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The Wines

50% Grenache (1948 up to 1970), 25% Syrah (1970s), 25% Mourvèdre from clay-limestone, marl, garrigue soils on La Ponche, hand harvested, destemmed since late 2000s, 18-25 day steel & concrete vat vinification, submerged cap, pumping overs, 1 part vat emptying/refilling, concrete vat raised 10-12 months, filtered, called Les Hauts de la Ponche since 2009, “drink with game, red meat, chicken, cheese, chocolate”, 18-45,000 b


very dark robe; the bouquet is oily, intense, full of sweet black fruit, cherry, also licorice. It’s a confident start. The palate bears well measured black fruits with good life in the tannins, runs without hesitation. This is well balanced, well proportioned Vacqueyras, in the front rank this year. The closing juice appeals, and it has a good future. 14.5°. 40,000 b. 50% Gren, 25% Syr, 25% Mourv. €11. From spring 2021, decant it. 2036-38 Feb 2020

2016 ()

full robe, inky depth. Soaked Morello cherries, with a note of rosemary, oak and crème de menthe feature on the nose. The palate shows oak vanilla within its sleek run of black berry, cherry fruits. The length is assured, the finish round. It has a sturdy heart, and increases its depth towards the close, where there is enough juice to allow a correct ageing. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 25% Syr, 25% Mourv. From mid-late 2019. 2029-30 Feb 2018

2015 ()

comfortable, quite dark red robe. The bouquet gives an aroma of “high” fruit, a sultry aspect, grunty, with reduction involved. Stewed red fruits and scorched rubber are present. The palate is coolly fruited, bears spiced plum fruit flavours with some keen late tannins that drive the length. It holds up well, on some free juice, in the mid-palate. This is genuine country wine, not a polished do, with a natural inner force from its warm lands. The tannins have a slightly rough lining, and make the finish slightly dry. From mid-2018, with decanting a must. 14.5°. 45,000 b. 50% Gren, 25% Syr, 25% Mourv. €10. Bottled July 2016. 2022-24 June 2017


dark purple colour. Subdued dark and red fruited nose. The palate has a hint of blackcurrant in the flavour. This is for now austere in style and a little lacking in generosity, but is firm and competently made. From mid-2015. 14.5°. 2020-21 JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

dark robe. Has a sweet-toned  cherry fruit air, a touch of licorice present – the bouquet is nice and supple. The palate produces a good, winning display of herbs of province, local ID, in its squeezy black fruiting. There is licorice late on, and the finale is tasty, shows soaked fruits. This has good gourmandise, drinks well already, has character also. €9.50 is fair. 25,000 b. 2019-20  Dec 2013

2011 ()

dark red, some black tints. Reduction features in the nose, with leather and a rather vegetal air, blackberry fruit beyond that – this nose isn’t coherent. The palate offers fluid black fruit, which appeals in a moderate way. The fruit is dark, with the finish rather tarry, peppery, quite fresh. Middle range Vacqueyras that lacks a real central heart, isn’t focused. 14.5°. 2019-20. €9.50 at cellars.  May 2013


full red; briar, heathery aroma with a red plum heart, red berry – offers a genuine local feel. The palate has a quiet sturdiness, a gain in tannin, ending on an enclosed red fruit. This reflects unfussy winemaking, is not overdone. The length is good – the finale summons up tannin and licorice. Nearly ready – from spring 2011. 2017-18 July 2010

2007 ()

full red robe; ripe, red plum fruits aroma, raspberry jam. The palate is a contrast – it gives a live, forward flash of fruit, and for now is living on its acidity, ending taut. There are burnt edges late on. This needs to settle – will it? Inspect in another nine months. March 2009


black fruit aroma with a ripe, rounded core to it. Has a good strike of black berry on the attack, and the palate is well-knit and quite punchy. Length is good, with a bonny herbal aftertaste. Wholesome, thorough wine. STGT wine, with lots of character. March 2007


dark robe; full and appealing black fruits in the aroma, backed by garrigue, olive, some meatiness. Good, prominent black fruit on the palate; there are tannins here, that bounce around. It is good, vigorous wine that is beau and has character. It leans towards STGT. Has a good berry fruit-licorice aftertaste. 2013-15 March 2007

2004 ()

(cask) the nose is a little restrained, but has some potential, with peppery airs now. The palate grows as it goes - this is a keeper or delay wine with an upright, pretty classic structure. It is tangy and peppery, and a bit more mid-palate flesh would suit. There is decent gras within, which is stylish. Esp 2007 on. 2013-16 July 2005