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The Wines

65-70% Grenache (1950s-1960s), 25-30% Syrah (1970s), 0-10% Carignan (1950s) from galet stone covered red clay soils on Les Garrigues & white clay-limestone soils on La Montagne, 90-100% destemmed, 3-4 day pre-fermentation cooling at 15-18°C, 3 week vinification at 25°-28°C, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling at start, all Grenache & 50% Syrah concrete vat raised, 50% Syrah raised 3-7 year 228 & 600-litre oak casks 9-10 months, unfined, filtered, 30-40,000 b

2018 ()

bright dark red; the bouquet lines up black cherry fruit with sweet herbs, rosemary, licorice and savoury notes as well. It’s a fluid opening, on the go pretty much already. The palate likewise skips along with tasty, open fruit, cherries central, is most engaging, with a salted tone in the final stages that sets up a second glass. It has a refined, rounded finish which appeals. This has good Cairanne typicity, a finesse and freedom, and drinks with racy fruit, gusto, is w.o.w. wine. 15°. 40,000 b. 65% Gren, 25% Syr, 10% Cari. €12 at cellars. 2024-25 Sept 2020

2017 ()

dark red; this has the house style of a well charged bouquet, a warm roundness about it, blackberry fruits, mulberry, hints of power, sweet herbs. The palate delivery is immediate, is wide and continuous, has a meaty content with sparks of freshness late on, keeps trucking. Latent strength here, a manly Cairanne; there’s a liqueur lean in the red fruits, but no heat. The close is firm, chewy, with grip – the stems have helped that. It’s not heated, but is powerful. and as a deep and spicy wine, it’s suited to red meats, venison. “I left 10% stems – I have wanted to work with them,” Romain Roche. 15.5°. From 2021 – it’s wild now. “It’s massive, will need time – it was difficult to finish the fermentations,” R Roche. 2032-34 March 2019

2016

dark red; the nose has an aroma of fruit gums, brewed red fruits, a hint of reduction, animal present. It is a savoury opening. The palate bears chunky content, Grenache and spiced red stone fruits leading the way. The tannins come in on a chewy level towards the finish, but its juice is still present on the aftertaste. This needs another 18 months, which will help to bind the finish. 15.5°. 40,000 b. 65% Gren, 25% Syr, 10% Cari. From late-2020, thus. 2034-36 Mar 2019

2015

dark red colour. A smoky, meaty surge leads the nose, above a firm couch of black berry fruit with assured density. This bustles along on rich, gourmand content backed by ripe tannins with sap in them, so the finish is round and gummy. I like the meatiness on the palate, and the genuine depth. The mid-palate is tasty and profound.  It’s robust wine that handles its power well, too. The tannins are vigorous. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 30% Syr. From 2018. 2024-25 Jan 2017

2014 ()

handsome full red robe. Red cherry is the lead influence on the nose, which has a simmered fruits, attractive depth, is all soft and supple. It’s a clean, restrained start. This drinks well, with a black stone cherry fruit and near salty freshness over the second half. The depth is stylish and trim. It drinks enjoyable now, possesses no big horizon, but is genuine. 14.5°. To 2020 June 2016

2013

dark robe; blackberry, coulis style fruit aroma with a spot of darker mystery behind, has inner punch. The palate bears medium weight content, is closely packed, and broad towards the end. It reaches out and sustains fully on the finish. An honest Cairanne without quite the finesse of the best, but it provides a solid drink. Drink with red meats, stews. 14.5°. 2020-21  April 2015  

2012 ()

red robe, some lightness at the top. The nose is peppery, has a Grenache plum fruit heart, a comfortable depth, mineral notes as well. The palate is robust, well textured – this is smooth running wine which gives a note of tar/oak towards the finish. It is pretty much ready, has a southern glow as it ends. It is a robust wine above all, but has accessible pockets. “It has belle balance,” Romain Roche. 14.5°. 2019-20  Apr 2015 Previously Oct 2013 ***(*) (casks) dark red robe. Some caramel sweetness shows on the nose, a plump blackberry at its heart, a licorice note. There is a fine balance between sweetness and clarity here, scents of herbs aiding it. It has the rectangular shape of 2012. Polished, dark berry fruiting shows best on the first half of the palate, before a close-down and darkening on the second half, where licorice and smoky, dark chocolate appear. Juicy, fat wine with a depth of pleasure in it. The fruit is sustained, and the tannins have a note of tar at the end, another 2012 trait. Has structure and potential, and the finish is sustained. From late 2014. 14.5°. 40,000 b this year. 2019-20  Oct 2013

2011

the red robe is still young. There are solar rays in a rounded nose, and there is a certain creamy side to the pulp of the red fruit, which has a glistening ripeness, a jam air, with black olives – this is a real southerner on the nose. There is a good, close link to the nose from the palate: this is butty, compact wine with smooth tannins. There are jam notes late on. Drinking well now. 2018-19  Apr 2015 Previously Oct 2012 *** dark red. Restrained dark berry fruit aroma that has a smoky crispness, has an air of grilled Iberian ham, also licorice and a note of reduction from the Syrah. The palate kicks off on a mix of blackberry and black cherry, the fruit served in a mild, regular tone. It drinks now, with a prominent spice and black pepper infill, suited to grills and roasts. It could have more garrigue and dash of Cairanne to really get going, but is agreeable, a sound example of Cairanne; it ends on its embedded tannins. €4.20 export. 2017-18. Oct 2012

2010 ()

(vat/cask) very dark; the bouquet shows a chocolate-raisin density. The palate is a full, extracted affair, the feel is charged up, its tannins are prominent. This coats the mouth. From mid-2012. Be ready for this – it is not a facile drink. 2016-17 March 2011