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The Wines

65-80% Grenache, 10-20% Syrah, 10-13% Mourvèdre, 0-5% Cinsault from 50% sand, 50% clay & galet stone soils on La Gardiole (N-E), La Janasse (N-E), La Font du Loup (N-E), 80% destemmed, 21-28 day vinification, daily manual cap punchings, aged 80% vat or large barrel (Grenache), 20% new-1-2 year oak casks (Syrah, Mourvèdre) 12 months, raised vat 6 months, fined, unfiltered, 10-22,000 b

2018

(large barrel/casks, bottling Apr 2020) very dark robe; the bouquet is weighted and freighted, a right do of Southern depth it is, walls of black fruits, olives, laurel hang closely together. The palate continues the broad filling of the nose, bears concentrated matter with salty tang towards its extended finish. It’s a nuggety, powerful Châteauneuf for game, red meats. It hits the finishing line hard, and can evolve well. 15°. 22,000 b. 65% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv, 5% Cins. €33. From 2023. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017

(vat/barrel/casks) dark red colour, near black centre. The nose is wide, has a box of chocolates aroma, a smooth cassis presence on the inside, touches of menthol. The palate is assertive from the start, builds intensity as it goes, has a solid nature, a ground strength. There’s a southern oiliness in the content and texture, the length prolonged, the aftertaste lip smacking. It carries local typicity, even if the vintage is well on top. Allow until 2022-23 so it can be less challenging. Decanting advised. 15°. 2042-44 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat/barrel) deep robe, dark red, some black central. The nose is a brewed affair, marked by bold black fruits such as prune, ripe stewed raspberry, has a lingering depth. There are garrigue notions, and it will become a real cornucopia of influences as it ages, highly impressive. The palate runs broadly and with style, really covers the ground, offering spiced black fruits with some tarry tannins lining the late stages. There is plenty to get one’s teeth into, literally, here. The finish is wide, persistent. 14°. 65% Gren, 20% Syr, 10% Mourv, 5% Cins. 10,000 b. €32. From 2020. 2040-42 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(vat/barrel) deep robe; the nose is broad, sealed tightly together, based on ripe black berry, prune fruit and a deft note of mulberry, also black raisin. The palate gives enjoyable, squeezy content, a rolling gras richness, with good, calm length, dabs of salt on the close. This will fill the glass well over time, has local virtues of measured richness and smooth tannins, just a little grain powder coming from them for now. It delivers its content with a nice tip-toe approach. From mid-2018. 2034-37  Sept 2016

2014

(vat/barrel) dark red. Has a laid back bouquet, with a low-key sweetness in its fruit, summer afternoons in a hammock brought to mind. This is an inviting, tender start. The palate carries agreeable, well defined fruit, the product of neat berries. This is a tuneful 2014, one that drinks well and will do well in convivial circumstances. Its precision and understatement both appeal. It has a joli length. Assured quality here. 14.5°. 70% Gren, 15% Syr, 13% Mourv, 2% Cins. 15,000 b. €31. From spring 2017. 2026-27  Oct 2015 

2013

bottled last week: quite a full red robe. There is expressive potential on the nose, a good and stylish aroma of raspberry, has a local imprint. The palate is tight knit, is a little “on the wire”, has cut in its plum fruit flavour and a dentelle, lifted side to it, a rocky clack. Mild gras can emerge over time. 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault this year. From 2018. 14°. 2035-38 GB £126/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com Feb 2015

2012 ()

has a belle red robe. The nose is showing openly and well, has round and “shiny” features, red fruit airs, floral notes, variety in the making. This is good, local, STGT wine – right away it declares its local virtues; it tastes freely, comes with fine dentelle/toothsome attributes. Engaging, tasty and clear, with good length and balance. It comes straight from its roots. “It has a handsome minerality and is ripe without excess, is digestible,” Christophe Sabon. 14.5°. 75% Grenache this year. 2028-30 March 2015, London Previously Nov 2013 **** (cask/vat) STGT alert here; sound red robe. The wide bouquet has inner force - its red fruit fat, liqueur style is on the back foot today, offers a dense raspberry air, with cinnamon and thyme. The palate is in good shape. It bears traditional Châteauneuf Grenache strength, the fruit slowly emerging, for now closed in by the attentions of its firm tannins. It has a joli savoury centre, a hump of bonny fruit and matter, and will develop around its genuine Châteauneuf-du-Pape abundance and richness. From 2016. 2026-28  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(cask/vat) quite dark, shiny robe. Has a broad, high octane nose with a sweet foundation. Raspberry liqueur aroma at its heart, with thyme, coffee, dust notes. It is sweet, forward, obvious. The palate is more concentrated than many, into a compact ball of red fruit. There is sound depth of tasty tannin on the finish. Sweet, fat wine that will evolve in the good direction. From 2015. 15.5°. 2026-28  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(cask/vat) dark, engaging robe; has a sympa, lateral air, a soft blackberry that charms, comes with a violet siding. The palate is soft and gives comfortable drinking – this is not far off the mark to be ready to sing a harmony. It picks up fine, measured tannins towards the finish, is spherical in the making, exuding harmony, offering pleasure. The tannins have just a little bite in them. This will be shipshape around 2014, but is drinkable before that. A wine of no exaggeration, and truth. 2033-35 Dec 2011

2009 ()

shiny, nice full dark red robe. The nose gives an overt aroma of mulled fruits, liqueur fruit, a bouquet with a near post-prandial aspect – this is a Sweet Toother’s Paradise, is centred on cassis with a bacon, smoked angle. The overly rich theme continues on the palate; it provides a coated texture, ample blackberry fruits, a real push of ripe fruit, all very upfront. One cannot drink a lot of this, but also it sets the question about what you can drink with this: maybe venison, game stews. It is too big for dishes of finesse. There is a fine grain close after the big guns have fired. Decant it, and wait for some of the sweet overlay to thin out – 2016-17, say. 15.5°. 2032-34  Nov 2013  Previously Oct 2010 **** (cask/vat) quite dark robe; dark, slightly scorched airs due to its oak seasoning – presents a front of chocolate-cocoa, raisin, prune - is sunny, ripe within. The palate has ample depth, a juicy early showing, then it tightens and brings in biscuity tannins with oak in them. It is unfurnished for now, and needs to grow into its oak frame. The flavour resembles prune. There is a likeable quality of rather fine fruit, and this can become varied and interesting. From 2013, but especially around 2016. 2029-32 Oct 2010

2008 ()

quite a full red-black, complete robe. Modern, long maceration, streamlined black fruits aroma – there is ripe tannin present and at its heart has a supple, slightly oily air that is agreeable. The palate holds becoming black fruit, its texture is appealing – it has juice and sap, and runs continuously, offers good thrust along the palate. The non-Grenache contributors play a positive role and heighten the fruit appeal – notably the Syrah. The tannins are largely ripe, the finale reflects spice and pepper. Has prospects from mid-late 2011. Ends a shade narrowly for now. 2020-21. 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre this year, 30,000 b also. Dec 2009

2007

full, dark red; has an outward facing, open nose – combines red fruits with meat stock, is broad, sustained, full and rich. There is rich fruit in this – it is hearty and broad. There is delay in the second half of the palate`s delivery as some tannins aggregate. The length is pretty good – this is a wine still under wraps, of some consequence. It is nice and wide later on, with a chocolate/cocoa aftertaste. A wine where the word “tannin” is not taboo, thank goodness – they are properly delivered. From late 2010. 2022-24 Nov 2008

2006 ()

(barrel) gourmand, broad-air to the bouquet, showing supple, mulled black berries and some violets. The palate is also gourmand, reveals long hang-time fruit with a supple, fat core, is rich and tasty most of the way. The tannins tighten it at the end, and there are grilled notes at that stage. From 2010-11. 2023-25 Nov 2007

2005

full red robe, plenty of depth, all the way up. Creamy, primary black, simmering fruit aroma with scented black fruits and violets. Ties up at the end with a little alcoholic fencing that brings a drier tone. A little earthiness derived from the Mourvèdre acts as the foundation around the black fruits. The palate runs in the quite plush, later cropped harvest vein. Has the cosmetic make-up of our modern times – the fruit is a plush blackberry jam. Is not very local now, comes in a New World, savoury gift wrap. Pleasant but too formulaic to really grab attention with its sweetness probably aimed at sweet-tooth overseas markets. The style of wine I want to drink when mature and more funky, and rid of this sweet lozenge nature. So drink from 2012 onwards. 14.5°. 2022-24 “There is a creamy side to the 2005,” C.Sabon. Nov 2007 Previously Dec 2006 *** well-knit berry aroma, with good clear appeal, and a floral hover. The black fruit comes tightly, with tannins that are generally ripe appearing early. Has plenty of promise, is well balanced. On the finish it is a bit dry, shows some alcohol – the vintage seeps out. It can get together and make it – drink from spring 2009. 15°. 2022-24 Dec 2006

2004

full robe that is nice and dark; plenty of black berry fruit on bouquet, which is also smoky and harmonious. Wholesome, berried fruit on palate, with a dark touch from its non-Grenache sources. Sound length, with a good, clean finale. Pretty true wine, in good, full condition now, but I detect a little tautness on the palate, perhaps from its vinification. 2017-19 Oct 2006

2003

the robe shows some black plum tone, with a matt hue. Has a sweet-toned, just firming up nose, contains raspberry liqueur with some spice and nuttiness. The stone red fruits on the palate extend well, carries a marked garrigue (herbs, thyme, baked stones) influence at the end, where the tannins and licorice dry it a little. It is showing well now, but the tannins are quite demanding late on. Holds pretty good richness, is still work in progress here. Esp 2009 on now. 2020-22 Nov 2007 Previously July 2005 (half bottle) *** soft, rounded bouquet, likeable, scented black jam, violets also. Full, prettily persistent palate, grows as it goes, texture is warm and attractive. The Sabons have overcome the tannic challenge of the vintage. Very southern, laurel inspired finish. Typical, very fruited attack of young Grenache, and drinks well already. Beau Vin. 2017-19 July 2005

2001 ()

belle robe – a full, dark red; soaked black fruits with tea in the aroma, that a sweet, sappy appeal. There is also some lift and freshness. The palate has a measured, steady start, and is well packed, young and fleshy. It is absolutely still juicy, more than many 2001 currently, and its black stone fruits are rich at the end. It is about to vary and evolve, and many close down for the next year or so. Menthol, round plum flavours on the finish. 14°. 2018-21 Nov 2008

2000 ()

quite a bright red; even, rather profound nose – violet, herbs. Live fruits that are big in scale grow as they run through the palate. The finish is marked by oak, the end tannins a bit dry. Big Wine, by design. 2014-16 Nov 2002, Paris