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The Wines

70-80% Grenache, 15-25% Syrah, 5-7% Mourvèdre, av age 40 years, hand harvested, destemmed, then crushed, 25-30 day vinification, first vat only receives selected yeasts, pumping overs to wet the cap, part vat emptying/refilling, very little cap punching, press wine added, aged large 35-130 hl barrels, which are racked every 6-8 months, then 600-litre casks over 18 months, then vat 3-4 months, unfined, filtered, 2-3 bottlings, 29-60,000 b

2018 ()

(large barrel) full red colour; the bouquet is weighty, on soaked fruits, airs of black fruit pastilles, notes of gravy. It plunges into the glass. The palate bears ripe and rolling, coated matter, Morello cherry flavours, is in a primary, first flush condition. It shows the vintage suntrap, is borderline sipping wine with much concentration. It finishes with a relative fineness of powder tannin. From 2023-24, demands decanting. The longer the wait, the more it may show more freely. A tiny, half harvest this year - 29,330 b. 70% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv. €18 at cellars. 2038-41 Feb 2020

2017

(large barrel) full robe; grilled, red-fruited aroma, mixed herbes de Provence on display, with a note of chocolate. The nose isn’t yet as one. The attack is lusty, presents rolling, aromatic raspberry fruit with notions of liqueur in it, a sustained ripeness. The finish is tidy, the tannins rounded. It’s a tiny bit on its power, degree. It can get together and become interesting. 70% Gren, 23% Syr, 7% Mourv. From 2021. 2037-39 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(large barrel, bottling autumn 2018) dark red robe. The bouquet gives a generous serving of Grenache-inspired plum fruit, with touches of pine, cedar, basil. It is quietly spiced. The palate serves a tasty red fruited roll of content, with ripe and fleshy tannins adding an extra layer. There are mixed herbs, notably rosemary, inside, and it captures the essence of the plateau below the village, is a true STGT wine. It’s a good ensemble, holds attractive gras richness, a squeezy nature, and is substantial: don’t underestimate its inner strength. The aftertaste is well expressed with a dart of menthol, very typical. After tasting it blind, I am surprised to find that it is 15.5°. 60,000 b. From 2021. 2037-39 Oct 2017

2015

(large barrel, no 8) dark red robe, all the way up. The bouquet expresses southern bounty, rich and wholesome aroma of packed in red fruits and prune, a note of damp ripeness. The palate is full and covers the ground, both deep and long. This is munching wine – get out your knife and fork. There is a light rose, floral note above the plum and raspberry fruits. It’s expressive of the lower lands of the appellation, west of the village, with compacted sandstone and some clay - very true to its roots, an STGT Gigondas. The tannins also have a chomping quality of nourishment, and add to its completeness. It has great length, and is a serious bottle. From 2020. 2037-40 Feb 2017

2014

(large barrel, bottling May 2016) largely dark red colour. Blackberry-raspberry with a sweet note about it issues from the bouquet, has an early in its life roundness of appeal. The fruit aroma is pure, The palate also hands out well rounded, charming fruit in a neat package that includes smooth, ripe tannins. This works on a soft texture with cool touches, reminds me of a 2006 early in its life – that likeable, clear fruit. Has good, steady length. From 2018. 2030-32  Dec 2015 

2013

dark red robe. The bouquet has a thick nature, fronts up with near liqueur raspberry and mulberry fruit, and a joli attachment of licorice, herbes de Provence. The palate comes with a savoury attack, a further display of pretty rich Grenache gras, the flavour settling on spiced, cooked plums. The finish bears some gummy tannins. It is fusing well, and will run consistently. Time will help the content to lengthen further. It has a solid heart. 14°. 40,000 b, low. The usual 80% Gren, 15% Syr is 70-25 this year because of so little Grenache crop. Bottled 17 Nov 2015. €15.50 at the cellars. From 2018. 2030-33  Dec 2015 Previously Dec 2014 **** (large barrel) bright purple robe. Has a spicy, dark fruit nose with more than a hint of cassis-blackcurrant. The palate is juicy and fresh, the tannins firm and long on the finish. This has good length and structure with a touch of minerality that is appealing. 14.5°. From mid-2016. 2028-30 JL Dec 2014

2012

(large barrel) dark colour; cooked up, spiced nose with a red meat, pine cone mix – there is a degree of violence in this bouquet, one that breathes capacity and wide abundance. The palate also gives a flavour of entrails, has a visceral nature, carries high red fruiting, punchy tannin. Pepper and capsicum are included late on. Fundamental, very young, grounded Gigondas for game dishes and rich foods. The finish shows a restraint, a dusted tannin, which suggests it will calm down. A note of basil-pesto appears on the exit. A “hold up the stagecoach” wine, big and unbridled, with a plump, serious heart. From 2017. 14°. 55,000 b. €14. 2028-30  Dec 2013  Previously Dec 2012 **** (steel vat, pre large barrel, 70% Gren, 30% Syr and the press wine of each, sugars done, malo not) confident red, nice and full robe. The palate is good and deep, has several layers of red fruit, dark red fruit. The palate goes widely, and keeps going, is long, too. This has a good tannic lining, and frame. Can be stylish. Has more structure and acidity than 2011. 2029-31  Dec 2012

2011 ()

(barrel) steady red; smoke, pine, tar aroma with Gigondas authenticity, the red fruit rather pointed, arrow-like. Certainly more to come here – the nose has reserves. The palate does a direct delivery of its spiced, cutting red fruit. A work in progress, as they say. It finishes freshly, on tobacco-smoke ash notes and a gritty effect as the fruit drops back. An upright wine of cut that needs to integrate its acidity, tannin, with a slight stemminess apparent currently. The fruit is pure. It is wide and has a light touch as it ends. 15°. 2025-27  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(barrel) dark red. The nose has a smoky intensity about it, gives a strong reminder of a herbal plateau, with fennel and mint in the aroma, and grilled bacon – certainly an interesting bouquet. The palate travels smoothly, bears textured prune, black fruits that are lined with a spiced edging. It finishes on tobacco, smoky notes. The balance is good. It is close to ready for bottling. It will be harmonious from 2014. Potentially a lovely drink, few demands placed. 2028-30 Dec 2011

2009

(barrel) full, intense robe. Chocolate airs seasoned with fresh notes on the nose – this is in a primary state now, is not yet varied, but is very deep. Has a very good connection between nose and palate – shows the dark depth of the vintage, and its tannins bristle for now. Leads to a pepper, spice finish, where the graininess shows the wine is still a bit raw. The length is good. This is getting it together. From around 2015. I find a bit of 1995 in this. “The Grenache expresses itself in 2009 – it certainly has matter, colour, finesse also. We harvested 25 hl/ha. The vinification lasted a week longer this year than the 3 weeks in 2008, and also went to 32°C, rather than the 30°C in 2008,” Dominique Ay. This is a slow-burn wine. 2031-34 March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 **** (barrel) quite a dark cherry colour; juicy, black stone fruit air – an intense fruit aroma backed by licorice. This is a shapely, full bouquet. The palate offers peppery black cherry fruit with some dust in its texture. It picks up live tannins as it goes, so a powdery impact returns. Very unfinished, but further raising will shape it up – the fruit is well implanted. There are shades of a light 2005 in its make-up. It finishes clearly, with a snap of licorice. From 2013. 2026-28 Oct 2010

2008 ()

plum red robe. There is agreeable “steel” in the nose, a truffle and lightly violet air also, smoky red fruits at its heart. The fruit aroma is very pure, crystalline. The palate delivers refined black fruit, is very drinkable, lengthens well, has pretty clarity and a tender, floral aspect. Good freshness and a safe depth to this. Excellent clarity here, a very free running, w.o.w. wine. 14.2°. A definite improver over time, which fits the lesser vintage profile of Gigondas. “It has been on the fruit all along – it is not a year of great extraction, and is very popular with the restaurant-bistrot CHR trade,” Dominique Ay. 2022-24 Dec 2011  Previously Dec 2009 **(*) (barrel) soft red colour. The nose carries slightly jammy red fruit airs, nutty tones as well – fair promise here. Red fruit diced white pepper and dry spices on the palate – it tapers towards the finish, the fruit loses ground, which is rather surprising after its nose. Time will certainly be helpful, and this could become an unsung value wine. From mid-2011. 2019-21 Dec 2009

2007

shiny, full robe; the bouquet is thick, wide, glows with inner strength – this is big, the aroma running right across the glass. It is filled with red stone fruit and spice, with black olives and pepper airs. This is a grounded, life force wine, one that will be slow to evolve. It is very filled-in, and the finish is solid and chunky with notable spice and cedar present. It is strongly of the soil - grounded, but not in excess. A licorice cut aids the aftertaste. 15°. 2025-27  Aug 2013  Previously Dec 2009 ***(*) full red robe until tapering at the top. Somewhat sweet, red cherry Grenache aroma, just the one thing at present. The palate continues from the nose, is led by its red fruit Grenache: has a good build-up along the palate, the fruit taking on more of a kirsch style. Has an oak-nutted finale and is not yet bound together after half way. Wee bit dry on the finish for now. From mid-2011, has a post-bottling dip in it. 2021-23 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 ****(*) (barrel) full, dark red; steady, gently mulled red berry aroma. It is oily and the red fruit profound, with also some tea present and the sweetness implied by baked, herbal plains, along with some charcoal-tar from a little oak. There is a well-constructed mix of fruit and tannin on the palate, with an interesting, more direct than most 2007s length, as it picks up tannin and some snap. Suggest large barrel raising at the end as it stops a little suddenly, with the fruit placed down in the second division. It is very persistent, and leaves a lovely scented trail: a wine with a lot of bounty, there are ripe, raisin moments late on, with the hauteur of tannin. From 2012 or late 2011. 2024-25 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 (barrel) good, big dark and bright colour. Unusually, for this domaine, the nose is supple and holds good, pliant and full fruit. The palate also has tasty early fruit, good squeezy matter. Its tannins need leaving until say 2012. 2022-24 June 2008

2006

quiet, very Grenache-typical red robe. Red jam aroma, mulled red berries with a simmer of power in it – has a sweet, outward appeal, a flinty note in behind, garrigue herbs such as thyme. Air prolongs its intensity, grows it. Cool-textured debut to the palate – the red fruit has a crisp texture, pockets of sweet gras, but I also note the vintage`s teeter towards alcohol power. The length is sound – this is an unfinished article. Holds fine, resilient tannins, has rather classy purity. From mid-2011, but has lots of life and can be drunk now for its clear, sometimes roasted vigour. STGT leaning – not in any way confected. 14.5°. 2023-25 March 2010 Previously Jan 2008 ** (barrel) black plum and red colour; Has a mild, though assured red fruit aroma that sits quite sweetly in the glass – reflects red jam. The palate is a gently fruited affair, similar to the nose. The fruit tapers a little, and has almost a limestone feel late on – a certain austerity and peppery tightness. The flavour is red cherry, maybe simmered cherries prior to jam making. The finish is a bit dry and young. From late 2009 or 2010 – this may go into its shell. 2018-19 Jan 2008

2005 ()

has a great, plum, very Grenache styled robe that is still nice and thick, shows a very slight degree of advance. Has a toasted, warm, jaw-jutting air with a solid heart. It has hardly got going, its fruit notably pure. The palate presents good quality, clear red fruit, its depth subtle. It is still in a primary state, is very young. Great fruit is about to burst out here. Just a touch of spice and pepper come along at the end. STGT wine. “It was  a very dry year – we had 400 mm (16 inches) against 700 mm (28 inches). It is a year I really like at Gigondas – the wines will be thoroughly drinkable over a long time,” Dominique Ay. 14°. 2027-29  Aug 2013  Previously June 2008 *** mild, black plum robe. Has a squeezy, mature red stone fruit aroma with a faint herbal air and a floral backdrop, some red jam. The palate starts in a supple way, although then it is a little dusty and there is some pepper and spice lining. It gains spine after half way. Its tannins are well set inside it and are still active. The length is sound. It is live, on the go now, but drink from spring 2009 for its first burst. Will shut down. Mid-weight Gigondas, utterly reliable. 2018-20 June 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ****(*) full, quite dark red. There is spring in the red fruit aroma, also a suggestion of raspberry liqueur, but it is clear and harmonious overall. A lacing of white pepper sits in the pretty open, generous Grenache red fruits. This wine moves along, gets on with the job, the fruit ending on a live, clear note and a god tannic surround, the tannins full of pep. STGT style wine. From 2009. 2022-24 June 2008

2004

pretty full, clear-cut nose. Well-defined fruit on attack, with good lines, length. Three-quarter weight wine, stylish, will be easy to like. Esp 2008 on. 2016-18. sample pre-barrel, so ways to go, more stuffing to come. March 2005

2003 ()

bright, evolving plum robe; there is good poise and quiet class in the bouquet – the fruiting is compact and thorough. There is some sweet spice and herb, also caramel and crème brûlée in the aroma, with the wee entry of game on left stage: a mixed and interesting bouquet. The palate is rich, and bears some inset abundance, the taste reflecting licorice and brambly fruit – it grips towards the finish. The problem is the tannins, that are rather powdery, and have a fragile pepper about them. The aftertaste is tangy, with raisin and Dundee cake. From mid-2009. 14°. 2019-21 June 2008 Previously March 2005 *** red stone fruit aroma, plummy. Good fruit on palate - nicely rounded, some pepper hovering. Plenty here. Gummy fruit style from the vintage. Esp 2008 on. STGT wine. 2015-17 March 2005

2002

mid-weight, fairly compact bouquet - raspberry aromas - is lighter and floats more than usual. Clear, sinewed fruit on start, also some richness within. Genuine wine, drinks well now, still shows freshness. Likeable red fruits. Best towards 2007. 2009-10 March 2005

2001

bouquet soft, surprisingly so, but is nicely filled - a little earthiness, prune, meaty; is quite fundamental, typical Grenache in style, with a floral layer. Wholesome wine on the palate - its core fruit comes over clearly, with a good, stylish surround, tannins are very well inset, also shows good final acidity. Redondo wine, I like its shape. May close up in next two years. I reckon harvest date well judged here to achieve this rounded style, a wine that really benefited from the fine September. Warm, herbal finale. Daube, jugged hare, pheasant all ideal with it. “The summer was dry and hot; the soil stood up quite well to the drought, but there was a loss of weight in the bunches; there were a few bits of rain in mid-September, some end of September rain; we finished harvesting in October. The crop was a lot smaller than 2000’s,” Dominique Ay.  2016-18 October 2005, Copenhagen

2000 ()

evolving, plum red robe; the bouquet has an aroma of peat, with spice, damson fruit – it is changing nature, presents a really spicy box of tricks, has depth and power, is wide and well established. There is a note of cooked fig on the palate that reminds me of Barolo, along with dates, has a handy level of acidity. It moves well, has a Gigondas freshness and appealing length. There is notable menthol presence in a clear-cut finale. Ideal with game. The spice continues well on the palate. 14°. 2021-22 Aug 2013  Previously Nov 2001 *** (the assembled wine) fair colour, quite dark red; the bouquet is supple, quietly warm and expressive – cooked fruit such as cassis with herbs sit in the main seats. Again, the palate offers good fruit; it is more supple than the 1999, more easy notably, has some gras. It is going the right way; I suspect it will be less varied and nuanced over time than the 1999. 2016-19  Nov 2001

1999

quite a sound red colour; nicely scented, garrigue herbs aroma, well varied. The palate attack is attractive, presents good, clear fruit with freshness in it; it lasts nicely, has grip. Good and clear-cut, stylish, even with implicit power. Mobile tannins appear at the end, are well-defined – they leave a pebbly effect in with the stone fruit. It can expand and soften by around 2005-06. Some end heat shows up. Bottled Sept 2001. 2018-21  Nov 2001

1998

pretty plum red that is clear and looking well now, only a slight fade in it. Has a red cherry, firm aroma that is well-knit and still holding back. There is a free air to its red fruit, a good, decisive nature, also some licorice in it. The palate is upright, bears clear-cut red fruit with freshness all through. Its spiced sequence goes all along the palate, and grainy tannins cluster at the end – it is decisive there, nicely clipped. Very typical Gigondas, full of flinty cut and herbs, breezy fennel. It shows a gradual gain in ripe fruit weight. It has fine, assured, peppery length. Still right there, classic Gigondas freshness. 14°. 2021-24  Aug 2012

1997 ()

some evolution in the red; has a gummy fruit air that mixes up animal entrails and flowers; as it airs, it takes on better and more grounding, the fruit notes pure, accompanied by menthol. Off this goes on the palate, with its lead off animal, followed by red fruits, cherry, very Grenache. Attractive, nicely sweet wine that is excellent with a Jabón Iberico pork cutlet aux herbs – a fantastic combination. This has gained a notch of quality from 2008 to 2010 to 2012, which in a low-key Gigondas vintage, does not surprise me. “It still has sucrosity, no bitterness, and can be drunk on its own,” Dominique Ay. 14°. 2025-27  Dec 2011  Previously June 2010 *** pretty, slightly advancing red robe; floral, red fruits, sweet airs inside the nose – it is all very calm and soft, scented. There are earthy notes and touch of leather which is typical of this domaine. The palate links well with the nose – its centre is gently sweet, even plump, very much still in the early shape of the year. It lengthens easily, is a texture wine, and the spherical shape shows all trough. Rather graceful, tender, floral wine. 14°. 2018-20 June 2010 Previously Jan 2008 **(*) soft red robe. The nose is certainly on a second stage, but still has a knit air, is young, with red fruit inside, some still meaty tones – it is pretty solid overall. The palate red fruit comes with a white pepper presence – it is just a bit narrow, but runs along in a direct fashion; the fruits resemble redcurrants, and end on a little note of sweetness. Does the job, not a brio wine. “It is not a big year, but it was a bit closed and green at first, but I find it has evolved well,” Dominique Ay. In these days there were 3 bottlings, of 20,000 bottles each. 2015-16 Jan 2008

1995 ()

pretty red robe, a little turn at the top. Peppery, clear red fruit aroma that shows a lot of freshness, a clear tinkle of red fruit within, a little burst of licorice and a tiny earthiness. The palate has a singing harmony, supported by the fine bone of 1995 – it is still in that well-cut vintage style. It lengthens quietly and steadily, is still tright, the tannins are fresh and helpful. It is slowly emerging, shows a fine grain at the end, is very classic. “It is still on a prune flavour,” Dominique Ay. “It is pure, precise and fresh, in an underestimated vintage,” Louis Barruol. 2020-23 March 2009 Previously Nov 2006 ****(*) bonny, stylish nose – berry fruit, leather and game, and some nuttiness – good and varied. The palate comes along with a good, solid form – there is plenty of depth and flesh and a fine finish. Good typicity – classic STGT wine. Its freshness is striking – the young black fruit is vibrant. Lovely length. 2017-19 Nov 2006

1993 ()

bright, quite full robe, right on the button still. Some sweet jam aroma, with prune, leather and violets – varied. Full palate, with an elegant shape and a cool finale. Very clean-winded. This tastes really well now and still has a rich heart. Very nice plump red fruit here, has a good, tarry finish. To 2010-12 Feb 2006

1991

(large barrel, the assembled wine) decent dark cherry colour. The bouquet is good – it shows some heat, depth, deep red berry fruit; there is a brooding promise here, a rather manly start. The palate holds pretty good matter, is lined with sound content in its cooked fruits that are backed by tannins that precede a chewy finale. It is a bit above the best 1987s. The shape this year is quite upright – not at all flattering. It could be an unsung hero with time, an underestimated wine. 14°. It will drink well between 1997 and 2003, might live a little longer. “There was a little coulure on the Grenache this year,” Dominique Ay. 2006-08  July 1993

1990

ruby robe, marching on with time. Strong, chocolate-raisin, cold coffee aroma – the bouquet is deep, sustained. This is a big wine singed by heat, a strong southern package. It is robust, fiery, but air starts to settle it into a more polished run. Has lots of life, a chalky alertness, ending on clear, pebbly notes. There is very good dash to the finish, a grainy tang, and it is very young for its 20 years. It is scorched rather than fleshy, which is the putting-off feature. It is not in any way “old”, but this bottle has not aged that well – or am I being over expectant? It should be **** or more. I will open another bottle in spring 2011. 14°. 2021-23 Dec 2010 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) robe is at a full, but matt hued stage, Has a weighty bouquet – cough medicine, syrup – comes with a plunging form bearing ripe black fruits, mints and dried raisins. The palate shows some evolution, is richly toned – the fruit has moved on to coffee flavours, but is still rich and round – very Grenache in nature, almost a Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) in style without the sugar. Rich and fresh still, a wine that benefits from decanting – opened it up. 2012-14 Nov 2006 Previously Feb 2006 ***quite bright, mature robe; brewed, nicely full bouquet with peppery tones and mixture of flowers and red fruits. Upright palate, the usual shape of this domaine`s wines. Its red fruit flavour is softened now, and the wine runs with elegance, and decent end acidity keeping it perky there. 14°. To 2010-11 Feb 2006  Previously July 1993 ½ bottle, bottled end March 1993 ***** good, deep black cherry colour; the bouquet is warm, dense, voluptuous, full of Eastern promise as it were – a box of spices capable of opening out with gusto. The palate holds resounding fruit, bang it goes on the attack; its heart revolves around deep red stone fruit, the content abundant, power humming. This strength will push it along, and keep it living very well. Tannins roll in at the end, and this could become spherical in shape given time. It is settling down gradually. It is a wine that could be drunk at many different times since it is well balanced, direct and driven above all by good fruit. “The crop was large, with no coulure on the Grenache, so both this year and the 1989 contained 70% Grenache,” Dominique Ay. 2013-16 July 1993

1989

the robe has a red centre, a light ruby top. The nose shows the shimmering heat of the vintage, the haze of hot days, offers laurel, thyme and rosemary – abundant herbs. In style it is copious and insistent – a real display. The palate is also herb-scented, starts richly before a tapering, more clear-cut, flinty finish. It has classic Gigondas freshness on the end. Good and thorough all through – there is plenty of wine here after 21 years. It is muscled, big hot year wine with heat on the finish, STGT in its proximity to its roots. 2017-19  Oct 2010  Previously Jan 2008 **** the robe is still full. The nose is dense – offers cocoa, ground coffee beans, grilled and cooked airs, the garrigue airs of winter, not summer. Violet, menthol, rose feature. The palate has a menthol, eucalyptus inlay, that morphs into cassis or blackcurrant. Its tannins are very well set inside it, and are fresh. It moves up with air – it clears and gains extra fruit, and still moves with life. Suddenly it becomes a bit flat, so open and drink. 2014-16. 24 months of raising in these days – a mix of large barrel and 600-litre cask. Jan 2008

1988 ()

sound red robe that goes nearly all the way. The nose is wide, well filled, reserved, has a touch of downhome about it, acetate also. Decanting would help. Tight, full, big-sided palate. Air opens it up, clears the bouquet and age starts to come through there. The palate becomes a bit stretched with air, leads to a grainy finale. There is some heat on the finish. Pierre Amadieu: “it could have been a 2001 if tasted blind.” This is good with langoustines and their sauce, note, a sign of Gigondas versatility. 14°. 2015-17  Oct 2010

1985

pretty, ruby-red colour, a good sheen in it. Fresh toast aroma, pain grillé, chicken stock – the bouquet is gentle and rounded, gives the effect of stones baked by the sun, pepper, then honey. There is a little creep of age in the flavour and texture, - the palate is more fragile than the nose. Has a grainy late texture, and ends on that note. I notice a touch of Zan licorice in the aftertaste. After 20 minutes, it is still right there, but needs to free up, loosen. As the air gets to it, pretty fruit comes through – red berries - and it benefits greatly from the air, becoming very varied, and changing a lot. A wine to keep the spirits high and the mind engaged. “Remarkable,” Louis Barruol. “Very, very good,” Franck Alexandre. 2017-19 March 2009 Previously June 1986 **** (large barrel) intense, dark, sympa bouquet, friendly fruit airs. Firm palate, but not hard – balance is correct, tannins shapely, a bit of heat at the very end. This is 13.8°. Pretty good.  “Our yield was 34 hl/ha, a lot more than 1983 and 1984, with the degree 13.5° to 14°. The maximum allowed is 35 hl/ha, so I was pleased,” Dominique Ay. June 1986

1984

firm dark robe, black, cassis tints. The bouquet is rather green on top, has some solid depth – it is raw for now, suggesting less than maximum ripening. The palate starts firmly, has solid structure, good weight, with acidity running through it, noticeable. I think it will calm down and develop when the acidity has settled. It is a shade nervous, but is a good wine in a difficult year. “We had cold weather at flowering in early June, so the Grenache suffered from coulure – flowers not converting into fruit. The bunches were very dry later on, similar to 1983. Our yield was 26 hl/ha. Dominique Ay. From 1989. 1998-2001 June 1986

1983 ()

pale garnet colour; upright shape to the bouquet – spiced plum with a little warmth of the south. The palate is grainy, fragile – more so than the 1982 Raspail-Ay, which is sweeter and richer. The palate bears the dry imprint of its awkward, dry year, its tannins are demanding, but it gets by thanks to a quiet southern heart of Grenache. It is dry towards the finish, has a white pepper, “limestone” tang there. “A deposit is called a “shirt” and can develop because this wine is not fined or filtered” is stated on the bottom of the front label. 2014-17 March 2009  Previously June 1986 ****(*) the last bottling of Jan 1986, so 12 months after the first, each bottling 3,000 bottles: the colour is a matt red, not brilliant in hue. The bouquet has a dark centre, the top air one of plum. It shows a little woodiness, with spice edges, the aromas ripe. This can develop well anad become complex. The palate starts nicely – this is elegant, balanced winr, with very good weight and structure. It runs on solidly, all well together. The tannins are very well knitted in here. Very good. “We had cold weather at flowering in early June, so the Grenache suffered from coulure – flowers not converting into fruit. The bunches were very dry later on. Our yield was 27 hl/ha. Dominique Ay. 2005-08  June 1986

1982

orange tints with red in the robe; smoky, refined nose – cigar box and mocha together. Very typical Grenache, very pretty red fruit on the palate, has a sunny moment before ending clearly. Another aged Gigonas from the 1970s and early 1980s that ends freshly. Gives a juicy little late plum moment, and its finish is more complete than the 1983 Raspail-Ay’s, but also glows with some heat. 2017-20 March 2009

1981

ruby colour with a clear top. This is at an overtly ageing stage now, the bouquet running on a sweet, open trail of prune, some cigar box. Lovely, interesting wine, with the gentle plum fruit and quiet length of its now aged condition. The fruit is pretty, indeed beguiling, and it also improves all the while with air. Respects the year well – the 1981 fruit was never savoury, always fine. To 2016-18 with luck. March 2009