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The Wines

70-75% Grenache (av 53 years from red clays on Pallieroudas), 20-25% Syrah (1972-75), 5% Mourvèdre (1974), destemmed, 3 day maceration at 14°C, 5 week vinification, wild yeasts only, 5 part vat emptying/refillings a day at first, can do pumping overs later, aged 80% 40 hl large oval barrel 12 months then 6 months in concrete vat, other 20% concrete vat raised 18 months, unfined, unfiltered, "drink with game, red meat, cheese", 40-50,000 b

2018

(large barrel/vat) dark red; the nose has a high octane, cooked red fruits aroma, with cherry and dried herbs mingling. It has a little direct note of vegetal crispness, a hint of menthol – it captures Gigondas very well. The palate picks up on the Gigondas theme of cool delivery, chalky tannins, the red fruit released only cautiously, carrying the intensity of the vintage. This is a genuine, STGT Gigondas, very true. It’s a gradual fuser and improver, and will give an authentic glass over time, is one for the enthusiasts, not passing trade. 75% Gren, 20% Syr, 5% Mourv. €17 at cellars. From 2024, decant it. 2041-43 Feb 2020

2017

(large barrel/vat) dark red colour; there’s a grilled, seared note across the nose, with an infill of red fruits, soaked cherries. The palate offers comfy Grenache red fruit, raspberry with a clear set of tannins that fit in well, bring freshness, and are neatly ripe. This is authentic, STGT, unpretentious Gigondas that makes stealthy late gains in depth and expression. 14.5°. From mid-2020. 2038-40 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(large barrel) dark red robe. The bouquet has a mulberry red fruit aroma, liqueur in style, with a tickle of raspberry behind, a less sturdy influence from that. It has a smoky intensity. The palate is closely packed together, offers barely a chink of light in its red-fruited, fired up fabric. There is a sunny drive in the wine that bounces straight off the garrigue lands here, is STGT wine with local fuel at its heart. It releases a small stream of thick red juice just before the finish. The tannins are punchy, rocky, and it requires leaving until 2021. Decanting advised. 2036-39 Oct 2017

2015

(large barrel) bright red robe. The bouquet gives a rounded aroma that mixes red berries and a floral, rose-like presence. Spice hovers above it. The palate holds gentle red fruit flavours with a supple set of tannins and a gradual increase in depth towards the finish. It’s very young, slightly on the safe side. It will be stylish and rewarding in time, with no fandango attached. The length is secure, the finish bringing in spice, mocha. 15°. From mid-2019. 2033-35 Feb 2017

2014

(vat, bottling Sept 2016) quite a dark red robe. Garrigue herbs show in a nose that involves discreet raspberry, garden red berry fruit and some grilling, sea salt, freshly caught mackerel. Wow, way to go! The palate proffers low-key red fruits with chiselled, chalky tannins in the mix after half way. This is freshly derived Gigondas with sinew and enough measured richness to come forward as a good, true cool vintage wine. It is close to the terroir, STGT wine. I back this to do well, and to interest informed drinkers. 14.5°. 40,000 b. €15. From 2018. 2029-31  Dec 2015   

2013

shiny red robe. Has a gently sweet bouquet based on liquid raspberry and a sunny glow. The palate is threaded with the rocky incline of 2013, flanked by still rather spare content, the fruit red. This is unadorned, nicely naked wine that requires patient cellaring. It offers clear Grenache, is a true child of these late ripening soils, STGT wine. Only improvement lies ahead of it. A wine for the well informed enthusiast, not passing trade. 14.5°. 30,000 b. Bottled Sept 2015. 70-25 Gren-Syr this year instead of the usual 75-20. From 2018. 2029-32  Dec 2015  Previously Dec 2014 *** (vat) medium purple-garnet colour. Red berry fruit shows on the nose, with a hint of herbs and spice. Juicy red fruit features on the palate, with firm tannins behind. Solid, well crafted – for now, it just misses the mid-palate depth (a characteristic in 2013). 15°. From spring 2016. 2024-26  JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

(vat, bottling Sept 2014) dark purple, black tints. This has a blackberry, sweetly fruited aroma with a ripe, prune-like heart, a few intricacies, and more variety to come, promise offered by good, herbs, local garrigue dabs. The palate centres on a fat, albeit brief, core of gras richness; it extends with a careful show of some heated matter, spicing and a clay-garrigue soils strength present. There is a little concern about its power, with a glow of heat discernible on the aftertaste. A genuine Gigondas for autumn/winter drinking. From 2016. 15°, 40,000 b, €13.90, good value. 2025-27 Dec 2013

2011 ()

(vat, bottling June 2013) some shine in a fairly deep red; The nose is liberated, offers an air of baked red fruit with a cake, tar and treacle top -  a dark nose that needs time. This has a ripe, date and prune lead flavour – this is a true wine of the south, with is depth and sustained length. The finish is marked by good running fruit, crisp tannin, and a clean strike. It shows the Gigondas breeze on the finish – there are sparks from that. It lacks the finesse of some, but is honest wine. From 2015. 15°. €13.50 export price. 2026-27  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(the assembled wine, so now subject to raising only) dark robe. Shiny, open nose with fine sweetness in the fruit, very clear lines – it is attractive. The palate has a supple appeal, a warm roundness – a really good pleasure wine: it is open and there is nothing pesky about it. The tannins are suave, have a sheen on them, are silken. Peppery notes float in this. Very good balance – this reminds me of 1985. 2026-29 March 2011

2009 ()

(bottling in three weeks) sound red robe. Sunny nose – plum fruit, tight air about it, can deliver variety as it evolves. Tasty, agreeable palate – this is authentic, STGT wine. It has a juicy, generous attack and widens well. Its tannins are finely inset with life and clarity in them. Very true to its place. From mid-2012, for instance. “2004 had this too – a sucrosity,” Matthieu Boutière. 2024-26 March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ***** (vat) sober, full red robe; red cherry, mulled fruits aroma – a mix of liqueur ripeness and the clack of stones rubbed together, offers a smoky heat, a little meatiness. The palate is big, broad, deep – a real digger into the ground, coming up with firm fruit and tannin, and a sort of simmering garrigue power. Has a genuine local appeal and nature, and is a no-nonsense, STGT wine. I like its drive and vigour, plus a good bit of wildness in it. From 2013. 2026-29 Oct 2010

2008 ()

even red robe; mid-depth, cherry cake aroma that approaches a liqueur style, comes with a little garrigue seasoning, has a true southern air to it. The palate is contained, compact – Grenache is in the front rank – and it is all rolled up together, leading to a tight little knot of tannins at the end, which is abrupt for now. A solid quality 2008 which has STGT features and potential, its balance good and encouraging. From mid-2011. 2019-20 Dec 2009

2007

quite a dark robe; beefy aroma that is broad, has muscular depth, shows violet, baked prune, baked bread airs, a bit of scorched roasting. This is a big style of Gigondas – assertive black fruit that is pushed along. A good, hearty wine, more traditional than modern. The fruit has life in it. It ends on clear black fruit that is juicy for now, along with a little tight tannin. From end 2010. STGT style wine. 2019-21 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **** (vat) full black cherry colour; there is good heart in the bouquet – has a soaked aroma, a near overripe blackberry, also mulberry and a spot of extra liberty towards the end where there is plum. It is sunny, and reflects some baked plains, leather, also licorice. There is plenty of fat on the palate, with the fruit and the tannins enrobed together. There is a little late toasting and tar, but the overall effect is round. The fruit performs well: this is Bang On Gigondas, an STGT wine that also respects the vintage. The end is correctly tight, it is authentic wine. The second half is already largely supple, and this theatre will open its doors earlier than many 2007s. From early 2010. 2021-22 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 (vat, an example with sugars fermented through, malo completed) dark plum colour; snappy, pretty full black fruit aroma with some alcohol evident. There is roundness in the fruit – it lengthens, and is three-quarter weight, and the finale shows quite a fine touch. Agreeable sort of wine. June 2008

2006

still full robe, tiling on the top of it. Has a young, punchy nose – it leans towards expressing eau de vie, spirit, has a deep set air of dark berry fruit. This is big, manly wine, the product of warm lands; it gathers tarragon and rosemary as it ends. A good, evolving wine. After 1 hour, it integrates, and its ground heat is assimilated. “It is between youth and its second stage – it is toasted-roasted shows cocoa notes,” Mathieu Boutière. 14.5°. 2021-23  Nov 2013 Previously Nov 2008 **** quite dark red; red berries, gently simmered in nature – the nose is stylish, has good local feel and depth, a gracious reserve on it. There is the sinew of red Grenache fruit that is pure in nature here – this runs on with likeable energy and clarity, shows more sinew than flesh for now, is a wine of good local standards. The length is good. Can be deeper and rounder by late 2009. Tight but still clear finale, herbs and white pepper there. Uncluttered, beau vin, STGT. 14.5°. 2017-19 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 **(*)(vat, final assemblage, due for bottling Sept 2008, in 3 months) dark red, full plum colour; there is plenty in the bouquet – it is sealed, but there is a round shape to it, it is all compact. Will loosen after bottling and that agitation. There is an even run of pretty clear fruit along the palate. At a markedly primary stage – this is a wine of good cohesion, and a supple, quite rich texture. Ends on some cocoa, coffee style tannins. From mid-2010. 2016-18 June 2008

2005

stable colour of plum, red and black. The nose displays caramel and raisin more than pure fruit – it is reserved for now. The palate starts nice and richly – this is a complete, comfortably assured wine with both good heart and continuity. Typical Gigondas with its full matter, and it ends on a slight tobacco, raisin effect that is clear. Good chewy width in this, a genuine drop of wine, STGT leaning. 2019-21. “I find this a very balanced, typical Gigondas with the year more tannic than many, a wine of good character and 10 years of life ahead of it,” Mathieu Boutière. June 2008

2004 ()

wow, the Comeback Kid. The plum red is still quite dark. The nose has implicit sweetness, a compact, peppery air accompanied by gentle rose, floral aromas, also smoke – the nose is complex, very varied. Very authentic palate – a good run of discreet plum fruit, it is fine and good-bodied, no looseness here. Very pretty, very true. Excellent end freshness – this is in very good shape. Menthol on the aftertaste. It is also fresh on the attack. On this form, it can live to 2023-25. 14.5°. Oct 2010 Previously June 2008 *** the red plum robe is a typical Grenache colour, with some evolution in it. There is some coffee and toasting on the nose – it is just moving out of its first stage, and holds up pretty well: its baked red fruits aroma is pretty compact. There is greater vintage definition on the palate – thanks to some raisins, leather and quite lithe red stone fruits – and a good, clear finish. This is good for the CHR trade, since it will go well with different meats. Has hit a stage when there are nuances at the end, with some leather and cocoa there. There are a few wee dry areas, but this is good nonetheless. 2014-16 June 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ***(*) sound red colour; the bouquet has a little mystery about it – it is smoky with a little spice and black fruits. There is a mature, quite traditional Gigondas start to the palate – the black fruits delivered with mineral, but nice richness and muscle. Ends with crunchy, leathery fruit and the aftertaste sends out coffee or mocha. Good end kick on this, rather an STGT wine. Just a little dry tendency on the end is one small note of caution. 2015-17 Dec 2006

2003

the robe is moving along with ruby present in it. Has a sweet raisin aroma, with dates and prune in it; there is a little air of alcohol hovering. The palate is robust, its texture largely smooth and fleshy. The end is peppery. The attack and the finish are not quite connected - the dry-toned end is the challenge, and the attack is superior. There is acidity present here, and I am not sure the wine can get there. Drink until 2010. “There was a lot of acidity in 2003; we started to harvest on 3 September, but there was a lack of phenolic (tannic) ripening – there were no cool nights to help us; we did the fermentation at the usual 30°C for the normal length of time,” Mathieu Boutière. June 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ** red with ruby at the top rim; has a clear, mineral, bit menthol top air to a pebbly, red-fruited bouquet. There is overt pepper and spice in it, some raspberry eau de vie via its alcohol. The palate is bosky and rather dry-toned: it never lifts off and flies. It is fringed too much by its dry tannins. The aftertaste reflects raisin, Christmas cake with brandy. Absolutely must be drunk with food, since it is dry at base. Beef stews, without too many herbs in them, would work OK. To 2009. Dec 2006 Previously July 2005 ** overtly ripe, black berry bouquet, has a sweet supple air, some meatiness within. Southern flavours like olives and herb-tinged fruit on palate. Punch and power to keep it going. End tar. Faithful, good example of the vintage, and its overripeness. 2013-15 July 2005

2002

the robe is evolved. The nose is varied – prune/fig, Christmas cake with cherries and rum in it. The palate is similar, starting with some sketchy gras, a sweet little ball, then it runs on with fragile cohesion. The finish is limited. Drink now to 2009. “We sold most in bulk to the merchant trade – our yield was 25 hl/ha instead of the usual 35 hl/ha. It is light for a Gigondas,” Guy Boutière. June 2008 Previously July 2005 * fungal, game tones on bouquet, also honey. Softened, pleasant palate with a jam flavour - no spice, is straight down the line. Easy pleasant wine, with the Grenache very much in the front seat. To 2007. July 2005

2001

nicely maturing robe, dark plum core, ruby top. The bouquet assembles essential oils, pine, cedar, cooked plum, spice airs, the fruit gentle, thyme present, notes of toasting, roasting. It is very true and local. The palate bears a classy, fine freshness, drinks with a charming, wholesome, salted prune and fine black jam flavour. It has taken time to open up in the glass. “It needs decanting, has tertiary aromas, shows Grenache that is a bit old, but the tannins are completely integrated, is a good drinking wine. Drink with partridge, and a cigar,” Mathieu Pesquier. The first year of destemmed crop. STGT wine, jolly good now, as they say. 14°. 2021-23  Nov 2013 Previously June 2008 *** ruby, evolving plum robe with a little brightness; the palate holds layered red fruit that is now mature, but presents variety and nuance. There is a little late red juice. The fruit is still live, infused with some black pepper and spice, and the end is rather clear – typically so. 2011-12 June 2008 Previously July 2005 *** ripe fruit in a complete bouquet, pepper present, with the start of second phase damp woods/leaves. Punchy start to palate, shows dark fruit, prune, is spiced. A little rustic, but is a hearty wine with plenty of life. A little burnt on finish, some alcohol there. 2015-17 July 2005

2000 ()

ruby, very pale red. There is a nutty, red fruit tart aroma with some sweet herbal influence. The palate starts with some gras, tightens at half way, then becomes more peppery, and is a shade short. The end reflects cocoa and rum. Open the bottle and drink now. June 2008

1999

ruby, rather fragile robe; the aroma is led by coffee beans, with some damp woods or sous-bois present. The surround is a bit dry and toasted. The palate flavour is rum cake and figs – it holds up with a slightly spirity nature late on. Menthol in the final stages of the palate. Still a player, though. To 2010. June 2008

1998 No Rating

2 bottles, both corked June 2008

1996

quite dark, a little advance; the bouquet gives airs of black berry fruit, is a bit hidden for now, also bears a damp, rather fungal aspect. This attacks nicely - already it is more supple than expected there. Decent content here to sustain it, though I find it is advancing more quickly than one might expect. It is a little sweet on the finish. Overall, just a shade flattering. 2006-09  April 1999

1995 ()

gentle glow of mature red and an orange rim – the robe is more advanced than the Château Raspail 1995, with less Syrah present here. The very first nose shows possible Brett, but the main impression is spice and cedar, with a soft plum and floral undernote. The palate holds a gentle in and out run of plum fruit, and is based around mineral-leather influences, as befits a dry year. The finish is good and clear, as was found in the early days of this vintage. The robe suggests more advance than is actually the case on the palate. A good showing here. 14°. 2019-22 June 2010 Previously June 2008 an oxidised bottle June 2008 Previously April 1999 ***(*) quite dark; the bouquet is brewed, dense, has more to give. The fruit is ripe, has a gently sweet air, also comes with a meaty side. Chewy flavour on the palate is good and typical, is all well wrapped together: it is full and just a little sweet, has generous qualities. Its approachable style corresponds to its place, from the lowest reaches of Gigondas. 2010-11  April 1999

1993 ()

garnet, rather fragile robe; low-key bouquet, with a hint of red fruit and a lacing of pepper and mushroom. Fair red fruit attack, the palate is peppered and getting a bit narrow late on. Still has some content, but drink before 2008.  Feb 2006

1988 No Rating

called on the top of the label “Ancien Vignoble des Princes d`Orange”. Orange, garnet, very pale colour; there is a little mature sweetness in the nose, but the palate is dry, oxidative and the finish is dry. June 2008

1982

the birth year of Mathieu Boutière, now working on the domaine. Fuller robe than the Raspail-Ay 1982 - is a mottled red with a pretty core. The nose still has a praiseworthy roundness of fruit – it does not run along pepper, old mocha lines – and has a welcoming violet, little floral air. The palate starts calmly, is nicely knit, ends freshly, is clear in length. Quiet late roundness which reflects its sunny year. Very grounded wine, offers good local stamp and authenticity on the nose. 2017-19. “My memory was of a wine not suited to keeping well, and I am agreeably surprised by this wine after 27 years. At the time, I thought it wouldn`t be a long-lived wine for Mathieu`s later years.” March 2009

1978

“Ce vin a eté l'objet de tous les soins de R.Boutière et Fils” at the bottom of the label (this wine has been the object of all the cares of R.Boutière and Son). The robe is ruby, and not really pale. There is a tiny sweet note on the nose – a beef meat aroma with some animal. It is mostly clear, though, with prune and quince – the quince often the trait of mature Grenache - in it. There is a little richness and cohesion on the palate – a good wine for 30 years, showing how top the vintage was. The flavour is a mature red jam, with some sweetness, and it keeps on to the finish, where there is still some punch. The length is pretty. Bravo, Raymond, whom I knew quite well. Its richness is surprising, rather effortless and consecutive. The Syrah in this was then only 5-6 years` old, and the large barrel ageing lasted over 18 months to 2 years or so. June 2008

1975 ()

has “Vieux Gigondas” on the label, orange in a bonny robe, gentle red hues. Dried figs on the nose that is sympa, well rounded, interesting. Good early soft fruit on the palate – seasoned with cedar, spice, runs on to a well-ripened, nicely spiced aftertaste. Typical bit of dryness on the end. Bottled after three years raising – 12 months concrete vat, 24 months barrel, 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mouvrèdre/Cinsault. June 1986

1974 ()

called Domaine du Pesquier Grand Réserve: pale, garnet-orange robe; has a quince-floral aroma, coffee notes, a bouquet that darts about, is not fixed, carries the air of the boudoir. The palate is soft, as if it was chaptalised; there is a sweet, plump note, and most of all, it ends pebbly and freshly. However, it is grainy and heated, without the body around it, on the aftertaste. There is still wine here. “I find it a bit like Pineau de Charentes,” says Guy Boutière about his wine. In the empty glass, the air is of Marsala or Port. Gold Medal Mâcon. Drink soon. March 2009

1972

called Domaine du Pesquier Grand Réserve, R.Boutière: this won a Gold Medal at the Concours Général Agricole. Some overt garnet in the colour, but it is bright enough. The nose is refined, leading on cocoa, mocha, and shows a soft sweetness. The palate is notably harmonious, pretty at half-way, and extends gently – a wine en finesse, with a becoming freshness on the finish. Very attractive – it is finer on the palate than the more robust 1972 Pierre Amadieu tasted alongside it. “This was made from our old vines, while the rest of the wine was sold in bulk to the merchant trade,” Guy Boutière. March 2009

1970

fair red colour. Woody aroma, an effect that continues on to the palate. Perhaps its oaking is too much, since the taste resembles burnt caramel. Not easy. Oct 1974

1967

called Domaine du Pesquier Grand Réserve, R.Boutière: interesting, bright, pale ruby robe. This has a most agreeable nose – sweet airs traverse the glass, are peppery and a little powdery, bear eastern spices and Havana cigar. The palate is gently round, coming with fruit that has a trace of sweetness through it. It ends on a light mineral note, a quiet herbal, linden, verbena and menthol infusion, most captivating. This is the issue of a ripe vintage, one that enjoyed plenty of sun to judge from this. It starts to tighten and dry after 30 minutes. – it is **** for those 30 minutes. 2017-18 Oct 2010