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The Wines

50-78% Grenache (1960s and older), 20-50% Mourvèdre (1970s), 0-4% Syrah (until late 2010s was 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 3% Syrah, 2% Cinsault) from stony, poor red clay soils from 3 hectares on Hautes Garrigues, yields of 15 hl/ha, from late 2010s 90% destemmed, 5 week vinification at low temperature “to privilege the quality of the fruit and the freshness”, pumping overs, aged 90% 4-10 year oak 36 hl large barrels, 10% 800-litre clay jars (until 2010 was 228-litre oak casks, less oak now sought for extra freshness) 20-24 months, unfiltered, organic crop, called Les Garrigues in early 2000s, known as Prestige des Hautes Garrigues until early 2010s, 13-15,000 b

2016

(barrel) this is about 50% Gren, 50% Mourv: full red colour. Mourvèdre marks the nose, has a black fruited depth, black olives, smokiness, southern intensity, but no sense of power. It is shapely, offers some mystery. The palate runs hither and thither, a good criss-cross of black stone fruits, fleshy content, bright, minted tannins come in and are nicely savoury, notably tasty. This has good length, is a real Road Runner, keeps going well, waves of fruit and interest. It’s handsome, broad and nourishing, bears liberal juice, has lovely balance. 14.6°. From 201-22. 2043-45 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(barrel/casks) dark red colour. An aroma of soaked black cherries with inner intensity comes forward on the nose. There is also a cooked plum note. It is broad, but not showy. The palate runs with very classy red fruits, and fine, kind tannins, all in a virtuous cycle. This has Burgundian finesse - bravo. It’s polished Gigondas, silken. It holds tasty, neat fruit and content, and the balance is good. It leaves a worthy trail of fine juice. 60% Gren, 40% Mourv this year. From mid-2018 or 2019. 2034-37 Nov 2016 I regard it as VALUE at GB £282 12 b in bond H2Vin www.h2vin.co.uk info@h2vin.co.uk +44(0)203 478 7376

2014

(barrel) dark robe, fuller than most. There are sweet black fruit moments on the nose, which invites one in. It has a good depth, and is suggestive. The palate links closely to the nose, offering black berry fruit with a fluid richness, supple in feel. It spreads its bounty broadly on the finish. Enjoyable, well filled wine, not overdone. 14.5°. 15,000 b. €34. 65% Gren, 35% Mourv. From 2018. 2027-29  Dec 2015 

2013

dark plum red colour. Menthol first aroma, ahead of a light air soaked black cherries – the nose has a comfortable depth, plus a hovering freshness. The palate tastes well, offers enjoyably wavy black fruit, loganberries with mulberries, and a live surge of tannins that are well in step. This catches the attention, is a vigorous, well made wine, lots of juice to appreciate. The finish is smoky, very rocky for now. 14°. 11,000 b. €34. 65% Gren, 35% Mourv. Bottled 7 Aug 2015. From 2018. 2030-32  Dec 2015 

2012 ()

(barrel) good, bright red; has a nutty air, one of a wine undergoing its raising, with broad, properly deep facets, polished leather, warm, stony outcrops, a full fruiting. The palate has a large dose of rosemary, sweet herbs, in its mulled, stylish red fruits. A lot to appreciate here – it travels widely, and lengthens with a sure, consistent hand. There is very good flavour tannin at the end. Has class, appeal. From 2016. £260 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2027-29  Nov 2013

2011

sound red; bacon, simmered red fruits, raspberry air, a sexy red cherry liqueur, light licorice. The nose is developing well to vary and catch interest. The palate has an agreeably juiced middle, is still closed before and after that. It lengthens steadily, all together, has 2011 gumminess, a fat and wee plumpness before the finish. Drink with stews, game. From mid-2015. £250 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2026-28  Nov 2013  Previously Dec 2012 ****(*) (36 hl large barrel) bright red. Has a toffee, red fruit jam air with a good, squeezy depth, baked raisin tarts come along, too. The palate tastes of cooked red fruits that have spice to gee them up. It continues well, is nicely persistent. The Mourvèdre role is strong, and it lengthens well. Going the righ way. There is a lot of late matter, and the nose is set to vary and provoke. The finish is chewy. From 2016. 15°. “The 2011 Mourvèdre was remarkable, and has much helped the wine this year,” Yves Gras. 2028-31  Dec 2012

2010 ()

bright red; has a spirity, big bouquet of baked raisin and dare, but there is a fresh thread, some nutty airs that surround its clear line of red berry fruit. The palate is big and persistent, gives a thorough coating. The attack is close-knit, and it ends on a saline, fig fruit note. Solid, chiselled wine. I am not sure how it will go, since it is fresh, powerful and hidden now. From 2017. 15.5°. 2033-35  Dec 2012  Previously Dec 2011 **** dark robe; tea-ink-tar airs on a big scale – the nose has a simmering, breathing power, has just come off its lees. The palate is robust and at this unformed stage gives a sense of spirit, alcohol. It is packed in content, near exaggeration, so patience is required. It ends on a disconnect between the fruit and its tannins and acidity, is very raw. Built to impress, a body building wine. Tannins punch through on the finish. Best at around 10 years` old, needs leaving and will meld over time. From 2016. 15°. €34 at the cellars, export is €17. 2029-31 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(casks) thorough, attractive robe. The aroma is level, persists well, has style, has a clear refinement, reflects polished leather, too. Gutsy, complete wine – I like its heart and fullness – all bases are covered. The fruit has style – the taste of prune and raisin, has quite a dark side about it, is not fat and jelly-like. It pulls along well. From mid-2014. Finishes clearly. 2028-30 March 2011

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

(casks) dark robe; broad, willing, rather high octane nose – black fruits, pepper, wood smoke. The palate comes in a soupy style – it is all about mulled, dense black fruit, all rather imposing. This needs to settle and loosen. Try from 2011. 2018-19 March 2009

2006

dark robe with something of a matt hue. Black fruits, mulberry liqueur and violet mix on the nose, which is deeply set – there is smoked bacon and French Zan licorice as well. On the palate, it is a wine of some poise and confidence – the black fruit is intensely delivered, with oak sides. Good core richness is detectable in this full-on, wide and brimming wine. Out comes a beefy, charcoal, oak tang at the end, almost a beef casserole effect. Punchy, assertive and rich all together – its richness can handle the oak. A sip not drink freely wine. From late 2011. 2023-25 Nov 2008

2005 ()

dark, full red colour; full and assertive bouquet – blackberry fruit with a clear delivery, young, round and a bit spirity. There is a good sequence from nose to palate – there is coherent blackberry fruit on the attack – it is nicely modelled. It ends on quite a rich tone, with good, chocolate moments and quite secure length. The fruit vacates a bit on the aftertaste, and it is a little potent there. This is a long-term bet – wait. From 2010. 2020-22 June 2008

2004

quite a dark, sleek robe; has a nutted, modern vinification nose that is wide – there is grilling on top of red berries. There are good elements on the palate, prior to an obvious oak stamping. The core is rich, and it is harmonious overall. The length is OK, the aftertaste is licorice in flavour. From 2009. 2018-19 Dec 2006

2003

pretty, plum red robe that is full and young. The nose is enclosed – bears firmly cast red fruit, baked red fruits. Grenache is to the fore on the palate, and comes with a prolonged, nicely insistent nature. There is real good continuity until the oak comes along, but it is not aggressive. A wine that is taking its time, is modern and effective. Some herbs and licorice in the palate`s later stages. From spring 2010. 15°. 2021-22 June 2008 Previously Feb 2006 ***(*) purple robe; plum, leather, garrigue, licorice aromas all swirl. Good integration of flavour on palate - wild black fruits show on finish, is wrapped up and intense. Harmony of fruit here. Good wine. Esp 2008 on. 2016-17 Feb 2006

2001 ()

(casks, called Les Garrigues) dark red; mighty, dark, reductive nose led by oily black fruits, earthy notes. The reduction shifts with air. The palate is tight-knit, but is good and round on the outside, is an enveloped wine. It has plenty of character, shows herbs and garrigue hints later on.  There is wide strip of tannins, ripe ones, at the end. Solid and long. Raised 40% new, 60% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 24 months, bottling Sept 2003. “I am reducing the new oak percentage on this,” Yves Gras. From 2009 to have a well fashioned, integrated wine. 2020-22  May 2003

2000

(casks, called Les Garrigues, half way through its raising) quite dark robe; meaty, full, animal aspects on a powerful but contained bouquet, hints of oak also. This is pretty big scale wine: it delivers cooked black fruits, chocolate style flavouring, is dense, but again, not too overpowering given the vintage style. There is an edge of burn that the raising can diminish. Some alcohol shows on the finish. From 2007, plenty of time, no hurry. “People expected big wines this year due to the small crop, but that didn’t materialise,” Yves Gras. 2018-21  Nov 2001

1999 ()

quite a dark robe; the bouquet is meaty with oak present in the brew; airs of stone fruits, prunes, dried fruits and grilled nuts clamber aboard the bouquet’s train. This has a potent kick-off – there is a lot of still forming chew, roasted content. It is very solid, the soaked fruits weight the finish and render it rather demanding. As a “special” wine, its power is central to its being, and I find that a bit too much for me. From 2006-07. The longer the wait the better – this isn’t a wine that is easy to drink young. I prefer the Tradition 1999 by some way. 2017-20  Bottled Sept 2001. Nov 2001

1996 ()

quite a dark robe; the bouquet reveals tea, spice airs, with some spirit, a strength from the cellar. The palate is temporarily rounded, then  dries the front of the mouth. I find this a bit heated, uneven, and wonder about its balance. Possible strong extraction at play here. This will gain some ground from being left for at least four years more. From 2003. 2010-13  April 1999

1995

good, sustained dark colour. This bouquet is full, appealing, shows black fruits and a good bit of spice, a hint of oak. The black fruit declares well on the palate – this is moving well towards a second phase. It works well and roundly, the length agreeable. This runs fluently all the way through. It has a good, grounded nature, combines fullness and elegance. From 2002-03. Its oak still needs time to assimilate. This well ahead of the pack of 1995s. 2017-20  April 1999 Previously Oct 1996 ****(*) quite dark purple; darkly brewed aroma, the fruit not very evident, presents a dense mass. Big attack, this is real Grenache City here. Great power, dense texture, peppery end. Strong finish. 14.8°. Oct 1996