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The Wines

50-55% Grenache, 20-25% Mourvèdre, 20-25% Syrah (av age of vines 45 years), from clay, stony, limestone soils at 300-350 metres, cold pre-fermentation, crushed, destemmed, wild yeasts, varieties fermented separately, 2-3 week vinification, twice daily cap punching, aged aged 30-70% new-1 year 228-litre oak casks, 30-70% vat 9 months (before early 2000s was some new oak, 18 months), unfined, unfiltered, 12-20,000 b

2016

full, deep red colour. Reduction shows on the nose, but beyond it there is jolly, plump aroma of sweet plums, raspberry liqueur, a curvy appeal. The palate travels on well rounded, suave gras led by its Grenache, picks up some chiselled, rocky tannins as it finishes. It needs until 2020 to start to knit together, has potential. The length is assured. 14°. 12,000 b. 2033-35 Oct 2017

2015 ()

dense, dark robe. The nose is full of brooding black berry fruit, closely packed in and ripe. There is a damp note to it. The palate gives lissom black fruit with oak-vanilla touches. It ends fully and broadly, in a fluid manner. It lacks a little character as it stands, but can be more interesting from 2019-20. The aftertaste brings in some rocky cut, a good spark there. 14°. 12,000 b. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. 70% vat, 30% cask raising, half new. Bottled 8 Dec 2016, very early. €25.60. 2029-31 March 2017

2014 ()

dark red. Blackberry jam first aroma, has a compact centre, can unfurl. The palate bears tasty blackberry fruit, with a strike of clarity. This has an upright vintage 2014 shape, offers enjoyable moments, ends roundly, a neat trail of black fruit there. 13.5°. 12,000 b. €25.50. 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv. 30% vat, 70% oak raising. From mid-2016. 2023-24  Dec 2015  Previously Apr 2015 **** (tank) bright, dark robe. There is an appealing swirl of rose flowers and black berries, a fine blackberry jam, on the nose. This has a nicely lush palate, swoops along on rolling black fruit, with classy tannins that provide momentum. The balance is good. There is lots to enjoy here, and depth also. It will retain its freshness as it ages. 50% Gren, 25% Syr, 25% Mourv, 70% tank, 30% cask raising, 105 hl this year. “Lower than usual degree and fair, not high, acidity has led to balance in the wine; the polyphenol index (tannins) is also down from 70 to 60, a good indicator – that was the result of quite high crop levels and the September rain,” Laurent Brusset. €25.50 at the cellars. 2028-30  Apr 2015

2013

deep, dark purple-black colour. The nose is inky and subdued. The palate is firm and minerally. This is powerful and solid in style. Its tannins are firm and long. It is perhaps a little austere, but has the substance to age. 14°. 20,000 b. Bottled Sept 2014. 50% Gren, 30% Mour, 20% Syr. 70% cask, 30% vat raising. €25. From 2017. 2027-28  JL Dec 2014

2012 ()

dark robe. There is a hint of reduction in a thick bouquet, with brambly fruit, mulberry on display, proper depth. The palate has some crystalline moments in its dark fruit, which indicates a prosperous future. It develops a tasty stretch before the finish. This is classy, has potential; a good trio of grape varieties have been brought under one roof. It has depth and dash, and ends with freedom. 70% vat, 15% new, 15% 1-year 228-litre oak cask raising. From 2017. 2029-30  Apr 2015 Previously Dec 2013 ***(*) (vat/casks, bottling Jan 2014) very dark robe; prune, soaked black fruits aroma that shows southern weight and abundance, with the youth of the lees for now. The attack leads on black pepper and a comfortable gras richness, wavy black fruiting, cherry fruit. Unformed, but the elements have potential, the fruit has style. From 2016. 14°. 15,000 b. 70% vat, 30% cask raising, 50% Gren, 30% Syr, 20% Mourv, €24.50 ex cellars. 2026-28  Dec 2013

2011 ()

quite dark red. Beef stock cocoa first air with black berry fruit behind, coconut – this bouquet isn’t obvious. The palate is stringy, marked by tenuous black fruit, while the finish lacks core, gras, the exit running on tar, grain. Lacks a centre of focus, shows acidity, and I am not satisfied by its matter, which I feel needs to be riper – the Mourvèdre, for instance. In a raw state, and already bottled, so only option is to wait, then wait some more. From 2015. 14°. 2020-21  Dec 2012

2010 ()

dark, deep robe. Notably rounded blackberry fruit aroma, smoke and bacon present, tea and mint notes. Tarry, foot down on the pedal debut to the palate. Has juice and gras in moments towards the finish. Very packed in, with stiffness from its oak. It could have been bottled 6 months later, after another winter, would have helped its balance and karma, would have been less rushed. A grounded finish brings in blackberry fruit, leather, tar, tobacco. The fruit pushes through its nutty context at the end. From spring 2014. Can decant this. 50% G, 30% M, 20% S this year. 2027-29 Dec 2011

2009

the robe is oily, nicely dark; black cherry liqueur with mild floral scenting, and a nutty, post raising influence, in a very young state. Attractive attack – real good fleshy and juiced debut, an abundant wine, taken right from the centre of the ripe grapes. The fruit continues in that vein, reaches out, is cleanly made, a high quality Gigondas. It will be a bit more local in 2014. It ends a little on its oak. Good balance – the tannins are ripe and wholesome, all fitted together well. 2026-28 July 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ***** (casks) dark, glistening robe; nutty air that reflects young wine raising, comes with an aroma of raisin, biscuity black fruit, has clean airs about it. The palate also reflects the immediate effect of cask and vat raising, carbonic gas present, but the fruit is pure and running. It ends on rather classy tannins that are ripe and wholesome. Pretty good length. Light tar on the aftertaste. From mid-2013. 2025-28 Oct 2010

2008 ()

dark red, black tints. Chocolatey, oaked air – the bouquet is chunky, offers prune, coffee, has good lift. Oak is forward, crushed blackberry behind on the palate: this has enough energy to lengthen well. It is scaled-up. But the fruit is clear and it is vibrant. Needs leaving until 2012 – not interesting before then. 2019-20 Dec 2009

2007 ()

dark robe of violet and purple – it is darker than most. Wide and willing nose – there are violet traces on top of a beef stock, black cherry combination. Smoothly textured black fruit leads the palate, comes with smoky, fine tannins and low-key oaking in behind. The fruit is cool, runs to the line. Young, a bit pristine, but is effective. Finishes clearly. More interesting from late 2011. 2019-21 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **** dark, almost black robe. Has a soaked, ripe blackberry fruit aroma – the grapes left on the vines a long time; there are layers in it, has a rich heart, also suggests violet, recently polished or buffed leather and licorice. It is a fleshy, bountiful wine on the palate – this will please the sweet tooth brigade: there is abundant Grenache matter in it, with some herbal, baked stones effects in the later stages. Is rich all though. Its elevage or raising will decide its nature in the final run, esp in its middle age. From 2010. 2020-22 Nov 2008

2006

pretty full, dark robe; the bouquet is a varied affair – it offers oak in the front rank, coming with honey and raisin, while there is a core of quite crisp but generous black fruits such as griottes, or soaked black cherries. The palate carries potential – it starts on black berry fruit, which is then whisked away by the oak taking over. It is very primary, and its tannins rattle around the finish. A big wine – something of a thumper but there is balance in the making. From 2011. 2022-23 Jan 2008

2005

dark, black cherry colour; has a rather ample, plum pudding, sweet black raisin aroma – there is a sweet heart to this. Is a muscular, bit extracted wine. It is full-on – it comes out punching, with a tangle of black fruit, and leather that veers towards resin, with oak and sweet spice. The finish is withdrawn – it is a close-down moment. A big boy from its cellar fashioning. From late 2010. 2020-22 June 2008

2004 ()

dark robe; has an intense nose – shows blackberry, chocolate, oak – it is square-jawed at this stage, a Desperate Dan style (cartoon character in a GB comic, the Dandy). Wow – the palate! It is a plunge of black fruit and oak, an invasion that gives the drinker very little time to get into the wine before the oak hits in. It is demanding now; it contains rich matter, cherry fruit, is extracted and full-on. It doesn`t need to have this mighty throttle. From 2010, and wait for it to regain some local character. 2018-20 Dec 2006

2003

dark, quite pretty robe; has a well-composed nose of good depth and nice class. Black fruits here, with variety to follow. Wholesome, then chunky, on the palate: there is good punch and continuation of its richness that is delivered with pepper and then a meaty, beef stock aftertaste. Good weight of wine here, from 2007 late. 2014-16 July 2005

1999

the robe is still a dark red – good going. The bouquet is broad and warm, leads on black fruit liqueur, comes with smoke, some game and meatiness. The palate delivers tight black berry fruits, then moves into a raspberry tingle on the aftertaste. It still has a pretty punchy core, though is softening nicely now. It is very typical Gigondas in its up-front, powerful way. It is right on the button for its vigour, before the secondary, mature phase. Peppery, still stern, the finish involves raspberry and black truffles. Good variety, 2013-16  Sept 2005, East Sussex

1997

very dark, cerise colour; cherry fruit, chocolate airs on the nose, with a sense of high degree. The palate is tight, starts on a sense of squeezed black fruit, becomes bitter in the middle and really bites at the end. The tannins are strong. Oak present. Rather technical. From 2002. 2010-13  April 1999

1996

dark, black leaning in robe; pretty clear, decisive bouquet led by blackberry, along with heat and spice, just a shade forced in style. A surge of cassis fruit starts the palate well; has fair weight and length. The tannins rule the roost on the finish. Big wine, with some cellar exertion about it. Touch of oak present that makes the finish a little dry. Decant this. From 2002. 2012-14  April 1999

1995 ()

black cherry colour; the bouquet centres on Morello cherry fruit, but is also a stretched affair, with alcohol present. The palate is squeezed, the fruit under pressure from the extraction. The length is fair, but I am not sure how well structured it is for a satis development over time. Try from 2002. More technical than natural. 2008-09  April 1999