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The Wines

80-98% Grenache (1900s-1920s), 2-15% Syrah (mid-1960s), 5% Mourvèdre, from Montmirail, whole bunch fermentation, 3+ week vinification, twice daily pumping overs, enamel-lined concrete vat raised 18 months, unfined, unfiltered, first wine 2004, not made 2008, 2008, wide bottle, 2,000-13,000 b

2018

(vat) dark red; the nose mixes blackcurrant fruit with licorice, has a discreet sweetness. It’s a settled start. The palate links closely, via an instant offer of tasty black berry fruits with fineness in the juice, the tannins supple and easy. It’s showing well now, is worth drinking young to capture the free essence of its fruit – it’s very 2018 in that respect, is w.o.w. Vacqueyras. 16°. 2,000 b. 90% Gren, 10% Syr. €21. 2029-31 Feb 2020

2017

plum-hued robe; the nose is evolving already, on spiced, black jam fruit, hints of salt. The palate is from the traditional school, starts with thick black juice, the dense skins of the grapes playing a role; it has a dry aspect overall, lacks lift, brightness. The content sits quietly, on spiced, prune style fruit, and the finish lacks glamour. This is cussed, and needs decanting. 16°. 2,000 b. 90% Gren, 10% Syr. €21. From 2022-23. 2035-37 Feb 2020

2014

pretty bright red robe. The nose is laced with oak-charcoal, an air of red meat, mulled red fruits. The palate is mechanical, an abrasive texture, which brings dryness to the game on the finish. When I see the degree, I seriously question its balance. 15.5°. From mid-2016. 2020-21 Dec 2015 

2012 No Rating

2 vat samples tasted: quite a full dark red; the bouquet stands off, is a little seared, is over grilled. The palate is similar – over brewed, edgy, dry in tone. Excess acidity. Acidity the same problem on 2nd sample. Not possible pass judgment. 16°. Dec 2013  Previously Oct 2012 dark robe; spice, vigorous, deep air. The palate has rich length, is closely packed, has obvious tannins. Oct 2012

2011

full red robe, with a dark centre. The bouquet is oily, shows fig and cooked plum, vanilla, polished leather, a light note of eau de vie. The palate is swirling with fleshy matter, and ends on a note of liqueur, a notion of spirit. This is 15.5°. It is just OK via its mass of ripe flavour, but is a sipping, not a free drinking wine. There are gloops of flavour here. Has fair acidity, but is overall a static sort of wine. From 2016. 2023-25  Oct 2012

2010

very dark. Soaked, coated, liqueur black fruit air, with licorice, cassis and soaked black cherry fruit aromas. The palate has a silken coating – this is very much a texture wine; it builds its intensity of fruit and matter towards the finish, where there is a good surround of content and nuance. It is more complete and harmonious than the 2011. The finale tastes of black cherry. Decant this. From 2015. 14.5°. 2027-29  Oct 2012

2009

(vat) full, thorough robe; good depth in the bouquet – raspberry fruit with ample stuffing, red and black berries – the fruit is ripe. Fine black fruits lead on the palate, with life and fine tannins. Good length here – it broadens well towards the finish. Handsome potential, its balance is pretty good. 2027-29 June 2010

2008 No Rating

This ended up in the Traditionelle, was ***(*): (vat) bold purple, black tints. Rolling bouquet – it unfurls blackberry fruit with mystery, hidden pockets; it is full and secure. Good clear sides outside the palate black fruit and plum flavour that moves into prune and date, Christmas time, connotations. There is good heart to the fruit. Fine balance, ends clearly. 2023-25 June 2010

2007 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2006

(still in vat June 2010) slightly sombre hue in a plum colour; typical Grenache aroma, very much so, with an evolution towards a floral side – the red fruit is very fine. Spice and pepper debut to the palate – this reminds me of Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Courthézon area, a mix of finesse and power. Attractively scented end palate. A quality wine that is interesting and well presented. Light toasting of tannins at the end, all in order, strawberry aftertaste. Very good Grenache, also access to history given the age of the vines. 2024-26 June 2010

2005

mild red plum robe; red fruit cake aroma with cocoa and Asian spices – the bouquet is wrapped up. The red fruits have a grainy texture – the palate is wide and continues through a series of spiced and seasoned fruit corridors – prune and sweet red fruits come forward. I do not notice its 16°. There is a flavour of Christmas cake in a rich finale. From 2010 – it can be drunk quite early because it is richly seated. 2018-20 Jan 2008

2004 ()

(vat portion) raisin, raisin cake aroma that is close to being OTT (over the top). Prune and violet flavour, with a surround of rich matter, and enough content to be a whole, complete affair. Length is OK, tightens on the finish, gains a mineral tone. 16°, but this is not over evident. To be bottled Oct 2006. 2014-16 April 2006