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The Wines

65-75% Grenache (1940s-1950s), 15-25% Syrah, 10-15% Mourvèdre (both mid-1970s-mid 1980s) from east-west facing slopes with limestone top, clay subsoils on Le Souiras (S-E), whole bunch fermentation of varieties apart, 12-17 day vinification, Syrah 9-11 day vinification, pumping overs, varieties assembled after malo, steel vat raised 9 months, then concrete vat 12+ months, unfined, filtered, 24-35,000 b

2018 ()

muted red robe; the bouquet has a white pepper presence, a powder-grain element, raspberry inside. It funnels out in a straight line for now. The palate gives a quiet run of spiced red fruits, with nerve, cut in the texture. It finishes with chalky dash, is breezy there. This is naked, slightly stripped back Gigondas, certainly Nordic in style. 14.5°. 24,000 b. 70% Gren. 15% Syr, 15% Mourv. €13.50 at the cellar. From 2022. 2039-41 Feb 2020  £60/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181


(vat) dark red colour; the bouquet has a suggestion of liqueur, creamy, slightly high octane fruit, raspberry aits centre. The palate bears a good heart of Grenache, spiced red fruit, raspberry, with energy in the tannins, and drive into rocky moments on the ash-like finish. The content has a rose-hip tone, and there are pockets of stimulus here. The tannins bring their own momentum, and help its length. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 15% Syr, 15% Mourv. From spring 2021. 2040-43 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(steel vat) deep, dark robe. The nose is smoky, cool, with a good depth of black fruit within, notes of black olives. The palate shows tar early on, runs with shapely richness and fluid blueberry fruit. Both the nose and the palate imply some menthol, a local splash. This has good pedigree, and quality fruit that will please thanks to its free, racy delivery. It has very good, fresh length, and really sparks on the close. 14.5°. 25,000 b. From mid-2019-2020. 2032-33 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(vat) dark red, some black tints in the robe. The nose reflects the lower areas of Gigondas via its sweet, coated nature, the sun rays present. The fruit is dense and sustained, has a prune aspect. The palate gives a grippy, tight content with smoky black and blue fruits and keen tannins bringing a spearmint, menthol edge to the finish. It has very good depth of content into the finish, and will fill the glass well. It’s very long, as well, gives lots to appreciate. It is big VALUE. From mid-2019. 2033-35 Feb 2017 GB £58 6 b i/bond The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com/enprimeur +44(0)1438 741177


(vat, bottling Sept 2016) quite a full red colour. The bouquet is round, spiced, marked by plump, ripe Grenache plum fruit. The palate is suave, holds spiced red fruit with punchy tannins clustering on the late stages. This connects pretty well to its terroir, and the vintage via the feisty, rocky tannins on the finish. Authentic Gigondas from the southern vineyards. 14.5°. 30,000 b. €12 is very fair. From 2018. 2026-27  Dec 2015  Previously Nov 2015 *** (vat) red robe. There is quiet depth of raspberry on the nose, a note of red meat – it is a young and promising bouquet. The palate bears red fruit, lacks a little gras richness, but has a decent frame, and is fresh. Quiet juice lies here, not very showy. It bundles a little tannin late on. Slow-burn wine. From 2018. 2025-27  GB £105 12/b in bond or £12.96. Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com Nov 2015


(vat) purple colour. Plummy nose with spice in the background. There are plum and prune notes on the palate, the tannins robust on the finish. A touch of alcohol is present. This is perhaps a bit heavy handed. 14.5°. From spring 2016. 2026-27 JL GB £53/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Dec 2014


the red robe is a little see-through. Has a red berry aroma in an open, beau bouquet with good life and breadth. The palate holds cosy gras richness in a rounded debut, and lengthens nicely. This is becoming round and plump and appealing. Light spice and licorice feature on the finish. It gains depth after half way. 14.5°. 2027-29 GB £125 12/b in bond or £14.96. Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com Nov 2015 Previously Dec 2013 **** (vat, bottling June 2014) shiny dark red; open raspberry fruit coulis air that is safely round and welcoming, easy to appreciate, is rather stylish in fact, has a garrigue intensity. The palate is buttoned up; it holds red cherry fruit with close, immediate tannins around the fruit. The late stages are breezy, reflecting the vintage, and the exit is rocky, mineral, typical of Gigondas. Heat comes through on the aftertaste. Great promise, will live well. From mid-2015. Sound VALUE at €11.80 at the cellars. 14.5°. 30,000 b. 75% Gren, 15% Syr, 10% Mourv this year. “We threw away 40% to achieve this,” Jean-Michel Vache. 2026-28  Dec 2013


(vat, on sale Sept 2013) quite full red. Has a red berry fruit, low key air of stalk, as if not 100% ripe. The palate has a peppery start, with cut in the fruit, a flinty second half. An upright wine, with sinew present. The elngth is OK. It needs 18 months to integrate, and may gain some weight. 14.5°. 75% Gren, 15% Syr, 10% Mourv this year. €11.20 at the cellars. 2020-22  Dec 2012

2009 ()

full robe. Broad bouquet – a lot of content, ripeness in it; it is very established, even shows a honey aspect alongside its meaty depth. The palate is full, a bit linear at the end. It is very thorough, a chunky wine in shape and form. Has real legs to live. Ends freshly – good. 2025-28 March 2011


bright, dark red robe; smoke-tar, breezy nose, spice present in raspberry liqueur fruit, cool fruits with a licorice tang. The palate presents free-running black fruit that is pliant at half way, the structure is well established. It seems to hold Mourvèdre judging by its length (tasted blind). Good vintage respect here – is very much a child that was made late in the season. Its stiffness will wear off once it has had concrete vat raising, after the steel phase. From spring 2011. 2018-20. 65% G, 25% S, 10% M this year. Dec 2009

2007 ()

bright red plum colour; reductive outer air, with stewed plum inside the bouquet – the reduction suggests a Syrah influence, while there is also some farmyard, mouldy soil in the air – decant this, thus. Grenache red fruit leads the palate – has a good, clear run of fruit if you take out its hovering reduction – maybe double decanting is best. The texture is supple, the wine full and measured. It may advance quite early, then stabilise. Late acidity, pepper adds to its chances of life. There are hang dog, not lifted late moments, is rather fine. 2020-21. 65% G, 25% S, 10% M this year. Dec 2009

2006 ()

full red, magenta and black traces. Supple but full red berry aroma, chocolate in behind, hence depth. Measured, reserved fruit that is entering a dumb moment on the palate. The elements suggest it is balanced, and this cohesion will serve it well. The clean fruit prolongs correctly, the tannins are well set, lend extra chewiness. Interesting wine in the making, can be varied. From spring 2010. 2018-19 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 **** (vat) good dark red robe; the bouquet bears a still underplayed red fruit cake heart with a topping of rose-hip and its trademark feature of a sprinkle of white pepper. The fruit flows well on the palate – here are vintage and place together in one wine. It persists well, and comes back on the perfumes and honey-floral route at the end. Has lots of flavour – without any oak – which is rare today. Real good, round content. From 2010. 2024-26 Jan 2008 “It has a depth that is more entrenched and set than the Vacqueyras,” François Vache.

2005 ()

good, even red robe, with a tiny light stretch at the top. The very first aroma is Poire William, backed by black fruit that is all very close-knit. There is scale in this, but a good integration – is a bouquet of a lot of dimension without excess from the maker. The palate is good and thorough, and has power, with no rough edges – a really good example of terroir. Baked red fruits lie at its heart, and the length is assured. Clear-toned, bounding Gigondas. From mid-2010. About 14.8°. 2024-26 Jan 2008 “We had very good quality crop in 2005 – no rot, nothing – across all our plots. It was the year Jean-Michel was in hospital with his back problem,” F.Vache Previously Nov 2006 **** full robe; the bouquet is locked up, reveals some herbs and licorice and is pretty well cut for when it opens. Has a rich, assured start to the palate: this is quite fleshy, and holds some late, ripe tannins. Has plenty of appeal – is long and rich all through. Leave until mid-2009 since it bears good acidity and freshness and can live well. 2020-23 Nov 2006

2004 ()

pretty dark red. Suave cherry, strawberry jam aroma – it is primary, the smoky fruit the only show in town, not varied. Simple red cherry fruit with a clear tingle in it leads the palate. No real scope for more interest. It performs OK as young drinking. 2009-10 Dec 2006


well-knit black berry fruit aroma, with licorice – is a bit closed and also has a fundamental side as it evolves. The palate starts with good structure – a mix of fruit and tannin. Shows some end heat, but has no rough sides – is good for its vintage. Needs a year or so to ensure integration of its tannins and more roundness all the way through. Some ehrbs on the finish, and a tarry aftertaste now. Can lengthen and broaden. Esp 2007 on. 2010-11 July 2005

1998 ()

gently maturing red robe which is still full, but shows evolution, a mottled red plum. Honey-raisin debut to the bouquet, which is warm. This reflects a big vintage, shows beef stock airs. The palate is all rather heated, is a brewed-up wine, similar to a Rasteau from the hot slope there. It ends on a more curly moment, drying towards the finish. I wonder if it was given rather a lot of extraction, and the crop was very ripe. It is rather typical of La Tour Sarrazine – this vineyard is on the southern terraces towards Vacqueyras. 14°. Needs drinking in the next few years. June 2010

1996 No Rating

corked bottle: medium red, some ruby. Taking the palate alone, the approach is soft beyond the taint, has a fleshy, open style.  April 1999


some evolution on the robe; the nose is interesting, gives airs of mint, prune, the fruit ripe. This has good fruit essence on the palate, the texture agreeable. Has a warm side, is rounded, but lacks a little core. Sensible wine, but not full of character. From 2001. 2007-09  April 1999


mottled red robe; smoky upper note, sizzled bacon in style on the bouquet, coffee and mocha here – it is rather attractive but a bit narrow. Fine-bodied wine which shows a slight fatness as it goes – good for 1991, that, all nice and orderly. It is fine towards the finish, has a Syrah influence and extra crispness from that. Less “of the earth” than the 1991 Château Redortier tasted alongside: it is fresh at the end. Its alcohol is starting to emerge as it ages. 14°. 2014-16 March 2009

1990 ()

red with a hint of violet – this does not resemble Grenache at all. Baked black fruits on the nose – date, Christmas cake, an air of firm plum. The palate is upright, even strict: it carries a dark, licorice-style spine that isn’t Grenache-like at all. It ends solidly, compact, a bit rough and rigid. I would think this has 25%-30% Syrah in it. 2020-22 March 2009

1986 ()

red plum at the heart of the robe. Honey-toffee nose with a gummy nature, caramel-treacle, fig cake. In style this bouquet stands apart from those of the other aged wines being tasted. Red fruits with a sweet note kick off the palate, before it straightens, and shows a more pebbly, but still assured content. Out of the loop vis-à-vis the other mature Gigondas wines, its youth and body are one aspect, and the other is that it feels more worked on in the cellar, less natural than the others. It is still fleshy and persistent, and these tastes of caramel and raisins occur unexpectedly. From the south end of the Dentelles, high up. 2018-21 March 2009


the robe is still there – a gentle ruby, with an undertow of red. Red berry aroma – suddenly we are into red fruits, not mocha and cigars after tasting older Gigondas than this. Wild strawberries and spice, quince jelly lie in the wide bouquet. Sympathique roundness on the palate – it bears a clear ring of fruit – its Syrah influence gives it energy, so it runs with a fine line. I would almost say it was a mature 1996 – a year of high acidity – it is younger than the label says. 2018-20 March 2009