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The Wines

50-70% Grenache, 15-30% Syrah, 15-20% Mourvèdre (late 1960s) from Petit Montmirail, destemmed since 2002/03 but crop not crushed, 3-4 week steel vat vinification, cultured yeasts, part vat emptying/refillings, daily pumping overs, sometimes turbo cap punching with micro oxygen, concrete vat raised 11-13 (down from up to 24 months until early 2010s) months, unfined, filtered, first bottled 1964, 20-30,000 b

2017

fair, quite full red robe. The nose is on reduction, hence a “high” aspect in the stewed red fruits. There’s a glisten in the fruit, an invitation. The palate gives free going red fruits which are slightly limited in expression after the attack today, with tannins that are gummy in behind. It’s a regular, simple fruit-bearing Gigondas rather than one with a big structure, and it isn’t fused, the finish on glow. From spring 2019. 2028-30 Oct 2018

2016

(concrete vat) full red robe, slight matt in the hue. The nose is well southern, ripe, shows prune, chocolate, black raisin airs, comes with sweetness. The palate starts on a sweet, rather thick roll of wrapped up red berry jam, raspberry flavour, the tannins dense. It has steady, substantial length, is at heart a sturdy wine backed by the vintage ripeness, near succulence. Its power lies within, shimmers just below the surface. 14°. From 2021. 2034-36 Oct 2017

2015

(concrete vat) plum red colour; the nose is immediately imposing, with a deep-seated cooked plum aroma with some power and warm lands thrust. It’s a thorough start, a southern lands wine in style. The palate runs with liberal raspberry fruit followed by crisp tannins and a hand out of tarred content as it finishes. The red fruit is very bright, has a real dance and strength. Genuine Gigondas that wears its local heart on its sleeve. 14°. 20,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. €12.50 at the cellars. From late 2018. 2032-35 Feb 2017

2014

rather fragile red robe. Peppy, peppery red fruited bouquet, a little on the stretch, fails to convince. Close to re-fermentation. The palate is lightweight, the strawberry fruit coming with a brittle quality, and random spots of sweetness. It flirts with spritz. Lacks true Gigondas weight, also cohesion, is close to a wonky Vin Nature. It glows on the aftertaste. 14°. 20,000 b. Reduced Gren this year – only 50%, from 65-70%. Rest is 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. Raising down from 24 to 11 months. €12.50. 2019-20  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

dark red. The bouquet gives sweet notes of blackberry and raspberry, all in the first flush of youth. It has some style, comes with a latent note of red meat. The palate runs with pretty clear black berry and blackcurrant fruit, develops a knot of tannin, which enters on stage at the right moment, on the close. Quiet potential here. 14.5°. 20,000 b. €12.50. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. From mid-2017. 2027-28  Dec 2015 Previously Dec 2014 **** (vat) medium to full purple colour. Syrah weighs in on the nose with its spice and violet fragrance. The palate is soft, sweet and supple, the pepper and spice of the Syrah again marked. Atypical Gigondas, but one that is finely framed, the tannins refined but present on the finish. 14.5°. From 2016. 2026-27 JL Dec 2014

2012

(vat, bottling late 2014) sound, full red; I like the depth in the nose, which is broad as well – it gives a ripe fruit, southern fullness, all in a stylish register, hums its tune. The palate presents supple black cherry fruit with a winning flow, the tannins shapely: this is a good, round ensemble. Fine acidity keeps it fresh and true. Very engaging, a beauty here, good balance. It is very attractive, lucid and fresh. It may gain a little extra depth on the second half. Is right in the top tier. From 2016. 14.5°. 30,000 b. 2026-28  Dec 2013

2011

(vat, bottling late 2013) shiny, decent red robe. Brooding, reductive, earthy aroma that has a heart of bright strawberry and red cherry. The palate holds more crisp, clinical red cherry fruit than expected from the nose. The finish is snappy, has an up and down clarity, goes whack! The palate acidity is prominent for now, but it can certainly ease and meld together. From late 2014. Around 14.5°. 30,000 b this year. 2022-23  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(vat) dark robe, plum notes. Has a sweetly curved nose, some reduction in it. There is abundant black fruit inside – it is young, without any extras for now. The palate will be approachable and willing as it evolves. It ends on rather tight, tar licorice for now. It is not a king-sized Gigondas, but has the depth to age well and to be remembered. The finale reflects chocolate, black raisin, dates. Its gras richness is thoroughly built into it. It plays a quiet game, but is full and long. From 2014. 15°. 2030-32 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(vat) quite a full, plum colour; sappy red berry aroma, comes with an unfinished, rather raw air with green tinges. Stretchy red fruit on the palate – it does not sit easily in the wine. Has medium+ length, needs three years, since it is very brut de cuve, still a vat wine, so not that easy to judge. The aftertaste is demanding, but there is scented red fruit there. A fine style Gigondas. 2024-26 July 2011

2008

mid-depth red, not that bright. The nose is still backward, reflects dark fruits such as prune, along with bosky, leather airs implanted. The fruit is baked in style, and also shows a ripe, sugary mature strawberry. This has a little more depth than other early bottled Gigondas 2008s: there are touches of clear jam in this, so the taste is friendly, if rather light. Ends on toffee, more gummy textures. Shortened raising this year. From mid-2010. 14°. To 2014. Dec 2009

2007

dense robe; slow evolution, full nose with a farmyard air, suggesting reduction on its Syrah, cooked plum fruit and rose-hip beyond that. Sturdy, unrefined wine – it is low on immediate freshness, lives on texture and density, ends on full, tarry, slightly scorched notes. Traditional style. 2021-22 July 2011 Previously Dec 2009 NR 2 bottles tasted: 1st bottle: rather dark red. Sweaty, volatile acidity aroma. Bottle 2: Pez sweets, perfumato aroma, off. The palate is oppressive, floral notes, but the fruit is thin, and volatile shows again. Empty finale. 14°. Dec 2009

2006

soaked, bountiful, varied nose with a tiny amount of evolution – violet, black fruit, varied, mixes richness and dampness, comes with mystery. The palate has a liberal run of fruit, with leathery, complex stirrings, floral tones: a most interesting wine that lengthens and persists well. The tannins are fine-tuned. It is at a good stage now with vigour, plus the entry of secondary influences to jig it up. 14.5°. 2018-19 July 2010 Previously June 2008 **** black plum robe; nicely mulled, oily aroma of fleshy roundness. There is good life in the palate fruit – it expresses Grenache well, and comes with some snap, and pepper within. Nice and stylish wine. It runs on with some marked, largely ripe and pure tannins. The length is sound. There is a garrigue, herb-baked stones aftertaste and it is good and fresh towards the finish. Promising, STGT wine of local feel. From spring 2010. 2017-19 June 2008 Previously April 2008 **(*) red plum, quite full colour; the bouquet gives out a red jam fruit aroma, with some notably savoury, also herbal airs – is appealing. The palate starts with a chunky shape, a bit potent. This has a solid core, and continues in that vein. The red fruit is good and juicy, but there are some dry-toned tannins late on. I suspect that this needs some patience for it to fuse, and to move up a notch or two. 2015-17 April 2008

2005 ()

full, dark plum robe. Earthy-raspberry aroma, the fruit somewhat mulled, carries a little sweet appeal – is wholesome and reflects the garrigue. The palate has red fruits to the fore, squashed berries that have a good, cohesive feel; there is nice body here. The fruit persists quietly, the end is largely rounded with just a bit of burn, maybe from large barrel raising (tasted blind), that tightens it. The final taste is spiced plum, with some cocoa. Correct, authentic wine with good potential. From late 2009. 2018-20 June 2008

2004 No Rating

matt, mid-depth robe. Advancing, cooked fruits jam aroma, touch funky. Mildly weighted palate with tangy, rather burnt notes within. I wonder about its raising or crop ripeness (tasted blind). It seems prematurely on the advance, and lacks freshness. Dry tones on the finish. Dec 2006

2003

mid-depth red, some maturity. Markedly red fruit that is still hanging on to its first airs, although its couch is fungal, grounded, gives some pepper. The palate is pretty solid – red fruit that is tightly bound. It's a muscled wine at a stage of compact and entered tannins, so its balance is OK. Good with dishes such as partridge or pheasant. Its sweetness is not overdone, is nicely inherent. This drinks well and juicily now, is a beau vin. 2014-16 Nov 2008

2002

ruby red. Sweet, aromatic tea aroma, overripe fruit, berries on the turn. The palate is gently round – shows sweet Asian spice flavours, cardoman, cinnamon. Drinks with agreeable ease, pepped up with a sprinkle of pepper. The length is especially good for the vintage. More rounded than many 2002s now. It escapes towards the finish, where there is a little raisin and jam. 2010-11 Nov 2008

2001 ()

plum red colour. Taking on a game, notably downhome aroma, with a still rich, sweet middle resembling black cherry jam, a little menthol, a fungal aspect. The palate sets off agreeably – has a serene fruit and texture, then tightens and becomes more grainy and austere. At an interesting moment. It tightens and narrows towards the finish, ending in a herbal aftertaste, a shade of roundness there. 2011-12 Nov 2008

2000

full ruby red. Smoky, quietly full bouquet – there is a lot here. Under today's low pressure, its full display is hidden, resulting in gently mulled red fruits. The palate has a good, suave and smooth texture – it runs well, seamlessly and consecutively. It's at a pretty moment, with red fruit still alert enough to be noticed. Nice, satisfying breadth. Beau vin. 2012-13 Nov 2008

1999

red with some still dark notes. Musty, pebbly air to the nose, which is slightly on the curl or turn. It offers grainy red fruit, but there is some sweetness within. As it breathes, it loses the note of turn and becomes brewed, chocolate and raisin in the mix. The palate holds some established richness, runs along a prune, mature black berry line now – there are “dark” places in this. It has sinew, also a little muscle at the end, its southern roots there. The end is firm, assured. The nose clarifies and the red fruit advances as it airs, is harmonious with cheese and is still going along steadily. 14°. 2011-12 Nov 2008

1998 ()

ruby with a bit of red in it. Oily, pebbly, smoky aroma, with some black fruit, smoky raisin airs, a certain hauteur. The palate red fruit is dosed with a high tone influence, and is assertive: a wine of muscle, the fruit receding and the southern guts sustaining it now. Becomes rounder as it breathes. OK still. 2011-13 Nov 2008