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The Wines

70-85% old Grenache, 5-15% Syrah, 5-10% Mourvèdre, 5% various, wine bought from 45-50 sources, aged large barrels 24 months, unfined, filtered, 200-500,000 b

2015 ()

plum red robe. The nose offers Grenache plumpness in a fat, curvy opening, attractive strawberry jam central to it, hints of dried herbs, thyme, on the outside. The palate bears some of the rockiness of the 2015 vintage at Châteauneuf, the influence of thick skins, hence granular tannins with an unkempt side to them. It ends firmly, grounded, isn’t yet as one, is still skeletal, its juice on partial release. The aftertaste is peppery, fresh. This needs leaving until 2022. 14.5°. 2039-41 March 2019

2013

sober red robe. The bouquet has a sweet aroma of mulberry, large red berries, raspberry also, with a hint of floral musk. The palate shows the vintage in its early tangy, rocky moment, and runs with a dark red fruiting, notes of eucalyptus and menthol present, the aftertaste very much on the mint, tar coolness, away from any ease of matter. This shows the vintage faithfully, is a dark wine still needing time. The aftertaste has a lip smack quality. It has a good vibrancy. Decanting essential. From mid-2019. 2035-37 Nov 2017

2012

dark red. The nose is formed around crushed red berries, raspberry liqueur, a note of iodine present, a saline touch that aids its lift. The palate attacks on mature raspberry flavours, holds concentrated juice, some crunchy tannins and reaches out well into a rocky finale. It’s in transition now, the fusion of tannins and matter occurring to the detriment of its fruit expression. There is a note of gras on th close, which is encouraging. Decanting advised, also leave until 2019. I find the Guigal Châteauneuf often needs a good long time to come together, and this is an example of that. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2011 ()

plum red robe. There is a sweet-noted aroma on the nose, strawberry and cooked plum, with a little feisty tar darkness, slight fungal notes. The palate is undecided for now, rather hidden. It issues some cooked stone fruiuts flavour, but its definition is “fuzzy”. The finish brings in mocha. This has strength. It’s rather plain on today’s showing. The Grenache shows through in patches, and as its heartbeat, I hope that will assert more fully. 14.5°. 200,000 b. 2031-33 June 2017

2010 ()

dark red robe, full of life. The bouquet is closed, on the back foot; there is red berry fruit, a little red meat, a suggestion of flowers and their softness. Strawberry and spice also feature in what is a very inviting start. The palate has good grame, good body, is a really structured Châteauneuf: the red fruit has a cool theme, is tasty, agile, and delivers peppery, simmered raspberry fruit on the finish, a good tang there. This captures the vintage freshness and of course its true depth. It has hidden pockets, complexity awaiting, and still has plenty of time on its side. The tannins still assert, for example. Decanting a good idea. 2035-37  Oct 2015

2009

sound red robe. Has a sunny, curvy aroma, red berries such as strawberries that come in a light liqueur, simmered style, sweet herbs with them. The palate also offers red berry fruit with a sweet, perfumed middle and a note of smoky, rocky tannin, cool mineral and ash (cendré) touches towards the finish. This is juicy in places. The tannic-solar frame of the year still constrains it, rather well, so it isn’t loose. From mid-2016, but it drinks now with its plump content and smoky tannin, is nice and true. 2029-32  Oct 2015

2008 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2007 ()

sound red, rather full robe. Inky, blackberry air, the fruit ripe, prune – the bouquet isn’t yet fully open. The palate is tightly wrapped, with its fruit peeping out from a canopy of tannin. Has attractive late spicing. A sturdy, enclosed wine, with only a little juice emerging from its finish. It is grounded, very terrestrial, like a Gustave Courbet painting of a man working the soil. There is black raisin in the aftertaste. Not a charming wine. From 2015. 14.5°.  2029-31  May 2013

2006

nice dark, bright red. Has a free-running, open bouquet with rafts of raspberry and bonny pleasure, notes of garrigue, thyme, leather and hidden corners. Appealing variety is building up on the nose. The palate delivers spiced, grainy moments, the theme of freedom from the nose picked up well. Has good cut and clarity; the fruit is criss-crossing it well, is attractive. This has good, smoky grip, and a dentelle, toothsome finish. Starting to show well, in a vintage that has great fruit appeal. 2028-30  May 2013

2005

quite full red; peppery, smoky, red fruits aroma – strawberry, notably – and still evolving. The palate has a tight debut, but offers a good run of fruit, gras within, and it lengthens steadily. A structured wine that is firm-sided - it holds dark fruits with crisp tannins. Not quite there yet, though its length is good. Is a multi-cépage style Châteauneuf, not the fleshy school. From late 2011. A bit of game hangs around on the palate. 2026-28 July 2010

2004

quite a full red with some evolution in it. Has a blackberry, maturing fruit nose – it is a little oily, with florality and prune and cooked plum. It is just lying rather low today. The palate is peppery, with compact grip about it; a wine in transition now, between young and early maturity. The result is that it shows on its grainy texture today. Has late punch. Try from spring 2010. 14° - “that's enough,” P. Guigal. 2022-24 Dec 2008

2003

bright, bonny red robe; has a red jam aroma that grips – this is not a patsy, and has a little fungal airs below. The palate has a red fruit, biscuity tone, with the vintage nuttiness, and ends on a dry note, its tannins are a little austere. Offers plenty of juice and stone red fruit early on, fruit pastilles in nature, but then the drier tones prevail. From spring 2009. 2020-22 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ***(*) broad, touch funky bouquet – black berries with a downhome style. Pebbly, brisk start to the palate, especially for the vintage, is fresher than many wines of this year. Black fruits and leather move along together, shows good clarity and good length. 2019-21. “We used lots of old vines Grenache at low yields for this,” Philippe Guigal. Dec 2006