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The Wines

75-85% Grenache, 10-15% Syrah, 5-10% Cinsault (av age 40 years) from clay-limestone soils, hand harvested, destemmed, 2-3 week vinification at up to 24°-28°C, wild yeasts, daily pumping overs, 70% concrete vat, 30% steel vat raised 7-8 months, filtered, “we want fresh fruit in this”, 40,000 b

2016

dark red robe. There is a yeasty top note to the bouquet, a rounded blackberry jam aroma, with a hint of buffed leather. It’s a pretty sturdy style of bouquet, has a low-key, ingrained sweetness, some reduction. The palate holds dark fruits, supple tannins that bend well late on, the texture smooth. The inner flavour rests on Damson plum and blackberry. It has some 2016 thickness, a compact depth. Leave it until spring 2018, so it can provide more variety and nuance; for now, it’s a bit samey on the palate. It persists on its squeezy content, but I find its yeasty angle, also on the palate, a slight concern. 14.5°. 2021-22 July 2017

2015

plum red colour. The nose is tangy, smoky, marked by slightly strict red fruits, plums, with a note of varnish present. The palate springs forward with cut and a decisive, spiced fruit. It has the feel of a wine made to be fresh, rather than letting nature take its course. There is a stream of red fruit through it, and the finish involves spearmint. Grilled foods suited here. From 2017, in the quest for more ease. 13.5°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Cins. €3.80. 2019-20  June 2016 

2014

quite a dark red; the nose is grilled, with a note of reduction, meaning air will help it. There is a plum fruit essence within. The palate combines plum fruit with a note of sweet herbs, and ends on a small nugget of baked jam, goes quite long. This has local virtues. Country dishes suited. 13.5°. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Cins. 40,000 b. €6.90. Drink now to 2018. Jun 2015

2013

bright robe with purple in the red – it is more bright than deep, as befits the 2013 vintage. Has a peppered aroma with a quiet swathe of mulled red berry and a small floral drift, rose scent. Attractive, undemanding, with a little curiosity. Pebble edging shows the limits to the ripeness of the crop. This holds easy come, easy go fruit to indeed quaff – red berry, mulberry, red cherry – then it moves into a spiced, dusted, licorice-tinted second half. Clean wine that is very much OK solo, or served a touch chilled. It has a little Côtes du Rhône groundforce – the vineyards – but is mostly airborne – the vintage. Sympa, w.o.w. wine that slips along very freely. 13.5°. £10.50 from Quaff,Brighton. To 2017  Sept 2014

2012 ()

medium red. Smoked, cassis fruit air that brings small berries to mind – it isn’t 100% clear, has yeasty, earthy notes. The palate’s black cherry flavour happens quickly. This is not a wine of considered structure: it is simple, slightly flawed. 13.5°. To 2015  May 2013

2011 ()

dark robe. Blackberry, Morello cherry and cassis fruit in an already harmonious nose, which is well-balanced, has some outlying herbs, shows light reduction. The palate bears attractive, calm and textured black fruit – this is a grand drink, is likeable, easy. Definite w.o.w. wine that could be served a little chilled. The length of fruit is good, and is helped by a touch of tannin and licorice. A Leader of the Pack this year, long, elegant and harmonious. Way better than the London bottle tasted 2 months ago. 14°. 2015-16  Nov 2012  Previously Sept 2012 ** mild red robe. Brewed red berry fruit air, with licorice and a slight pong of reduction, so decant it. The palate is easy textured, bears mid-weight red fruit, is approachable, facile. It lacks extras, flair. Simple, OK. 14°. To 2015  Sept 2012

2010

sensible red with a little brightness. Has the air of soaked or mulled red cherries, a farmyard, yes farmyard backdrop, cow’s derrière. The palate has a cherry fruit intensity, with a tang in it. The fruit is “high” rather than direct and racy. There is a bitter note – this isn’t harmonious, with scorched notes in the fruit. I find it disappointing given the vintage quality. Day 2: it is now tight, acrid on the finish, which is putting off. 14.5°. To 2017.  March 2012

2008 ()

mild red; nutty, baked red fruit aroma with decent filling in it, good local pepper. The palate has a line of quite wiry, winding freshness through its red fruit. It is cautious now, but holds hold good, well-ingrained fruit. The palate is reductive. Drink now, but decant to throw off the reduction. To 2014. Nov 2009

2007 ()

quite a dark robe; reductive, beefy, broad scale nose – earthy, vegetal airs in it. Brewed, rather hearty, traditional style of wine, one that is driven by its power rather than articulate fruit. Robust drinking for hearty, country foods, stews and so on. The length is OK – it ends roundly, quite fully. Can tame itself, but at heart is an honest, no pretension wine, despite the modern name. To 2011. June 2008

2005

red fruit jam aroma in a soft nose, shows herbs as well. This holds easy fruit, led by Grenache. Nice length of fruit, touch of end tannin. “It helped to have fresh nights this year, especially for the Grenache,” Jean-Jacques Sabon. 75% Gren, 15% Cins, 10% Syr. To 2010  Dec 2006