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The Wines

60% Grenache (1900s), 30-40% Mourvèdre (1925/1967/1997), 0-10% Syrah (1982) from Cristia (N-E) & Font du Loup (N-E), destemmed, 3 week vinification, natural yeasts only, pumping overs, aged 34% 3-4 year 600-litre oak casks, 33% new 228-litre oak casks, 33% 3 year 350-litre oak casks 15-18 months, unfined, filtered, organic wine, 6-8,000 b

2018

(new casks/used casks, bottling Sept 2020) dark red; the bouquet gives a loose aroma of raspberry fruit, with bosky, tar implications, has a smoky, brewed interior. The palate is grainy, a little singed, has a fresh run of spiced content, keen tannins around it, an aromatic nudge present, too. The flavours involve red stone fruits, and it carries a menthol, fresh nerve on the close. It’s a bit raw, needs time to soften its edginess. It can rise above ***. 15°. 8,000 b. €54. From 2023. 2038-40 Oct 2019

2017 ()

(casks, bottling Feb 2019) dark red colour; the bouquet is sturdy, fronts up with beef stock, firm air, in back pine from oak and soaked cherries. It’s a wide and muscular start. The pine theme from the oak runs through the palate, flanked by some tasty dark red berry fruit. It requires time to absorb its raising, can become interesting and agreeably juiced. The oak and char-tar is on the limit of excess for me, though. 15°. 60% Gren, 40% Mourv. €54. From 2023. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016

(casks, bottling Feb 2018) shiny, dark robe. The bouquet is sweet and serene, has vanilla and shapely blackberry fruit, with some discreet inner darkness, mystery. There’s good variety to come over the years. The palate is sleek from the off, coasts along on the most glossy, silken content, has a blackberry and black cherry flavour, very good poise. This is ace, a wine of maximum finesse and very good length. It gives a most charming glass and tells a good local story inside its oak, especially once those notes of oak have been absorbed. It will no doubt close, but its balance is very good. It’s close to six stars. 15°. 8,000 b. 60% Gren, 40% Mourv. €50. From 2021: enjoy the ride! 2040-43 Oct 2017

2015

(casks) dark red with purple tints. This has a sultry, coulis of black berry fruit aroma, along with toffee, sweet herbs, raspberry. It isn’t especially nuanced, is very much still in thrall to its cellar raising. The palate rolls on a rounded, rather thick gras with oak toffee in its centre. It’s not yet close to defining its established nature. There is a gourmand and steady fullness, with rosemary notes that appeal. It is a polished wine, with implicit strength, and some of the compressed style juice of this vintage. Decant it. From late 2019. 2037-40 Oct 2016

2010

(casks) very dark, deep robe. This is a beefy, scaled wine – the bouquet is broad and nearly imposing, gives out beef stock: one can breather in some of its power. Bigness is the word on the palate – this holds a lot of deep-set content, with tannins ripe enough to fit in. The attack carries it through to the end – it provides that first, decisive strike. There is black cherry fruit on the aftertaste. A wine close to sipping rather than drinking status. Decant it. From 2015. 2036-39 Dec 2011

2009 ()

bottling in two days, 60% G, 40% Mvdre this year; full robe. Wavy blackberry aroma, attractive richness and well-established sweetness in it. The side notes are tea, smoke-leather, some charcoal. A gradual spread of gourmandise rolls across the palate, as well as through it. Flavours such as black olives, red fruits, tar and violet touches. It ends with discreet clarity. From mid-2013. 2030-33 March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ***** (casks) big, full robe; raisin, barley malt, date and honey aromas – the bouquet has a copious southern richness. Has a sappy, soaked nature on the palate – liqueur fruit, soaked black cherries; it is ample, and takes on grilled oak and tannin notes – handles the oak OK. Has potential, its fruit is stylish, comes with some nice scenting, a light touch. Aftertaste of raspberry. Leave until late 2013. 2028-30 Oct 2010

2007

(casks) full red with black tints; the bouquet carries compact, sealed in black fruit – simmered berries here, with a top smokiness – has rather handsome potential. The palate fruit is good and classy, clear and smooth. Oak emerges later on. It is a touch dry and overly oaked on the finish now. Good balance – this will flow well from late 2011. 2027-29 Nov 2008

2005

bright black robe; solid, oaked, bold bouquet – it is deep, has some local fire, garrigue in its ripe blackberry fruit that comes with a smoky topping. The aroma is a tiny bit vegetal, wide and “impressive”. This is a full-on, sipping wine – the black fruits have juice in them and a ripe, and accompanied by a sweet note of confection, a chocolate presence. The oaking is evident, but not really excessive. Herbs and olives mix on the aftertaste. Leave until 2011 to allow the tannins and oak to work through more. 15°. 2026-28 June 2008 Previously Dec 2006 **** a wine with the oak hit varying according to weather conditions – when tasted a couple of weeks apart in Nov/Dec 2006. Preferred wine in Dec 2006, a fine evening: full red; the nose carries some high tone, with mineral below it, and macerated berries. Palate carries red berries, wild fruits, with some jam. Ends with a little sweetness. Close-knit wine, is persistent and there is some heat on the finish, but good grip there as well. Esp from 2009-10 on. 2023-25 Dec 2006 “I use more new oak on this because I wanted one of my wines to be a bit more modern,” B.Grangeon. Previously Nov 2006, south winds: **(*) dark; generally rich bouquet of chocolate, raisin, prune and oak topping. Wide palate, with a rich core of black berry; is very oaked – obviously at this stage – at the start and outside the wine at the finish. From 2010, but it’s a pity there is so much oak – this does not lead to a calm wine. Overdone in its cellar handling with all this wood. 2023-25 Nov 2006

2004

dark, full robe; soft bouquet of brambly fruit with some licorice, plenty here, has ways to go. A tangy black fruit kick-off, holds a good fruit pedigree, is balanced and expressive. Good balance, is an accomplished, classy wine. Toast at the end – a good use of oak has been achieved. Good choice of grape varieties, too. 2024-26 Oct 2006

2000 ()

solid bouquet, which is peppery, has a dry snap about it. The palate starts better than the nose: it bears oily, black berry fruit. The oak is pretty overt, is just OK in the frame of the wine. Sound, needs time. 100% Grenache raised in large barrel 18 months. From 2006. 2022-24  March 2003