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The Wines

80-100% Grenache (1920s), 0-20% Mourvèdre from sandy soils on Pignan (N-E), Font du Loup (E), Les Saintes Vierges (N-E), Les Bédines (N-E), destemmed, 4-6 week vinification, part vat emptying/refillings, pumping overs, lees stirred, aged 70-80% concrete/steel vat, 20-30% new & 1 year 600-litre oak casks 14-22 months, 8-9,000 b

2018 ()

(concrete vat/casks, bottling May 2020) deep red colour; the nose is streamlined, stylish, with a neat aroma of black fruits, has a liqueur depth. The palate keeps up the good work, bears a stylish content with black berry fruit, notes of black olives and nicely ripe tannins well inside – they amplify it a touch towards the finish. The balance is good, the length lovely. This is a genuine Southern wine, with some of the classic Châteauneuf finesse. 15°. 9,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. €23 is fair. From 2022. 2044-46 Oct 2019

2017

(concrete vat/casks) dark red, sheen in the robe. There’s a bright, immediate note of blackberry on the nose, has style, beats a lot of the 2017s on that score. The palate runs with a smooth, seamless hand out of black berry, stone fruits, tannins evident before the close, a texture of grain from them. This has potential. It carries well, has a gentle style and fabric, the sign-off a little chunky for now. 15°. 9,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. €23. From mid-2021. 2039-41 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat/casks) dark red. The bouquet has a meaty angle, with varnish from the oak, roasted airs, a fruit backdrop of dates. The palate attacks on spiced cooked red fruits with a set of supple tannins, some caramel from the oak on the close. It has a tasty centre, raspberry fruit there. Allow until 2020 for oak integration to be well on its way. 2035-38 Oct 2017

2015

(vat/casks) mild red robe. Spice, white pepper front to the nose, with a light note of strawberry fruit, a hint of pine and rocks. It’s a little on the plain side. The palate is also spiced, has inner tension, and stretches along a tight wire for now. The red fruit gives moments of juice, so I would wait until mid-2018 to help it to amplify. It’s a naked do for now. 15°. 2031-33 Sept 2016

2014

(vat/casks, bottling May 2016) fair red robe. Has a broody, salted aroma, not fully together, and also gives a chunky, chiselled side, an air of red cherry and kirsch. The palate is firm and centres on red stone fruit. It has the clipped nature of some of the 2014s, perhaps indicating a struggle for ripeness across all the crop. These wines are leaner than most, but can pick up extra flesh over time, even though the tannins are a mite tough. 14.5°. 15,000 b. €20. From 2018. 2028-29  Oct 2015 

2013

(vat/casks) pale, fluid colour. Red fruit features on the nose and palate: this centres very much on the expression of Grenache. It is light in volume and intensity, but a fine tannic tramline gives some structure to this wine. It has early appeal. 15°. From 2016. 2022-24 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

(vat/casks, release March 2014) fair red robe; quiet, towards timid Grenache plum fruit, spiced mulberry aroma, a smudge of outcrop lands’ herbs. The palate is close to ready now, with a simple, lightly spiced red fruiting. It lacks Châteauneuf-du-Pape stature and nuance. It is cleanly made, but where are the depth and true local colour? From late 2014. 90% Gren, 10% Mourv this year, €21; 15°, 8,500 b. 2020-22  Nov 2013

2011 ()

pure, mild red. Has a medium weight nose, shows the plum fruit of Grenache, some fat, ripe, sweet notes – this is a light bouquet. There is a timid offer of red fruit on the palate, with a light tannin dust after that. Lacks authority, interest. It shows the dilution of the year. Now OK. 15°. 2020-21  Dec 2012

2010

medium depth red, Grenache marked (tasted blind). Has an air of varnish, wax and pine, a bosky influence that is partly offset by spiced plum fruit. The palate is a plain affair – there is no real surge of fruit. There is some spice within, and it shows pine needle on the finish, its acidity not truly inside it. From late 2012, and hope it can focus in on some core fruit, and pleasure. 15°. €21 at the cellars, bottled Nov 2011. 2018-19 Dec 2011

2009

bottled already: mid-depth red; raspberry, rich prune, hint of dates in the bouquet – notably ripe fruit used here, liqueur airs, but also a tinny side, I find. Sweet-hearted wine on the palate; its tannins are prominent, and it lacks a little cohesion as it travels. It ends rather drily, with a dusty aftertaste and some power. Not sure it can improve greatly. From 2012. 15°. 2018-20 Oct 2010