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The Wines

70% Grenache, 30% Syrah (av age 45 years), destemmed, pre-fermentation crop cooling, 3-4 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, concrete vat-aged 6-12 months, unfined, filtered, biodynamic wine, heavy bottle, 50-80,000 b

2018

(vat) sober dark robe; the nose gives a sweet-toned blackberry fruit, with notes of baking, a husky background. The palate is on the stretch, has a taut nature, on the wire, the fruit pinched, clamped down. The finish curls up more than one would like. It’s a bit sour, and fails to present a united cause. Leave until 2023: this has work to do. 14.5°. 17,000 b. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. €16.29 at cellars. 2034-36 Feb 2020

2017

dark red; the bouquet has an air of meat stock, with a rather crumpled aroma of black fruit, prune, dessicated by the drought. There’s a light touch of florality. The palate starts sweetly, on cooked plums, is plump, up front, doesn’t have the structure for a long career. It’s in the here and now, is a little plain, but acceptable, the length OK. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. €16.29. 2031-33 Feb 2020

2016

fairly full red. Has a spicy, smoky aroma with a clear focus of cooked, nicely sweet raspberry fruit at its centre. The palate leads off carefully, carries minted content, live, sparky tannins with a rocky texture from them on the close; the length is good. There’s a good Grenache presence here, flavours of plums, with notes of mixed dried herbs. It’s moving in the right direction; drink from mid-2019. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. 2028-29 Feb 2018

2015

healthy red robe. Mixed red and black berries airs mix on the bouquet, which has a good, oily depth, comes with licorice, buffed leather also. The palate flows freely, has an even brisk presentation of spiced Grenache, and violet notes at the end. It is very naked, very joli, appealing, is a superior Vacqueyras. 13.5°. 2028-30 Feb 2018

2014

dark colour. The nose is restrained, a little sweet, gives a cooked, sweet plum fruit aroma. The palate is traditional, rather stewed in nature, could give more zip. It ends on plum jam, with spicing, the tannins being green, a big turn-off. 13.5°. €15.09. 50,000 b. From 2017. 2020-21 Dec 2015

2013 ()

purple-garnet hue. The fruit on the nose is a little stewed. There are herbal notes on the palate, and the finish is dry and edgy. This is a little tough and austere. 14°. From 2016. 2020-22 JL Dec 2014

2012

(vat) dark red;  has a grilled, nutty air, simmered black berry fruit and pork scratchings. The palate gives zappy black cherry fruit dosed with pepper and thyme, herbs. There is late crunch from its tannins, a build-up of dust from them. This works well between the nose and the palate. The juice on the palate travels a good long way. From mid-2015. 14°. 50,000 b. €15 at cellars. 2023-24  Dec 2013

2011 No Rating

***(*) before bottling, NR after: 2 bottles tasted, neither right. Bottle 1: dark plum colour; grilled, downbeat fruit on nose, bosky airs. The palate is demanding, the acidity on the outside, ends drily. Bottle 2: bit better than bottle 1, holds a little red jam fruit, but that bosky angle reappears on the nose. The palate is on the cliff edge, so there are drying moments and loose plum fruit. 14°. 50,000 b this year. €15. May 2013 Previously Oct 2012 ***(*) (vat) dark, full robe. Sweet, mulled hedge fruits air, raspberry with a tang, is ripe, has a cooked plum, prune ripeness. The palate is spiced throughout, the texture fleshy until tannins take over at the end, where there is some tobacco smoke and a tangy note. The flavour rests on chocolate, blueberry. OK for early drinking. There is a cluster of tannin at the end. Promising. From spring 2014. 13.7°. 2021-22 Oct 2012

2010

purple-tinted, bright robe. Good, streamlined fruit, life and appeal on the nose – the bouquet races across the glass, has a dusty, grainy backdrop, and a good ripple of red berry beyond, which comes in waves, and shows licorice as well. A good start, off we go. Rocking Syrah fruit on the debut of the palate; there is a mineral cut in its cherry fruit, and so clear is it that it can be drunk solo. Has a fine grain, a powdered sprinkle of tannin. This is fun to drink, and in this young state, it is w.o.w. wine. Has balance and potential, marks also for fun. The fruit side of it comes forward when drunk with a filet of Charolais. 14.5°. 2023-24 Feb 2012

2009

just 3 stars, in effect: satisfactory, full red robe. Stinky, “high” first aroma that is reductive, sweaty, shows red fruits and berries within; it does indeed show garrigue herb airs, is broad. The palate is well-textured, glove-like, with a sprinkle of grainy and dusty tannins around it. It gains a “dark” interior towards the finish, takes on grip and a grounded offer, as it matter and alcohol come into play – reflects the 2009 Plateau des Garrigues under hot sun. There are late flashes of pepper, crisp prune fruit. Has a hum of alcohol within, and the tannins at the end are just short of being dry. 15°. €13.95 at Monoprix, Paris. 2018-19 Aug 2011

2008 ()

quite a full red; ink, pepper and some concentration in the nose – the fruit is like black cherry jam, has some damp mineral airs with it. The palate is nicely sturdy, holds engaging black fruit with violet tints in it, all well seasoned. Finishes on raisin and date notes. A wine that is a touch wild, a free spirit, marks here for character. 2017-18 July 2010

2007 ()

full, slightly sombre robe; cocoa, prune, smoky aromas that are wide across the glass. The palate starts loosely, while the fruit never really tightens and shows focus. It seems ready to go, and lacks cards up its sleeve. Rather tame, a wine without horizon. Acceptable, but not more. The length is OK. 2015-16 July 2010 Previously Feb 2009 *(*) snappy, nutty nose – nougat, raisin present. The palate gives red fruit with a blurred focus, ends on a mingle of tannin, shows a dry effect there. This could be clearer. From mid-2010. 2017-18 March 2009

2005 ()

(vat) chocolate, prune bouquet, with violet trimming. Round start to palate, and holds good black fruit with a scented nature in the mid palate. Has nerve and some life in it, generally promising. 2013-15 March 2007

2004

quite full robe; elegant bouquet – mature black berries that have been simmered. Good attack of bright, peppery fruit, grows in tannic content, has a good and clear texture. Violet, prune aftertaste, and is nicely airy and poised within. Lots of life in it. 2014-16 March 2007 Previously July 2005 (vat) *** good deep robe; fresh, peppery nose with chewy fruit in it. Understated richness on the palate that is nicely wide. Some tannin at the end, can live till about 2014. Drink from 2007. July 2005

2003 ()

calm bouquet with a secure, compact aroma of red fruits. Likeable, quite crisp fruit on the palate that runs on well and persists. Has a clear texture, especially for a 2003. It is peppery towards the finish. Its definition is good for the vintage. 2012-13 July 2005