

2011 ()

(vat/cask, bottling March 2013) OK red robe, with a tapering at the top rim. The aroma leads with raspberry, some blackberry, is well-fruited. There is a discreet sweetness. It is open now, in a primary state. The palate holds stylish fruit, and a good texture of oily, raspberry and damson plum flavour. It has life, its tannins are well drawn inside it, and the finale is rather fresh, shows salt and pepper. Has a good, butty finish, nice and complete. It dips in mid-palate, then comes back. On a good track. From late 2013. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% M, 30,000 b, €13.50 at the cellars this year. 2022-24. Dec 2012

2010

(vat/barrel) sensible red robe with peppery Grenache on top. Has a spiced front air, a simple red fruit sweetness, light mulberry. The palate lacks the structure of the best 2010s – it is simply, rather aromatically fruited, its length is decent, and brings in flint, menthol late on. From spring 2013. Unpretentious, but could have a bit more dig in it. 14.5°. 2024-25 Dec 2011

2009

(bottling today) bright, attractive red that is good, full. Alert bouquet led by blackberry fruit, is nutty and deep. Has the fullness of the western, Garrigues zone, is in that style. Crisp departure to the palate – good life and clarity in it. Finely fruited wine, whose length is fresh. Shows a pebbly tang at the end. The palate is a bit behind the nose for now in expression. A wine with backbone. From spring 2013. 2025-27 March 2011

2007

(vat) full robe. Black jelly aroma led by cassis, is ripe and round. The palate also reflects cassis liqueur, or a crème de Dijon flavour. There is fine fruit in this, mature in style rather than fresh. I am surprised it has not been bottled. There is a little tannin and char on the finish. Not showing big character today – bring on the glass container, por favor. 2018-20 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **** (vat/barrel) full, towards inky colour; sweet, lateral, smooth flow of black cherry in the aroma, simmered blackberries suggested, with herbs: this bouquet is rounded and has a sweet appeal. The palate is abundant, the richness well established, and it coats the sides of the palate with a liqueur fruit that has alittle peppery tannin running down it. This is going to be tasty. Good red berry fruit aftertaste. From 2010. 2019-21. Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 *** (vat of 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah, sugars fermented, malo completed) dark, bright black plum colour; the aroma gives out scented, violet-tinted black fruits, shows carbonic gas. The palate has live, willing, active fruit, and plenty of life and expression. 14 years of life – to 2021 or so, for instance. “It was my dream first vinification – everything went in sequence, without worry. When we devatted after fermentation, the colours were very bright violet,” Stéphanie Fumoso. June 2008

2006 ()

(vat) quite bright black plum colour; supple aroma with a wee mulled blackberry fruits air, also licorice and a little leather in here, too. The palate has a direct form, with a good surround of blackberry fruit. There is a live, peppery toned finish that is clear and quite breezy. Likeable freshness, a wine whose tannins are not robust. Has a nice, direct appeal. To be bottled Sept 2009, but may be bottled before then. 2016-17. “I find it a bit atypical vis-à-vis the other vintages. Our wines gain with ageing, and this is not far off being ready to drink,” Stéphanie Fumoso. June 2008 Previously Jan 2008 (vat) ***(*) dark plum; simmered berry aroma that is very prominent and liquoreux now – it exudes bounty and the ice cream that it can be poured over awaits! Has a supple, quite fat black fruit start to the palate, is a wine with a hearty core, big and bold Gigondas. It ends on black peppers, its tannins are interesting. There is a good, oily nature to the texture before its oak intrudes. Decent typicity in this, too. From 2010. 2019-21 Jan 2008

2005 ()

full red; smoky nose with plenty in it – it is tight, shows a simmer of black fruits, mineral lacing. The palate is also tight, and packed-in. Heat infuses it. This is a nicely faithful 2005, a bit austere for the moment, so wait. From mid-2011. 14°. 2022-24 Dec 2009 Previously June 2008 *** (final assemblage, bottling due in 2-3 months, Sept 2008) bright, black plum colour; herbs and red fruits mingle on the nose, with orange marmalade also here in a low key. The palate is enclosed, a bit stiff and upright; it is under the temporaray influence of some SO2 now. A robust wine that is a little dry towards the finish (a vintage trait) – one that needs to soften. Could improve from here. From 2011. 2018-20 June 2008

2004 ()

thorough plum colour, a little black in it, is matt in hue. There is a mix of prune and game on the nose, accompanied by cocoa and sweet spices – it is starting to evolve. The palate is largely broad, and comes out firmly with a push of prune and black stone fruit. The texture mixes roundness and fleshy with a later, drier graininess. Ends on notes like coffee. A wine of local feel, best to drink in autumn and winter climes. “We drank this with a strawberry salad in cool weather, and it was very good,” Stéphanie Fumoso. 2018-20 June 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ***(*) quite a dark, bright robe; raspberry fruit leads a nose of fair depth, one that has potential, and now shows some savoury and wide airs. The palate rolls along well, is clear sided and holds good, stylish fruit. Has the elements to provide stylish drinking around late 2008 onwards. Comes from the more clear, elegant school of Gigondas. 2017-19 Dec 2006

2003

the robe is still largely a full plum colour; this still has red fruit such as quince in the aroma and a slight, discreet damp woods leaning in behind. The bouquet is at an interesting stage of evolution. The palate bears red fruits with a satisfying freshness. It holds up well, the texture is good and fleshy, and the length good as well. The aftertaste is a little scented, and there is some violet in the final stages. There is still some tannin moving into line inside the wine. Bonny wine. “In 2003, we put down nine tons of sheep droppings or manure to combat the drought,” Aline Bonfils. 2020-21 June 2008

2002 No Rating

NOT BOTTLED

2001

½ bottle: sympa, rounded red fruit aroma with prolonged, earthy aspects, a good scented upturn on its later moments. This is nicely stylish, varied – the fruit is perfumed, the length good, has a delicate persistence. Nuanced, pretty wine that is soft and complete without an ounce of excess. Harmonious wine. 2015-18 Nov 2005, New York

2000

open four hours now; has a calm, quietly moving aroma with the scent of roses and sweet spices – it is rounded. A prune, coffee start to the palate is followed by a menthol stage – this is showing evolution. Its texture is smooth, the wine expresses mature notes such as cinnamon, some leather, and pepper. There is a little sweetness in the mid-palate. 2014-16. “When we opened this, it showed game on the bouquet,” S.Fumoso. June 2008

1999

caramel and treacle aroma, whole bunch fermentation airs, the bouquet has a sweet composition. The palate is rich in style – nice and evident, with a warmth that leads to flavours of dates. Has a compact, sweet texture which is consistent all through. Good length. A fine, calm wine. 14°. 2015-17  Dec 2009

1994 ()

open four hours; mature plum, tea and brick colour; there are damp notes on the bouquet – plum eau de vie, cold coffee and sweet spice. The palate runs with a resin, slight pine taste; the shape is round, the texture still smooth. Ends on a gentle note, with some rum and dates cake in it. Has a commendable balance that has allowed it to live. Good for its age. Eat with game or a pheasant casserole. Another five years, to 2013, for instance. June 2008 Previously Feb 1999 **** ½ bottle: dark, nicely sustained colour, hints of black and purple. Alcohol, warmth, some licorice on the nose – it comes out straight – the vintage directness here, also floral and bosky wood airs. Air brings more sappy jam, also ripe prunes. Beguiling, very agreeable scented and aromatic flavour here, almost violets. It is nicely modelled, stylishly rounded. Good grip, decent length, ends softly. The tannins are well worked – an achievement – and are very well integrated. To 2010. Feb 1999, Sussex

1993

this is called La Gour de Chaulé on the label here in USA: still good intensity of colour; stubborn bouquet – a vague hint of dark cooked fruit, also tea, is very unformed as yet. Dense, chunky early wave on the palate – the texture is on the hard, firm side – goes in straight lines rather than curves. Has fair length. Extremely “undeclared” as yet. Will it soften, come good? Not sure. Can live, maybe to around 2015. May 1998, New York

1991

a little cardboard at first on the nose, then it moves to a tender, floral-rose stage. The palate delivers fine red fruit, is not tired out, has a pretty curve, is really elegant and gently long. “My mother's sixth vintage,” Stéphanie Fumoso. 2014-16 Dec 2009

1990

garnet but still full robe; bouquet shows details of damp leaf, and has a sweet core from the south, with a warm, mineral, leather top note. Warm, supple jam flavour that is just peppering. Narrows a little towards the finish. Has an elegant, nice grain, then the aftertaste comes back quietly rich, and prolongs more than one might have expected. 13.5°. 2010-12 Feb 2006

1988 ()

fair red robe, ruby top. The nose is quite heated, still throbbing away, offering baked fruit, light cocoa airs – it is rich early on, peppery later. Good weight on the palate – this has a southern nature and fullness, and its treacle richness resembles the 1999 Chaulé, is similar. It is concentrated, and ends on the dry, thick skins of the year, one of drought. 13.5°. 2018-20 Dec 2009