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The Wines

60-65% Grenache (mid-1990s), 35-40% Syrah (mid-1990s) from S/S-E facing lower down clay & pink sand soils near first outcrops of Dentelles de Montmirail, hand harvested, destemmed, 4 week vinification in concrete vat & 50 hl tronconic oak vat, twice daily pumping overs, 1-2 part vat emptying/refillings, 50% concrete vat, 50% 50 hl oak vat raised 8-10 months, unfined, unfiltered, organic wine, 12-31,000 b

2016

shiny dark robe. The nose is lucid and well filled, leads on black cherry fruit and is stylish, has pockets of licorice, pine. The palate runs well from the nose, has an elegance and sure hand about it; the flavour resembles cassis, blueberries. It’s a good package, a well integrated and well balanced wine. There is good coolness in its delivery, and it’s above average 2016 Vacqueyras. 14.5°. 21,000 b. 60% Gren, 40% Syr. From spring 2019. 2030-31 Feb 2018

2015

dark red robe. The nose has a quiet depth, is understated but provocative. There is a sweet air of mulberry, plum fruit with charm and detail. The shape is rounded. The palate glides well on a smooth texture and plum fruits that pick up spice. The finish is steady, with a little puckered tannin and its powder there. This is a genuine, unhurried Vacqueyras to drink with lamb in rosemary. Its juice is fine, more so than most this year. It’s a Thinker’s wine, not so much for the Whizzo Action brigade. 14.5°. 16,000 b. 60% Gren, 40% Syr. €13.21. 2022-23 Apr 2017

2014 ()

sober dark plum colour. The bouquet has bite and more to offer: for now, it is smoked, rocky, sits back with a suggestion of black berry fruit. The palate is peppery, muscled, has active tannins that crunch down the finish. The juice has to find its way past and through them, so leave until mid-2017. This has character, is a nuggety wine, not obvious. 14.5°. 12,000 b. €12.06. 2022-23  Dec 2015

2013 ()

medium to full purple-crimson colour. The nose is light and fruity, with little complexity. There are faint notes of licorice and spice. This gives light and easy drinking on the palate. It has a tiny tannic structure, and isn’t for the long term. 14.5°. 60% Gren, 40% Syr. 12,000 b. €11.55. To 2018 JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

(vat) quite a full red; The nose reflects a wine still being raised – it has a chunky, square frame, an air of black raisin, a dry-notes ripeness, green pepper. The palate is baked in nature, holds a solar style, contains compressed fruit with a little juice showing through. The aftertaste is peppered. These are raw goods that need to refine and calm. Decant it. It is a bit wayward – the tannins are rather dry and there is also heat on the aftertaste. Balance not 100%. From mid-2015. 14.5°. 2020-21  Dec 2013

2011 ()

(vat) quite a dark red, legs down the glass. The nose is reserved but promising, offers oily date, North African fruit aromas. This is busty wine, big without excess, is nicely filling. The emphasis is on soaked red berry fruit, and it continues with steady depth of matter. There is a little helpful acidity, so it finishes pretty clearly. There is a wee spot of tar on the exit. From 2014. 14.5°. €11.55. 2022-24  60% Gren, 40% Syr, 19,000 b this year. May 2013

2008

plum red; smoky, bacon and pepper aromas – the bouquet has a leading trail of freshness, Grenache at its core. Low key, lightly spiced red fruit on the palate. After half way, it moves to a more tinder dry texture, and the fruit withdraws. Fair length. Disappointing second half. Now to 2014. €10.50 at cellar. July 2010

2007 ()

robe is three-quarter depth, a bit matt in tone. Black cherry, black berry air with a dusty infill, octopus ink, red plum, but the dust is noticeable. The palate fruit is fleeting, not resounding. Simple, late minor fruit declaration, this is at a Villages level, and lessens towards the finish. To 2013. On seeing its ID, I am disappointed. July 2010