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The Wines

70-80% Grenache (mid-1950s), 10-20 % Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, (mid-1950s to late-1970s), on Cabrières, Farguerol, Les Pradel (all N-W), Les Grandes Serres (S), L’Étang, destemmed, 3-4 week vinification in steel vats at up to 30°C, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 80-100% steel vat, 0-10% new, 10-15% 1-2 year oak casks (Mourvèdre, Syrah) 8-10 months, unfined, filtered, organic wine, 12,500-16,000 b

2018 ()

(steel vat, bottling March 2020) dark robe; a brewed, brothy aroma fronts up the nose, with prune, lead pencil, a sense of dampness. The palate rests on a thick couch of matter, red fruits to the fore, with busy tannins and notes of garrigue herbs. It continues surely, has definite local colour, is honest, genuine, not the most refined. 14.5°. 12,500 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €28. From mid-2022. 2041-43 Oct 2019

2017

(steel vat, bottling March 2019) full, dark red. Damp tea leaves, black berry fruit, with a forest floor note show on the nose. It has a full nature, some red meat. The palate runs with good, supple content, is well sustained around its raspberry-mulberry flavour, has a coated texture, partly from the high degree that isn’t too intrusive until the very end. This is a coherent 2017, carries the vintage imprimatur of texture and depth from the sun. The finish is well extended. 15.5°. 12,500 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv.  €28. From 2022. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016

(vat, bottling April 2018) deep red colour. Marmite or yeast extract combines with a suave air of black cherries on the nose, also licorice and southern takes such as black olives. The palate is immediately tasty, bears pinpoint black fruits with supple tannins, giving an enjoyable flavour. The length is sound, a little spot of aromatic tannin as it closes. The quality of the juice is high. From 2020 to allow more infusion of the tannins. It has local feel as it ends. 14.5°. 15,000 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €26.80. 2037-40 Oct 2017

2015 ()

dark colour. The bouquet is tucked in, but holds quiet promise. There is a lightly floral presence in its neat black fruit aroma. It has crystalline definition. The palate keeps up the good work of the bouquet, with a stream of stylish black fruit and bright tannins, their saltiness adding to the late appeal. Very good lift here – it’s a southern wine with northern virtues, and has an understated complexity. It finds a good second leg of momentum at the mid-point. The tannins are still on the rockface as it closes, completely. 14.5°. From 2019. 2035-38 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(vat/casks) dark red. Well filled bouquet that leads on a good hummock of red berry, mulberry fruit – it is broad, and agreeably sweet. The palate likewise runs with a good gush of red berry fruit, its waves lapping along nicely. The tannins fit in well, adding a couch of depth in the late stages. This is long, and speaks accurately of the south. Plenty going on, a good, abundant 2014. From 2018. 2030-32  Oct 2015

2013 No Rating

(vat/casks) deep purple hue. This wine was impossible to taste. Still seemed to be undergoing fermentation. Volatile nose. CO2 prickle on the palate. Flat fruit. Drying finish. JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

(vat/casks, bottling April 2014) dark red; Syrah-Mourvèdre game and reduction high notes here; there are some feral-entrail, tripe notes, a curve of black berry fruit within. The palate debut is rather bountiful – it holds plenty of black cherry fruit, with a licorice, light oak grain introduction. It builds a groundswell of prune, juiced black berry fruit, plus tea and tar from its oak. Has the potential to fuse. From 2016. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv, 15,000 b, 5% new oak, €25. 2026-27  Nov 2013

2011

good dark red; the nose is rounded, broad, has substance and potential. Its red fruit aroma is subdued, perhaps due to recent bottling. This is three-quarter weight Châteauneuf; it has an oily centre, respectable gras richness, is overtaken by crunchy tannin with smoky, pebbly elements. The finish is gutsy, with a hum of power present. The power has a raspberry flavour in it, but the power is holding back the wine’s balance. 14.5°. From 2015. 2023-25  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(vat/cask) quite a full robe; blackberry-black raisin, black olive tapenade air – the nose shows sound depth, has charcoal tones from its oak. The palate displays a mild sweetness with crunchy tannin implanted; there is clean enough fruit within, which renders it fluid, but the overall imprint on the finish is the charcoal tang. I hope it can integrate more – it needs to do that. From 2014. 2027-30 Dec 2011

2009 ()

full, bright robe. Fresh, interesting black fruit or berry aroma with life in it, a bit of grilling. The palate is similar – offers engaging black fruits with air and spice that is followed by some black tannin kick at the end. A wine that gets on with it. From mid-late 2012. 2020-22 March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 *** (vat/cask) full, dark red; brewed, bosky airs – the bouquet has an upright shape, is not varied, shows a bit of raspberry fruit. The palate is also on a tar or charcoal effect that spreads across it, gives dark juice in snatches. The finish is clear. Raw material status now. From late 2012 to smarten it more. Is breezier than many 2009s. 2022-24 Oct 2010

2008

(vat/cask) mid-depth red. Reserved, but quiet promise on the nose – blackberry jelly most prominent for now, grilled airs – it will be attractive and varied around 2012-13. Easy going debut for the palate – it gains gradually in width and expression, and there is clear fruit at its heart. The finish is controlled, and this is all very orderly and correct. A shade of burn on the finish reflects the vintage. 2017-18 Dec 2009

2007 ()

pretty, primary dark red colour; there is a murmur of red berry fruit in the aroma – it is in a cautious state now, not very open. The palate actually runs on coherently from the nose – there is a good connection. Compact black berry fruit leads the way, with a second stage of greater intensity and grip from its ripe, quite live tannins, all rolled in together. There is a touch of chocolate on the aftertaste, along with herbs and spice. Correct length here. From 2010. 2019-21 Nov 2008

2006

very good, full, hardly evolved red robe. The nose is fronted by red berry fruit, with an air of oxtail behind; the fruit is pure and youthful, while overall there is a little evolution, and a minor note of grilling. This is a broad, sleek, modelled affair: young oak is assimilating. It has a red fruit with touches of toffee flavour, is clean and monolithic, is taking its time. It has handled its oak well, and from now on one wants more local fun and games, if you please. Decant, and also wait until 2015. 2024-26  Dec 2012 Previously Nov 2007 **** bright, young black colour; has an ample, black berry aroma with smoky outcrops, some bacon. There is a latent depth here and some nutty airs from its oaking. The palate holds juicy black fruit that has a good, tasty heart. The length is sound, aided by some ripe tannins. The shape is round, the whole is harmonious. It persists well, and tightens a little. The fruit has a modern, well-cut nature. The tannins demand it be left until late 2009. 2020-21 Nov 2007

2005 ()

pretty dark colour; brewed, roasted plum-coffee nose with a peppery topping – is broad and already quite made. Raspberry fruit on palate gains momentum. Is softly rounded, a wine of live appeal, overt and obvious, just a bit of a flatterer, my liege. Fruit persists well, and is rich to the end. Plenty of tannin here. From 2009. 2018-21 Nov 2006

2004

solid red robe; the nose is tight, brewed, has a compact red fruit aroma, is in a quiet phase now. The palate bears red fruit – this is vigorous and hasn’t yet shown its hand, is upright now. From late 2008 for a more loosened expression. 2016-18  Dec 2006

2003 ()

red robe, fair depth. The bouquet is showing some advance – it has a friendly air, a bit of sweet, fragrant strawberry – it is wide and broad, has a really fully rounded nature. The palate is more reserved, holds red fruit, has a close shape. From 2008 for more expression. Tannins and oak are still evident, are in charge late on for now. 2019-21  Dec 2006