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The Wines

65-90% Grenache (1900s-1940s), 3-20% Syrah, 2-15% Mourvèdre, 2-4% various varieties inc Cinsault, Clairette rose, white varieties, from Chapouin and Coudoulet (60%), La Crau de Courthézon and Les Saumades (40%), 80% destemmed, 4 week concrete vat vinification, manual cap punching every day, aged 70-75% vat or large barrel, 25-30% new-3 year 228-litre oak casks 12 months, plus 6 months vat, fined, unfiltered, 10-18,000 b

2018 ()

(large barrel/casks, bottling Apr 2020) full robe, black centre; the bouquet centres on black liqueur fruit, has a wild side about it, a fuse about to go off, a hearty depth. The palate is broad on the attack, carries fleshy content, with a spur of tannin towards the slightly glowing finish. It will gradually come together. A little sense of power will never be far away, though. 15°. 18,000 b. 85% Gren, 5% Syr, 5% Mourv, 5% various. €76: high. From 2023. 2042-44 Oct 2019

2017

(large barrel/casks) dark red, black tints. Broad beamed bouquet, with a full brew of dark berry fruits, coffee, deep aromas, menthol. The palate is sturdy, replete, covers the ground across and along, is well upholstered with layered tannins on the finish. There’s black olives and black berry jam in the flavour, and the length is secure. This carries potential, will be stylish, needs leaving until 2022-23. Decanting advised. 2041-43 Oct 2018

2016

(large barrel/cask, bottling Apr 2018) deep red colour. The nose is opulent thanks to a glistening aroma led by sweet blackberry coulis, cassis de Dijon, the ripeness going deep. There is an air of black olives also, and the bouquet will chip in with new contributors over time. The palate is thorough, very well filled with essence of black fruits, a deep juice backed by live, smoky tannins. This is going to be both interesting and complex. It carries character from the rugged hot lands of the Vaucluse, and hits the line running. It’s an expressive, convincing Châteauneuf. 14.5°. 10,000 b. 85% Gren, 5% Mourv, 10% Syr. €74. From 2021. 2040-43 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(large barrel/casks) dark red colour. The nose is brewed, wide, chocolatey, has black raisin, prune depth. There is an overall impression of sweet ripeness. The palate gives a sustained richness, a firm ball of smoky black fruits, with some lift in the tannins. It’s powerful, but hands out a good bucket load of southern, sunny crop, has a successful, silken finish. From 2020. 2038-40 Sept 2016 GB Fine & Rare Wines £359 6 b i/b www.frw.co.uk customerservice@frw.co.uk +44(0)207 089 7400

2014 ()

(large barrel/casks) dark red robe. Herbes de Provence greet on the nose, a joli underlay of red jam, raspberry. This swings along well on the palate, the red berry fruit crisp and toothsome. This is a detailed wine, with northern clarity. The fruit is highly enjoyable and clear. It is a natural child of these warm soils in a cool vintage. STGT truth in the glass her, marks for character. 14°. 80% Gren, 15% Mourv, 3% Syr, 2% various. 15,000 b. €70. From 2018. 2029-30 GB £248/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013 ()

bottled last week: has a blackberry, oily essence aroma – this is a well upholstered bouquet with good, clear fruit and serene depth. The palate presents fine black fruit and some date-prune flavouring. It builds its own quiet intensity, and the gras richness is sure and supple. It finishes with a confident tannic presence – it is full there, which is an achievement for 2013. The length is good. Greatly changed blend this year: 64% Grenache (from 85%), 20% Syrah (from 10% or less), 10% Mourvèdre (from 3%), 6% Cinsault & others (from 2%). From 2018-19. 2032-35 GB £252/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  Feb 2015

2012

(vat) full, dark red; the bouquet is moving openly, gives a lateral air of deep set red cherry, mulberry fruit, also licorice, has an inner strength. The nose is fat, very ensemble. The palate holds agreeable, still tight red cherry liqueur fruit with clear tannins close to it, ends on more mineral features than fat ones. There is good style in its Grenache fruit, combines concentration with flow. Herbs, garrigue touches show on the second half of the palate. From late 2016. 15°. 2031-34 Nov 2013

2011 ()

plum red colour in quite a full robe. Plum-prune, dark intensity on the nose – there is a serious depth of red stone fruit and a note of black olive tapenade. This is tight and sunswept wine – its concentration is shapely and layered; there is a depth of prune in the flavour, but it is also free as it ends, with a solid surge. It needs time in order to loosen a little. It is well grounded, a wine of substance that is closer or 2009 than 2012 in style. It achieves sustained length from its muscular content. An interesting drink that presents a solid southern case. 15.5°. “I included 7-8% Syrah, more than usual these days, in order to lessen the degree,” Christophe Sabon. 85% Gren, 8% Syr, 3% Mourv, 4% various 2030-33 Previously Dec 2012 ****(*) (vat) dark red, legs. Has a blackberry fruit, fat and plump air with tobacco and prune present. On Day 2 it is more reserved, but has definite potential. The palate is centred around wholesome, tasty prune fruit, has nice oily, liquid features. Tannins darken it and add some depth towards the finish, prior to a rounded close. This is a really good, serene package, has long fruit, is STGT, ends on tea and sage. From 2015. 15.5°. 2028-31  Dec 2012

2010 ()

dark colour. The nose is open, blackberry and violet offer very primary appeal. No extras as yet except for a note of damp soil adding depth. The palate sets off on a blackberry coulis flavour, has smoky tannin inset. It is in the state of a wine hardly showing any raising, with shiny fruit. There is lacing in the texture from pebbly, licorice effects late on. Good, Regular Guy sort of wine, though can offer a few wisecracks if given time. From 2015-16. 2036-39 Dec 2011

2009

(casks) big robe; full, raisin top air bouquet which exudes its late season ripeness, while the black fruits have a soaked air. The palate is rich all through, offers depth of flavour which has an inherent sweetness. Plenty on offer here – it is wide and has a surge of raspberry liqueur and tannin towards the finish. Good length and balance. From 2014 or so. 2031-33 Oct 2010

2007

(casks) nice full robe; gracious, blackberry and bacon aroma that is full and nicely oily – it beckons the drinker. The palate's blackberry fruit has an open nature, with lots of juice and pleasure in it. The fruit is delivered steadily, without fuss, and it is nice and wide and juicy all through. Easy, open pleasure, in the here and now. Maybe worth a small wait for more variety and kick. 2025-28 Nov 2008

2006

(casks) dark, black-mauve robe; inky, black fruits nose – violet, soaked prunes, with very ripe indications. Ripe and rich start to palate, with grip from half way, when the tannic fencing comes in. “Dark” flavours here, such as mulled blacked berries given a brandy soaking, also chocolate. From 2010-11. 2029-31 Nov 2007

2005

very dark colour; broad, smooth black fruits aroma, with a little pepper at its heart, there is licorice here, too. There is a sense of refinement in the ripe, even very ripe fruit on the palate. There is a good tannic theme from half way, that gives the wine helpful limits. Has plenty of depth and a still demanding, black fruits, full-on tenor. Its tannic structure is the best of the three Châteauneufs from here. From 2011. 2029-32 Nov 2007

2004

evolving, quite full red robe. Broad, immediate, fat air centred on mulled or simmered berries, has a sweet core, with undernotes of earthiness, notes of flowers and tobacco and cedar. The bouquet is evolving nicely. The palate has a weighty start, is now evolving with a pick-up of chunky, fibrous tannin. It closes on a smoke, tar, woodsy ensemble – there is a lot of smoke in its fruit. The flavour rests on date, prune, mature in style. The length is fair. I do not find a true fit between its elements – it is maturing with questions remaining from the sometimes imperfect ripening of the vintage, and therefore about its ability to be a whole. 15°. 2026-27  Nov 2013 Previously Dec 2006 ****(*) black fruits with a jam, prune air about them in the bouquet. The palate is round and very elegant, continues well, with decisive grip near the finish. The black fruits have a mineral lacing. This will be slow to evolve, it is a clear and beau wine. “I think it will be there around 2011-14,” Isabelle Sabon. 2023-25 Dec 2006

2003

very round, suave, unctuous wine. Great charm on bouquet, floral elements, with also a meaty, brooding side. Has a rich, southern feel, very good density. The length is sound. Round, sustained and persistent wine, aftertaste is herbal, then tannins, white pepper effect arrives. 2019-21 July 2005

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001

the red robe is still largely full, with ruby incursions. Woah – what an aroma – what is that? It is baked, brewed, with an iodine, fish or sardine, coffee ensemble of aromas, while there is mulled blackberry in behind – Bovril and beef stock are here. It is an exotic, very out of the ordinary bouquet. The palate is rich and dense, a real southern man that almost reflects the physical effort of the vineyard worker. Has a good, robust finish – the Grenache struts out there, with its punch still intact. This is a rocker in a leather coat at night time – it will please unconventional drinkers, or true Rhône fans – Bordeaux drinkers not admitted to this party. A wine of great character, young and virile – allez Christophe – even with your shoulder injured when out shooting as you are today! Arresting wine – yes, stop the horses. 14.5°. 2029-31 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2002 ****(*) (vat, assembled last week) solid bouquet – dark fruits, chocolate; intense, extracted wine on the palate – its tannins are potent and prominent, the black fruits are ripe. Not easy to get into at this stage. 2027-30 Nov 2002, Paris

1999 ()

sound core to a dark plum robe, slight shift towards a lighter tone at the top of the robe. Scented black jam aroma, with violets and some game, animal notes starting. The palate strides out with the typical 1999 fruit clarity, without lots of mass around it, like many this year. Holds a deep-rooted black fruit, prune flavour, with the arrival of some chocolate, and burnt toast suggestions late on. Well up to hearty food, wild mushrooms, white truffles, game, makes me think of Barolo. I find 2006 similar to this, but with more richness. 14.5°. 2022-25 Nov 2007

1998

quite a full, opaque red and ruby robe; coffee and mocha airs are the outliers above a full couch of rich aroma – plum, quince paste with smoke and toasted elements, also mineral, floral wisps: a good start to matters. The palate is supple and fleshy on its debut – there is well-established richness here, that richness continuing securely, and only ceding towards the finish, where tannins criss-cross it, bringing leathery touches. Good fruit, with the essence of Grenache here. The proviso for now is the active tannins whose shape is upright. 14.5°. 2022-24 Nov 2008