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The Wines

60-75% Grenache, 15-30% Syrah, 5-10% Cinsault, 3-10% Mourvèdre (av age 30 years) from slope vineyards, destemmed, pre-fermentation cool maceration at 18°C, 3 week vinification at 23-30°C, daily pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, manual cap punching, vat raised 12-15 months, first wine 2001, 66,000-110,000 b

2018 ()

(vat) dark colour; the bouquet has an air of blackberry lozenges, pastilles, indicating sweetness from the ripe harvest. The palate links closely, also on a display of jelly-like black fruits, cassis, with abundance of juice on the close. There’s plenty going on here, and it will go well with beef, red meats. There’s a sense of black olives on the rounded close. It could be a mite fresher. 14°. 66,650 b. 60% Gren, 30% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% Cins. €11.50. From spring 2021. 2031-33 Feb 2020

2017

quite a dark red colour; the nose is smoked, spiced, rather dry-toned from the drought. There’s a low-key air of cooked red fruit. The palate is rather spartan, delivers spiced content on the attack, its best moment, with a rather precarious second half, combat between the firm juice and the dry tendency. It drinks OK now, best with stews, country dishes. Drink it before it starts tone down – now until 2024-25. 14°. 66,600 b. 60% Gren, 30% Syr, 5% Cins, 5% Mourv. Feb 2020

2016 ()

(vat) dark colour, black tints. Has a wide, panoramic, full bore bouquet, crushed black cherry fruits, griottes, the ripeness of the vintage in the gleaming fruit. The palate is full, hums with an inner power, but has the rich content to absorb that. It’s broad and persistent on the finish, really motors there. It’s not a wine to drink freely, but will go well in a large glass with a haunch of venison or a game casserole. It carries the emblem of the south manfully on its sleeve. This has bundles of character, really captures the imagination. 14°. From spring 2020. 2032-34 Feb 2018

2014 ()

dark red colour. The nose is a tangle of indistinct elements for the present; there is a game, bosky, cooked plum trio in competition, so it is ill defined. The palate fruit could be fresher; it has a spiced side, but the tannins for now are dry. It centres on a little Grenache gras. Overtly traditional, lacks authority. 14°. 110,000 b. €10. 65% Gren, 25% Syr, 10% Mourv. From mid-2016. To 2020  Dec 2015

2013

garnet hue to the robe, which is light at the rim. The nose gives red fruits with a definite leafy, herbaceous edge. Plummy fruit shows on the attack. The finish is short and hard. This is acceptable, but no better than average Côtes du Rhône. 14°. 65% Gren, 25% Syr, 10% Mourv. 110,000 b. €9.90. 2016-17 JL Dec 2014

2011

shiny, dark robe. There is a meaty depth to the nose, that comes with a vegetal-spirit aspect, is stiff, the fruit not showing much. Dark, roasted airs also feature. The palate has a pushy debut, gives a forced black fruit, as if it has been driven along in the cellar. It takes on grain and a modern, “steeliness”. Strong, grounded wine that lacks friendliness, is over exerted. From late 2014. 14.5°. To 2019 May 2013

2009 ()

(vat) red, purple tints; creamy red fruit nose that is curved and agreeable. Attractive fruit with space in it on the palate – so it expresses well and freely. Good, ripe tannin bite on the finish, ends clearly. Drinkable soon, but 30 months raising the target this year. 2017-18 July 2010