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The Wines

90-100% Grenache (until 2006 oldest 1902 on La Gardiole, av age 90 years), 0-10% Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Counoise, picked close to over-ripeness, destemmed, 3-4 week vinification in 50% steel vat, 50% tronconic oak vat, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refilling, aged 35-70% large barrel, 10-30% steel vat, 0-35% 600-litre oak casks, 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks 18 months (2007-2011 aged 50% large oak vat, 50% large barrel, until 2006 aged large barrel, 228-litre cask, 7% new oak 12 months), unfined, lightly filtered, first wine 1995, 10-19,500 b

2017 ()

(large barrel/casks) sturdy full red colour; the nose has a savoury aroma of lamb stock, with a “high” note in the stewed fruits, cooked plums. It’s not as clear-cut as the leaders. The palate is also on stewed red fruits, with a late tang from its tannin. This is very unmade for now, needs time to bring focus to it. There is a gummy aftertaste, which isn’t crisp. The longer the wait, the better. 15.5°. 19,500 b. From 2022-23. 2040-42 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat/barrel) deep red robe, good lustre. Has a broad, panoramic bouquet that rustles up sweet herbes de Provence, lamb stock, drifts of rose muskiness and red berry fruits. The palate serves a full and complete ration of Grenache-inspired plum fruit with surrounds of mocha, crispness. The length is good, the aftertaste admirably clear, with a glow from the strength of the wine and some inner intricacy. This is its usual very true and convincing self, a wine of character. 16°. 15,000 b. 100% Grenache. From 2022. 2036-39 Oct 2017

2015

(large barrel/vat) dark red colour. The bouquet has a square shape, a dark fruit and chocolate presence with some dusty garrigue hovering. The attack is bright, with a direct stream of raspberry-mulberry fruit, bracing tannins also in play. It has a chunky depth on the second half, and sustains on that charge. The aftertaste is pretty clear, holds gras. 15.5°. From mid-2019. 2034-36 Sept 2016

2012

(vat/barrel) dark red; the nose has a dense heart, blackberry fruit with a leather, baked note, black fruit paste, soaked fruits. This can open further. The palate has a spicy, black pepper debut – that influence carries through it, ending on lively pepper and a real collection of spices as it ends, dryly. It is in transit, isn’t showing as a whole today. It has a grippy, knuckled style, and feels cellar-forced towards the finish. Allow time until 2017. 15.5°. 14,000 b. 2030-32  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(vat/barrel) mild Grenache red; has a scorched, smoky bonfire air, a narrow arrow of red fruit behind the streaks of oak. The palate has a creamy style red fruit, is very Grenache-centric. Tannins appear swiftly on the scene. It needs more sympathetic oaking, is discordant. Has low-key gras richness, a little note of herbs on the aftertaste. From mid-2015, and cross your fingers. 15.5°. 2027-29  Dec 2012

2010 ()

(vat/barrel) bright and full plum red colour. Cooked red fruits, berries air with a note of meat stock. The palate bears bright Grenache red fruit, its core is plump. It extends securely, and will be round and pleasing around 2015-16. Its cherry fruit persists. 2031-33 Dec 2011

2009

steady red; very pure Grenache nose, unformed as yet, primary. The palate has a powerful debut, is rather pumped up, full, and ends on menthol clarity. A polished wine, not pretentious. Persistent, has good body. 15.5°. From 2013-14. 2033-35 Sept 2011 Previously Oct 2010 ****** (barrels) handsome red robe; red jam aroma with thyme herbs – a stylish bouquet that bodes well. A good tasty dose of red fruit lines the palate; after half way some rather dusty tannins join in. The fruit is very polished, has good purity. The texture caresses – this is classy Châteauneuf. The flavour centres on prune and plum, and is ripe. The finish is complete, if a little grainy for now. Top notch wine of good balance. Once the dusty tannins have been absorbed, all will be well, from 2014. 2032-34 Oct 2010

2007

(barrels) full red, some purple in it; there is a chicken stock front end to the nose, with plum fruit in behind – this has a level depth of aroma, is not one of the Big Brigade. On the palate lie steady, accessible Grenache red fruits with a little sinew in the wine. The length is good, and it ends clearly. A traditional style of wine that has a little intensity in its fruit – nothing overdone. There is a herbal aftertaste and some minor heat. From 2010. 2026-28 Nov 2008

2006 ()

level, quite bright red; filled-up, heady, charged aroma – has a red fruits interior, red cherry, the fruit aroma is suave. The palate is broad, and ripples with power, its liqueur instincts moving to eau de vie. Its heat is just under control on the finish. It is cellar-led for now, has a full coating of red fruits, cherry in it. Best left until 2012. 2025-28 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 (casks) ***(*) dark red; red fruits backdrop to what seems a full, biscuity nose. There are not too many real defining points now, though there is the suggestion of dark tannin within. A Grenache-infused palate, that has a rich, sensible core, which is not overdone. Savoury and nuanced wine, with herbs and spice inside it. Plenty of grip, its tannins are well set, its length is good. Respectable, without setting the world alight. From 2010. 2024-27 Nov 2007

2005

mild, evolving red robe; sweet red jam, cherry notably aroma that is soaked, macerated. It gives a few herb and spice touches, but is still primary. The palate expresses a Grenache theme – it a bit tight now, enclosed, and not yet generous as its tannins encircle it along with some oak. There is a supple moment on the attack before the bite kicks in. Is slowly making its way, can do well. A bit cussed, stubborn now. There is latent power and muscle in it, so leave alone until 2011. 15°. 2029-32 June 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) quite a full robe; reduced but full bouquet, goes deep and wide. Very richly toned, red fruits flavour. Still raw and unfurnished. Has a smoky, cocoa end. Big, brewed wine, with a sappy, tea effect late on. I’d like another look around late 2007 to get a clearer idea about its poise. From 2010. 2028-30 Nov 2006

2004

a little advance on a fairly full red; sous-bois, damp woods and game notes on the bouquet, where the berry fruits are stewed – this isn’t very fresh. Round, aromatic herbal-tinted wine, in a confirmed Grenache style. Nice, true local punch from mid-palate on. The tannins are evident, I like its local feel and character. STGT leaning. 2022-24 Oct 2006 Previously Feb 2006 *** thorough, peppery nose, mixes prune, plum, licorice and violet, and in time will be heady. Good, rich depart, the fruit is sound, with pepper edges. Balanced, local wine with STGT character. A little alcohol comes through on the end palate. Esp 2008-09 on. 15°. 2021-24 Feb 2006

2003

red robe with a ruby tendency. The nose is turning – red fruits with a damp implant, some bacon and charcoal, is a good, mixed bag with some flowers and rose-hip also. The palate is good and knit – its Grenache theme is persistent, the texture well-oiled and the flow consecutive. A pretty wine that has the finesse one wants in Châteauneuf, even in this extreme year – I therefore suspect this is from a good old vine area that holds some water reserves, maybe more clay (tasted blind). There is a little late tang from the tannin and maybe some oak. It is scented towards the aftertaste. 2022-25 June 2008 Previously Oct 2007 **** pretty red colour, with a little lightness on the top rim. The bouquet is really appealing: has a bonny scent, mild red jam with some depth and a little mystery. Sumptuous on the palate, the red fruits are open and generous, very smooth in texture. An interesting tannic entrance occurs after half way, and renders it nutty and firmer thereon. Peppery mix in here, too. Good length. Can be drunk on its own, so ripe is it. 2022-24 Oct 2007, London Previously Feb 2006 **** broad, open bouquet with a prolonged, lasting aroma that expresses red fruits such as strawberry and flowers such as irises. Suave, silken texture here. The fruit pauses a bit then recovers its length. A cut above the Grand Tinel classic red. Good fidelity to its place. The alcohol lurks in its depths, meaning there is a slight burn on the lips from the aftertaste. Concentrated wine of good length. Esp 2009 on. 15°. 2020-24 Feb 2006

2002 No Rating

VERY LITTLE PRODUCED

2001

red still there, plus ruby; broad, almost brimming over bouquet – it offers a mix-up of raisin, toffee and chocolate, a real thorough and wholesome moment. The palate is sweet-toned, possesses really good balance and harmony, is a wine of caressing appeal, sophisticated allure. Its Grenache emerges clearly on the finish, via red fruit, prune flavours that have coffee in them from the ageing. This wine is a favourite of mine from year to year, with its regular offer of elegance. Has a harmonious, full finish, is a symphony of appeal – what more do you want? Very bonny dart of red fruit gras or richness on the aftertaste. 14.5°. 2023-25 Nov 2008 Previously Feb 2006 ****(*) ruby touches in its red robe; savoury, red jam aroma, with a little red meat and a topping of flowers. Tasty palate, softened and elegant now. Balanced, beau vin, very classic. Holds a garrigue, herbal finish, its length good. This is refined and attractive. Can open more still, from 2007. 14.5°. 2021-24 Feb 2006

2000

ruby is present in with the red colour. Has a very typical, evolving Châteauneuf nose – floral, with red fruit gum airs – a Grenache aroma with the backing of sweet Asian spice and some caramel for extra, embedded roundness. There are some damp airs as it ages: this bouquet is a real, open, road runner – great, so Châteauneuf. The palate starts prettily, marked by red fruit and rose hip. There is good width in this, a great show by the Grenache. It is both ripe and clear of tone towards the finish. A wine for lovers of the genuine, refined Châteauneuf, with a little late charge of power or heat on the aftertaste. There is a lovely sweet spice note towards the finish. Persistent, ripe Grenache at its heart – a capital wine, Doctor Watson. Ideal with game, especially plumed, birds. It may just close and tighten over the next one to two years – a hunch. 2019-22 June 2008 Previously October 2001 (barrel/cask) **** has a plumy, quite dark robe; there is good Grenache expression on the nose – it is ripe and broad, with a garrigue, herb and baked stone style. There is nice squeezy matter on the palate, with some licorice to provide some tang. There is good juice in this, and some red jam towards the finish, plus a wee tannic kick. Well made, and good local feel. 18-20 years. October 2001