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The Wines

80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault from clay-limestone, stony soils, hand harvested, crop crushed, whole bunch fermentation at 28°C, 2-3 week vinification, daily pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, concrete vat raised 12-18 months, unfined, filtered, 110-175,000 b

2018 ()

low-key red robe, matt hue. The nose is sweet, confected, on strawberry jam, a note of violets. The palate is also sweet, bears mature red fruited content, lacks freshness, is a droopy do, with a sweet presence, gummy tannins in tow. It’s slightly hard work. I want more zip, por favor. Decant it. 14.78°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% Cins. €12. From mid-2021. 2032-34 Feb 2020

2017 ()

full, dark red. The nose accentuates soaked black fruits, griottes of Morello cherry, with a light note of mineral, musky dried flowers attached. The palate is bears the fleshy, rolling content of the vintage on the attack, with resolute tannins that have a firm edge to them. It’s close-knit, with the smoky tannins asserting late on. It could be a mite fresher. 15.11°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% Cinsault. €12. Drink from mid-2021, decanting it. 2034-36 Feb 2020

2016

(vat) matt hued red robe. Stewed red stone fruits, plums feature on the nose. It’s lacks real definition and is downbeat, as is the palate, which should be fresher. There’s a cooked plum flavour, a sniff of strawberry jam with it. This is plain, rather dull. Not yet in bottle, so there is hope. 15.8°. 13,200 b. To 2021 Feb 2018

2014

red robe. The bouquet leads on a lamb stock, cooked plum, sweet herbes de Provence aroma, a light peppery backdrop and a note of baking. The palate gives a welter of Christmas spices mixed in with prune flavours. The tannins are forceful, and leave a finish where the content backs off. Butty, traditional style here. 14°. €11. From spring 2017. 2021-22  Dec 2015 

2013

(vat) pale garnet hue. The nose is sweet and herbal. This is forward on the palate, with leather and prune notes. There are drying tannins on the finish. It is simple and a little rustic in style. Drink from end 2015. 2020-22 JL Dec 2014

2012

full, dark robe; the nose has an inky, octopus pulp style aroma, blueberry fruit that comes with quite ample amounts of mint, and spice and black pepper also. The start is spritzy, the fruit prompted by carbonic gas that leaves a front of the mouth acidity. Cassis and blueberry fruit lie at its heart, liqueur in style. It is OK, but is rather too straightforward, is a decent, flattering wine that reflects its earlier bottling - the later editions will be superior. €10.50. 14°. From mid-2014. 2019-21  Dec 2013  Previously Oct 2012 ***(*) (Grenache part, sugars not yet fully fermented) dark colour. The nose isn’t yet clear enough. Wide, fluid palate, good fruit. (a 2nd Grenache) quite dark, some flowers and blackberry on the nose; the palate is speckled with pepper, the fruit is medium-weight and the exit grainy. (a 3rd Grenache) aromatic, layered blackberry aroma. The palate fruit is tight, the length good, tannin circles it firmly. A spiced wine of structure. 2027-29 and could be 4 stars. Oct 2012

2011 ()

sober dark red. Generous, broad nose, lots of spice, laurel, plum fruit – it is lively and full, shows white pepper, black coffee airs. The palate has the immediate fat and richness of the 2011 vintage, is seasoned with a determined line of dark tannin, leaving that behind as a tar implant at the end. Good spicing here. The palate has weight; this is authentic Vacqueyras. Suited to grills, lamb in rosemary etc. From spring 2014, but can be drunk now. 14.5°. 2023-24  May 2013  Previously Oct 2012 *** dark red robe. Spiced, tobacco aroma with light, easy blackberry fruit behind. Has a spiced, peppery start, a juicy mid-palate, before a tighter, smoky woods feature. Authentic wine with no pretension. It drinks OK now, with some drive at the end, even if the finish is a little dry – it needs to sort out that. From mid-2013. 14.5°. Bottled 18 May 2012, a first bottling due to lack of stock in the bottle after small harvests. Would have gained from longer outside the bottle. 2019-20  Oct 2012

2010 ()

dark, thorough robe. The nose is promising, its content rich, with dark prune airs at its heart. There is a depth from a note of dark chocolate, and a hint of flowers. It has some potential. The palate texture is oily, thick, its tannins a bit scorched towards the finish – it needs 2+ years. It mixes abundant, fleshy matter and strict tannins – this is proper full wine. It ends on tar, a slight burn – it is still very much under the influence of its bottling. From 2015. 14.5°. 2025-27  Oct 2012

2009

full robe, dark heart. Wide blackberry, licorice air, is profound, slightly baked in the vintage style, has good garrigue features. The palate fruit is smoothly textured, its content rich until tannins come in – they are absorbing gradually. The aftertaste is coated all around the palate. Acidity, some carbonic gas and animal crop up on the finish. This is going well, is a terroir, STGT wine suited to Rugbymen drinkers. “It was a bit hard, but is starting to arrange itself,” Maxime Bernard. 14.5°. 2022-23  Oct 2012  Previously June 2010 **** a few different vats: Vat 27 **** big, thick robe; big, sweet berry aroma, light grilling. Gourmand, full palate, rounded shape, tannins well set inside, lot of promise. 15 years, from 2012. “The tannins are already softening – they were prominent at first,” Maxime Bernard. Vat 21 ***(*) big, wide robe; blackcurrant aroma, baked pebbles. Prominent line of fruit, comes out running, has sleek sides of tannin, ruins directly. 16 years. Vat 19 **** very full robe; very Grenache aroma, right out there, some lees. Black berry, mulberry fruit, round and deep content. Real good motor and heart on this. 12-14 years. OVERALL **** promising, will be abundant, textured, no doubt tightening up after 3-5 years. To 2024-26 June 2010

2008

darkish red with a bronzing of 2008 in its hue. Softly baked, prune and raisin aroma, black jam – the effect is pretty. Spicy, live black fruit on the palate; after half way, it picks up some dusty tannins. Aromatic in both nose and palate. Fine-tuned late fruit. Not far off ready, was bottled Feb 2010. Very correct, nice drinking, a good CHR resto wine. “It is a very spiced vintage, but there is also a lot of roundness,” Virginie B. 14.5°. 2017-18 June 2010 173,000 b this year

2007 ()

still a dark robe. An air of black raisin is foremost – the nose has snap and a note of bread baked in Beaujolais, a prune and baked bread style. The palate is in good shape, drinks really nicely – this is smooth, agreeably mature, has a willing texture. Herb and toasted, cocoa notes feature on the finish. Harmonious, travelling well, sustains to the finish. It has juice and a malleable texture, signs off on date and light rum aspects. Genuine wine that has moved more into shape since last tasting. 14.5°. 2021-23  Oct 2012  Previously March 2009 ** full, quite oily dark red robe; the top note on the nose is a bit scorched – raisin, chocolate, pepper. The palate is also overtly full, with muscled, firm black fruit flavours, date and raisin. This goes for it – is a no compromise wine on a big scale. Its tannins need leaving for 2 years. 14.5° on the label, ahem. 2017-19 March 2009

2006

still dark robe. The bouquet has evolved and started to vary well – it mixes up tapenade, crushed black olives, damp soil, kirsch – you can linger with this, it is truffly, of the soil. It lifts off with air, shows menthol and exotic spices then. This is an oily essence wine – it is rich, thick, fundamental, going well. The tannins are fine grain, and sit nicely above some genuine substance. Once more a truffly note and a swirl of power appear at the end. A Big Boy that develops a maximum quota of Asian spice as it breathes. “There is a lot of spice – it wasn’t an especially big year,” Maxime Bernard. 14.5°. 2021-22 Dec 2013 Previously Jan 2008 **(*) (vat) fair red colour; some black berry in the aroma that has a gentle tone. Black fruit with some grip on the palate; the width is fair and it is reasonably generous. Quite a fresh end, provoked by some evident tannins. 2014-16 Jan 2008

2005

mainly red in colour, with some light on the top rim. The cautious bouquet is wide in nature, with red fruit tart and some leather, more dry airs. The palate moves along gradually, with a peppery, bit tannic spine. Still quite upright – drink from 2010, although it is drinking OK now with sweet-toned foods. The tannins need 2 years, and it has a pepper aftertaste. From late 2009. 2018-20 Jan 2008

2004

plum robe. Mulled red stone fruits aroma with some mint and floral lacing. Nice early juice on the palate, lengthens and gains a tannic content late, with fine boned tannins present. Mint, herb, olive aftertaste. About ready now. Harmonious – good for varied foods. Quite an STGT feel. Can tick along well towards 2012-13. March 2007 Previously April 2006 **(*) nicely brewed aroma – coffee bean, black stone fruits with plenty of variety to come. The palate starts with a good, peppery, direct thrust, and the fresh thread runs all through it. Sound length here, the texture is nicely peppered. Herbal-licorice aftertaste. A wine of character, STGT. Esp 2007 on. 2012-13 April 2006

2003 ()

full robe. Reserved bouquet with a herb and spice implication and some tea in the aroma. Discreetly round shape to the palate that is broad and well-knit – no tannins stick out and the flavour provides scented black jam. Has good integrity and cut, too. A classic style of wine, with appealing freshness. 2012-14 July 2005

2002 ()

overt, spiced nose that while quite expressive, is a little narrow. The palate has prune and pepper along its sides, with a bit of richness within. Does best on the attack. Some local appeal, drinks well now. Lost 33% of the crop this year. Respectable for the vintage. Drink with veal, lamb, or even a fish such as monkfish in a red wine sauce. 2007-09 July 2005

2001 ()

white pepper, rather dusty bouquet, needs to wake up - and does after 20 mins and decantation. Cool, restrained, low key red fruits that last well. Interesting palate, fleshy and no concession to modern techniques, is authentic local wine. Tannins still fairly demanding on finish. Dry-toned but elegant, no sweet crowd appeal in here. Persistent and well structured, good bone. Very good length, pretty wine. Eat with oxtail, partridge, rib of beef. STGT 2015-18 October 2005, Copenhagen Previously July 2005 ***(*) still young nose – plenty of potential, and though it is closed, comes in the elegant house style. Well-rolled black stone fruit on the palate, plus some olive. Needs to be left until 2007 so it can loosen. Since it is well-balanced, expect a consistent evolution. Good local feel. Is less peppered than the wines from the heart of the Plateau des Garrigues – are nearer the river here. 2018-20 July 2005

1997 ()

the top robe is tiled now, but thick under that. The first air is animal, shows fig and cocoa, prune all mixed together; has a treacle syrup, tea and grilled aspects. The palate shows the vintage softness, a bit of soaking and pliant fruit here. The finale gathers date, spice, is round before a final late grain touch. It is very well aged, is a box of spice and cedar, has done well. The length is sound, ending on a floral, baked bread note. I like its texture. Suited to autumn/winter drinking – game, daube of beef, hearty stews and casseroles. 13.5°. To 2019.  Oct 2012

1995 ()

fungal-game mix on the nose that is moving towards the funky, with a licorice air for some grip. The palate sets off roundly, then tones down and straightens. Its tannins are OK, the style is upright, like many of this domaine`s wines. Good now, when still possessing its roundess of texture. 2009-10 March 2005