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The Wines

35-70% Grenache (1960), 8-35% Mourvèdre (1993-94), 10-53% Syrah (2000-03) from 60% La Ponche, 40% Bel Air, mix of blue clay, galet stone covered sandy soils, hand harvested, 15-80% destemmed, light crush, 35-40 day fermentation, cap punching, daily pumping overs, aged 20-50% concrete vat, 50-80% 4-11 year 600-litre & 228-litre Allier, Vosges oak casks (70-74% 600-litre, 26-30% 228-litre) 13 months, unfined, unfiltered, “I try to restrict the very open, ample nature of Vacqueyras – it can become too much very quickly”, 8-10,500 b

2018

(casks/vat) dark red; the nose gives a cooked plum aroma, a hint of dryness, baking in back. The palate is compact, inky, channels a little intense red juice towards the finish, where there is a note of power. It’s an assertive Vacqueyras, the finish rigorous for now. 15.1°. 11,330 b. 53% Syr, 35% Gren, 12% Mourv: much reduced Grenache this year. €16. From mid-2022 – time to integrate is required. 2033-35 Feb 2020

2016

(casks) shiny dark red robe. The nose appeals via its soft air of blackberry fruit, is all trim and likeable, has a liqueur inner depth. There’s a little extra black olives density. This is tasty, blessed with neat fruit and content, black berry fruits and noticeable tannins in support; the tannins have a little dryness, and need some time. It’s well made, not always a given at Vacqueyras, comes with southern, garrigue touches, is an STGT wine produced with clear harmony, good drive. The Syrah ripeness has been well judged, not overdone, which has aided its allure. 48% Gren, 36% Syr, 16% Mourv. 15.5°. 10,500 b. Harvested 27 Sept. 64% destemmed. Raised 4 yr 228-litre casks (27%), 4-10 yr 600-litre casks (73%). From late 2018. 2028-30 Feb 2018

2015

(vat/casks) full, dark robe. The bouquet is a dense, brooding affair, marked by prune and ripe black berry fruit, has a note of damp vegetation. The palate is broad, insistent, good and wide in its presentation of black fruits with some flair and lift. There is good late energy into a fresh and full finish. This is set to do well, to be a Vacqueyras with life and length. The aftertaste is peppered, with enclosed tannins there. Decanting a help. From 2019. 2027-29 Feb 2017

2014 ()

(vat/casks) dark red colour. The bouquet serves a sweet-toned blackberry coulis aroma, sprinkled with licorice and black cherry fruit also, a hint of grilling. It is easy to appreciate, an open book. The palate bears tasty black fruits, the flavour washing nice and widely, along with a small note of tannin and freshness, a clear detail in them, on the tarry finish. Well made, clear Vacqueyras. From mid-2017. 20224  Dec 2015 

2013

shiny, full red robe. There is an attractive sweetness on the nose led by red berries that have a nicely simmered quality, mulberry to the fore. The palate links well to the nose, holds supple richness and a fluid centre, and develops a more shrouded run involving tannin and soaked red cherries towards the finish. It shows a little evolution already. A cold winter will help to slow down its advance. The usual blend revolves around 65% Grenache, 20-25% Syrah, and 10-15% Mourvèdre: this was 50% Gren, 35% Syr, 15% Mourv. Raised 60% 6-11 year 600-litre casks, 40% concrete vat. 14.5°. 8,000 b. Bottled May 2015. To 2020  Dec 2015

2012 ()

(casks) red robe, black tints. Sweet red fruit, liqueur aroma of soaked cherries: a ripe fruiting greets the drinker. There is a touch of spritz freshness, carbonic gas on the start. This packs a lot in, has vigour, and drive as it finishes. The heart centres around Grenache – there is a full push from that. The tannins are oily, supple, and it all works well as a whole, a wine from warm lands. There are steely late moments as it tightens, the exit a mix of black cherry and tar. From late 2015. 15°. 55% Gren, 30% Syr, 15% Mourv this year, less Gren than usual. 2026-27 Dec 2013

2009 ()

good lustre in its red robe; the nose is a moving affair, marked mostly by pepper and licorice. There is a tight plum air, with black fruit. Lively black fruit with an understated gras in it on the palate, before it takes on pebbly and herb-scented tannins, thyme in style. Has some supple moments in an orderly structure. The finish needs to round out. Is marked by its bottling. From autumn 2012. 14.5°. Bottled mid-May 2011. 50% destemmed, raised 50% concrete vat, 50% 4-year 228-litre oak casks 12 months this year. 2018-19 July 2011 Previously March 2011 **** (to be bottled May 2011) red Grenache heart to the robe. Gummy air, red fruits, mulled fruits with safe depth on the nose, has garrigue herbs, a local air – this is a real good bouquet. Licorice, fresh, “bubbly” blackberry fruit on the palate, has heart and widens well, a local, STGT wine. The length is sound – this very authentic wine can go further in two years or so. Very good end tannins. 14.5°. 2019-21 March 2011

2008

the red colour is mild, almost already evolving. Restrained, sweet toned red jam aroma, more like Villages than Vacqueyras. Simple red fruit on the palate, which lacks a settled centre and focus. Is wiry. It can meld a little more, but lacks scope. From 2011 to allow it to ease, fuse. To 2016. 70% G, 21% M, 9% S this year, picked 29-30 Sept, 65% destemmed, light crush, raised 50% vat, 50% cask also. July 2010

2007

full robe; good, crystalline black fruit aroma with a ripe, nicely oily imprint, has a good ting of clarity in it. The palate holds poised fruit, a blackberry seasoned with oak and some mystery about it. It lengthens securely. Not quite ready. Well made wine. From spring 2011. 2019-20. 63% G, 19% M, 18% S this year, picked 27-28 Sept, 15% destemmed, light crush, raised 77 cask, 23% vat, also. July 2010