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The Wines

50-65% Grenache (1930s-1950s), 15% Syrah (late 1970s), 10-15% Carignan, 10-15% Cinsault (late 1960s), 5-10% Mourvèdre, 0-5% Counoise from pebbly, sandy, silt, limestone-clay soils 60% at St Geniès de Comolas, 40% at Roquemaure, hand harvested yields 30-35 hl/ha, destemmed, varieties co-fermented, 14-21 day vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, aged 30-50% concrete vat, 50-70% 1-8 year 228-litre oak casks 12 months, then all vat raised 6-9 months, unfined, filtered, until 2009 was Côtes du Rhône, "drink with lamb tajine & dried fruits, duck breast with peaches, daube/stew Provençal, 50,000 b

2016

dark red. The nose broods quietly, is based on stylish berry fruits, crushed blackberries, loganberry, is not even half way out, shows some baked bread, and a note of raspberry liqueur. This glides effortlessly along the palate, with finesse in the tannins, and a pliant, nicely firm couch from them – really tuneful they are. This is aromatic and elegantly full, runs across the palate well. The patter of detail in it admirable. Balance, length are good. It will be a gradual gainer over time, Burgundy present in the glass. 14.5°. 50,000 b. 50% Gren, 15% Cins, 15% Syr, 10% Cari, 10% Mourv. €7.50 export. From late 2019. 2030-32 Aug 2018

2015

sober, quite full red robe. The nose has a toffee note from oak inside its soft blackberry aroma, is wide and comfortably deep. The fruit is bright, mixed red and black berries, floral touches, roses. The palate wells up on the attack, in the form of a copious wine. Its texture is smooth and generous, coats the palate. It takes on supple tannins with a fine grain overlay towards the finish, the length steady. This has a strong, sound heart, and needs 15 months to extend further, loosen a touch. The finish is rounded, gummy, marked by its oak raising. Syrah fruit outside, Grenache body within here. 14°. “The Syrah did well this year”, Rodolphe de Pins. From late 2018. 2029-31 Aug 2017

2014

(vat) dark red. The nose has an intense aroma of simmered red fruits, cherries, licorice, with a kind sweetness, a note of dried herbs adding a splash of local colour. There is a little oak. The palate bears wholesome black cherry fruit with good life and length. It drinks in carefree fashion, has a real centre point of appeal. This lasts very well, really stretches out, is very enjoyable and stylish. Allow until mid-2017 for the oak to assimilate. 14°. 50,000 b. 50% Gren, 15% Cins, 15% Syr, 10% Cari, 5% Mourv, 5% Counoise. €7.35 export. 2026-28  Feb 2016 

2012

dark red, good depth in the robe. Soaked cherries, an abundant and open air on the nose which has a little mystery and an engaging freshness. There are light prune fruit notes as well. This is really good: there is an immediate surge of fruit, lots of appeal; it lengthens with a very sure hand, really stretches out. It is stylish and right on the ball now. The finish is great, live and delicately tasty. A proper good job of Lirac here. “It was a solar year – I worked for freshness so I harvested on 20 October, with the degree at 13.5° to 14°, and good acidity,” Rodolphe de Pins. 2023-25  Apr 2015

2010 ()

fair red robe. The nose is a mix of oily,  leathery, mocha, prune, India tea influences. This becoming complex, is maturing. It has a prune-date flavour, with a smoky sideline, an agreeable oily texture. This is great, is a real Road Runner – the palate is classy, varied. A wine of “deep pockets”, it has genuine depth, ripe features, still wired tannins. “The fruit was racy after it was bottled,” Rodolphe de Pins. Plenty of roads to travel as it evolves. 13.5°. 2026-28  May 2013

2009

mild red robe, not very promising. Brewed, red jam air, resembles pain au Beaujolais, has floral and licorice notes. The floral aspect is present inside a flavour of tender plum fruit. Refined, not forced style. It shows decent juice in its late stages, so is good for drinking with simply flavoured foods Showing well now. 14°. 2021-23 April 2012 Previously June 2010 ***(*) (bottling in 2 months) bright robe. Nutty, black fruit-prune aroma, a bit of charcoal in there, and attractive rose petal. Very good run of black fruit along the palate – this has a classy, silken texture, then gets into a zone of tannin, with firm notes there, a solid sign-off. A wine with potential. Decant it when young. From mid-late 2012. 2021-22 March 2011 Previously June 2010 *** (an example vat of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault) bright robe; blackberry, honey, fine airs, fine jam – has a lot of Cinsault. Red fruits with good core on the palate – promising, rounded and attractive flesh here. The aftertaste is aromatic. Some late tannins that need two years. Life of 14 years. Just to give an idea. June 2010

2008

plum red robe, some dark traces. Good, breezy and peppery first air, has the security of jam underneath it, also licorice. There are nice gourmand aspects on the palate, which is very good for 2008. There is fleshy black fruit that has lithe tannins alongside it, all comes quite directly. Ends on a snap of limestone. From mid-2011. 2020-21. 50% Grenache this year, and 60% oak. June 2010

2007 ()

plum red colour; red berry jam aroma that has a fine intensity about it, offers a hint of caramel. The palate holds compact red fruits that are seasoned with a little late oak peeping out. The length is sound, but the wine is not yet really ensemble – needs 12 to 15 months. There is a tidy spine of persistent red fruit at its centre – a good feature. Bonny late juice, and glow, here. 65% Grenache this year. 2022-24 June 2010

2006 ()

clear, dark red with black traces. Nutty outer nose – there is pure fruit within, but overall, it isn`t out and going yet. It is certainly promising. Red fruit with an interesting snap of clear freshness in it on the palate – it persists, and keeps adding a little. Has definite authority, and is well ahead of many of this category. Decant to wake up the nose. 2018-20 Feb 2009

2005

full, purple-red robe. Red cherry, red fruit tart aroma, with power, liqueur in its make-up, has broad shoulders. Its mature red fruit attack suggests a slightly pumped up wine. Tannins grow as it goes, shows some late energy, length is OK. 2018-21 April 2008

2004 ()

plum red robe with a steady centre. There are interesting, varied sources for the nose – blueberry, chocolate, a hint of raspberry, with peony and spice. The palate gives tender red fruits, with a spark of clarity, a dentelle or toothsome angle. Menthol and good cut appear on the finish. This is good drunk with cod in saffron. There is clove, sweet spice in it. It’s attractive, still in good shape. 14°. 2019-20 Feb 2016 Previously March 2007 **(*) sustained, but low profile nose – smoky black fruit here. The palate combines sound black fruit and a tar effect that works OK. Smoky finish from the raising, nutty elements there. Making its wine, has sound prospects. To 2015-16 March 2007

1997 ()

this is Baron Louis Côtes du Rhône. The bouquet gives a faithful Grenache aroma, brioche-toast, cinnamon and pepper – it is fresh and has a nice little depth. Plum, strawberry and spice show on the palate, along with floral notes. It is tenderly rounded. This is joli vin. After one hour: has a smoke-filled saloon nose. It extends very well on the palate, is running a good race. It is admirably fresh. “It is airborne on the finish, And makes you want another sip,” Rodolphe de Pins. 13°. 2018-19  Apr 2015