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The Wines

50% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% Counoise, 10% Carignan (late 1920s), 5-10% Cinsault, 3-5% Vaccarèse, 1-2% Syrah, 1% Muscardin from N-West, S-West facing Les Encostes & La Montagne, Malalangue open tronconic wood vat fermentation, 50-80% whole bunch 2-3 week vinification, wild yeasts, 2 week vinification, pumping overs only, aged 40% large 16 hl barrel, 40% 8 year 600-litre oak casks, 20% concrete vat 24 months, unfined, unfiltered, organic, biodynamic wine, 15-18,000 b

2017 ()

1) (foot of the slope, N-W facing, Cinsault, Syrah, old Grenache, Vaccarèse, clay soils, used 600-litre cask) **** dark red; bright, filled nose, brambly fruit, oiliness, elder and blueberry. The palate is grainy throughout, a touch sultry, gains a spur of delivery. It reaches out well. Harvested early October. 22 years 2) (foot of the slope, N-W & S-W facing, more galet stones in with the clay than the first example, used 600-litre cask) solid **** toffee, black raisin sweetness, intense plum airs. The palate is skeletal, firm, has a flavour of dark red fruits, fine juice at the end. This is discreetly complex 25 years 3) (foot of the slope, Grand Vallat, used 600-litre cask) ****(*) rose, floral with soaked red cherries on the nose – it’s notably clear, and offers joli fruit. This is tender, elegant, holds trim fruit, excellent it is, has real good foundation, length. Very fine, good balance. 26 years 4) (slope, very old Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Carignan, S-W facing, 50% Fournas yellow/blue marl soils, 50% Les Boyers quartz-siliceous soils, used 600-litre cask) ***** firm bouquet - red fruits, red berries, garden summer fruits, rose hip and a dice of spice. The palate is close-knit, small release of juice, its aromatic fruit hidden, but very classy, Pinot influences. This is very stylish. “It’s more noble than the others, has much purity,” J.B.  24 years 5) (50% Les Boyers, with Fournas, Malalongue, harvested 2 November, 16 hl large barrel, forms the bedrock of the eventual blended wine) ****(*) dark red; has a chunky air, notably concentrated red fruits, cherries. The palate has sweet depth, a liqueur style offering, with gummy tannins, pockets of freshness implicit. It’s thorough, sustained. 26 years 6) (Les Buissons, 100 year Grenache, Carignan with younger Mourvèdre, Counoise, 45 gm of sugar still to ferment, 16 hl large barrel) ****(*) red robe; soft scenting, raspberry, a bouquet that is a touch husky. The palate gives red cherry liqueur fruit, is muscled, sinewed, not for passing trade, with its intricate composition, offers its fruit in small amounts, carries good potential. 26 years 7) (Malalongue, Fournas, 45 gm of sugar still to ferment, 16 hl large barrel) ***** interesting nose, red cherry, crushed strawberry, cards up its sleeve. The palate is engaging, immediate, offers tasty gourmandise, jam features, thick red juice. The tannins are munchy, jolis. There’s an elegant curve to this, and it’s very long. 24 years. “The yeasts worked until 18.5°, then stopped. The wines are very pure – you don’t sense the power. The laboratory had never seen that – a yeast that worked until 18.5° - nature shouldn’t be able to do that. There is so much finesse within such power – that shouldn’t be. Remember, there are no SO2, no enzymes, no outside agents at all. For the past two months, I no longer notice the sugar. It won’t be bottled before 2020,” Jérôme Bressy. 2042-44 March 2019

2016 ()

this was opened yesterday, bottled Jan 2019: full red robe. The nose is stylish, flowers-violets with a darker sense of chocolate, black raisin. It’s very pure, like all his vintages. There’s some grilling, red meat, blood. The attack is charged, gives immediate strength of content with purposeful grip and tannic clench. This has a solid texture, and is lip smacking. It leans towards North Africa, the Mediterranean, has a couched presence, dried stone fruits, eking out thick juice with quiet resistance, not done openly. It’s definitely a real, true 2016, has that ripe, swarthy nature. It demands full flavoured dishes, inc game. From 2022. 2040-42 March 2019

2015 ()

bright red colour; clove, floral – crushed rose petal - airs lead on the striking nose, intense raspberry coulis, a note of hay – it has persistent depth, has wow factor. The palate picks up musky perfumes, isn’t at all a wine of the South, has great character, a bit towards Switzerland in style, carries charm, also Pinot associations. It’s a red fruits, raspberry, fest, with good layering in the tannins that are flexible, but also nicely firm. There’s a lot to study here - this is great. It’s out on its own on style, and gives a sense of origin, multiple sources. 50% whole bunch. Decant it. From 2021. 2037-39 March 2019

2014

bright red; the nose is fab, gives immediate impact, fills the cellar with airs of raspberry, soaked red cherries, herbs – it’s a great start, way to go, Jérôme! The palate presents racy, grainy red fruits – this is real up tempo, energy wine. I find the non-Grenache elements are in the lead, the Grenache to one side, the Mourvèdre giving a sous bois, wild side. This is striking wine that flies its flag high. It’s fresh, with a light vegetal crunch towards the finish – it’s 80% whole bunch. There are fine powder tannins on board. Spice and plum fruit come through on the close. It’s cool, direct, interesting, from a much underrated vintage. 14.8°. “It was quite a cold, late year,” J.B. 2034-36 March 2019