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The Wines

80% Grenache (oldest 80-100 yrs, youngest 20 yrs), 20% 1980s Syrah from sandy, clay-limestone, red soils on Le Péage, Les Hautes Garrigues, Le Bois de Monge at 180-200 metres, hand harvested, whole bunch fermentation until 2006, now all destemmed, light crush, 19-26 day vinification from 2006 – was 15-20 days before, daily pumping overs, 70-80% receives 12 months large 50-75 hl Russian oak barrel ageing, then up to 6 months concrete vat raising, 20-30% receives only concrete vat raising 15-18 months, unfined, unfiltered, called Tradition until 2004, 45-60,000 b

2017

(casks/steel vat) dark red colour; the nose has a meaty aspect, a baked backdrop, a note of lees for now, black fruit at its centre. The palate is broad and rolling, its smooth texture lasting throughout. It gathers a note of beef stock towards the finish, the tannins ripe and bendy. I like the gradual gain in depth along the palate. 15°. 80% Gren, 20% Syrah. From 2021. 2037-39 Oct 2018

2016

(barrel) shiny red robe. The nose combines mild blackberry fruit with a little note of flowers, has a musky aspect, a southern, prune, ripe nature. The palate is sturdy, filled with red fruit content and slightly compressed tannins that bring thickness to the finishing moments. It shows some of the dry conditions in its make-up, notably on the second half. The aftertaste is gummy, the juice reduced there. It will come together, and be impressive with game dishes. From 2021. 2035-38 Oct 2017

2015

(vat/barrel) red robe with a Grenache-led, medium depth about it. The bouquet is well-filled, bears a good criss-cross of red and black berry fruits, cooked plums; there is a sense of warm lands across its breadth. The palate is expressive from the start with a clear-cut Grenache heart that brings in red stone fruits and spicing. This has good energy, and is an STGT Gigondas with the local spark of clarity above its well-founded, still tight content. The tannins are ripe, busy, and require the wine being left until 2019-20. 2034-37 Feb 2017

2014 ()

(large barrel, bottling Jan 2016) quite a dark red robe. The nose is attractive, combines herbes de Provence with sweet spots of cassis and plum. It has a little intricacy. The palate gives an agreeably generous, sweet-noted flow of raspberry fruit with spice in attendance. This is a good ensemble, with its tannins well in step. It achieves a rounded, pretty complete finish. This will sing a sweet tune around six years’ old, is stylish rather than powerful. 14.5°. 60,000 b. €14. From 2018. 2027-29  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

(large barrel, bottling Jan 2015) purple-garnet colour. Red berry aromas feature on the nose, with a hint of cherry and kirsch. The attack is sweetly fruited, then followed by a solid tannic frame. This is a bit tough and angular in style, but will age. Down to 45,000 b this year. From 2017. 2025-27  JL  Dec 2014

2012

(large barrel, bottling Jan 2014) dark red robe. Blackberry, loganberry liqueur fruit aroma with cocoa, darker intensity, beef stock, entrails. This holds rather punchy fruit, shows a Grenache strength in the mid to late palate. Tannins crunch up the finale, and blend in with black cherry fruit and coffee beans. The exit is fresh, leans towards menthol. Pretty true to its place, and promising. The degree is just OK. The palate rocks well, gives genuine length and gusto. From 2016. 14.5°. €12.50 at the cellars. 2027-29  Dec 2013

2011

(large barrel, bottling next month) shiny, three-quarter depth red robe; has a beckoning, nicely wholesome aroma, mixes a cooked meat depth with an air of gently mulled red fruit, strawberry present. The nose shows the fat, early appeal of 2011. The palate kicks off on sweet-toned red berry, raspberry fruit that is typical Grenache, with a side bar of flinty tannin as a counterpoint. It keeps moving, has energy, and goes into a lifted aftertaste. The finish comes back on that flinty note. Stylish wine, has potential. From mid-2014. €12.50 export price. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(barrel) dark red robe. Smoky, grilled pork air, a garrigue-herb influenced red fruit alongside, some chocolate – the nose is mainly Grenache in style. The palate holds well-textured red fruit – this has something of a liqueur character, is led by its texture. The fruit is discreet. The tannins are absorbed until bite and definition show up on the finish. There are beef stock notes on the aftertaste. Plenty of wine in the glass. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 2030-32 Dec 2011 Previously March 2011 (example) burst of Grenache aroma, real open bouquet. Sweet-toned debut to the palate – good sequence along the palate, has live and clear tannins. Good thrust in this. 18-20 years. March 2011

2009 ()

threequarter depth red colour; plum-oily air that is suave, friendly and round, shows black raisin intensity as well. A tight affair is the palate, with potentially stylish red fruit that surges on the attack before moving into a dry, baked 2009 zone. Needs decanting and time. From spring 2013. This will always have a solid finale, I suspect. 2022-25 July 2011

2008 ()

handsome red robe; blackcurrant, red berry, olive aromas – along with damp soil. The palate texture is encouraging – it is smooth, with black plum or prune flavouring, some late, clear, violet and date notes. It finishes attractively. This is a nice traditional style of Gigondas, a wine of softness and a plump balance. From mid-2011. 2020-21 Dec 2009

2007

rather bright, dark red; ripe, bountiful nose – it offers depth of raspberry and black jam that is also fresh and inviting. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme present to lend variety. There is clean-winded, easy to like fruit on the palate – it is juicy and tasty, and has a discreet, sweet trail. In a very primary state now – all about the fruit. Well inset, mild tannins bring up the close. The fruit persists well, so much so that I would rate this as a w.o.w. in its youth – that will make it great for restaurants, the CHR trade. It will of course live a lot longer than that first pleasure hit, and will tighten up around 2011. 2019-21. Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 ***(*) (barrel) full, dark robe; black fruit with savoury notes on the nose – a sweet chocolate, tea air, with juniper (alcohol effect), raisin, licorice – it is varied. The palate has a charge of black fruit – this is one of the few 2007s to show its power, and its robust, rather potent spine. It ends firmly, with gravity, not air. The texture is dry for the moment on the finish – this needs to arrange its tannins. From 2011. 2019-20 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 (barrel)**** full, purple-black colour; a ripe and full aroma travels sideways and down within the glass, is promising. There is good elegance of fruit on the palate – this has real flow and a consistent run. Tannins block the exit. 2022-23 June 2008

2006

full red. Simmered plum fruits aroma with a ticking heart – is full, shows herbs and oak traces. Gracious red fruit on the palate that is ripe, but not exaggerated. The texture is round until the entry of ripe enough tannins, which seal its finish, bringing a complete end. A touch of charcoal on the aftertaste, and a peek of red fruit inside the oak. Stylish from 2010. 2017-19 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) (barrel) dark red; nutty, slightly oaked effect on the nose, with a full air from a meat stock, bacon backing. There is sound black fruit with some lithe tannin through it on the palate – this wine has potential elegance in the future. The fruit is rich, but also nice and clear late on. A pretty drop in the making here. From 2010. 2020-21 Jan 2008

2005

last vintage of whole bunch fermentation: black plum robe with bright notes. The bouquet has a good, savoury air, with some beef stock and also raspberry fruit – it is a prominent aroma of dimension. The palate red fruits are gently mulled, with a good tannic wrap around. There is a nice bit of muscle in this – it is a virile, but not overdone wine of good length. The fresh finish comes along fully, the aftertaste is bouncy thanks to the freshness. Good finesse here, and flow and a complete roundness. Drink now for live fun, but it is a structured keeper, too, that may close up around 2009. 2019-21 June 2008 Previously March 2007 **** mid cherry colour in the robe; toasted, red fruit of some harmony, has a soft red berry undercurrent with a little game and fundamental backing: this brings it a square shape and makes it more earthy. Refined red fruits attack, has a very good sequence of growing grip and tannin, travels in a sweet line. Soft and savoury with some kick and late spice and cinnamon. Touch of late alcohol that is a wee bit outside. From the refined school of Gigondas, with traditional values. STGT wine. 14° 2020-22 March 2007 Previously Nov 2006 **** bright, dark robe; the bouquet has a dusty top, the fruit is discreet but persistent, has a firm tone to it, fair amount here. Good, direct wine on the palate – the cherry fruit nice and clear, clean and quite modern and accessible in style. Its tannins are evident but within the body of the wine. This will be interesting towards the start of it second phase, with extra variety, ie around 2009. Elegant style of wine. 2016-19 Nov 2006 Previously Feb 2006 (barrel) solid, not overdone nose with clean fruit present. Nice richness here, more obviously rich than 2004, and more tight-knit, wrapped up. The tannins are round inside and this is a promising wine. Feb 2006

2004

three-quarter depth red; there is a likeable drift of aroma across the bouquet – well-set red fruits, red berry jam, with a chocolate tang. The content is assured on the palate, which bears jolly red fruits with a quiet richness about them. This flows well, is w.o.w. wine. The clean, fresh finish is an asset. Length and balance both good, too. 2015-17  Dec 2006 Previously Feb 2006 ***(*) pretty, clear-cut red stone fruit that is alert. The palate fruit starts in a spritely way, then calms in mid-palate. Still coming together. This is a good Grenache vintage here. Its tannins are well set. Esp 2008-09 on. 2016-17 Feb 2006 Previously March 2005 **(*) three-quarter weight wine, rounded, fruity and harmonious. Fruit appeals. Plenty of tannin, quiet strength. 2016-18 March 2005

2003

the robe has a plum core, with a thin layer of brick at the top. The nose is broad and persistent, sweet and secure, and it leaves a trail of tea, pepper and cinnamon. This is a robust, shouldered wine of real solid depth and Gigondas heart. The tannins are full and no-nonsense. It gathers a brewed nature from half way, is a pugilist wine. It is wide and big-hearted late on, and endson  a still firm note – it is taking its time to soften there. A manly wine of interesting power, with maybe just a bit of a mid-palate dip. 14.5°. 2019-21. June 2008 Previously Feb 2006 ***(*) compact, meaty bouquet, deep and well set, with leather and hung meat – a real down home affair, not from the fruit first style of vintage, obviously. Baked berries with a solid style on the palate. A slight danger that it stops, but comes back well on the finish and hums along well there, with a little floral flourish. 2015-16 Feb 2006 Previously March 2005 ***(*) dark colour. Some tar on nose, aroma sustains well. Thorough black fruit with a chocolate tang on palate. Mulberry jam style flavour later. Good length, pretty fresh, STGT wine. Esp 2007-08 on. 2016-19 March 2005

2002

restrained bouquet, gentle black fruits, some variety and interest. Approachable wine - black fruit is tasty and agreeably rounded. Good depth and integrity for the year. 2008-09

2001

still has a full red plum robe that is pretty to the eye. Floral airs circulate around the bouquet – it holds pretty, homogenous fruit and charming herbal influences. The palate has really charming flow, delightful; there is a tiny touch of reduction, but with its compact stone fruit, the Grenache leads the way as it should. There is some gentle tightening at the end, a bit of peppery life. 2021-22 June 2008 Previously Feb 2006 **** thorough, forested nose, with woods, leaves and tea – the aromas work across and down. Well-knit palate with energy at its heart. A punchy, STGT wine that is very sustained. Has an interesting mix of flavours, with true tannins that carry life in them. 2016-18 “This was very slow to come together, and the wine was very astringent and tannic for two to three years. The crop was made up of small, very concentrated grapes,” Bernard Chauvet. Feb 2006

1999

intense, dark fruit bouquet, shows prune, black stone fruit aromas that are certainly evolving. Attractive fruit that is round and smooth on the palate, with its tannins nicely absorbed. Is moving well. Acquiring some pepper, secondary flavours and a tea influence but is still round just before the finish. To 2011. Feb 2006

1998

gentle red robe, largely full all the way up. Big, broad nose – Grenache leads the aromas, has a good inlay, a secure foundation. It is of the body, corporal in style as well, which mixes with red fruit tart air. Nice interior power with a clear finish on a note of pine needles. The red fruits have a pepper touch, are authentic of its place. This connects well in style to the Grapillon 1989 tasted just before – there is good spice and a correct lining of tannin, a pretty delineation about it. Plenty of life still, this is well-defined – which is one of its main trump cards. Clearer than a lot of 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Papes tasted three months ago. “It was very tannic and robust at first,” Bernard Chauvet. This won a Gold Medal at Mâcon. 80% Grenache. 2021-23 March 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **** 2 bottles, 1st corked. 2nd bottle: red, ruby, tile at the top of the robe. Mulberry jam with a liqueur note and a close-packed surround, a sense of animal also, fungal airs, nuttiness. Elegant wine on the palate – skips a beat or two towards the finish. Free rein red fruit on the palate debut, then it becomes enclosed, shows late tannins, and doesn`t keel over as it ages. The red fruits are attractive, are accompanied by some prune, has good freshness. Real good late harmony as it airs, sings a quiet, steady tune. “Decant this 1 hour ahead, Eat with it: a gratin or risotto with wild cép mushrooms,” Bernard Chauvet. I would like a pheasant or partridge, or an black truffle omelette, or a chorizo dish. 2015-17 Nov 2008

1997

red, ruby at top. Ground coffee, very overt spice and sous-bois – damp woods – with cigar smoke, tobacco. The palate still starts roundly, has a taste of Christmas cake and a length of pebbly, raisin-date in the flavour. It retains richness, just stops a touch. “I adore the nose, with perfumes of sous-bois, very animal. It was a difficult year – a year of a lot of rain with the wines diluted by that. I would eat a wild duck, hare or woodcock with this,” Bernard Chauvet. 2012-13 Nov 2008 Previously April 1999 ***(*) quite dark; mint and raspberry fruit aroma of fair depth on the nose – the bouquet can make progress. There is a nice amount on the palate, its middle supple, with tannins lying at the end. It centres on cooked Grenache plum fruit. The tannins need leaving until 2002 or so. I like the final glow. For now, it is a bit facile in the middle. 2012-14  April 1999

1996 ()

clear, becoming robe that has a mild red centre and a slightly tiled or tuilé top. Very pretty, vibrant nose – it is really “full of beans”, has spices running around, orange marmalade – there is vigour and life in it. The palate is marked by a winning freshness – no surprise, given the vintage. It has a lovely thrust, real good drive, delivering red fruits with spice and white pepper in the flavour. The length is good: faithful to the vintage, young, fresh and very pure. 14°. 2022-24 June 2010

1995

smoky, full nose, with good typicity of place and year – the shape is a little upright and at a pebbly stage now. The palate starts with more mineral in the flavour than richness, then it softens. Getting tight, its fruit is not that profound. Dry towards the finish. It may have a minor revival but on this showing needs drinking by 2008-09. Feb 2006

1993 ()

a few red traces in quite a bright robe that has done well over time. Cedar air, a fresh dart in the bouquet, along with resin hints, small red fruits. Interesting structure to the palate, which has the acidity of the year. It is low on body, would drink well with game birds – partridge, for instance. It thins down at the end. Note the level is down in this bottle, and it may not be a typical example. June 2010

1991

brick colour; coffee, a little sweetness on the nose that is broad and full, with a scented jam air. Nice, very Grenache style of wine, with soft fruit in mid-palate. Mineral nature is advancing. Just fading a little at the end. 2009 Feb 2006

1990 ()

very garnet robe; coffee, prune jam aroma, with meaty tones also and a mineral sprinkle, a bit like cough medicine. Calm, mature and rich start to palate, peppers up as it goes and slowly tapers. The texture is an interesting mix of soft and live matter. The flavour is gentle damson laced with herbs, and late minted chocolate. 2010-12 Feb 2006

1989

still full red-ruby, sustained robe. Very clear, slightly heady bouquet with a baked stones, generous muscle to it. It shows a classic herbal infusion and alert quince fruit lies within. It moves to eucalyptus with one hour or more. Full wine, with a striking, robust local feel. It declares a ripe, southern origin, is broad, sustained and carries sunshine in it. A spot-on example of mature, virile Gigondas, an STGT (Soil to Glass Transfer) wine. Long, faithful to its place, and the air brings out even greater crispness, as if there have been limestone influences. That aspect may come from the Hautes and Basses Garrigues part of the vineyard, which forms 60% of the wine. This is Grand Vin. “It was very tannic and difficult to drink at first – you had to wait five to six years; we weren't destemming then,” Bernard Chauvet. “A grand classic,” Pierre Amadieu. “Very typical Gigondas,” Bernard Souchière. “A beautiful connection between the nose and the palate,” Dany Chastan. 2020-22 March 2009