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The Wines

80% Grenache (1930s), 18-20% Syrah, 0-2% Cinsault from S-W facing very sandy soils at 200 metres, destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, regular pumping overs, aged underground concrete vats 18-24 months, filtered, 13-14,000 b

2017

(concrete vat) dark red robe; the nose has a confident depth, without excess, shows blackberry, raspberry, hints of black olives, isn’t really out and about to any extent yet. The palate holds stylish gras richness, smooth tannins well enveloped around it. The finish maintains that squeezy depth, is rounded, shows garrigue herbs. The juice runs well and freely here, and the spark in the wine will please. The length extends well. It has a good future ahead. From 2021. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat) dark red robe, with sheen. The nose rests on blackberry fruit, a note of black cherry liqueur, shows a little barbecue smoke and dried thyme. It’s a clean and clear start. The palate holds black fruits with some dash in the tannins, a little hum of power within. There are notes of dried herbs that introduce a grain texture as it travels. The fruit on the finish is pure, almost delicate. This is a charming, en finesse, STGT Gigondas with a floating style and good balance. It keeps going into a long finish, with commendable stealth. When I see its ID, I can confirm that it speaks truly of its terroir, the beach at Gigondas! 14.5°. 13,500 b. From late-2018. 2031-33 Oct  2017

2015

(vat) red robe, with some inner depth. The nose gives an  aroma of blackberry jam, cassis fruit, with some floral, floating attachments and a spot of licorice; there is a husky quality to it. It will be well varied and interesting when mature. The palate starts freshly, that in part due to some carbonic gas. The cassis fruit runs steadily with a keen edge to it, the vintage freshness, almost like that of a cool, not hot, summer year. The finish brings in raspberry and a more tender side to the fruit. This has hardly got going, is raw now, and requires leaving until 2020 to allow greater access to its subtle quality. 14.5°. 2033-35 Feb 2017

2014

(vat, bottling April 2016) handsome dark red robe. Big grilling features on the nose, roast pork, rosemary, a hint of subdued soaked red cherries, with reduction. The palate also shows reduction, but its heart is filled with stylish, smooth Grenache plum fruit that has Pinot notions in its svelte presence. The finish develops mixed herbs of Provence. This is going to be an elegant, serene Gigondas, with a notch of class; I like its calm authority. 14°. 13,000 b. €15 is fair. From 2018. 2030-32  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

(vat) dark, bright purple hue. There are both dark and red berry notes on the nose with a hint of fruit pastille ripeness.  The palate fruit is juicy, has a supple, creamy quality. Good mid-palate sweetness and weight here, but also a wine that stays fresh and balanced. Its tannins are finely edged. It lacks the density of a top year, but has been well made. From mid-2016. 2024-25 JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

pure, shiny dark red robe; the nose shows animal, reduction, needs air. The stewed plum fruit aroma, has a rubbery side to it, and there’s a meaty aspect. The palate is in on its shell, carries some pure red fruits with a kirsch, cherry stone flavour, takes on darkness in its late delivery, mixes dried herbs with Grenache thrust, a little power. The tannins are gummy, quite thick. This needs setting aside until 2020, decanting. It can improve from here. 14.5°. 2033-36 Oct 2018

2011

(vat) quite shiny, three-quarter red robe. Has a sleek, rather open red cherry fruit aroma, another note of smoked back of bacon here, too. It shows grape lees in its unfinished state, also dust and herbs, local splashes. This bears above average 2011 fruit that is fine, clear and precise, and shows the makings of good, stylish Gigondas. Wait for this to meld and blossom. It ends freshly and well. 15.5°. From late 2014. 2030-32. 13,400 b, €12.50 ex-cellars this year.  Dec 2012

2010

very dark red robe, not much evolution; the bouquet is lined with sultry red fruits, mulled raspberries, with sweet herbes de Provence, a low-key lamb stock. It’s going to be well varied, and its Grenache red fruit base is thoroughly secure. The palate possesses smooth rolls of red cherry fruit, has silken moments in its delivery, carries full hearted content with an implicit power. The aftertaste is a little roasted. This is a big wine with help from the sandy soils in achieving some fine-ness. Its concentration is quite stealthy, and it will be more interesting from 2022 or so. Decant it. 2038-40 Oct 2018

2009

(vat) deep robe; has a purely raising process aroma – beef stock down within its primary raisin couch, strong air of prune – this bouquet is in its naked early stages. The palate fires up on a charge of ripe black fruit; this has a solid centre, gras, and chalky-influenced tannins that are cutting, decisive, clear on the finish. Sound length, has ways to go, is not yet really local. From 2015. €9.20 export price. 2031-33 July 2011

2008 ()

2 bottles tasted, 1st corked. 2nd bottle: the robe is pale red, a bit fragile. Plum and strawberry jam aroma on nose, simple. Modest aspiration wine on the palate – simple is again the word. Red jam flavour on a low register, without nuances. Only just Gigondas. To 2015. July 2011

2007 No Rating

quite a dark red; very reductive nose – so much so, that it requires triple decantation. Reduction blocks the path, and after big shaking of the bottle, a little black, gummy fruit emerges. The palate is similar, the fruit lacking clarity, the flavour is an earth-bound black fruit. 75 mins later: it has now turned in on itself, and it shows its recent raising. Dries towards the finish. Bottle 2: reductive, stalky nose. The palate is green and stemmy. 15.5°. Cannot be rated. Dec 2009

2006 ()

quite full red, Grenache imprint on robe. Noticeably reductive nose, but there are herbs in it: it persists carefully, not flamboyantly – overall, the aroma suggests roast lamb with rosemary, is southern. The palate is agreeably rich, its fruit brewed. Ends with some gummy tannins, and today (raining) would need to be decanted. The texture is smooth, the length good. Good heart in this. From late 2009. 2025-27 Nov 2008

2005

dark plum red; has a well set, black fruits nose – a brambly, pine needle, herb-sprinkled aroma that is just a little upright now. The palate is led by rather reductive, brewed plum, so the red berry fruit is not that decisive now. The wine ends roundly, but is dumb now, and not precisely defined. Decant this if drinking now, or wait until another winter has passed. It is a largely Grenache wine in robe and tenor. There is a little late herbal flourish, and some potential exists here for the future. 2026-28 June 2008

1999

slowly evolving red robe; pepper, soft plum fruit aroma that shows the finesse of its sandy soils, comes with spice, and a roasted air emerges as it breathes – indeed, two hours’ opening makes it deeper and more ensemble. Soft, fine pepper Grenache on the palate – the pepper side may also come from its whole bunch fermentation, a green pepper note thus. It is not straightforward, this – it is a bit droopy just now. There is some aniseed freshness on the finish. 13.5°. 2017-19 Dec 2009

1998 ()

gradual evolution of its red colour; reductive airs on the nose, along with jam, fig and date aromas, the heat of the vintage present, showing as baked fruits. Plum fruit debut, a big heart to this. It is a ripe wine with weight, and ends on notes of baked cake, dried red cherry, winter by the fireside. 13.5°. 2017-18 Dec 2009

1997

rather light red; the bouquet has a jammy air, hints of spice in with the soft red berry garden fruit. The palate is rather superficial, lacks true depth and persistence. It fades a touch on the finish, seems commercial, low horizon wine. Has the vintage ease, but not enough depth. 2006-08  April 1999

1996

only fair red colour; the bouquet is a little seared, shows leather and spice, with a certain sweetness and charm. It needs time to meld together. The palate is upright, stiff: the mid-palate dips, and it isn’t knit together. It fades towards the end. There are bosky notions with the cooked red fruit. Try leaving it until 2002. 2009-10  April 1999

1995

quite a full red, a little evolution; prune, damson plum and earthiness, dark soil airs mingle on the bouquet, also mint and leather. There is decent Grenache at its core. This is hearty, full Grenache-inspired wine; it has a really good core, is long, and extends well. It is just a bit burnt for now as it ends. Authentic. From 2001. 2012-15  April 1999

1993

the robe is marked by plum, with a light top. Has a gentle, well held together nose that displays floral, soft red fruit airs, very loyal to the Grenache. The sandy soils here contribute to the floral airs. There are also some mineral and animal notes. The palate is very well wrapped up, still compact, which is extraordinary after such a terrible September. It has held up well, has good structure, runs soundly to the finish. It is gentle, but still firmly underpinned, and its length is very good considering its age and the vintage weather. To 2018. June 2010

1987 ()

shifting garnet colour; the bouquet has a gentle curve, offering prune and a murmur of black pepper that keeps going across the glass. As it airs, it changes towards some animal and a sweet ripeness. There are “dark” notes on the palate, an intense, slightly burnt element. The palate is tight, close-knit, the flavour links to cocoa. Late acidity comes through, bringing a fresh bite to the aftertaste. A wine of fragile balance, with its acidity slightly on the outside. Whole bunch fermentation, 100% Grenache from the sand, raised 6-7 months in large barrel, 17-18 months in concrete vat, a total of 24 months. “Light but fresh,” Louis Barruol. “Not light with that tight finale,” Pierre Amadieu. March 2009

1986 ()

light red still, wee ruby notes. Spiced bread, brioche, honey and baked fruit tart airs – a good start. The nose really gets moving with only 10 minutes' air - red fruits, brioche, animL notes come zapping forward, then dip into pepper, then animal again. Lots going on. This is more balanced than the 1987 Teyssonnières tasted alongside; it carries a still mobile red fruit, shows a pretty purity and a lingering finesse. It ends firmly and assuredly. Fresh wine of a beautiful grain. The sand helps the purity in my view. This can live. 2016-18. 100% Grenache. March 2009

1985

still red in the robe, ruby present. There is light cork on the nose – I get an air of cake, a hovering ripeness such as sun-baked stones, also dates – the aroma is solid and compact, and is seasoned by herbs such as rosemary, thyme, cinnamon. The palate is earthy, has fundamental elements from the soil, sun coming through it. It broadens as it goes – offers a classic sequence, an assured richness and a quiet, thorough fullness. It ends on red jam in an attractive, rounded shape. As it breathes, the air takes it closer to the sand and away from the garrigue – meaning that it clarifies and becomes more simply directed. Faithful example of this wonderful vintage. 100% Grenache. Franck Alexandre`s first vintage. March 2009

1974

ruby-garnet colour, but plenty of it, and clear as a bell. There has been very little shift in the robe from its original colour, I do not doubt. Animal touch on the nose, along with licorice and spice, a red fruit sweetness in behind. After 15 minutes, it narrows. The palate serves a serene, prolonged red fruit that is very pure, the fruit resembling redcurrants; there is a beautiful fine grain. It is ticking along so nice and quietly. Suddenly there is a more open acidity here, and a clear, mineral finish. Very impressive, and a true monument to Franck Alexandre`s father Michel. 100% Grenache March 2009