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The Wines

100% Grenache (1925-1935) from sandy soils on Cristia (N-E), destemmed, 3 week vinification, natural yeasts only, pumping overs, aged 34% 4-year 600-litre oak casks, 33% new 228-litre oak casks, 33% new 600-litre oak casks 12 months, then 6 months vat once assembled, unfined, filtered, up from 3,000 b to 6,000 b

2018

(new casks/used casks, bottling Sept 2020) full robe; the bouquet is scaled up, carries a black cherry aroma of some vigour, with a note of cigarette ash, laurel from the local lands. The palate links well to the nose, offers gently rolling, wavy black cherry fruits with precision, and takes on agreeable tannins that supplement the close. It’s a stylish, aromatic Châteauneuf, with good detail in it, and fine late juice, oaking – a note of chocolate - apparent on the aftertaste. 15°. 6,000 b. €65. From late 2022. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017

(casks, bottling Feb 2019) full, dark red; the nose gives a charming of blackberry fruit, some damp tea leaves, a mineral note. It has a burly nature within. The palate holds a beef stock, prune, soaked raspberry flavour with bustling tannins that add drive as it finishes. It’s whole hearted, long, and needs time to fuse – from 2022. I like its sense of abandon, it has character. The aftertaste is gummy for now. 14.5°. 6,000 b. 100% Grenache. €65. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(casks, bottling Feb 2018) very dark robe. The bouquet swirls with piles of blackberry fruits, and a spur of ripeness that brings in rich prune airs, essence of fruit juice. There is an attractive curve of flowers above it. The palate is full, thorough, swishes with generous content and ripe tannins. The aftertaste shows a little welcome saltiness. It holds good, natural old vine sève or sap. This is textured Châteauneuf with a good ensemble of features, and the asset of having a liberated, perfumed side to it. 15°. 6,000 b. €60. 100% Grenache. From 2020-21. 2040-42 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks) handsome dark red colour. The nose accentuates smoke, black raisin, the ripeness of warm lands, has a kirsch intensity. There are airs of mixed dried herbs and cooked plums from the Grenache behind. This has a coated, full debut – a thorough orb of crunched black fruits with tannins giving extra kick and momentum. This has assured length, good structure, is an upstanding Châteauneuf. The palate has drive, in part from its alcohol, which isn’t hot. Interesting: it’s a wine to explore over time. 6,000 b. From 2020. 2037-40 Oct 2016

2012 ()

(casks) dark red, black and purple mixed in. Roasted, oaked overlay to the bouquet – a nose of lardon (pork chunks), size, its liqueur, soaked red fruit lying low inside. Its oak is a constant for now. The palate is toasted, savoury, holds spiced plum at its centre, while forceful tannins sit in the rear and drive the finish, drying it. The aftertaste brings in milk cocoa and smoked tea. The oak intrudes into its carefree richness. It has a small spot of dark concentration before the finish. From 2017. 2031-33 Nov 2013

2010

(casks) dark robe. Wide, rather meaty nose – there is a thorough darkness here, a tight and smoky introduction. The attack is accentuated, foot down in the cellar; it has a liqueur, near eau de vie element in it, ending with the fruit cast off, the oak and tar remaining. This appears extreme. It is forceful, and partly saved by the 2010 vintage`s restraint. From 2016 – it needs time to be tamed. There is black raisin on the aftertaste which shows some hardness. Too much effort, not enough grace. From 2016. 2034-36 Dec 2011

2009

dark colour. Mulberry lead air in a curvaceous aroma. – this is a spherical start, one that will move on to damp airs and variety as it evolves. Rich debut to palate, which gains in intensity, ending on speckled tannins with good clarity and life in them. The finale is like a crème de menthe. Very good juice in this Grenache. Stylish wine. from 2014. 2032-34 March 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ****(*) (casks) full, dark robe; solid, enclosed and compact nose that shows tea, black fruits, some blackberry – it is meaty. Has an oaked, inky flavour – there are “dark”, big flavours fused with tannin and licorice effects. Has an assertive oak aftertaste. It has gras richness of matter and juice all through. Still very primary. From mid-2013, but especially 2016 when it will bear less oak. 2029-32 Oct 2010

2007 ()

(casks) dark red, mauve colour; has a concentrated but largely suave nose, with a “dark” end air – this represents the black cherries and oak formula. The palate has an enveloped, sealed debut – the black fruit is intense, comes in the style of a cap punching wine, the flavour cherry and surrounded by a charcoal oak tone. It is rich at core – there is plenty here beyond the oak. The length is aided by its oak. From 2012 to lessen the oak and to vary the wine. 2029-31 Nov 2008

2006

(casks) dark, black cherry robe; has a compact, modern build nose – shows black cherry and oak, snappy pistachio, crackling black pepper. The palate has streamlined black fruit, with oak all along its path. Bordeaux comes to Châteauneuf. There is a little late richness evident. So oaked is it that it must be left to 2011 at least. Very modern, dry wine thanks to its oaking. Is from another world right now, but can move on, since the core fruit is sound. 2028-30 Nov 2007

2005 ()

full, bold robe – dark and still replete. The bouquet is a compote of depth and richness – it is taking on a brewed air as it evolves, has an intense, rather chocolate side, and a baked, pebble stones top air. Licorice emerges as it breathes, and the fruits are dark, such as blackberry. Muscular dark fruit is in the lead on the palate, which bears the tight sinew of the vintage. There is a glimpse of blackberry after half way, before a close down that is still firm. There is good late richness inherent in the wine. This needs another 12-18 months to loosen and charm more, but is a wine of proper structure, made to age, and its late palate authority is impressive – it is long and fresh on the end. Very good, clear grain in this. Just a little heat on the finish. 15°. 2030-33 Aug 2009 Previously Nov 2006 *** dark robe; potent, substantial raisin aroma – this is a plunging bouquet that sustains and probes a lot. Big sided, full wine, using late picked Grenache that comes with a lot of stuffing. A bit exaggerated towards the finish, where it is sweet but not alert. The oak brings a dry tone right at the end, an outside agent. Heady tones in this, but it is clean. Tasted twice within a week. From 2009. 2028-30 Nov 2006 “Some of the Grenache finished this year at 16.5°” Baptiste Grangeon

2004 ()

full hue to the red; Nose is full, showing chocolate laced with mineral, and still upright and young. Even sided palate, moves with a good, sustained run. Baked fruits, raisins here, with some sweetness – indeed, mixes sweetness with a direct, mineral texture. 2022-24 Dec 2006