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The Wines

100% Grenache (much 1910, all centenarian in 2010) from 2-3 plots on Saint Gayan beside the domaine, whole bunch fermentation, about 50% crop not crushed to achieve a maceration effect, 4-5 week vinification at 26-29°C until 1020, when allowed to rise to 30°C, mainly part vat emptying/refillings, also pumping overs, vat raised 12 months, then raised 3-5 year 18 hl large barrel & 600-litre oak casks 12 months, fined, unfiltered, 2,400-5,300 b

2017

(large barrel) full, dark red. The bouquet is reserved, carries definite potential, has a depth of black fruit jam, notes of black olives, is truly southern and also wide. The palate holds thorough, persistent black berry matter with firm tannins that can be chewed upon. The finish is good and complete, doesn’t miss a beat. Take your time: from 2022. 14.5°. 100% Grenache. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2015 ()

(barrel/casks) dark red robe. The nose is reserved, but has a mass of inner fruit concentration, thick red fruit jam, a little prune. It’s deep but not heavy. The palate is full and broad, still just emerging into the sunlight of life. It’s lined with dense content that is derived from old Grenache, and coiled together for now. There is a freedom on the finish that bodes well, and brings into focus its balance. A wine for very patient cellaring: leave until 2022. It is big wine for beef and game, and will benefit from decanting. 2039-42 Feb 2017

2014 ()

(large 18 hl barrel/casks, bottling April 2016) handsome red robe. The bouquet is promising and rounded, offers mulberry, blackberry with a note of baking, mixed herbes de Provence and game. It suggests an inherent strength. The attack is led by plum, kirsch flavouring with chalk-grain tannins sidling into the mix after the mid point. It just gets away with having enough content for its degree and full tannins, can fuse over time. A touch on the heady side as it stands. 14°. From 2019. 2032-34  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

(large 18 hl barrel, bottling April 2015) bright purple colour. There are dark fruit and spice airs on the nose, which is clean and honest, the Grenache fruit evident. It is juicy and fresh on the palate, the finish long and firm. This clearly has ageing potential. 14°. From 2017. 2028-31 JL  Dec 2014

2012

(5 year old large 18 hl barrel, bottling April 2014) comfortable dark plum robe; has a primary, post-fermentation air, a small pocket of gras richness which isn’t widespread. There are airs of nuts and thyme also. The palate has clean lines, moves along, lacks the stuffing of 2010, also 2011. It is aromatic on the finish, nicely appealing and clean there, the fruit pure. A work in progress. It is a simply dressed wine which has a slow build of tannin as it ends. It is spinal more than fleshy. I agree with Jean-Pierre: this needs quite a lot of raising. From 2018, for instance. 2034-36  Aug 2013

2011 ()

(large barrel) the robe has a rich aspect, legs. The nose is like being inside a very ripe Grenache grape – the aroma is coated, fat, has an air of simmered red berries looking out with licorice wisps – it is open and giving and reflects the rather high octane nature of 2011, has toffee airs as well. The palate repeats the coated effect, is a real gum liner. The flavour resembles red stone fruits, with darker smudges from its tannins. The finish is amply textured, and also reveals some powder dry grain tannins on the outside there. A bit exacting just now. From 2017-18  2033-35  Aug 2013  Previously Dec 2012 ****** (4 year old large barrel, bottling April 2013) dark red, attractive robe. The nose is more ample than many 2011s, is snug and wholesome, bears ripe black fruit, and a little tang of mineral. The palate has a solid, elegant filling. This is cracking, is really long, its tannins are melded. Has gourmand, clear flow fruit. A beauty. It is way ahead of the vintage status. Rich, fluid, well-balanced wine that is southern, genuine. Has great pedigree. From 2016-17. 2032-34  Dec 2012

2010

red-purple robe; filled-up, thorough nose offering mulled red berries such as raspberry, comes with light licorice, is smoky and varied – has great potential. The palate sets off confidently, is well filled, has lots of content, a lovely, genuine filling – it isn’t forced at all. Here is authority in the glass. Attractive, crisp tannins lie deeply within. Elegant, long, impressive, good balance: this is Grand Vin. Excellent. “We had Burgundian freshness with Rhône ripeness in 2010,” Jean-Pierre Meffre. 2035-38 Previously Dec 2012 **** dark, sustained robe. The nose is deep-set, has a mineral click in it, shows licorice, subdued blackberry – this has hardly shifted over its short life. The palate is muscular, but well-controlled. Dense, intense, this is a palate coater, with lots of angles covered. Has strong length. I feel it could have been raised for longer, is locked up. It is immobile as it stands. It has a toffee, date, rich matter exit. “The casks brought some tannin,” Jean-Pierre Meffre. From 2017. 15°. 2035-37  Dec 2012  Previously Dec 2011 ***** (casks) dark, shiny robe; has a wide, low-key but potentially highly sustained bouquet that involves sleek black fruit, sizzled bacon for now, all very primary – it is “well organised”. The palate is tasty – there is a full delivery of succulent black berry fruit that has well attached tannins with dark drive in them. Good balance, access to clear fruit. While the oak is infused, it may emerge more as the wine tightens and becomes more complex. The wine has intensity of southern climes but could be more local, so I would wait until 2016-17 to really start to get the best out of it. There are herb implications on the aftertaste. 2032-34 Dec 2011