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The Wines

30-50% Syrah (mid-1970s-mid 1980s), 0-50% each Grenache (1950s), 0-30% Mourvèdre (mid-1970s-mid 1980s) from Le Sourias on blue clay, whole bunch fermentation, 12-17 day oak cask steel vat vinification, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 18 years in 228-litre oak casks (30% new, 70% 1-2 years), the Syrah lees stirred in new oak (raising cut down to 20-24 months from 36 months from early 2010s), unfined, filtered, first wine 2005, 4,500-8,000 b

2018

(casks) dark red; the nose is wide, certain, has a beef stock, brewed-grilled nature, a firm prune aroma, white pepper cut present. It’s only just emerging. The palate is also close-knit, butty, carries ground force. The black fruited juice is concentrated, the finish compact. It is manly Gigondas, allow three years or more. There are smoky, rocky notes, and the persistence is very solid. Decanting essential. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. €18 at cellars. From 2023-24. 2044-46 Feb 2020

2017 ()

(casks) thorough, bold robe; the nose has an air of jelly fruit, blackberry, a hint of prune, smoke, licorice. It’s an open start. The palate is raw, holds immediate fruits, is a go-go-racy affair that invites drinking quite young, can give some whizz bang drinking. The finish is fresh, salted, the black fruit, prune flavour still there in pockets. There is still a real raw side to it, so leave until 2021-22. The upbeat fruit will set it up and be central to it. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2014 ()

(casks, bottling Sept 2016) shiny, handsome full red robe. The nose centres on brewed black fruits, prune, has a note of black olives, some southern ripeness. The palate runs with brisk, oaked black fruit, has late charge, and drive from its still raw tannins. The finish needs a couple of years. Vigorous Gigondas, plenty of future ahead. 14.5°. From 2019 to reduce the cellar influence. 8,000 b. €16.80. 2026-28  Dec 2015

2013

(casks, bottling June 2015) bright purple hue. Red fruit and vanilla oak show on the nose. The palate is sweet, the oak again present. It is tight and drying on the finish. Modern and polished Gigondas, but the oak is just too imposing at present. So, leave until spring 2017. 14.5°. 2026-27  JL Dec 2014

2012

(casks, bottling June 2014) handsome, shiny dark red; the bouquet is suave, presents lissom  black cherry fruit with small dustiness; there is a nice “glisten” in the fruit. The palate has a dusty lining – that carries through the palate; it attacks on supple black fruit with a liqueur strength, an inner degree of power. It is rather mechanical, workmanlike. Charm may come if it is left until 2018, for instance. Very stiff finish, oak planks for now. From mid-2016. 14.5°. 6,000 b, €16.80 at cellars. 2028-31 Dec 2013

2011 ()

(casks) dark robe. Smoky air, blackberry inside an oak-foremost nose which is quite deep, has streaks of licorice across it. A note of damp black soil is right at its heart. This is sleek, modern wine, its fruit clean and the oak polished but strong for now. It ends on a sweeter, quite tasty note. It is very young, and its knitting together will take around 4 years. It can become stylish, is a precise Gigondas with Burgundian influences in the approach. The one drawback is a slight foot down on the pedal aspect in its extraction. 14.5°. 50% Gren, 50% Syr this year. €16.20 at the cellars. 2027-29 Dec 2012

2009 ()

(casks) dark, sleek black-red robe. The front nose is oaked, but there is plenty of ripe, rich fruit in behind, tar – this is a southern bounty child on the nose. The palate fruit is rather gushing, but its juice will be tempered correctly by its oaking, and will emerge well. The fruit is polished in this modern style wine. Take your time with it. From 2014. It will be in especially good shape around 2018-23. 2029-31  Oct 2010

2006 ()

3 bottles tasted. 1st bottle: volatile nose, flat, sickly. Bottle 2: sweaty, changing room air, dry and curly palate. Phew, here we go – bottle 3: solid black-red robe. Soaked black fruit, longish hang time for the grapes, squeezy prune and smoky bacon airs. Has an oak-infused attack, with a core of steady richness. Lengthens securely, ends on chocolate, with oak not overimposing. Just opened. Good free fruit in this, has life. From summer 2010, may well tighten up. Some end heat. 13.5°. 2021-23 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** (casks) full red robe; there is a toasted, firm air to the quite wide bouquet, with red stone fruit within. There is a live red fruit attack, with oak infusion, and it gains a cocoa, raisin nature after that, as if there is some charcoal in the kirsch. A restrained wine that ends on a fair richness. Has a red fruit-raisin aftertaste. 14°. From 2011. 2023-25 Jan 2008

2005 ()

decent, largely bright red; the oak is settling into the smoky nose now, with cherry fruit and herbs: the bouquet is refined, and gradually reveals that finesse. The palate fruit starts surely, and gains a nice flow as it moves along – steady and consecutive. The oak peeks out at the end, and is most evident there. There is good red fruit richness before the close, where it is again elegant and secure in its depth. Has a walnut aftertaste. From 2010. 2029-32 Jan 2008. “I find eucalyptus on the nose,” Jean-Michel Vache. Bottled Aug 2007. Jan 2008