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The Wines

70-80% Grenache (1925), 20-30% Mourvèdre (mid-1960s) from blue clay, yellow gravel, sandy soils on La Bergine/La Beaumette (S-W), pre-fermentation crop cooling, destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, concrete vat-aged 18-24 months, unfined, filtered, biodynamic, vegan, gluten free wine, 3-5,000 b

2017

(concrete vat) fair red robe. The nose hasn’t got it together, presents a red cherry stone aroma, a note of grilling, is loose for now. The palate is spiced, peppered, goes here and there, is pared back in the New Wave style, bears limited richness. The Grenache red fruit is on the brief side. There is a cool thrust at the centre of the wine, notes of herbs including basil around it. This is upright, naked style Gigondas, with a take completely opposed to that of the vintage. The finish is searching. It may gain in depth over time. 15.5°. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. From 2021. 2037-39 Oct 2018

2016

(vat) shiny full red colour. The nose shows reduction, has a sense of damp leaves, undergrowth, with cooked plum fruit, raspberry. It’s a subdued opening. The palate isn’t coalesced as yet, bears sinewed content with some latent punch in the slightly baked tannins. It shows some of the summer’s arid conditions in its make-up. There is concentration in its red-fruited juice, and it has definite inner strength, so what it most needs is time: it’s raw now, and will evolve only gradually. From 2022, decanting advised. 2036-39 Oct 2017

2015 ()

plum colour; there’s blackberry fruit on a curvy trail on the nose, cassis fruit, too, with liqueur connotations and hints of rose. It’s still a juvenile bouquet, all lies before it. It will flourish. The palate is getting into its stride, carries a spiced flavour, has good thrust from the tannins – they light up the late moments. This has a good, secure frame for the future, is a genuine Gigondas, with silken textures in it. 14.5°. From 2022. 2040-42 Feb 2019 Previously Feb 2017 ***** (vat) solid dark red robe. The nose is marked by reduction, so there is a “high” note to it; this reflects the pesky side of the Mourvèdre. There is a real filling of dark berry and blueberry aroma, a note of roast beef. The palate is broad right from the off, holds attractively spiced, peppered content with a run of mulberry-raspberry fruit from the Grenache coming through as it ends. It is blessed with extreme length. This is fresh and well-filled Gigondas, its contours nicely direct and sustained. The aftertaste is still wrapped up tightly, on darkness and mystery. Decant this. 14.5°. 3,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. €40.29 at the cellars. From 2020. 2034-37 Feb 2017

2014

(vat) shiny dark red. The nose has a quiet roundness, with red fruit jam at its heart, cooked plum also. There is a thread of sweetness in it. The palate is enjoyable; its wavy red fruit is pleasing and there are ripe tannins in cycle with it. The finish is neat. This will sing a tune - serve in a large glass and enjoy the Grenache en finesse. 13.5°. 3,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. €40.09. From spring 2017. 2026-28  Dec 2015 

2013 ()

quite a dark red robe. The nose is sturdy, shows slight reduction, a touch of sweetness in the dark berry aroma, which also has a shimmer of latent herbs. The palate expresses sweet, mulled red fruits with pliant tannins and a rounded, coulis style exit. This is well bundled together, and the length is pretty good. Will be good with roast leg of lamb. Bottled July 2014. 14°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr, instead of 80% Gren, 20% Syr this year. From 2017. 2027-28 Feb 2015

2012

(vat, bottling March 2014) dark red; roast pork, toffee, coated plum fruit and raspberry aromas, with some flint sparks, lit matches. The palate starts on a flavour of cherry liqueur, then tightens and becomes more mineral as it finishes, where there is a bracing effect, spearmint and pumice stone present. Genuine wine that needs to soften some of its fibre, is a slow gainer. I like its discreet tannins. Will show very well around 2018-21. From late 2015. 14.5°. €40 at the cellars. 2024-26  Dec 2013

2011

(vat) dark red. There is a ripe breadth across the nose, which is led by a raspberry liqueur aroma, but this sample bottle has taint, so on to the next vat sample. Bottle 2: red berry, stylish and ripe nose that is wide and authentic, has herbs present. This has a big-fronted palate with a roll of red, spiced, quite potent fruit. It lengthens on a small note of acidity, moving therefore into fresher areas. A Grenache-centric wine that risks being heady. Best to leave until 2015, and see what happens, perhaps some settling down and integration to come, which would raise its rating. 14.5°. Expensive at €40 at the cellars. 2024-26  Dec 2012

2010

(vat) shiny, rather full red; has a note of baked, toasted fruit on the nose, an air of crunchy black raisin, pepper-spice – this bouquet is a full affair. The palate hold gras, is oily and textured, with definite body and width. There is subdued chalky clarity on the second half, as if this came from the cooler zones. Clay soils perhaps (tasted blind) – it has that solid heart. Its Grenache foundation is strongly set, has a baked fruit tart flavour. It extends firmly. Grounded, masculine, wide wine with proper good Grenache. From 2014. 2031-33 Dec 2011

2009 ()

red with dark tints. The nose is modest – offers pepper, seasoned fruit, and wintery spice airs with prune behind, cooked blackberry, and I wonder if there is a bit of Brett. The palate gets off to a fleshy start, the style of fruit mature. It is all very established as it is now, so drink soon rather than wait. Gives power over freshness. There are “dark”, spice influences on the aftertaste which comes up a bit dry. A hearty Gigondas that is a touch wild. 2017-18 July 2011

2007 ()

sound red robe. Funky, hang dog, cold tea aroma – needs a kick in the pants, so decant this, although a herbal, baked air helps it out for now. Wrapped-up, earthy style red fruit on the palate: there is plenty of heart in this, has ripe, date-raisin cake notions, ends roundly. A local, grounded wine in a traditional Gigondas style. Can go with hearty foods. Must be decanted. Possible Brett lurkers towards the finish, but not a grave intrusion for me. From late 2010. 2020-22 Dec 2009 Previously Feb 2009 ***(*) (vat) sound red robe; blackberry and raspberry fruit aroma that is pure, offers a slight herbal trail. The palate has instant grip – its red fruits have a peppery, good tannic lining. Good width – this gains across the palate as it goes. Good pure fruit here. To be bottled June 2009. From mid-2010. 2016-18 March 2009

2006

full red. Has a sweet, “high” fruit aroma that is broad, offers plenty. Sweet tea and fundamental notes in it. Pretty generous start to the palate, with a steady grip from its tannins as it travels. Authentic wine. The attack is fleahy, and precedes a drier, steadier second half. This is good for the vintage, interesting wine. Leave till 2010, but will travel well. Tasty licorice and prune finish. 14.5°. 2017-19 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 **** (vat) quite a bright red plum colour; 1st sample bottle – stinky nose. 2nd bottle: compact fruit on the nose, some red cherry, raspberry jam. The palate holds three-quarter weight red fruit, very much in the Grenache vein, with some late pep. Has quite an aromatic aftertaste, laced with a nutty tone. The length is secure, and there is harmony to come here. From 2010. Stylish wine in the making. 2020-21 Jan 2008

2004

smoky, rather meaty, dense red fruit aroma – it is all compact, can move on, has a touch of the funky about it. The palate red fruit has bonny clarity, it lengthens OK and ends in a shapely way. Clear-tasting wine of decent acidity. Finishes on notes of sweet spice. 2011-13 Dec 2006