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The Wines

80-85% Grenache (1950-55), 15-20% Syrah (1974), 5-7% Mourvèdre (1950-55) from N-W facing slopes at 260-300 metres, destemmed, 30-40 day vinification, pumping overs every 2 days, part vat emptying/refilling during fermentation, aged 50% 3-4 year oak casks, 50% large barrel 18-24 months, (until 2006 was 67% large barrel), lightly filtered, up to 3 bottlings, 100,000 b

2017 ()

(casks/large barrel) dark red. Pine, oak lurk on a reserved nose, carries a note of ripe, shiny blackberry, its depth assured. The palate also reflects pine oak along its sides, has a generous middle with appealing black berry content at its heart. The tannins add a little edge to the finish. This can get together well, will be a 2017 of stature. It moves with likeable energy, the fruit sparkling. 14.5°. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. From 2022. 2041-43 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks/barrel) dark red robe. The nose gives a good sweep of raspberry-mulberry fruit, has a sweet herbs, savoury aspect, rosemary present. Thee Grenache rules it well, and there is some spicing as well. The palate is stylish, bears free running, smooth content with perky red fruits that finish precisely. This has better definition than many this year, is an airborne wine with a good foundation of nicely compact matter. There is an aromatic, perfumed twist on the spiced close, with a breeze of menthol to keep it on the up. Good, typical Gigondas here, and it will well thanks to its freshness. From 2021. 2039-42 Oct 2017

2015

(casks/barrel) dark red robe. The nose has a smouldering red-fruited aroma, with a baked, dusty lands backdrop. There is a small point of raspberry fruit at its centre, and it is hardly out of its cradle. The palate switches straight into a classic Gigondas gear via its freshness and cool directness of tight red fruit. It’s upright as it stands. It develops more overt gras towards the long and fresh finish, is a linear wine that will take time to fuse and amplify. With vineyards between 200 and 400 metres here, and the cool tone of the vintage, this is a northern rather than a southern wine for now. Leave until 2020. 2035-37 Feb 2017

2014

(oak casks/barrel) fair red robe. The nose leads on mixed dried herbes de Provence, and garrigue dustiness, along with a red berry, strawberry fruit, the fruit mulled in style. The palate carries rather heavy red cherry fruit, is close to liqueur in make-up, sweeps along broadly. Its fire from within would be better suited to a vintage with more richness of content, flirts with a slightly too high degree. 14.5. 100,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. €13.50. From mid-2018. 2027-29  Dec 2015

2013 ()

(oak casks/barrel) bright purple hue. Has a distinctive, dark cherry nose. Cherry fruit appears again on the broad and fleshy palate. There are firm but rounded tannins on the finish. This has good tannic grip, which points to ageing potential. 14.5°. From 2016. 2027-29 JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

(oak casks/barrel, bottling March 2014) dark colour; soaked fruits, prune, stewed fruits air, toffee and caramel largely from the oak. The nose has a sweet, ripe make-up, includes raspberry in it. The palate bears fine fruit with a lucid, clear tone, while rather crisp tannins wrap around it. It is a compact package containing tannins and their dust, black pepperiness and the fine fruit. It is very sound, is no Fancy Dan without currently great allure. €12.90 at cellars. 14.5°. 2027-29  Dec 2013

2011 ()

(oak, bottling March 2013) dark red. This has definite southern airs such as black raisin, also prune and the grunt of warm lands, ripe fruit and hot sun influences, with tobacco and smoke. It has a caramel, date flavour; a mature and ripe style is sought over precise, cool fruiting. Quite chunky tannins line up on the finish and give it country boy kick. Traditional style, has a “dark” finish, is suited to autumn and winter drinking. A “fasten your seat belts” wine. Decant it. From 2015. 14.5°. 80% Gren, 20% Syr this year. €12.90 at the cellars. 2026-27  Dec 2012

2010 ()

dark robe, legs down the glass; the nose is ripe enough to involve black raisin, suggests thick skinned grapes being cropped after a full, dry late summer. Prune fruit lies at its centre. There are varied garrigue airs, including fennel, hint of rosemary. The palate is full of unbridled flavour, a real child of the terraces, with minted, dark tannins bringing up the final stages. A really good glass filling wine, with energy and drive. Dark, rather tarry final moments. May just be closing down, backing off.  14.5°. From 2014. 2028-30. June 2012  Previously Dec 2011 ***** (cask/barrel, bottling March 2012) full robe. The nose is broad, shows leather-smoke, slight fungal earthiness attached to its blackberry fruit air, along with prune and coffee. The effect is oily and inviting. Juicy, willing fruit with excellent clean lines and clarity on the palate. The main flavour is blackberry, before tasty tannins appear, which run on tar, licorice and menthol notes. A lot of flavour that persists here – it really travels, is a wine that holds its gras all through. Dark and full, and a big bang for the buck at €7.30 export price. 14.5°. From mid-2014. 2033-35 Dec 2011

2009

(bottling in two weeks) even, steady red robe. Reserved, but latent power and promise in the nose, a bit of oaking. It is not yet varied, offers some clarity via licorice, menthol airs. The palate has fresh, rather gunflint notes in with red stone fruits. Nice and long, it ends on a pebbly- herbal finish, which is chewy and vigorous. This needs time: from mid-2013. It has closed over the winter. “I worked to not have tannins that were too hard, and eased back on the extraction this year. It doesn't have the overt fruit of 2007 and 2010, but has an attractive structure,” Pierre Amadieu. 2025-27 March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ****(*) (cask/barrel) bright plum-purple colour; ripe, curvaceous nose – fine black cherry, plus licorice – it persists well. Has a nicely plump debut, good fat in this. Plenty of bounty, I like its juice. It ends on gradually tightening tannins. Sound balance. From late 2012. 2022-24 Oct 2010

2008

(cask/barrel) bright, quite full robe. Prune-date aroma, a little treacle in the air behind that front – this bouquet has rich, mature instincts. Garrigue, nutty, grilled aromas also. The palate is full across the mouth and within – it pushes on with intent, is a wine for cool weather drinking, and hearty dishes. It ends on a mix of cocoa, oak, tar, but can refine the finish in time. Big scale, firm wine, just enough matter for its oak. From 2012. 2019-21 Dec 2009

2007 ()

mute red robe. Plummy aroma that lies low, has a smoky backdrop. Leathery, but not overly intrusive effect on the black fruit. However, the fruit isn`t alert and the wine ends drily for now. Heat on the aftertaste, possible Brett. Tarred up, dogged wine. From mid-2011. 2019-20 Dec 2009 Previously June 2008 (barrel) *** quite dark robe; elegant, streamlined fruit on the nose – this is aromatic. The palate holds three-quarter richness. The fruit is quite abundant, supple and there are some well ingrained tannins. 2019-20  June 2008 - placed in large barrel early June 2008

2006

full slightly matt dark red robe. The nose is quite profound, has a raisin, oily, cinnamon presence, glazed red cherry, sweet Dundee cake – a big debut to matters. The palate is shaped by its latently powerful black fruit, has a herbal presence, and a growing, also potent feel of tannin, a charge of substance. Ends on a little eau de vie, the power just outside the extract. Vigorous wine, has limestone energy in it, holds up well through the palate. From 2010. 14.5°. 2019-21 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** (casks) bright black cherry robe; its black fruit aroma travels across the glass, has a good core, is smoky late on and implies power – there are traces of alcohol and sweet-toned raisin cake, but it is clear. The palate fruit has a clean, modern feel, and moves without pause – it delivers as it goes. Black cherry is the foremost fruit now. Ends cleanly: is a bit “goody two shoes”, but a nice wine. From mid-2009. 2016-18 Jan 2008

2005

blackberry, quite bright robe; simmered fruits, soaked black cherries abound on the nose, with laurel-rosemary, a little sweet spice and wafts of smoke. By the evening, the bouquet is stylish and ripe. There is a good fusion of fruit and tannin on the start of the attack; the fruit is smooth and willing, and runs along in an even flow. The tannins are good – they are ripe and are making steady progress to refine and meld. It ends freshly and clearly. 2019-20 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 **** (cask/barrels) mid-plus colour; pretty full bouquet – fungal, reduced, work in progress, with a meaty, black fruits style. Has a gourmand, fleshy attack, and the oak and tannins appear prominently at mid-palate. Has a rich follow-through. The oak is overt, but the interior is rich. Not a wine for its youth – you have to wait and let it come together if you want harmony. Coffee, mocha aftertaste. From 2009-10. 2017-20 Nov 2006

2004

quite bright and dark red robe; the bouquet mingles cherry fruit with a certain meatiness – its leaning is solid, but live as well. There is plenty of wine here: it flows clearly and well, the sides lined with red fruit, is still emerging. The peppery finish is typical. Life, vigour and a good future ahead. From late 2008. 2017-19  Dec 2006

2003 ()

sappy, jam infused nose that is quite sweet and herbal, The palate is more backward than the nose, is reserved. Decent fruit, in the squeezy, fruit pastille vintage style. Ends a little drily, but at the start the content is fleshy and soaked in texture. 2010-12 July 2005 Previously March 2005 *(*) supple, round and sweet nose, prune and some fig present. Ripe, quite sweet palate. Dries towards finish, too early for comfort. 2010 March 2005

2001

impressive dark plum red robe. The nose is a Pandora’s box of cedar, spice, oily ripeness, mulled red berries, cooked plums. It has a fresh, spearmint-menthol line through it. It’s a crackerjack bouquet. The palate presents the 2001 vintage from heights with a spiced debut, developing a savoury richness that has clear sides to it, Grenache at its centre. The aftertaste brings in some glow, degree, but the richness persists well. This has lots of character, vintage respect, local ID, and is an STGT limestone Gigondas. Menthol, flashes of dark berr fruit, prunes are all in the mix. It’s very young still. 13°. 2030-33 July 2018 Previously Dec 2013 **** the robe is still a full red; the bouquet has a good “grunt factor” – this is a Beast from the Wilds, has a brewed strength, shows airs of prune and date – there is depth and also intent in the fruit, and a wee note of cocoa. This has a commendably cool, true Gigondas character, reflects its high marl soils. It is expressive, combines a touch of Indian tea as it ages with its plum fruit. The finale is round, textured, gummy. 2023-25  Dec 2013

1997

discreet evolution on the red robe; toasted, brioche bread aroma at the front of the bouquet, has a sweet raisin underlay, also honey – it is not that bright a bouquet. A nutty influence is entwined in the stewed fruits on the palate – this has prune flavour, along with nutty, peanut moments. This shows the roundness of the vintage, and is a bit composed by its large barrel raising – the large barrel can render the wine a bit flat. The length is OK, though. 13°. 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah. 2018-20 June 2010

1991

pale robe; soft, honey, baked, raisin nose with herbs, and a Bakewell Tart aroma. Meaty start to palate, then its fruit is rather fragile towards the finish. Some late mint tones, but is rather short. 2010 Feb 2006

1990 ()

magnum, a treat: full, attractive red at its centre, ruby on the outer robe. This has a fine, herbs-aromatic nose, shows licorice, a breezy menthol – it is varied, crunchy, clear and decisive. Fine, elegant soft wine on the palate – there is good richness here, thanks to a ball of soft red fruit. Pebbly late moments come through, but it holds its gras richness well. Has a classy elegance, balance and freshness all in one. The late ripening at altitude is a big contributor to its style and performance today, given the context of the great, sunny ripeness of the vintage. 2022-24  Oct 2010  Previously Feb 2006 *** live robe, with good, mature red depth. Berried fruit heart to the bouquet, is a little low key, with some herbs and mint. Interesting, clear-cut wine, with the altitude coolness in it. Clean fruit, in the form of elegant red fruits. 13°. 2013-14 Feb 2006

1987

pale red, thinning. Full, dense bouquet, with toasty, tarry front rank aromas. Basil flavour in an oily palate, but I find Brett on both nose and palate. It is tight, chunky, not in prime shape. “In these times, we did several bottlings after 12 and 24 months of large barrel, foudre, raising,” Pierre Amadieu. I note the modest 13° on the label. Those were the days. July 2011

1986

advancing top robe, with red plum at its centre. Excellent freshness on the nose, an oily air with laurel, thyme herbs, and a bit of animal or fundamental, earthy notes. Unusual to have the animal side and the freshness together. Leathery black fruit on the debut of the palate, with again, fresh notes. The sides hold compact tannin, and it ends on a slightly thinning note. Pretty good. 2018-19 July 2011

1978 ()

tiled robe with a little red at its heart. Fig aroma, like a Nebbiolo, with a similar freshness, also mature black jam, a little chocolate, later comes herb and garrigue, black jam, damson and prune. After one hour, there is almond paste on the nose. The palate starts freshly, with a very pretty run along it. This grows with air – shows the real quality of its place via its refinement and its very interesting clarity: the freshness at Romane Machotte is marked. The finish is fine-boned. Very beau, and right in the game – it runs and changes over a good one hour-plus. Impressive grip and clarity. The Syrah was very young in 1978, and even the Grenache was only 25 years' old. June 2008