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The Wines

80-90% Grenache (late-1960s), 10-20% Syrah (late-1960s), from clay-limestone, alluvium deposits soils at cousin’s Domaine de Pont Rieu, destemmed, 3-week concrete vat vinification, pumping overs every 2 days, part vat emptying/refilling during fermentation, aged 40-50% 1-3 year 228-litre oak casks, 50-60% vat 8 months, then all aged large 30 hl barrel 6 months, unfined, lightly filtered, 50,000 b

2016 ()

dark red. There is a cherry fruit warmth on the nose, with an air of dusty trails, Morello cherry present. The palate holds measured, rather stylish content, is supple, the tannins likewise. There is a red fruit display at first. It’s going to be an early drinker, an honest glass of Vacqueyras with some cool late features. 15°. 47,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. From late 2018. 2026-28 Feb 2018

2015

½ bottle: medium depth red robe. The nose gives raspberry fruit with some spirit intensity, and hasn’t got together as yet. The palate feels still in the cellar, bears toffee from its oaking, has a middle theme of red berry fruit. It’s low-key, plain, perhaps just bottled. As it stands, it fails to interest. 14.5°. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. €10.50. 2023-24 March 2017

2013

(barrel) purple-garnet hue. Oaky-vanilla nose. Oak appears again on the palate, but there’s some juicy fruit behind that. Firm but rounded tannins show on the finish. The oak is a little dominant for the weight of fruit, but is just about acceptable. From 2016. 2021-22 JL Dec 2014

2012

(barrel) 2 barrel samples tasted. 1st sample: red robe, a little lightness at the top. There is a seared note on the nose, thin and taut, while the palate has aggressive acidity. 2nd sample: sweet, unconvincing air, toffee and jam. The palate fruit is “high”, has a gummy texture, obscure lines. Lacks conviction, clarity. Retaste post bottling. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. €10.20 at cellars. Dec 2013

2011 ()

2 bottles tasted. 1st bottle: fair red colour. Yeasty, grilled air, loose on the palate. Bottle 2: the nose is better – it is softly scented, has a plum fruit air, strawberry, is a rounded take on Vacqueyras. There is light garrigue dusting. This is medium weight, functional Vacqueyras, a Grenache-centric wine with a sweet late spot. More body would help, but that would also bring degree. Rather tame – post bottling blues? 14.5°. 2019-20  May 2013  Previously Dec 2012 ***(*) (bottling in three days) typical Grenache red robe. Has a really forward red fruit air, it bustles with fat, has a cool, near menthol, and thyme, mixed herbs, flint. The palate is supple, quite charged, bears lavender scenting, shows sweet and succulent red cherry towards the finish. The Grenache red fruit provides good heart, and the tannins are settled well inside. It lengthens rather well. Interesting. Can be drunk early. 14.5°. 2020-21  Dec 2012

2010

quite full red; red cherry, supple, good full nose with garrigue herbs, ripe Grenache plum fruit – gives a sense of dried lands. The fruit is full but lucid, has a flinty cut in it, delivers menthol and tobacco on the sign-off. There are mineral tannins here, long on grain at the end, and it finishes on leather, fresh tannic cut. Young wine still, good character. From late 2014. 14.5°. 2025-26  Dec 2012

2009 ()

steady red robe. Has a close-knit aroma, garrigue-menthol, cocoa airs, tea leaves. The palate has good depth and a consistent hand out of gras richness, good foundation. The tannins bring a dark clutch on the finish. This is thorough, genuine, the content delivered with a little flair. 14.5°. 2026-27 Feb 2018 Previously Dec 2012 *** steady red. This gives a big change from the 2010 and 2011 – an air of gummy, round red fruit, raspberry notably, herbs and spices – a strong raspberry coulis present. The palate is similar, with liqueur red fruit, a rich heart; the tannins have absorbed well, still require 15 months, since it ends on a rather arid, dusty note. Flint, pumice stone notes here with a pocket of late red fruit juicing. 14.5°. 2019-20  Dec 2012

2008

red robe, plum red. Has a soft, herbs aroma, neat black berry jam, a peppery clarity. The palate offers a good line of fresh black berry fruits, eager tannins rocking around, a raciness from them. The vitality in this is good; it’s interesting, well enjoyable, one for the Informed drinkers, the provider of refreshing drinking. 14.5°. 90% Gren, 5% Cins, 5% Syr. 2023-24 Feb 2018 Previously July 2010 *** plum colour that is evolving. Has a bundled together nose – herbs, baked bread, a good launch pad for the palate, which offers a clack of insistent, rather low lying fruit. Its Grenache is true, has juicy moments. Pretty good length. Polished, well done, shows 2008 Vacqueyras very well. 2016-17  July 2010

2007 ()

steady red robe, a full red. The bouquet is at moment of harmony, shows persistent red berry aromas, mulberry, for example: it is still primary, is sympa, has a fine breeze with it. There is a good link between bouquet and palate. Its red fruit continues in a purposeful, fine-tuned way, persists well, is appealing. There is a light sprinkle of late tannin in its plum fruit. Typical, is well mannered, even though the fruit shows something of the lees. 2018-19 July 2010

2005

red robe, still in the game. Smoke, raw tobacco, cedar airs with good snap, a tender florality in with Grenache plum fruit, cocoa. This is good, is on form. It holds interesting gras, spicing, with clear, lead pencil moments. It has good structure, in the vintage vein, with nerve and freshness, smoky darkness on the end, peppered moments there. 2023-24 Feb 2018