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The Wines

70-80% Grenache, 20-30% Syrah (both late 1990s) from clay-limestone soils on La Marone et Beauregard (S-E) in the Dentelles, hand harvested, destemmed, 4 day pre-fermentation crop cooling at 15°C, 3-4 week steel vat vinification at 25°-30°C, daily pumping overs, 8 cap punchings, aged 3-year 12 hl oak barrels & 4-8 year 600-litre oak casks 18 months (before early 2010s aged 4-8 year 600-litre oak casks 18 months), unfined, lightly filtered, first wine 1997, 3,128-4,700 b

2017

(12 hl barrel) dark red colour; the bouquet expresses a neat raspberry aroma, comes with a savoury side, an implicit sweetness and curve. The palate is peppery, a little wired, bears flashes of black fruits with the pepper throughout. The fruit has a smooth feel, has quality. There’s a dustiness in the texture which will absorb, the finish grainy. This has been made with restraint. 15°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. From mid-2020. 2036-38 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(barrel/casks) deep, dark red robe. The nose has is a little mysterious, on the surface offering black olives, black berry jam airs, but suggesting more nuance below. There is some grilling. The palate runs with good black fruited juice, has a clear stream of fresh, minted tannins to aid its late energy. There is clarity in the fruit, and this will gradually draw together over the next two to three years. It’s just a little low on soul. From 2020. 2028-30 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(barrel/casks) shiny, dark red robe. The bouquet has a savage, smoky, brewed nature, a real fire of warm lands in its dark fruited display. Oxtail, beefiness lurks, with some mixed herbes de Provence. The palate is hearty, full, comes with lithe content, up-front tannins that reach pretty long. This is bold Gigondas with a genuine heart of well-delivered punchy content. It goes well long. 14.5°. From spring 2019. 2033-36 Feb 2017

2014

(barrel, bottling March 2016) dark red robe. Has an open, sweet noted raspberry fruit aroma. The palate connects to the nose via a squeezy gras content, with wild raspberries and strawberries clustered together, before some bracing, mint-lined tannins come along. This is a bright, modern take Gigondas with natural features, nothing overdone. The fruit is clear. 14.5°. 4,700 b. €17. From 2018. 2028-30  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

dark red. The nose leads on an air of black fruit lozenges, comes with a near jelly ripeness, is a comfortably round start. The palate offers agreeably juiced, easy going black berry fruit with low-key tannins. It is polished, arm’s length in style, doesn’t really go for it. It drinks with late clarity and a note of extra tar on the finish. OK, but more safe than it need be. 15°. 3,128 b. Bottled 16 April 2015. €17. 2026-27  Dec 2015  Previously Dec 2014 *** (barrel, bottling March 2015) bright purple robe. The nose gives agreeable red fruit aromas. There is supple, attractive fruit on the palate, comes with a chocolate note. This is medium bodied in weight. It has a lighter tannic frame than most. From 2016. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. 3,400 b. €17 at the cellars. 2024-25 JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

(casks, bottling March 2014) shiny, very dark robe. Has a broad sweep bouquet – welcome to Le Sud. It shows a beef stock intensity, chocolate, a thick, vintage black berry jam, prune fruiting; there is a lot of toffee-oak present. The palate repeats the message of the nose: there is a firm filled block of rich matter, oaking very apparent. There is a hum of power, bundles of rosemary, sage. It lengthens with intent, a pushy persistence. It has a full depth, is gummy, and needs to swallow the mask of its oak which slows down its vivacity. It is close to fruit bomb status. From 20916. 14.5°. €17. 3,300 b. 2026-27 Dec 2013

2011 ()

(casks, bottling March 2013) healthy dark red. There is a big outbreak of pine, basil and spice on the first aroma which holds a dark berry, prune intensity within. The bouquet sets a full scene. The palate is full, ripples with waves of fat, the fruit sleek, polished; its tannins also gleam, are smooth, savoury. Oak on the finish comes through, controlling the final stages; this is modern, big scale Gigondas. I would like more dirt under its fingernails, is a wine with a fruit bomb leaning. Needs time to let the oak infuse. From 2016. 14.5°. €18 at the cellars. 70% Gren, 30% Syr this year. 2025-26  Dec 2012

2009

shiny, dark robe; reduction is the first air, but there lies shapely, well-ripened black fruit beyond, along with a tinkle of pebbly garrigue, and licorice mingling in with the black juice. The attack is enjoyable, the fruit tasty, nice and full. The ripe tannins fit it well, the length is fresh, the sign-off discreet. Has quiet class, is a promising, orderly Gigondas. It needs 18 months for its tannins to ease fully into it, but its freshness is exemplary. Herb-powder on the late tannins, a really good finale. €11 export price. 2024-26 July 2011

2008

(casks) rather full robe; nutty, biscuity, modern elevage (raising) aroma – across runs across a brewed, raisin backdrop. The palate is broad, has a tight texture and also the cool tannins of the vintage. Raspberry fruit emerges at the end – shows a good late burst of fruit and clarity. This has good potential. Once the oak has settled inside – say, mid-2011 - this will provide good drinking. 2019-21 Dec 2009

2007

pretty black robe. Fragrant, floral, agreeable nose, mulled black fruits, very young and primary now, has pepper and resin touches. Good tight weave on the palate, has quiet class, the fruit revives at the end, where there is a blackberry liqueur taste. The palate is muscled, plenty of late thrust here. Clear fruit lies at its heart. From 2011. 2019-21 Previously Sept 2009 **(*) thorough robe; reductive tendency on nose – baked black fruit inside that, game notions, is not calling a clear tune today. This is a big scale wine, charged up – “eeeets show time . . .” Oak runs vigorously along the later stages. Much more about the cellar than the vineyard, a wine that risks excess, also one for sipping rather than free drinking. From late 2011. 14.5°. 2020-22 Dec 2009

2006

red-dark plum colour. Honey-oaked nose with supple fruit air within, offers a round, ripe start, I note a lot of swet oak in this. Supple, rich debut to palate, with oak right there: the oak never leaves it alone, but the content is rich enough to blend OK. From 2010. This is full of sweet oak, and is rather cloying. Could be fresher. To 2017. Jan 2008