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The Wines

80% Grenache, 15-20% Syrah, 0-10% Mourvèdre (av age 45 years) from clay-limestone, some sandy soils on Les Jardinières (N-W), Santa Duc (N-W), Les Grames/Les Teyssonnières (N), hand cropped, 4 week Syrah vinification, 3 week Grenache vinification, varieties vinified apart, 80-90% destemmed, manual cap punching, daily pumping overs, varieties assembled pre-raising, raised large barrel 20 months, then enamel vat 6-8 months - total 26-28 months, unfined, filtered, 9-25,000 b

2018 ()

(vat) regular red colour; the bouquet is on a sweetness and degree that render it uncomfortable. There is a low-key note of stewed red fruit, some nutshells. The palate drifts, has a sweet theme, a floral note, but is too static to engage properly, takes, rather than gives energy. It’s ponderous, lacks spine, is too vintage-affected. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. €12.5 at cellars. From 2023. 2036-38 Feb 2020

2017

(vat) dark red, slightly mottled robe. The nose shows immediate cassis-blackberry liqueur fruit, has a vintage thickness, overt sunny depth. The palate is smooth all through, has a rich heart, sustains on well-ripened tannins, the raspberry fruit re-emerging on the aftertaste with a small pocket of spice. This is plush, aromatic Gigondas, a one-off style from the vintage. Its depth is prolonged. 80% Gren, 20% Syrah. From spring 2021. 2038-39 Oct 2018

2016

(vat, bottling winter 2018) shiny dark red colour, legs. The nose has a neat lead aroma of blackberry fruit, blackcurrant leaf, with a suggestion of black olives behind. It hasn’t yet got going. The palate bears nicely stylish black fruits, cassis and blueberry, that have a coated texture, and ripe tannins that allow for a smooth, rounded finish, just a note of graininess and slight baking there. 15°. 10,000 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €14.95 (2013). From 2020-21. 2037-39 Oct 2017

2015

dark red. Has a good, true Gigondas nose, blackberry with prune, buffed leather, plums notably from the Grenache. The palate reaches put well, freshly, with tannins lengthening it well. There’s good darkness, also saline black fruits, a spiced heart. The tannins have a couch of depth. Black olives feature in the flavour towards the close, which is on the up. The tannins will be softer with another two-plus years, are a tad dry for now. Authentic Gigondas. 14.5°. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. 20,000 b+. Bottled Dec 2017. 2034-36 Oct 2017 Previously May 2017 *** (vat) quite a dark red robe. The nose is marked by oily red fruits, with a sweet ripeness within. The palate bears a rounded Grenache plum fruiting with a pick-up of spice, ginger towards the finish. It’s a country style Gigondas with ripe tannins in the wheel. It will drink fine from late 2018. 2031-33 May 2017

2014 ()

(vat, bottling late 2017) red robe. The nose gives an air of baked plum, a little caramel and licorice with it, is a touch plain, could dance more brightly. The palate bears breezy plum fruit with similar tannins that are on the crisp side. There is a near hollow moment close to the finish. Needs to step up and amplify – not a given. 14.5°. 9,000 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €13.20. From mid-2017. 2024-26 Dec 2015

2013 ()

ruby-red robe, very Grenache. Has a smoky, garrigue dust and herbs aroma that wraps around a neat plum, strawberry fruiting on the nose. The palate is lithe, white pepper and another bout of dustiness along its trail, cooked plums and a sense of dark orange marmalade in the flavour. This is very vintage 2013 in its near Spartan offering, barely a spare ounce of flesh either side of its spinal column. As such, its feel is rather Nordic, the close with its glow more southern. It’s a commendably low intervention wine. I would allow it another couple of years to see if there’s a gain in richness. Will be good with beef. 14.5°. 2032-34 Oct 2017

2012 ()

(vat, before going into large barrel, bottling Sept 2014) rather dark colour. Oily southern essence shows on the bouquet, an aroma of tight cassis fruit with laurel leaves, licorice, cinnamon – a good, varied nose. The palate moves with freedom, offers an expressive, notably spiced plum fruit. Good, typical Gigondas that needs to sort out a peppery, rather angular characteristic. It has the nature of a central zone wine, not the Dentelles, via a good richness at heart. Time will help – from 2016. 14.5°. €12.50 for the 2010 at cellars Dec 2013. 25,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. 2029-31  Dec 2013

2010

fairly dark red; has a plum-fat air with ripe red stone fruit foremost and notes of nut alongside – there is a prune darkness within. A supple red fruit sequence persists all through this – it is textured and fat. The attack delivers dark plum, raspberry. Safe Gigondas with no big mystery or nuance about it. It is rather fine, its tannins are well inset – I find elegance both on nose and palate here. The aftertaste is oily. From 2013. 14.5°. €7 export. 2030-32 Dec 2011

2009

(vat) dark red; restrained nose with an air of plum, red berry, a cooked air that is not complicated. There is a loose debut on the palate – this never really shows a true, compact depth. It slides along without the extra oomph that should be present. It drinks easily, is close to ready. I am surprised it hasn't been bottled. A limited horizon wine. 2020-22. €7 export price. July 2011

2008 No Rating

evolving plum red colour; reserved nose, nutty airs – it is firm rather than fruity, though there is a peek out of red fruit, charcoal and tar also. Burnt theme on the palate, which lies right in the wine, which renders it gasping, bitter. Vat only raising this year. €6.60 ex cellars. 80% G, 15% S, 5% M this year. July 2011

2007

but note that a July 2009 wine was ****(*) and this is still in vat: (vat) mauve, quite thorough robe. Ripe grape-chocolate aroma – has a certain power about it, a touch spirity. The palate has a peppery inner, black fruit outer layer. It can be bottled – I sense it is marking time now. Ends quite broadly, with biscuity tannins. From 2011. I wonder if this is a last tranche of wine for bottling, as opposed to the July 2009 wine that I preferred. 2022-24 Dec 2009 Previously July 2009 ****(*) bright, complete robe; ample, filled-up bouquet – here are sweet-toned black berries and prune, the fruit ripe and wholesome in a grilled, biscuity context. Clear, modern fruit drives the palate – it gives plenty early on, then quietens and gains some grip and correct tannic layering. Rich, ripe wine with profound gras that is very well set. Fleshy, forward Gigondas that delivers well, raspberry the head fruit. Can be drunk now, but touch more ensemble from spring 2010. 2024-26 July 2009

2006 ()

good, dark plum red. Has an aroma of some sophistication – black berry fruit is well inlaid and there is take-up of agreeable sweetness on the final airs. The palate is Grenache-led – red stone fruit with a close-knit make-up - and there is life in its tannins. It persists well – there is good continuity in its slightly grainy red fruit. Still upright, a measured wine. Its freshness and gras will allow it to live 15+ years. From mid-2010. 2025-27 Jan 2008

2005 ()

full, quite dark plum colour. Has a nutty, raisiny nose, with a crackly air also. There are some damp, almost autumn leaf woods airs, while the fruit resembles ripe raspberry. The palate red fruit is laced with white pepper, and has a subsequent well-cut tone – there is a direct purpose about it. Some kirsch eau de vie shows up later, and the aftertaste is red berry in nature. There is a limestone, glinty, dusty sort of effect in this, a wine that is not yet bound together. From mid-2009. 2025-27 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 (vat) ** full, dark core to robe. Game instincts ion the nose, which is upright, rather on the alcohol, also high tone is lurking here, isn't that clear. Black berry fruit leads the palate, has a fat tone, ripe fruit in evidence for max oiliness, plushness. Raisin tones on the aftertaste. Deliberately later picked it seems, which may suggest oxidation earlier than usual. Gummy Grenache late on. 2019-21  Nov 2006

2004 ()

(vat) sound, quite full robe. Fairly crisp, persistent nose – red fruit, strawberry, a bit wild, a bit burnt. Red fruit, plum and quince flavour, delivered directly. A wine that runs on straight. The fresh finale is nuuty from its oak. Good harmony, but the finish is a shade contrived. Esp 2008 on. 2019-21 Nov 2006

2003 ()

mild red. Grainy, wee spice in with the red fruit, also leather airs in a rather thin nose. Jam flavour on the palate, has a deep-set couch of simmered red berries, raisin, then some very vintage 2003 dry textures. A dry-toned wine. Where is it going? In or out? I am not sure about progress. To 2016 or so. Dec 2006

1996

pale, ruby colour; leafy, rather thin bouquet, a touch of sweetness and burn in it. Light Grenache flavour here – it is sweet and confected, not a contender. April 1999

1995 ()

dark, sustained robe; cassis fruit, black berry aroma that is fresh – the nose is pretty deep, shows some garrigue herbs and will vary over time. The palate is centred around black fruit flavours – prune, blackberry. It is an upright 1995, like many, on the verge of being over stretched. Can fuse, though. From 2002. 2015-18  April 1999