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The Wines

70-80% Grenache (1960s), 0-30% Syrah (1970s), 0-20% Mourvèdre from clay-limestone, galet stone soils, low yields of around 20-30 hl/ha, whole bunch to half destemmed, crushed, 3-5 week tronconic oak vat vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged new Forest of Bertranges oak casks 20-37 months, then underground vat 12-18 months, unfined, filtered, a selection of our best old vines, “drink with grilled young wild boar (marcassin), wild boar stew, jugged hare, peppered rib of beef”, wide, heavy bottle, 2-11,500 b plus 30 jereboams, 60 magnums

2016

(casks) dark robe. Wheel out the wide bottle-oak formula! The nose has tar-varnish, soaked black fruits aroma with a throb of intensity. It’s a powerhouse opening, still very much in the cellar, as is the palate, which carries generous, rolling content with an oak constant. There’s a sweet, slightly tarty aspect to this, and it’s more cellar than vineyard, but it’s still a savoury wine. The natural richness of 2016 has rescued it from being too got up. The length is good, sweet, persistent. From spring 2020, decanting advised. 15°. 16.5 hl/ha. 2030-32 Feb 2018

2015

(casks) deep red robe. The bouquet has a sturdy aroma of stewed blackberry fruits, a little sweetness at its heart, and varnish from the oak. It’s a well-filled start. The palate is copious, with tasty black fruit content in the best seats, flanked by some bright oaking. The overall picture is of a sun-filled, robust wine with a sweetness that will please many. Its length is good, and it’s never heated. It needs leaving until 2021, and from then there will be a big wine for roast beef and similar dishes. 15°. 11,493 b. €48. 28 hl/ha. 2028-29 Apr 2017

2014

red robe. There are toasted, roasted coffee airs, prune, date, tea leaves and oak varnish. The palate leads on vanilla and cocoa with ample richness, busty intent, comes with a searching finish on its oak now. This needs serving at room temperature, not lower. 15°. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. 2024-25 Feb 2018 Previously Dec 2015 *** dark, full robe. The bouquet shows a sealed for now aroma of compact blueberry, black cherry with smokiness from oak. There is a note of liqueur in the fruit. The attack is broad, gushes along with liberal waves of rolling black cherry fruit and a mint, crème de menthe inflection. It finishes roundly. It is a trifle worked on, but has flashy appeal. 15°.  From mid-2017: the oak needs to absorb, but is also one of its calling cards. 6,000 b. €48. 2022-23  Dec 2015

2013

dark purple colour. Has a slightly confected banana-coconut aroma, oak clearly present. The palate is sweet and oaky, but the fruit is there as well. The finish is drying. The oak disturbs me, but this is worth re-tasting in bottle. 15°. 10,000 b. From mid-2016. 2020-21  JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

dark, full, inviting. Smoky, pitchy first aroma – black raisin, dried fruits, a violet touch. Sweet, Christmas time scents hang in the air. The palate bustles along with a full charge; it is liberally oaked above all, though its mass of content is handling it. From mid-2016 for less obvious oak. An upfront, big Vacqueyras with a lot of fired-up tannin. It is a real, torrid Southern Wine, rather torrid. 14.5°. 65% Gren, 35% Syr. 10,000 b. €49 – er, hello, this is Vacqueyras. 2024-25  Dec 2013

2010

there are smudges of matt and advance on the top robe. Has a toasted, charcoal air, with a ripe, plum filling, supple depth, licorice and bacon. The palate mixes dark fruit and oaking, the oak pushing forward on the second half. It carries sound 2010 gras, a roasted fullness, ending on raspberry, mocha, smoked mixes. A bit less oak from 2015, though some people wouldn’t mind it now. Too much oak for me. 14.5°. 2021-22  May 2013

2003

quite earthy, stewed bouquet, black, damson fruits, prune - a classic 2003 aroma with the dried fruits impact. Good broad, gourmand wine, reaches out broadly, shows a fleshy texture. Wide and persistent towards the finish. It's a good, mainstream drop of wine, approachable and showing well now. Very much the heartlands of Vacqueyras here. 2008-10 July 2005