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The Wines

50-83% Grenache (1950s), 12-40% Syrah (mid-1980s), 0-10% Mourvèdre, 0-5% Carignan, 0-2% Cinsault from pebble stone clay-limestone & compacted sand or safre soils on the Plateau de la Ponche & the Plateau des Garrigues, pre-fermentation crop cooling, destemmed, crushed, 20-30 day vinification 80% with part vat emptying/refilling, 20% with maceration carbonique, concrete vat raised on fine lees 12 months (before 2013 aged 75% vat, 25% new oak casks 12 months), unfined, filtered, called Seigneur de Fontimple until mid-2010s, 130-530,000 b

2016 ()

(concrete vat) dark red, healthy aspect. The nose gives a full, measured ripeness of black fruits, some Syrah black-fruited gleam in them, notes of black olives. The texture here plays a prominent role, with a smooth, silken feel, and good, continuing length. There is a succulent, savoury appeal, and the fruit and stylish gras last well. This has class, is indeed near the top of the class of 2016. It has stealthy, stylish length, a good assembly of gras towards the close, is an STGT, complete Vacqueyras. 14.5°. 530,000 b. 83% Gren, 12% Syr, 2% Cins, 1.5% Cari, 1.5% Mourv. From mid-2019. 2032-34 Feb 2018

2014

(vat) dark robe; the bouquet provides prominent, quite sweet black cherry fruit, has an unleashed nature, comes with some licorice. The attack centres on black fruit jelly, simply presented, with easy, instant appeal. The tannins are very soft. A primeur style, light wine. From spring 2016. 130,000 b. US$20. 2019-20  Dec 2015 

2013

bright, purple-garnet colour. Has a spicy, red fruited nose with a hint of reduction. Syrah seems to be evident. There is plenty of fruit on the palate, though it’s perhaps a touch hollow on the finish. Competent but unexciting. 13.5°. 150,000 b. US$22. To 2018 JL Dec 2014

2012

full, dark red. The bouquet shows the oily essence of the garrigue and its pine trees – that is a good feature. The nose has a concentrated dark fruit, centred on plenty of Syrah. The palate is more rocky and chunky than the nose suggests; its tannins are firm, the base of the wine chiselled. It ends with tar, also some drift of its fruit. 14°. 310,000 b. £13.99 in GB. 2018-19  Dec 2013

2011 ()

sound dark plum red colour. Blackberry, grilled pork-style centre to the nose, which has meat stock instincts, also tar and road tar instincts, is pumped up. The palate texture is sinewed, and isn’t fully ensemble. There are pockets of black fruit, but it isn’t coherent or together. Alcohol creeps out here and there. This lacks core, body mass, is in No Man’s Land. Not sure about this. Acidity dries the gums on the finish. 13.5°. From 2014. 2017-18  May 2013

2009

(vat) quite a full red; spicy aroma that reflects baked plains – good depth and vigour, good intensity, raspberry airs. Interesting mix of tight fruit and live tannin on the palate; wiry wine, but can come through. From 2012-13. To 2019  July 2010