LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2017 rosé This is a good address for consistent wines with a decent amount of local pedigree. The Brotte family started to vinify their purchased crop in 1980, a rare early example of what is now an accepted practice. They also work closely with the good quality Domaine Grosset at Cairanne, and own Domaine Barville at Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Château de Bord at Laudun. From 2012 and 2015, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine Barville red has varied between ***(*) and ****, the Les Hauts de Barville red also a **** wine in 2017, bearing refined fruit, with the ****(*) 2018 ripe and gourmand.
LVT 2018 r A joint venture between the Grangeon family of Domaine de Cristia and their USA importer Peter Weygandt. There are two plots each of 1.7 hectares on adjoining sites on the sandy soils of Courthézon, which were bought in 2009. Le Grand Pin (as in Pignan) is a little higher than Guigasse, and the vines are younger. The wines are made in genuine hands-off fashion, and evoke the 1960s of laissez-faire winemaking, before the 100 point brigade rode into town. The Grand Pin was an exciting ****** wine in 2015, and ****(*) in 2016
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh 2015 rosé Sound, can be mainstream, but quality has been on the rise since the mid-2010s, and prices are reasonable. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, a trio, were really good, ranging from **** on the Vignobles de la Serrière to ***** [Hommage Odette Bernard] wines, with the Grande Réserve a ****(*) STGT wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grande Réserve red was the top of the three reds in 2017, a stylish, balanced ****(*) wine; it also hit ****(*) in 2018 - nicely together, stylish, well structured. The Côtes du Rhône Grande Réserve white is a steady wine, usually around ***, the red similar
LVT 2019 r 2014 wh Correct, sometimes very good Tradition red which has been performing very well recently - a savoury **** in 2015, an extremely long ****(*) in 2017, a genuine, savoury **** in 2018, and a colourful, generous **** in 2019; the Prestige has been a better wine, hence the Trad has been a less good wine until its recent revival. C'est simple. Very ripe crop use is emphasized. Son Arnaud, born 1990, has been working on the domaine since 2012 – in the vineyards and the cellar, while daughter Astrid, born 1995, has been working on the commercial side since 2015.
LVT 2012 r The owner of the Domaine de la Charité that makes sound Côtes du Rhône in the Gard, right bank, vineyards. His first steps into Châteauneuf-du-Pape here. Oaking a-plenty.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Top class, across many wines, too. The Vieilles Vignes white is an admirably stylish, intriguing white, with the 2014 **** and promising much future complexity. The red Beaucastels can be plump and accessible, as in 2014, or free and easy to drink, as in the mildew ravaged 2018, or more slow burn, as in 2013. The content is more fleshy and redondo than it used to be in the 1990s-2000s, the ***** 2016 Beaucastel red a good example of that.
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin red reflects the family's long standing love affair with the Mourvèdre - Jacques Perrin planted much of it in the late 1940s onwards. Its deep roots perform well on the clay soils of the Courrieux site near the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape - it would be more tricky in the free draining soils around the Château. 60% Mourvèdre, it is immensely classy and long-lived.
The own vines Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet white comes from just across the tracks from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, is stylish and local, punches well above its grade as very genuine wine for la table, the 2018 ****(*) STGT wine, and previous vintages ****. The Coudoulet red is produced on a much larger scale (about ten times), being topped up with fruit from the Prébois vineyard a short distance away. The 2017 was a classy ****(*) wine, well worth seeking out, and recent vintages have all been **** or ****(*) for it.
Even the Famille Perrin Vieille Ferme merchant wines have taken a move forward from 2014-2015 after a bit of a dip (see Famille Perrin entry).
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh Finely styled red wines from N-E of appellation, near Courthézon, a lot of sand in the soils. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites have a hand made feel; the 2016 was a serene **** wine. The Puy Rolland is a stylish single 4 hectare vineyard wine within the estate, based on 1910-1920 and replacement Grenache; all three of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 were **** wines
LVT (Last Vintage Tasted) 2018 r 2019 wh Leading name, modern style, wines that age well. Gardine is in the west of the appellation, with loose draining, limestone-influenced galet soils. Among the Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds is a 3,000 bottle Peur Bleue wine, with zero added SO2. This was a w.o.w. ****(*) wine holding entrancing fruit in 2016. The Brunels also own the modern fruited Château Saint-Roch at Lirac, and since 2007, a range of merchant wines called Brunel de la Gardine - very sound Côtes du Rhône red. There is a good Rasteau red [the 2017 a **** STGT wine], with a zero added SO2 version introduced in 2016, called Rasteau Meme Pas Peur. The classic Châteauneuf white is consistently excellent, very enjoyable, a wine of elegance.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh A leading estate of just over 50 hectares that is being well woken up by the Guigal family, who acquired it from the Groupama insurance company just before the 2017 harvest. They have renamed it Château de Nalys, which has applied since the 2016 vintage. I have always rated these vineyards as some of the best at Châteauneuf-du-Pape; there is red coloured sand - unusual - on Nalys, with other top plots on La Crau, which includes 1920 Clairette blanche, and on Grand Pierre, a site where Domaine du Banneret grow many of the 13 varieties.
There is now a first wine, called Château de Nalys red and white, and a second wine, Bordeaux-style, called Saintes Pierres de Nalys in the red and white. The first full vinification year under Guigal was 2017 - the 2016s straddle the old owners with the tail end of the raising under Guigal, rendering the wines rather safe in such a mighty vintage.
The first whites are very much in the Guigal mould - good, confident winemaking, polished wines with stylish gras central. The Château de Nalys [56% Roussanne] is a little deeper than the Saintes Pierres de Nalys, which is led by Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc and Clairette blanche. The two reds are modern in style, oaked, polished, and the 2019 Château de Nalys red, a ****(*) wine, will benefit from a good long time to rejoin its local provenance, which will come given its inner richness.
Over the years, the approach has been modern, successfully done. For a long time Nalys was a white wine leader - back in the 1970s, for instance. The red cuvées had multiplied, with lots of 1,600 to 4,000 bottles which are highly priced and rather confusing for the domaine's ID in the mind of the average consumer. 75% is bottled, 25% is sold in bulk. The 2015 Eicelnci white was an STGT ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh Sleekly styled wines from a very old estate. Qulaity is very steady, on the high side. The special Val de Dieu red was a genuine, muscular, **** wine in 2015, while the 2016 Clos du Belvédère white (100% old Grenache blanc) was a tremendously long and elegant ****(*) wine, with oak that marries with its old vine sap; the 2019 was also ****(*). The Château de Vaudieu white hovers between ***(*) and ****, but a standout was the ****(*) 2017, a wine of subtlety and detail, very well assembled in such a hot and dry vintage. The Bréchets also own Domaine des Bosquets at Gigondas and Domaine de la Jerome Côtes du Rhône Villages.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé Good, supple fruit these days in the reds, wines of stature. The classic Châteauneuf red was **** in 2015, a wine of true virtues, and also in 2017. Two recent amusements have been the introduction of a 1,000 bottle Châteauneuf-du-Pape made from 100% Vaccarèse, called Forget me Not, a **** wine in 2018 that was correctly floral [not cheap, though], and a 600 bottle pure Cinsault, the 2018 a ***(*) wine. The ****(*) 2017 Châteauneuf Château des Fines Roches white [the classic wine] stood out in a tricky hot year for its class and balance. The family also own Château du Bois de la Garde nearby, which provides very sound, consistent Côtes du Rhône and Villages wines.
LVT 2016 r Champions of whole bunch fermentation, followed by 3 or 4 years of vat raising. Popular in Scandinavia. Mature style wines. The 2012 and 2013, 2015 and 2016 Très Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Prestige red were both marvellous - really true, the 2013 and the 2015 STGT, all the first three wines ****(*), the 2016 *****
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Has moved to much earlier bottling. Rock steady, underestimated wines with plenty of drive. The Vieux Chemin is full and authentic red. The Château Fargueirol Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a juicy, genuine **** wine in 2015, an STGT **** wine in 2016, and a genuine, local **** wine in 2017, while the old vine 100% Grenache Cuvée Antonin red was a vigorous, fresh ****(*) wine in 2015. The 2017 white was an authentic, well-filled **** wine
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh More and more use of Syrah, also Mourvèdre risen from 5% in 2007 to 23% in 2016 to 40% in the 2018 Tradition), and the Counoise has been thrown out after soil studies said it was not best suited . . It's as if there is no certainty about what works best. The 2018 Tradition red and Baron were both **** wines, the former raw but promising, the latter serene, properly elegant. The 80-85% Syrah Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve red, occasionally made, was ****(*) wine in 2010 and 2015, STGT also. The 2017 white, a wine I have enjoyed over the years with local colour in it, was a ****(*) wine, a true southern delivery in it.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé Progress here with the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, whose vineyards are now organic, but also other wines: witness the excellent 2015 Côtes du Rhône Bois des Moines red, made from old vines, half Grenache (1952), half Mourvèdre, a ****(*) wine. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos du Roi white was a fat, stylish **** wine
LVT 2014 wh 2014 r Since 2008, a 10 hectare estate. Having been in the Lubéron since the the late 1980s, the owners subsequently separated. Fair quality wines from sandy soils. The Saintes Vierges white is pretty successful, can be a **** wine.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh This was separated from Château des Fines Roches in 2005 – it is in the same ownership, and stands just beside the Fines Roches. The soils are warm, sunswept. Before 2005, its wine went into the Château des Fines Roches wine, although a little of its own wine was issued in 2003. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape red has a sleek style, with no more than 13,000 bottles made.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Modern, sleek wines here, but they lost some of their character during the 2010s, under uninspiring management, with the crop harvested safely, which meant extremely early. A new manager, Ralph Garcin, arrived in 2016, but by 2019 had departed for the Guigal empire. Continuity, and a clear statement of local ID, are needed here. Perhaps a revival is now on the cards, since the 2019 classic red bubbled with fruit vigour and energy, and was a rare case of a w.o.w. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a **** wine, This is a long-time organic domaine, one of the largest and oldest, with warm, well-sited vineyards just East of the village.
The classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape red varies from one year to the next in its blend - the 2018, for instance, was 38% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, whereas the rather tame (in the context of a glorious vintage, one of the best of my lifetime) 2016 was 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 23% Mourvèdre, 7% Cinsault. It is a large production wine, always over 100,000 bottles.
The special Cadettes red was a ****(*) wine in 2016, with its recent high of 52% Grenache welcome in my view; this was topped by the ***** 2018 Cadettes, lovely and genuine, and a stylish, classy, unhurried ****(*) 2019 - so there are welcome signs of a bounce back to former glories. The classic white is elegant, as is the longer-lived, more stately Clos de Beauvenir, the two-thirds Roussanne, one-third Clairette plot-specific wine from just in front of the Château; it has become less obviously oaked, and more refined as result, from the 2016 vintage, which was a **** wine, with the 2019 ****(*). There are also two noteworthy Villages wines, a red and white called Cassagnes.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé The wines are more smoothly fruited than in the past; an estate that has been on the up after enjoying wide renown in the 1950s-1960s. The main shareholder now is the Lavau family. The vineyards are organic. The Château stands rather moodily among trees in the North-West of the appellation, beyond the Mont-Redon plateau, at a little height. It was a big name in my youth in the 1970s, always a little mysterious to the outside world.
There are three Châteauneuf reds, Tradition, Privilège [30% new oak, 50% Grenache, good range of smaller varieties such as Terret noir, Muscardin, Counoise] and L'Esprit de Maucoil. The preferred 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red of the three tasted was the L'Esprit de Maucoil, a **** wine. The Privilège was some way ahead of the Tradition in 2019, a **** wine.
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white has been modest until a **** 2018, which held the body to evolve allied to freshness: the increase in Grenache blanc from around 30% to 70% was decisive. Generally, the special Trésor des Papes white from old vines is better - the 2016 flirting with Vin Nature style, a **** wine with good personality.
LVT 2014 wh 2014 r Organic from 2012. The laboratory for local growers, and the wine school for budding winemakers and viticulteurs from all over France. Based in the north area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the way to Orange. It is now certified organic. I find progress since around 2010, both red and white - the latter unusually made from 100% Clairette rose.
LVT 2018 r Robust style, genuine, based on 80% Grenache from clay, sand soils, under 5 hectares. Raising - a mix of vat and used oak casks - barely lasts one year. There are never more than 10-12,000 bottles of the red; the 2016 was a generous **** wine, typical of the vintage, the 2018 also ****, quietly stylish.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2012 rosé Take your time wines that fuse and blossom very slowly. The estate stands proudly on the high, galet stone strewn plateau of Mont-Redon in the North-West of the appellation. Quality has been on the rise recently, with the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red [there is happily only one wine] an outstanding ****** wine, taking me back to the glory days of the 1960s from here, the 2019 red a polished, very long, pure-fruited ****(*) wine. The 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a ****(*) wine of good local presence.
They also own a good vineyard in Lirac at Roquemaure, the old Verda Cantegril, which gives a full and fluid Lirac red. A good Gigondas Château Mont-Redon Réserve red was recently added, the 2017, a **** wine. There is also a growing amount of a branded Côtes du Rhône Réserve Mont-Redon red, which was a fresh ***(*) wine in 2015. The two families who have run it for decades, Abeille and Fabre, went their separate ways in 2016-17, and the manager in charge now is Pierre Fabre.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Grandiose. The most fascinating wines you can encounter anywhere. STGT on the agenda, with extremely well cared for sandy vineyards, often in the form of leafy clos that retain the sun, and hands-off winemaking, the wines raised in extremely old mainly 600-litre, misshapen casks. Always late harvesting here, into November more and more in recent times, as Emmanuel wants a true ripeness. The 2018 vintage was a write-off due to the mildew, with just 400 litres of white Rayas, 800 litres of red Rayas, harvested on 28 November, 2018. The wines will not be launched on the market.
The Reynaud family also own the wonderful Côtes du Rhône Château de Fonsalette a little to the north, and the Vacqueyras Château des Tours, the latter very close to Rayas in its gentle, spiced features, and offering a very good red and white Côtes du Rhône as well.
LVT 2014 r Also make a punchy Plan de Dieu. Christian is the son of the legendary Gabriel Meffre of Gigondas.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2012 rosé Now organic and biodynamic. The vineyards are in the Northern sector of the appellation, and generally mix galet stone covered soils on the Cabrières plateau, with clay-limestone and sany spots further East, notably on Palestor. I have noted progress during the 2010s, both on the table-friendly white Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Traversier, and on the red Massif d'Uchaux Jocundaz. There has been shorter raising on the red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, now called Le Traversier, since 2011; the 2015 was a good hearted **** wine, while the 2016 special Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Grandes Grenachières d’Hippolyte red was an intricate **** wine.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh Modern, progressive, doing well. The Châteauneuf Château Sixtine red is very good - the 2015 was an extremely long, STGT ***** wine, while the Tradition level wine, Cuvée du Vatican red was also STGT in 2015, a **** wine. The Manus Dei Châteauneuf red is a merchant wine. The white 100% Roussanne comes from sandy soils, and is well adapted to traditional, sauced cuisine; the 2015 was a **** wine, as was the 2018, a stylish and attractive wine well in tune with its vintage.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Owned by Ogier these days, reviving, sound+ wines, some very good. The quality for both the red and the white usually ranges between *** and ****, with the red Clos de l'Oratoire a ****(*) wine of quiet inner complexity in 2015, and a potentially varied and interesting ****(*) wine in 2016. The 2018 was an STGT **** wine.
Both the 2017 and 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white have been **** wines, the latter medium weight, aromatic, and the 2019 a very well fulfilled ****(*) wine. I regard the label as about the most iconic in the whole of the Rhône.
LVT 2018 r Top marks for genuine Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, local style, authentic wines. The vineyard is based on 7 hectares on the galet stone, clay, windy soils of Tresquous just north of the village, a total of 10 ha in production across 30 plots, mostly near the village. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a VALUE, STGT ****(*) wine.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh Gold standard estate, joy to taste only one red, one white, so good blending is crucial. The yields are always very low – not much more than 20 hl/ha, which serves to concentrate the red wine, and there is an above average emphasis on the Mourvèdre, all planted in clay soils. The blend is now usually 55% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 5% various including white grapes, having been 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 5% various including white grapes into the early 2010s. The 2014 red was utterly charming, a real en finesse ****(*) beauty, while the 2015 is logically a bolder, more demanding ***** wine, requiring patience. The ****** 2016 red is enormously, majestically deep and long, a vintage that will age extremely well. The whites drink well in their first couple of years, then back off, close down, and emerge as more complex, stimulating wines around seven years' old [Vincent likes to drink them around 15 years' old]; they live well and deserve a top table accompaniment. The 2015, 2017 and 2019 whites were all STGT, classic examples of slow-burn wines that will age majestically.
LVT 1994 r Traditional domaine
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh A staple, mainstay domaine at Châteauneuf. The wines reflect the best characteristics of the Grenache. They would be considered by some as traditional, with a long cask and large barrel ageing meaning they rarely carry vivacious fruit. The wines live a very long time, and in vintages such as 1961, 1978 and 1990 are wonderful examples of core Châteauneuf, with STGT qualities. The special Papet Châteauneuf red is often a marvellous wine - ****(*) in 2015, ***** in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012, ****** in 1990. The Côtes du Rhône reds are full of character and come from old vines near Bollène - their success in the tricky 2014 vintage is testament to the quality of the vineyards and the domaine.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh A domaine that always delivers full wines with genuine character. Since 2003, the wine style has been markedly changed at this previously traditional estate, the year when they hired oenologue Philippe Cambie, who favours rich, savoury wines with very ripe tannins. The grapes are picked later and more fully ripe than before. Fruit bomb syndrome hovers like a Flying Cigar. Destemming and more cellar work during vinification has been undertaken. Vatting time without the stalks has risen from 25 days to 35-38 days. The aim has been to soften the wines and allow earlier drinking.
The Tradition remains generally well-filled, and is the most accessible of the three reds. In 2014, it was the only cuvée made, and drinkers are rewarded with a hightly tasty, juicy **** wine, so look out for that. The 2017 Tradition was also a commendable **** STGT wine in a vintage-dominated year. Of the two Prestige wines, which are based on 1905 Grenache planted by greatgrandfather Edmons, who was a tailor at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Combe des Fous is more local and opens earlier than the Deus ex Machina, which is robust, smoky wine supported by 40% Mourvèdre; both were **** wines in 2015, and ***** wines in 2016. There is also a new oak raised 100% Grenache Châteauneuf red called Sanctus Sanctorum, with 800 magnums every year, half of them going to the USA. All the wines here benefit from being drunk from four to five years on – they are thorough and need time. A frisky vin de pays red and a solid white Châteauneuf (the 2015 a **** STGT wine), with a red Côtes du Rhône that is mostly sold the Netherlands complete the picture. The quantity bottled on the Tradition cuvée has risen from 37,000 in 2005 to 100,000 in the 2007 vintage. The rest of the wine is sold in bulk.
LVT 2019 r 2016 rosé 2019 wh Modern approach, accessible wines from the draining soils of the South-East of the appellation towards Sorgues. Quality has been high and consistent recently. The Châteauneuf white was very good from 2012 to 2014, with 2018 a revival into ****(*) - great with sea bass, daurade, and aged Comté cheese. Both the 2014 and the 2016 Châteauneuf Tradition reds were **** wines. The range now covers as many as six different Châteauneuf reds with different blends, including the 100% Mourvèdre Grand Clos red and the 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache gris Coteau Brûlé red. The 2018 H to H Châteauneuf red, named in full as Homage to Heritage, was a most interesting blend of 50% Grenache noir, 30% Grenache gris, 20% Syrah: a ****(*) wine of inner strength and appealing vigour. Whole bunches are fermented these days. The 2017 Grand Vin, half Grenache, half Syrah, was the top 2017 at ****(*). They are all bottled within one year after the harvest.
Their Côtes du Rhônes come from very good alluvial, garrigue soils at Sérignan-du-Comtat. It is a good range, headed by the Côtes du Rhônes Villages Les Garrigues that carries local imprint, is a properly structured wine, the 2019 a full, fun **** wine.
LVT 2015 r 2016 wh A domaine with a long history, and a notably high profile, much visited by Parisians and le beau monde in the 1930s. The first vinification on the spot in a new cellar was in 2014; rented vats were used before. The first vintage under the Perveyries was 2010 in red, and 2014 in white. Carole is an Arnaud of the Domaine des Cabrières and Château de Maucoil in the past, and their eight hectares had latterly been within Maucoil. The main lieux-dits are Palestor and Bois de la Ville. The wines have been organic since 2012. The vin de pays crop – one-third each Caladoc, Marselan and Syrah, planted in 2013 for an amusing red - is sold to merchants, as is most of the Châteauneuf - only 4,000 bottles of the Urbi red are made. Both the 2013 and 2015 Urbi were **** wines.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Albin's mother is an Arnaud of Château Cabrières. He received his own vineyards from that estate when it was divided. The Domaine La Bégude des Papes is the original chunk of that - 10 ha - but more vineyards have come, and the name is now Domaine Albin Jacumin. His cellar was built in 2007. The house style is for elegance in both red and white. The La Bégude des Papes red is shapely; the 2015 captured the vintage well - it was muscular, and well-defined, a ****(*) wine, the 2019 a stylish **** wine with a feel of vitality in it. There is an occasional top cuvée called A Aimé, based on 1930s Grenache on two small plots on Les Marines near the village, hand bottled. The ****(*) was rich and solid, to wait 10 years with.
The white, ripe but also fresh, has made marked progress since 2014, the 2017 a sophisticated, graceful *****(*), a real achievement in such a hot vintage, while the 2019 was a **** wine of ping and detail
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé A very good address, often STGT wines, too. Fair pricing. The special Vin de Felibre d'Anseume Mathieu red is a very consistent Prestige wine, rarely below ****. The 2017 white, 50% Clairette, 40% Grenache blanc, delivered a stylish **** STGT wine, the ***(*) 2018 being light and aperitif-like, by contrast. For years the domaine was called Domaine Mathieu, until the split after the 2014 vintage of the two brothers, Jérôme (his domaine now called Saje) and André
LVT 2017 r 2015 wh Owned by the Brotte family, with its wine previously part of Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes. The 2016 Domaine Barville Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a sweet-hearted, genuine **** wine, the 2017 also ****, a restrained style to it
LVT 2015 r 2008 wh Organic domaine since 2001, an ex Co-operateur; promise is being delieverd in the mid-2010s
LVT 2013 r Daughter of the Berthet Rayne family, promising start
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé Officially organic since the 2007 vintage. Fair prices, fair-plus quality that, if anything, is on the rise. They have an association with the golfer Nick Faldo for one of the six wines in his "collection", a Châteauneuf-du-Pape red. A new 100% Grenache Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was introduced in 2015, Elixir des Papes, steel vat raised, bottled early, in June following the harvest. The 2015 was an engaging and deep ****(*) wine, the 2016 a fine ****, and the 2017 a very long ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 r 2013 wh Really good, reliable, traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape, both red and white. Good value, as well. It is now organic.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2010 rosé The Tradition red is good value, and STGT. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a **** STGT wine, too, a relief after some lighter recent vintages. The other red wines are smoothly Grenache-dominated; the Gloire de Grand-Père was a good ****(*) wine when tasted pre-bottling for both 2015 and 2016 (the 2016 STGT), while the old Grenache Chante le Merle (singing blackbird) can really hit the heights: ***** in 2016, when it was an STGT wine, and in 2012. The occasional and expensive Châteauneuf La Folie seems to be slightly surplus to requirements in vintages such as 2015. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a ****(*) wine of character, its blend of interest: 25% Gren blanc, 25% Clairette blanche, 20% Clairette rose, 20% Bourboulenc, 10% Grenache gris. There is also a good, easy drinking Côtes du Rhône red, the 2019 a **** w.o.w. wine.
LVT 2005 r A domaine that was sold in 2014, the vineyards split between neighbours at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Has been a northern sector domaine finding its way, some STGT tendencies. Converted to organic production in 2009. Jean-Paul Bouvachon was a restaurateur in Normandy, bought the domaine in 1988
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Really well-made, genuine wines from a talented vigneron. STGT wines crop up with some regularity - the **** 2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, the ***** 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape and **** 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, for instance. The white is well worth a look, is traditional and well made, the 2016 a full **** wine. The Vieilles Vignes red was a ****(*) STGT wine in 2015, and a ***** wine in 2016.
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh Underestimated quality, STGT southern zone truth from the hot soils there. More Syrah, less Grenache recently. The wines can be fully charged, coming as they do from the precocious south-eastern sector. An unusually high 10% Muscardin can serve to keep the lid on the power of the red wine, which was **** in 2015. The white gives good, traditional virtues, based on 60-70% Grenache blanc, and 10-20% Clairette, and can be a wine for its second stage, after five years or so. A special white, Etienne Pecoul, 100% Clairette blanche, was introduced in 2015, and two special reds, a 100% Grenache, also Etienne Pecoul, and a 100% Mourvèdre, Henri Perges, in 2015. They come from Les Galimardes, and the 2016 Etienne Pecoul red was a ****(*) STGT wine.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2019 rosé An excellent STGT source. It has been officially organic since 2011, but dad Gilbert was already very hands-off in the vineyard in the bad old, spray happy days of the 1970s. There is vat only raising, no oak. Laurent, 50 in 2019, is one of life's Eternal Questors. It is one of the unsung top addresses, the quality super consistent, the authenticity of the wines beyond reproach. The 8 hectares are in the North-West of the appellation, mostly on Les Cabrières, where north-facing soils aid freshness. Unusually, 5% is early to mid-1960s Vaccarèse that grows in sand. It has a similar maturity to the Grenache [but is lower in degree], and brings a violet hue to the robe, and a finesse, subtle fruit to the palate.
Among recent vintages, the ***** 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red can be a major wine from that excellent vintage, while the 2015, 2017 [iron and freshness distinguish it from many peers] and 2018 [STGT] are all ****(*) wines, with a correct vintage imprint each time. There is a very good, long-lived Côtes du Rhône red as well, the 2016 an exceptional, well-structured STGT ****(*) wine.
From 2015 there has been a white Côtes du Rhône, and from 2016 a little over 1,000 bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, composed of 80-95% Clairette rose dating from 1968; the Clairette rose immediately gives an off piste character to the wine. The 2016 was a ***(*) wine, 2017 and 2018 both ****.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Christophe Mestre changed the name from Cuvée des Sommeliers to Domaine Christophe Mestre in 2019. He is about to be joined by his son Rémi who has been doing wine studies at Beaune. There are 17 hectares, in chunks of 3 to 4 hectares mainly North of the village, The approach is traditional, and there is very good vintage definition each year. The red wines are full-bodied, clear and genuine, with improvement noted on the ****(*) 2012, the STGT **** 2013, **** 2014, **** STGT 2015 and ****(*) 2016 reds. The 2014 white was **** after a halting, lightweight start, the 2018 and 2019 also ****, the latter an astute blend of the the three varieties, with the freshness of the Bourboulenc very important. Christophe's mother is the sister of Lucien Michel of Le Vieux Donjon; he is a very keen cyclist, a passion he gets from his father Jacques Mestre, 81 in January 2020, and still on two wheels, a man who rode with the legendary Jacques Anquetil. I expect Rémi to bring renewed impetus. Only 40% is bottled, the rest is sold in bulk to merchants.
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh 5 hectares were sold to Jean Bonnet in 2006, with previous owner Olivier Hillaire setting himself up on his own under the name Domaine Olivier Hillaire. The red notes refer to wines tasted pre-sale. It is now owned by the widow of Philippe Kessler of Château Calissanne near Aix-en-Provence, with a total of 10.5 hectares. The 2016 white Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Clef de St Thomas was a w.o.w., drink young **** wine, most elegant, with mild oaking, the 2017 also ****. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Clef de St Thomas red shows some cellar exertion when young
LVT 2016 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé The whites have become elegant since the 2000s, with the Grenache blanc-based Châteauneuf-du-Pape white regularly no less than ***(*), while the reds have been a bit uneven. There was improvement in 2015 on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red - a **** wine - with the 2016 a ***(*) wine. Whole bunch vinification here. There is a Prestige red wine called Réserve de la Comtesse, and the 2016 was a sturdy, traditional **** wine
LVT 2017 wh 2016 r One of the famous 19th century names, in the southern area. Only a little is bottled these days, although the younger generation of Monsieur Bouche's daughter may change that. The red is regular wine; I prefer the white, a traditional table wine, which was ***(*) in 2016 and 2017.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé A very good domaine, highly reliable, with admirable quality over the decades I have known it. It is biodynamic and organic across its roughly 35 hectares. Quality has been rock steady for decades, with an uptick in recent vintages into boldly successful areas. Grandfather Paul is a man of great vision; he set the domaine on an classy path back in the 1970s. There is sleek fruit, very consistent quality, year in, year out. The special red Boisrenard is overtly oaked, so allow plenty of time; the 2015 was a ****(*) wine, the 2019 a fabulous, regal ****** wine.
The whites are notable for their elegance; the classic drinks freshly from an early stage, the **** 2019 carrying lots of saline, fluid appeal. The Boisrenard white is based on old vines Clairette blanche and Roussanne, co-planted, and is rich and stylish, the 2018 a ****(*) STGT wine. It has been improved by the use of 12 hl Stockinger barrels that has eased the oaking effect. There are also good Rasteau reds from classic blue clay soils there.
Sons Victor and Antonin, 1990 and 1993, now work in the cellar and export and the vineyard and French market respectively.
LVT 2015 r Have recently started to bottle more of their Châteauneuf-du-Pape and their two Côtes du Rhône reds, one 100% Grenache called Bastien, the other Syrah, called Vincent - Bastien was ***(*), as was Vincent in 2015. The soils are worked.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Polished, robust wines, improving over time, with finesse coming through in both 2014 and 2015, when the Tradition red was a ****(*) genuine wine. In 2017 the Tradition red was also ****(*), a genuine reflection of the vintage and its lands, while the 2018 was also ****(*) - impressive and ample. The white is nicely traditional, suited to the table. It is now biodynamic. Since 2009 there has been the joint venture with Peter Weygandt, their American importer, working with 3.4 hectares on the sandy soils of Courthézon, the title Chapelle St Théodoric, the wines extremely good and made in a laissez faire manner
LVT 2018 r A name of real note, and STGT qualities. This is a northern sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape domaine, with 5.5 hectares based on Cabrières (1.25 ha 1900s-1920s, 1 ha 1960s Grenache) and La Bertaude (1.8 ha). The galet stone influence produces robust wines, that until the late 2010s have been a hallmark of the domaine. Latterly, Philippe Bravay staes that he seeks more energy and less concnetration these days, and lowers the temperature of the vinification when handling harvest from very hot summers.
The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a really genuine ***** wine. The Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes red, 90% 1930s Grenache from vineyards next to the domaine, is top grade, robust wine that ecolves well, good punch in it, can also be STGT: it can give a good glimpse of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a much lesser price. The second level Côtes du Rhône, called Mistral, is also a good example of its category. A third Côtes du Rhône, all Syrah, called La Ferrande, is respectable to sound. Since 2016 there has been a limited edition zero added SO2 Vin de France red called L.126, 95% Syrah, 5% Marselan, the 2018 a **** w.o.w. wine.
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh 2015 rosé Beyond its Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this domaine also makes a Gigondas, Vacqueyras and sound Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, and red and white Côtes du Rhône from two of the five Châteauneuf-du-Pape communes, Courthézon and Bédarrides. It converted to organic in 2011.
2018 has been an important vintage, marked by a leap forward in quality, suggested by the red Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine called Trilogies, the replacement of the Tradition red once the Mourvèdre came on stream to make the third variety in the blend - from 2012. This was a ****(*) wine in 2015 - long, stylish and structured. Well, the 2018 hit *****, stylish, balanced and naturally elegant, excellent VALUE, too. Meanwhile, the just a few casks' worth Châteauneuf-du-Pape David et Goliath red that had never exceeded ***(*) when I have tasted it in the past, also came in at ***** in 2018: fruit with tuneful freshness, excellent length.
Both the 2018 and 2015 Gigondas Combe Sauvage were polished, appealing **** wines. The whites have always been good, and the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was an authentic, potentially charming ****(*) wine. The Vacqueyras impressed me in 2012 and 2014, as did the Côtes du Rhône Les Vignes de mon Père red - ***(*) - white - ***(*) - and rosé - **** - in 2015.
LVT 2019 r 2018 wh The first wine was in 2000, a new cellar built that year; Nathalie Fabre is the sister of Daniel Chaussy of Mas de Boislauzon. Her brother Patrick made wine at the Co-operative of Sérignan. Nathalie’s son Romuald, 30 in late 2019, was an electrician who started on the domaine in 2014, looking after the vineyard and helping Patrick on the vinifications. The domaine started to be organic in 2009, and officially so from 2012.
The 3.5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are in the northern sector, and feature Grenache with some Mourvèdre in support, no Syrah. It is finding its way, with definite progress noted with the 2016 vintage: a **** Tradition red, and a ****(*) Réserve de Félicien (old Grenache) red. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Caprice de Mathys red is 100% Mourvèdre, and good, under 1,000 bottles of it, though. The 2018 Tradition red was an aromatic, w.o.w. wine for early drinking, while the **** 2019 was traditional, filled, an STGT wine of good VALUE.
There are 2.5 hectares of Côtes du Rhône Villages at orange, and 10 hectares of Côtes du Rhône split between Orange nord and the good soils of Sérignan du Comtat. Quality on their reds is OK, not more. There is a decent, unoaked Vin de France Merlot, up for grills.
LVT 2018 r 2011 wh Gérard Bouyer created this northern sector domaine in 1984, and changed the old farm into a vineyard-only enterprise, growing it from 10 to 23 hectares. He retired in 2009, when his daughter Christelle took over with her husband Jérôme Grieco, who left his job as a motorway/autoroute patrolman at 34 to make wine – he is self-taught. Christelle, a cousin of Daniel Chaussy at Mas de Boislauzon, has accountancy training and has worked full-time at the domaine since 2011. Their first wine was 2009. No weedkillers used. SO2 used just before bottling, 16 mg, for example.
The vineyard rental arrangements lapsed in 2019, so Jérôme and Christelle have reduced the total vineyard to 15 hectares, eight hectares less, “so it is a manageable size for the two of us.” The Châteauneuf part is now 5.5 hectares, with 0.5 hectare bought from neighbour Domaine La Millière during that 27 hectare estate’s sale in June 2019. Henceforth there will only be Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Vin de France.
I thoroughly recommend the wines, which hold good fruit, and are blessed by clarity, with none of the souped up sweetness so prevalent these days. No oak is involved here, and whole bunch fermentation is practised. The superior Les Anglaises (1935 Grenache) was a ***** wine in 2016, a ****(*) wine in 2015; based on 1935 Grenache that is N-West facing on sandy soils; one of its features is the silken feel it often gives. The regular Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is always full of fruit. Good Villages and Vin de France reds that have character are also offered. The Vin de France Début d’une Histoire is well worth trying; it centres on 1965-1973 Cinsault from red clay in the commune of Orange, a vineyard that could give Rhône Villages if it weren’t all Cinsault. A wine of character, off the highway, it is very popular in bars and hotels in Paris. An enlarged cellar from 2013 allowed raising to double in time from nine to 18 months. By 2015 bulk sales had been reduced to 20% in favour of bottling at the domaine. Delas buy some of the bulk wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Stylish, accomplished wines. The white has become extremely elegant. Both the 2014 and 2015 white Châteauneuf-du-Pape were ****(*) wines. The reds can pack a punch. The classic red Châteauneuf-du-Pape is bottled within a year these days, and is a lighter, busier and earlier wine than the main cuvées; it was STGT in 2014, and ****(*) in 2016. The best of the three special Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds in 2016, by some way, was the ***** Vieilles Vignes. It was also the top performer in 2018, when it was a ****(*) persistent, garrigue-influenced wine. The Vacqueyras vineyard was increased by 1.5 hectares of 1950s-1960s Grenache to 5.83 hectares in 2014; from 2015 that new vineyard is now responsible for the Vacqueyras Cuvée Spéciale red.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh A 14 hectare domaine, with plots spread all around the appellation, the most notable being the 2.5 hectares on Coteau de l’Ange, N-W of the village, clay with sand and galet stones, a hot, windy spot. Son Jules [pictured with grandmother Monique] joined the domaine in 2017, after studies at Orange and Montpellier, his role in both vineyard and cellar. Corinne is a Mestre, part of the Cuvée des Sommeliers family – she does the commerce.
60% of the Châteauneuf is bottled, the rest sold in bulk, often the wine taken from the limestone soils of Le Grand Devès; all the Côtes du Rhône is bottled. When the red wines are on form, they have fresh drive. This is one of the steady quality domaines, year in, year out. The racy, sometimes exerted wines do well in the top vintages such as 2016, but also showed well in 2012 and 2013. They benefit from patient cellaring. The **** 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white held true southern gras richness. I liked the balance and restraint on the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, a **** wine. From the 2016 vintage, they have ceased to make a Prestige or special cuvée wine - so no more Secret de l'Ange or Vieilles Vignes.
60% of the Châteauneuf is bottled, the rest sold in bulk, often the wine taken from the limestone soils of Le Grand Devès; all the Côtes du Rhône red is bottled - it comes from sandy soils across the River at Roquemaure, and is genuine, recommended for la table.
LVT 2019 r 2011 rosé 2018 wh Top class estate, deep wines, prices now rather high. The vineyards are centred on Courthézon and its sandy soils in the North-East of the appellation. The Châteauneuf reds beyond the Tradition are punchy, can be glamorous, can be powerful.
The Chaupin is perhaps more interesting than the Vieilles Vignes; 100% Grenache [1912 to 1940s] from sandy soils, 80% on Chapouin, which is north of the road from Roquemaure to Courthézon, it carries complexity and some of the Grenache floral attributes, especially when grown on sand. The 2019 was **** wine, for example, the best in recent vintages. The Châteauneuf Vieilles Vignes red is made with 10-20% Syrah, Mourvèdre and a touch of some white varieties; it is from Chapouin and Coudoulet (60%), La Crau de Courthézon and Les Saumades (40%), the Grenache 1900s-1940s. It is rugged, Southern, with that Mourvèdre imprint of firmness, and benefits from long ageing. 2013-2014-2015-2019 were ****(*), the 2016 *****.
The Côtes du Rhône reds are full of character, from classic garrigue soils and mature vines. In 2015 the family bought a Côtes du Rhône domaine at Jonquières, the Clos Saint Antonin; this produces Côtes du Rhône and Plan de Dieu Villages reds.
LVT 2017 r A start-up in 2016, with organic vineyards. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a fulsome, perfumed ***(*) wine, the 2017 came with moments of savoury appeal, also ***(*)
LVT 2014 r 2014 wh Good Flor de Ronce Prestige wine, some way ahead of the Tradition red. The 2014 white was very good, a wine of character. The wines are organic.
LVT 2016 r 2019 wh Polished fruit, good value Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition red. There used to be rather high octane special wines, but the gifted Florent has been toning those down, to excellent effect, as witness the ****** 2016 Châteauneuf Cornelia Constanza, an STGT wine. The whites are consistent, favouring full flavours, with the speacial Barberini blanc fortunately less oaked now than in the past; the 2019 was a **** wine of pedigree. A good, easy drinking merchant Côtes du Rhône red has appeared after the sale of their vineyard in the Gard, on the right bank. Florent (pictured) now makes the wine
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh Important changes, for the better, from 2010 at this good biodynamic domaine, when Jean-Paul Daumen went for vineyard-specific wines, issuing two new name Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, Les Trois Sources, named after three streams that feed the domaine, and Les Hauts-lieux. The former represents the four lowest terraces of his north facing hill, the latter the three highest terraces. There is greater definition and clearer texture in both wines than in his previous reds, which age very well, and carry interest and character. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservé is made in no more than 3,000 bottles, not every year, and is mainly sold to the USA. It has become more refined, and less TOO MUCH in recent vintages - 2015, for example, followed up also by the ***** 2016, when Syrah (too jammy) was reduced in favour of Cinsault and Counoise. I found over-extraction in the past, especially around the late 1990s, and J-P admits to this. Vineyards, both for Châteauneuf and the excellent Clavin Côtes du Rhône red, which borders the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vines, and the Clavin white, are mature, with lots of old Grenache. The Clavin red is one of the best Côtes du Rhône reds, can be bought every year, is an STGT wine (2010, 2014, 2017). There is also a small merchant wine range under the title Jean-Paul Daumen, that includes Lirac red and Gigondas red.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh The Vieilles Vignes is one of the great Châteauneuf-du-Papes. It is wisely omitted in tricky vintages such as 2013 and 2014 or in low harvest years such as 2018 - which benefits the classic red. This is a long-standing biodynamic (the brother Philippe, now in the USA, was hot on this before it became well known) and organic domaine, run by sisters Sophie and Catherine Armenier, the latter "officially" retired on 1 January, 2019. Sophie's son Vincent, firmly committed to all things organic, and reduction of SO2 use, has been on the domaine since 2014. From 2009, a new cooling system aided quality. The white wine is improving, has a very consistent, en finesse style. The 2015 white was a marvellous, poised ****(*) wine - great to achieve elegance in that warm to hot vintage, while the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was ****(*) STGT wine, and the Vieilles Vignes red a lovely finesse ***** wine in 2015, and a ****** wholesome beauty in 2016.
The Lirac Domaine de Marcoux La Lorentine is was initally a joint venture between two good estates at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Marcoux and Roncière. The vineyard was bought in 2002, and the first wine was 2003. The vineyard has been organic since 2007, officially so from 2010. There are 8 hectares by surface, with tired Grenache being replaced in 2 ha lots, with the soils left six years to regenerate. The blend has therefore changed from 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% each Mourvèdre, Carignan to 40% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache. The wine is solid, more recently on style over power to the point of being polished up. The 2016 is a classy ****(*) wine, well worth seeking out; at just over one-third of the price of the Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it's VALUE also. It was called Domaine La Lorentine until the late 2000s, then changed to Domaine de Marcoux, the wine called La Lorentine.
LVT 2017 r The Prestige red Noble Révélation is a consistent quality wine, **** in 2012, 2016 and 2017. This is a northern sector vineyard
LVT 2017 r 2014 wh Gentle progress, motivated young owner. The Tradition red is better balanced and more enjoyable than the rather overdone special red, Coralie et Floriane Le Soleil de nos Vignes
LVT 2010 r Traditional wines
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2015 rosé Same ownership as Domaine du Grand Tinel, solid quality, now organic. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, 60% Grenache blanc, is a full, traditional table wine, **** in 2016 and 2017. There is a 100% Syrah Châteauneuf called L'Insolite, which is, well, a Syrah. Very good organic Côtes du Rhône rosé in 2015. A sound Vacqueyras, 80% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre (1950s-1970s), was introduced from a little over 2 hectares in 2015.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Good, traditional, northern sector, organic domaine. Son Cyril is moving towards crisper fruit on the reds. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône Villages red was a cousin of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, a **** wine
LVT 2018 r A biodynamic domaine, one of the earlier ones. Philippe de Blicquy, who revitalised this ordinary domaine, and converted it to organic practices, moved on to running a wine merchant and olive oil business in 2005. The son of Patrick Wallut, de Blicquy's partner in the domaine, now runs the estate - Stan Wallut. The Châteauneuf is not always truly stable, in the mould of some Nature Child wines, and the 2012 was bottled in July 2013, 10 months sooner than in the past. It had bounced back from a dodgy start by February 2019, rising to being a charming, typical 2012, **** wine. A good new Côtes du Rhône red, La Griffe, was introduced in 2009; it is authentic and full, the 2016 a **** wine. Magnums of a jolly Syrah-Grenache are produced with fellow organic growers David Reynaud of Domaine Les Bruyères at Crozes-Hermitage and Matthieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet at Cornas; it is called Les Trois Barbus - the three bearded ones, and the **** 2016 was a good party wine of high appeal.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh The Cellier family part of the Domaine Saint-Benoit. Marc Cellier retired in August 2007, and his three sons took it over and are doing their own thing. They are very motivated. The reds are unforced in style, with juice and fruit to the fore. The eldest son, Ludovic, has been at the domaine since 1999. There are now two whites, the 100% Roussanne Insolente (**** in 2015) and a recent Alchimie: both were good in 2014. It is now an organic domaine, including for the juicy, jolly Côtes du Rhône
LVT 2010 r Laure Mousset is part of the Château des Fines Roches family. A 100% Grenache wine.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh A domaine with a sizeable 20 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the north-west sector, near Cabrières. Some years are OK to good, others less so, which is frustrating. It is now organic. The 2018 classic red was a fuelled **** wine, with sound freshness. The 2016 Chanssaud d'Antan special red (old Grenache 90%) was a ***(*) wine in 2016 and a **** wine in 2015. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a **** wine in 2018, based on the traditional virtues of 70% Clairette blanche and 30% Grenache blanc.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh Quality is rising. The classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, called Calice St Pierre, is down the line, a touch wild, but it is cheap: the 2016, called Le Calice de Saint-Pierre, was an STGT ****(*) wine, price €18. There is a good, thorough white, 70% Grenache blanc, that was **** in 2014 and 2017. The Côtes du Rhône red is a genuine wine, ***(*) in 2016, **** in 2018.
In 2018 the Gradassi family bought a 6.5 hectare vineyard on sandy soils at Saint Laurent des Arbres, one of the four Lirac communes, from an ex-Co-operateur of the Cave de Lirac, the vineyard in very good shape, with Thiérry Sabon of Clos du Mont-Olivet also having bought from the same source, the wine too difficult to sell to be viable for the old owners. The 2018 Lirac was an on the go ***(*) wine suited to stews, while the Côtes du Rhône blanc from the same vineyard includes Carignan gris and Clairette rose; it was a ***(*) genuine table wine in 2018.
LVT 2012 r Laurent is an ex-Co-operateur from the Cellier des Princes. The 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is commendably manly.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Note the improving white, which was a nicely muscular **** wine in 2015, also **** in 2018, giving good VALUE. Sandy soils, all Grenache, fleshy style Châteauneuf red, which was good and thoroughly genuine, a ****(*) wine, in 2016
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh Despite the opposition of local groups, this Château, owned by the Roux family, fell into outside hands in January 2007. Shock, horror! Actually, the outside hands are very well qualified – the Cazes family of Bordeaux, owners of Ch Lynch-Bages and Les Ormes de Pez. Sénéchaux has been delivering better wines since around 2000 – safe and fleshy Grenache at their heart, and the winemaking has been tidier. The location is a good one, not far from the village on the east side, and this domaine now regularly provides elegantly fruited wines, with soft tannins - a touch safe and polished, at times. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is absolutely of high interest: it's well made, enjoyable and extremely consistent - an STGT **** wine in 2014, a w.o.w. **** wine in 2015, a top class ***** wine in 2016, and **** in both 2017 and 2018. It is based on Roussanne, Clairette and Grenache blanc in that order, with a touch of Bourboulenc to bring acidity.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Highly traditional domaine with a prominent USA following. There are nine plots across five lieux-dits, total area four hectares, where the star turn is Grand Pierre, its sand-sandstone soils abutting the Nalys vineyard now owned by Guigal. The soils are worked until July. Jean-Claude was an urban architect until working his mother's side vineyards from 1988; he then ran both careers, with offices in Toulouse and Tours, until 2005. He likes to vinify the varieties together.
These are wines of a good stamp of character, whole bunch fermentation with all red and white varieties allowed present in the co-fermented blend. The red is consistently a **** wine or, as with 2012 and 2016, 2017 and 2018 ****(*), the 2016 STGT. The reds will live for around 30 years: the 1989, Jean-Claude's first vintage, was still in great shape in late 2019, for example. A white was first made in 2015, vinified by Benjamin Tourbillon of Domaine Tourbillon, who is Audrey Vidal's partner. If you seek The Real Thing, then here it is.
LVT 2019 wh This domaine was set up in 2015, after the splitting of the de Courten family holding, with a four hectare vineyard of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for William de Courten. At the same time, Christophe de Courten set off with 6.5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape for his domaine entitled Domaine du Comte Christophe de Courten. The 2019 white was a modest affair
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh An organic domaine, mid-2010s start up. This is the domaine that has arisen from the old Domaine du Vieux Calcernier – an estate mentioned in the Châteauneuf archives of the nineteenth century, with vineyards close to the village, mainly in the southern zone. One brother, Christophe de Courten, handles this 6.5 hectare estate, the other, William, is also going along his own path now under the Domaine du Calcernier title. There are 4,000 bottles of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition red, which was a ***(*) wine in 2015. And 1,500 bottles of the Cuvée Spéciale, also ***(*) in 2015. Both wines are raised in new oak casks, and bottled within one year of the harvest. A third red, called Réserve du Cygne, was added in the late 2010s, while the oaked white comes from vineyards due West of the village on Colombis, and to the South-West on Moulin-à-Vent.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh An underestimated 13 hectare domaine with good natural style to the wines, no excess, comes recommended. It was late to bottle - three generations ago, yes, then a lapse until 1988. Jean-Luc Mayard's first vintage was 1976, and he has been joined by his talented daughter Blandine, who has a good light touch with the wines. The Tradition, 80% Grenache, comes from both North and South of the appellation, while the Vieilles Vignes is based on 60% Grenache dating from the 1910s to 1930s, sand on Valori at Courthézon, galet stones on La Fortiasse near the Sorgues entry to the village, with 30% 1940s Mourvèdre from clay-limestone, some sand in the North of the appellation on Bois Dauphin and the low part of Cabrières.
The 2016 Tradition red was a genuine, charming **** wine, the 2016 Vieilles Vignes red a stylish ****(*) wine. The two reds also showed well in the tricky 2017 vintage, managing refined tannins in both cases - **** for the Tradition, ****(*) for the Vieilles Vignes. The very good vintage of 2019 saw a **** Tradition red, a wine of sweet ease, and a ****(*) Vieilles Vignes, the latter a silken wine of detail and finesse.
There are around 3,000 bottles of white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, steel vat raised, bottled in February, the 2018 elegant, finely fresh, a **** wine, the **** 2019 also charming and stylishly filled, a good example of a Grenache blanc-based white from the clay-limestone soils South of the village on Les Grandes Serres. There is a little genuine Côtes du Rhône red from sandy soils at Courthézon.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Traditional qualities, with a new oenologue since 2006, bringing changes in the raising of the wines. The Tradition red has for decades been a very genuine, typical wine for the mid to long term. In 2018 and 2019, though, it has boomed with lovely fruit, giving great pleasure - both 2018 and 2019 ****(*) wines, the 2018 w.o.w.
The Alexis Establet Prestige level red is an unsung hero: **** in 2015, 2018, and ****(*) in 2016, while the occasional red Hérès was a ****(*) wine, holding the essence of the south, in 2015, and a pedigree, silken ***** success in 2019. The white Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a good, traditional southern white for la table, the 2016 a **** STGT wine (the 2011 and 2013 were also STGT). Good quality Côtes du Rhône red and white also, the **** 2016 red with connections to Châteauneuf-du-Pape
LVT 2019 wh 2019 r A mix of finely fruited and some big, obvious wines as well - the latter selling for very high prices. Both the 2016 Cuvée Réservée and the 2016 Cuvée da Capo reds were ****(*) wines when tasted pre-bottling, the 2018 Réservée also ****(*) - well built, fresh, aided by the stems, with the 2019 a ****(*) good Grenache-fuelled STGT wine.
The white Châteauneuf Cuvée Réservée is on a hot streak recently - 2014 and 2015 were both extremely good at *****, the former STGT - and the 2017 came in at ****(*), the 2018 **** - all much improved over previous vintages, while a new white, the A Tempo, is also a good addition, the 2016 a **** wine, the 2017 a ****(*) wine of good character. The merchant wines Sélection Laurence Féraud are a useful collection, while Laurence used to also have a joint-venture with André Brunel of Les Cailloux - good wines.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Modern style wines, fresh whites that are suited to aperitif, early drinking, while the Tradition red is bottled within nine months of the harvest. Both the 2014 and 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition reds captured the fruit essence of those vintages, standing at **** in each case. The Elisabeth Chambellan old vines red is tuneful and accomplished, good value, too; the 2015 was a ***(*) wine, the 2016 ****. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône red was a supreme w.o.w. wine, ***(*)
LVT 2019 r 2018 wh 2012 Muscat Modernist, get on and go estate, run by the son and daughter of one of the High Profile figures of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Jérome Quiot, who died in his sleep aged 67 in the autumn of 2018. The release of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is usually a little after most of the wines in any one vintage, and they tend to show more if left until around eight years' old or more: early on there is clear fruit without the later variety. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a gourmand, table-friendly **** in 2016, as was the red, a sleek and coherent wine. The Ventoux red is authentic, from the commune of Caromb, near Beaumes-de-Venise; the merchant version, Famille Jerome Quiot, was a ***(*) w.o.w. wine in 2019, very juicy and inviting.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2018 rosé Top end Châteauneuf-du-Pape, longstanding quality. The whites are rich - the Châteauneuf La Crau 2015 blanc being a true southern imprint ****(*) wine, for example, the 2016 a ***** wine, both the 2018 and the 2019 *****(*) STGT wines, bundles of garrigue connotations and innate strength in a well packaged ensemble. Its axis of Grenache blanc and Clairette blanche gives its true foundation, allied to the imprint of the galet stone soils on La Crau. It lives very well, too, a good 20 years.
The red Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau requires a long time to come round in a big vintage such as 2016, when it was a ****(*). The 2017 was also a ****(*) wine, perhaps indicating a revival - since it hasn't been running to its most impressive levels in recent years, however, since it used to be one of the top three or four wines here. The 2019, a ***** STGT wine, was rich, concentrated, beautifully persistent. I find fruit purity is gaining as we enter the 2020s.
The Bruniers also own Domaine La Roquète at Châteauneuf, Domaine Les Pallières at Gigondas (with Kermit Lynch) and have interests in Lebanon, at the Massaya vineyard. Since the 2010 vintage, La Roquète has been dropped as a named source of red wine, its 25.5 hectares of fruit now going into the second estate wine, Télégramme, and a new Vieux Télégraphe cuvée, Piedlong et Pignan from sandy soils, which is most refined, both the 2017 and 2019 ***** wines, based on pure, perfumed content, a real good sense of place. One white, Clos La Roquète blanc, continues to be made from a sandy 3 hectare plot, and this was an STGT wine in both 2016 and 2017. It always displays finesse.
Among the lesser wines, the Vin de pays de Vaucluse Le Pigeoulet is good in both red and white, the latter a striking **** wine in 2018, carrying garrigue virtues, for la table. The Le Pigeoulet red gives great drinking, and, since 2011, there has been a full red Ventoux, Mégaphone, which was a **** winner in 2016.
LVT 2016 wh 2016 r Longer raising than Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, which is in the same stable, and one-sixth of the latter's production from 12 hectares. Good, consistent quality, with the 30% non-Grenache vines, notably the 20% Mourvèdre, adding interest. The 2015 Duclaux red was a **** wine, a potentially handsome bottle
LVT 2016 wh 2016 r 33% bottled, rest sold in bulk to mainly Rhône merchants. Very clear wines, with weight attached. Son Vincent has been waking up the quality, and now works with his younger brother François. He looks after the vineyards and the vinification. In 2012 he married Emilie Boisson, of Domaine du Père Caboche. His brother François (33 in Oct 2016) covers commerce, with some attention on matters in the cellar as well. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard area was given an enormous boost in 2009 when 16 hectares were added, much of it on the N-W site of Farguerol, from the boys’ aunt Geneviève Avril, wine which before had been sold in bulk. That took the overall surface to 36.5 hectares.
The 2015 and 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds were on form - the Tradition **** in both vintages, l'eperdu a suavely rich **** in 2015, and a thick, but potentially impressive ****(*) in 2016 also, and the Lucile Avril a concentrated, grounded ****(*) wine in 2015. The white Côtes du Rhône is a rare example of a largely Grenache gris wine. There are 60 hectares of Plan de Dieu, 7 hectares of Ventoux also.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh An organic-biodynamic domaine established in the 1960s. The reds hold more lucid fruit than in the past, and character. There is plenty to interest the mind and the palate - a 70% Bourboulenc white Lirac, or 100% well-controlled Syrah Lirac L'Astrolabe. The Laudun Chapelle de Mayran red 2015 was a healthy **** wine, now bottled in the Vaucluse following Bernard's move across the river. This is a good address. Bernard split with his brother Frédéric, who left to start his own biodynamic consultancy, in 2012. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Catarina red is on the move now, the ****(*) 2018 shapely, bearing pure fruit. There is a new second Châteauneuf-du-Pape red called Mattéo, bottled after just six months' raising, the 2018 a **** smoothly textured, clearly fruited wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Catarine blanc is 100% mature Clairette blanche, a wine with appealing purity in 2016, a **** wine, the 2018 also ****, its clarity inviting a second glass.
LVT 2011 r Recent start-up
LVT 2017 r 2016 wh 2011 rosé Good name in the east of the appellation, both reds and whites. The red Etienne Gonnet, from old vines, has always been a truly stylish wine. Guillaume Gonnet has been raising the standard recently, with drive and commitment, and the wines are showing worthy Châteauneuf-du-Pape finesse these days, including with his Guillaume Gonnet Vigneron range. The 2015 Châteauneuf Elegance de Jeanne red was a **** STGT wine, the 2016 a ***** wine. There is also an interesting range of small lot merchant wines under the Gonnet Rhône Sélection title, such as the Ventoux.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh This is an organic domaine. After a spell of wines that could be be wild, outlandish, compelling from the wrong side of the tracks, some very sweet, there was a more enveloped approach with the 2016 Châteauneuf reds, the classic and the old Grenache plot-specific Saint-Georges **** and ****(*) wines respectively, nourished by good fruit. However, the two Châteauneuf reds, the Tradition notably, were very oaked in 2019, the Saint-Georges able to handle it, the Tradition less so.
The Châteauneuf white is oaked, interesting, a full, table-friendly wine, the 2019 **** pre-bottling. The Côtes du Rhône Villages L'Esprit de Vin red is punchy and well made, the 2019 a **** wine pre-bottling, while the Côtes du Rhône Paroles de Femme red was a buzzy ***(*) wine of character in 2019. A Côtes du Rhône white, Libre Expression, has recently been introduced, based on Clairette, backed by Marsanne and Roussanne; the **** 2019 was a wine of much character, out of the loop, flirting with noble oxidatiom, and a tremendous bet for blue cheese. There is limited addition of SO2, and the domaine has been organic since 2011.
LVT 2019 wh 2019 r A domaine formed by the young generation in 2014. The father of Marie is Marcel Georges, a well-known figure at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, who used to rent the vineyards for the Château de l’Hers in the west of the appellation. There were also 13 hectares owned, eight of which were sold to a gentleman involved in the financial world, also owner of Domaine de la Genestière at Tavel. The last 5.3 hectares were acquired by Marcel’s daughter and son-in-law, Benoît Lombrière, who used to work in the Ministerial Cabinet under President Sarkozy.
The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Thaïs white [its first vintage] was a refined **** wine with Grenache blanc gras and Roussanne elegance; the 2018 was also ****, holding well stocked gras richness. The style on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Marie red is one of elegance, aided by low intervention winemaking: both the 2015 and 2016 were ***(*) wines. Pierre-Jean Villa of Saint-Joseph and Condrieu gives advice.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Polished reds, supple fruit, can be powerful, a froint rank address. The 100% old vine Grenache Les Gallimardes is the most accomplished of the three Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds. It was a complex, long ***** wine in 2015, and a serene, high grade ****(*) in 2019. The Tradition red was a nourishing ****(*) wine in 2017, and a cracking ***** wine in 2016, as was the Les Grenaches de Pierre red, while the 2015 white was ****, a solid wine for la table, as it usually is. There is sometimes a Gallimardes white based on 1970s vines, and the 2016 was a delicious **** wine, for la table, the 2018 an excellent ****(*) STGT wine. There is now a Lirac red from old vines, led by an impressive Grenache relaxed depth; the 2018 was a **** wine.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh The Giulianis left the Cave Cellier des Princes of Courthézon after the 2005 vintage. Bernard is the third generation to work vineyards, and the first to vinify. A new cellar was built in 2007. Raising of the Châteauneuf has moved from steel to barrels, with half sold in bottle. The style is for easy going wines. The occasional superior Châteauneuf red called Les Galets Jeanne is formed around 1960s Syrah, and in 2016 was an enjoyable **** wine. The Châteauneuf Flora white was a rich, sustained **** wine, suitable for sauced dishes, in 2018. The Giulianis' son Florian joined the domaine in 2014, aged 22 years. After a bts in Avignon, he worked for a year on an estate in New South Wales, Australia.
LVT 2019 r 2.5 hectare domaine owned by Isabel Ferrando-Giraud, the owner of Domaine Saint-Préfert. The Colombis vineyard is on the west side of the village beside the route de Roquemaure, loose brown sand soils, not perhaps the best exposure. The first wine was made in 2004. It's pure Grenache, always smoothly fruited, modern in style. Vinification and raising are both in a large tonconic oak vat. The **** 2019 was €98 at the domaine.
LVT 2016 r 2011 wh The Tradition red wine strikes me as robbed by the increasing number of Prestige wines, the best of which is indeed the Cuvée Prestige. Upward quality trend here; the Tradition red 2016 was a **** wine, pre-bottling, with a high degree.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh Jérôme was the chef at the good Avignon restaurant L’Isle Sonnante until starting his first bottling in 2004. He is a cousin of Serge Gradassi of Domaine Les Pères de l’Eglise. He works 5.2 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape based on three locations which are all very close to one another in the Northern sector - Palestor (2 ha), Bois Dauphin (1 ha), Cabrières (2 ha). These vineyards are mainly clay, with very few galet stones and a lot of Mistral wind factor. Jérôme likes to harvest late, and ferments whole bunches. Quality has become consistent after excess extraction in the early years, the 80% Grenache coming from old vines which supply good packing for the palate, with no overoaking. The white, only up to 800 bottles, is 70-80% old Clairette rose, and the 2017 was a wine of character and refinement.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh The Masquin family have a well-known brush (as in broom) factory at Courthézon. Julien's grandfather Paul Masquin was one of the founders of the Cellier des Princes Co-operative at Courthézon. Julien took over 10 of the family's 25 hectares in 1998, and the remaining 15 hectares in 2000. He has been in no hurry to produce wine from them, allowing the soils to rest and tidying up the vineyard over several years. He left the Co-operative in 2008, the first vintage came in 2009. He works with chef de culture Sébastien Rigault. Very good promise, both red and white, both Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône, with the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Humeur red a nicely rugged **** wine. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Monplaisir white, 70% Grenache blanc, 30% Bourboulenc, so traditionally based, was a ****(*) wine, the 2017 a **** wine.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Modern Châteauneuf-du-Pape in style. The domaine now works under the Terra Vitis – officially reasoned agriculture – banner. These are brightly fruited red wines that show well in free running years such as 2014 and 2011; the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a fun-filled **** w.o.w. wine, with delightful fruit for early drinking, while the 2017 was also ****, being cool and carrying a genuine garrigue inflexion. The limited edition Châteauneuf-du-Pape Maxence red 2017 was a *****, authentic wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is based on Grenache blanc on sandy soils, and drinks well, the 2017 an expressive **** wine. There are also good, sound Ventoux reds and an easy drinking, early bottled Cairanne.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Recent start-up. Fair: supple style, power a question from its sandy soils. Their oenologue, Philippe Cambie, is mentioned on the back label. Note the white here: the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, 70% Grenache blanc, was **** wine - properly southern, with character, as was the **** 2017, a wine with richness and garrigue features. I feel the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red could be raised for longer [it is bottled in July after the harvest]. The Côtes du Rhône white is 100% Clairette blanche. The Côtes du Rhône red, from good sites at Courthézon, is 80% Grenache from the 1960s, and the **** 2019 showed local character.
LVT 2019 wh 2019 r Gérard Jacumin's new domaine, since 2007. These are organic wines since 2009, in a clear, direct style. The white is jolly good, always genuine, carrying lovely detail: the 2016 (25% Picpoul blanc) was an interesting **** wine, some complexity given by the use of all six of the white varieties permitted; the 2018 white was also ****, a wine of character. but only 2,200 bottles made, while the 2019 (50% Grenache blanc) was also ****, a w.o.w. wine. Daughter Laureline became full-time on the domaine in the summer of 2019.
LVT 2019 r 2017 wh Racy fruit, up front wines from now well established young grower, though the 2012 showed more sucrosity. Since 2012, there has been a move towards greater finesse in the vinification, a move I applaud. This is now one of the best names at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Julien's father Christian started in 1972, and sold to Guigal, Barton & Guestier, and only produced 600-700 bottles. “Papa loved the vineyard, was a lover of wine and the vineyards, but was allergic to business,” Julien Barrot.
A new vinification cellar started with the 2015 vintage, built on a plot called Les Mascarrons, the remaining vines outside the back door. There are now two Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, the Signature [name until 2017, from 2017 called Cuvée Julien Barrot], and the 4,000 bottle Pure, and from 2016 a Châteauneuf-du-Pape white also called Pure, 100% Clairette blanche, which Julien planted in 2003. He also makes a good, spicy and authentic red Vin de France called Liberty from noble galet stone covered vineyards at Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, the 2015 the first vintage and a **** wine, as were the 2016 and 2019.
LVT (Last Vintage Tasted) 2019 r 2019 wh The 10 hectare vineyards include 2.5 ha of 1900s-1920s vines on La Crau, east of the village. Quality has been improving. The wines are genuine, rather hearty, and usually well priced. The Grande Réserve, of late called Vieilles Vignes La Crau, is the old vines wine; at least 78% Grenache dating from the 1900s, its support variety is the Mourvèdre, which adds to the sense of a traditional, windswept wine, the adjective "grounded" usually next to it. In recent vintages it has varied between ***(*) and ****, the 2018 ****(*), the 2019 **** and STGT.
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh First vintage in bottle was 2009. 8 hectare property, with the wine sold in the past as Domaine de la Cabane. Sébastien is the fifth generation, and created the Consonnière name. The 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a **** wine, one with a gentle styl, while the 2018 came in at ****(*) - genuine, with some classic Châteauneuf finesse.
LVT 2009 r Pierre Folliet is a professor of tasting, bought the domaine in 1997, has a wine store in Lyon: 130 rue Vauban, 69006 Lyon, +33(0)9 51 99 37 87 email@example.com Unusual, long raised wines with their own character, well worth a look
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Now organic; younger generation on board. I welcome the raising of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red changing from only old large barrel to concrete vat with large barrel; the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a **** with thick, rolling content, and progress was maintained via the classic, copious, savoury, genuine **** 2018, and the 2019, also ****, genuine, with good Grenache heart. There is therefore consistent quality now, with reasonable prices, too, around €25.
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, based on Roussanne with Grenache blanc, has also made progress to be a ***(*) wine in 2016, 2017 and 2019: it has a full nature, is suited to traditional cuisine. There is now a second Côtes du Rhône called Cuvée M [99% Mourvèdre, 1% Grenache], only 3,500 bottles, the 2019 a ***(*) wine of firm richness.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh A small domaine - around 5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape - with fair quality red wines from the northern sector, based on Maucoil, with sandy soils. The first bottling was 1985. Michel Bouyer took over from his father Marcel in 1970. Marcel started in 1950. Philippe Granger, his son-in-law came on to the domaine in 2007, having worked for oil company Total, and was joined by his son Aurélien, the fifth generation, in 2016 when he was 20. Aurélien studied at the Lycée d’Orange, and has worked with Domaine Charvin and Château de Beauchene. Chrystelle Grieco of Domaine La Biscarelle is the first cousin of Aurélien’s mother Sylvie.
There is only a limited amont bottled, and raising can last over two years. The very mainly Grenache 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Baptaurels was a well crafted, gourmand ****(*) wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white (80% Roussanne) was much improved in 2015, a **** wine, after a ***(*) 2014, but the 2018 stated vinification over place. The style on the Côtes du Rhône and the Côtes du Rhône Villages reds, made from 12 hectares, is hearty. Much of that wine is also sold in bulk. There is a rather good and traditional Côtes du Rhône white. In recent years, there have been no weedkilers used, and a more natural approach in the vineyard. Overall, I would like more consistency, and more zip in the wines.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé This domaine was sold in 2019 by Michel Arnaud after a series of tragedies, including losing his partner when she was run over on a pedestrian crossing in Orange, and his tractor was turned over into a ditch by a speeding vehicle on the dangerous road ouside his domaine.
These have been traditional style, genuine wines, can be STGT, that often need leaving four to five years to settle down; they can amply repay the patience. Good, traditional white, suited to la table - both 2015 and 2016 were **** wines. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes red was a real garrigue-fest, a **** STGT wine, - likewise the **** 2019, also STGT - a happy outcome given the change of ownership.
The ***** 2016 and the **** 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes red were also both STGT wines. The first white under the new team, the 2019, was made with a light touch, appealing and beau, a **** wine.
Under the new owners, there are two Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, a Tradition and a Spéciale, both 90% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre from the galet stone soils of Cabrières nord, 40,000 bottles of the former - ***(*) in 2019, 1,000 bottles of the latter - **** in 2019, a floral-spiced, Pinot-toned wine.
LVT 2013 r 2013 wh Traditional style, with whole bunch fermentations
LVT 2010 r 2014 wh Owned by the Brunier bothers of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. This is a younger vineyard, and finesse is favoured over power. Sandy soils contribute to that. There have been big changes since the 2010 vintage. That was the last one for red wine here, made and sold under the Domaine La Roquète name. Since then - from 2011 onwards - the red vine fruit from its 25.5 hectares has gone into Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Télégramme, that estate's second wine, and a new wine, Frédéric & Daniel Brunier lieux-dits Piedlong et Pignan, which is 90% from the Pialons vineyard, 10% from Pignan next to it. The remaining three hectares of white vines continue to provide a wine called Clos La Roquète blanc, which is light and can be stylish.
LVT 2016 r 2015 wh Fleshy style reds, a good start. The Cuvée du Lion special Châteauneuf red is always good; the 2015 was an authentic wine, ****(*) quality. 2015 saw a third Prestige red wine added, called Le Lien, which was a **** wine. The white is traditional and full in style, suited to la table; the 2015 was ****. Some of the 2016 reds were a little off beam when tasted pre-bottling in October, 2017
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh A family who left the Courthézon Cellier des Princes Co-operative in 2004. Father Maurice works the vineyards, and the son Patrick, late-30s, does the vinification. From 2007 they have become involved with the use of ex-Bordeaux casks and more oaking. The preferred 2016 of the three tasted (the three special reds) was the full-bodied Aeternalis, a **** wine.
LVT 2009 r An organic domaine, vineyards on the clay-limestone mixed with sand in the commune of Courthézon; improvement with the 2009 red
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Craus Centenaires red, made in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2015 is based on 1896 Grenache; the 2015 was a **** wine. There is an easy to drink white, the aperitif on the agenda. This was a high profile domaine, with very good wines, in the 1950s to 1970s, but quality tapered therefater. Most recently, it has been inconsistent, with cellar mistakes. However, the 18-hectare vineyards that include 10 ha on Les Pialons (inc 1946 Grenache), and 6 ha La Crau Sud (inc 1905, 1950 Grenache) have always been well sited, and it was that asset that spurred Marcel Guigal into the purchase of the estate, finally completed in summer 2020. There are also around 12 hectares of Massif d'Uchaux.
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh This is now a biodynamic domaine, and the 2016 red was a really delightful ****(*) STGT wine
LVT 2012 r 2017 wh The Torts left the Cellier des Princes Co-opérative in Courthézon in late 2005. Jean-Marc is the fourth generation of his family to cultivate vineyards at Bédarrides. His first vinification was iin 2006. A domaine finding its way. Half the Châteauneuf is sold in bottle, half in bulk.
LVT 2019 r 2010 wh More hands on deck to help Serge Chastan now, with the arrival of his son and daughter - a good augur for the future, with improvement in the wines, including the Côtes du Rhône Villages red. These are Northern sector wines, on galet stone clay-limestone soils. They are all large 30-50 hl foudre/barrel raised. The domaine has been organic since 2007. The special 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape XIII cépages red was a rugged, but interesting **** wine, while the 2015 was a Wild Child ***** wine
LVT 2016 r STGT qualities here. Régis Barrot retired in 2013, and now lives in the Philippines with his wife Norma, near Davau, on the sea, His sister François and her husband André now run the domaine, of which two hectares were sold in 2014, leaving nine hectares of Châteauneuf now, with one hectare of vin de pays at Courthézon. The 2014 was all sold in bulk to merchants. The style remains hearty, traditional, with whole bunch fermentation. The 2015 and 2016 are both **** wines. There are six bottlings per vintage.
LVT 2011 r 2011 wh STGT qualities here on the reds. Long-lived, interesting whites, also. In 2012 2.5 hectares were sold to Yves Gras of Domaine Santa Duc at Gigondas, and other hectares were rented out to Bernard Duseigneur at Lirac, of Domaine Duseigneur.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Very traditional, inc whole bunch fermentations. Can hit the mark; the special Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Henry Tacussel red, made from 1904 and older Grenache, was a very good, true, old school ***** wine in 2016, and ****(*) in 2015. The 2017 white was a savoury, STGT ****(*) wine, with real local virtues on board
LVT 2018 r 2008 wh One of the sound domaines. Olivier Hillaire used to work his family vineyard of Domaine des Relagnes. This was sold in 2006, after which he set up on his own. The Tradition red is singular in being 80-90% Grenache gris, which invests it with grace and perfume in a slightly cooler vintage such as 2018, when it was a **** wine. Olivier now has two Prestige wines, the Petits Pieds d'Armand, 100% early 1900s Grenache from La Crau Ouest, and Les Terrasses, from Les Escondudes near Bédarrides. Both are new oak cask raised. Olivier's son Baptiste is now the renter of the ex Clos Saint Pierre, re-named Château des Secrets, in the north of the appellation, after its sale in 2019.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh This is a steady domaine with vineyards notably near the village (Les Bosquets, the plateau just North), and the South-East on Cansaud, a total of 8 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, of which 1.25 ha are white. In the past, the wines have been light; 2011 was more full, if reflective of Cellar Effort, while the 2012 was open, the 2015 red more grounded, as befitted that vintage, the 2016 a **** wine. The style in the hot vintages of 2017 and 2018 is rather plush, soaked, derived from long macerations, and the use of rack and return (part vat emptying/refilling) and lees stirring - more freedom would be welcome. From 2015 there has been a new red wine called Le Pressoir, made from 40-50% Mourvèdre, with 50-60% Grenache, just 1,500 to 1,800 bottles; the 2015 was a juicy and stylish ****(*) wine, subsequent vintages less convincing.
The 2015 white Sensation, mainly Grenache blanc and Clairette blanche, was an expressive, elegant ****(*) wine, one of the best whites of that year. Its crop is harvested early, to acheive a tight, clear wine. The 100% Roussanne is new and 1-year oak cask handled, a thicker offering more aimed at la table, the 2018 a **** wine. There is also a Côtes du Rhône red called La Cueillette from vineyards in the North-North-East next to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape boundary. It is a genuine, concrete vat-raised, full-bodied wine suited to red meats, la table.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh A new cellar in 2006 gave quality a push upwards. The wines are crisp, modern. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition Domaine Paul Autard 2015 red was a wholesome **** wine, the 2016 a big, sleek ****(*) wine. Oaking is apparent [and can be intrusive in my view, unless you wait many years] in the Prestige wines, including the 100% new oak white. The Prestige Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015 La Côte Ronde red was a stylish and purely fruited ****(*) wine, as was the fresh and stylish 2018, also ****(*). The 2016 Juline was also a ****(*) wine when tasted pre-bottling. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is 100% new oak
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh STGT qualities here, biodynamic, and has been organic for decades, with vineyards in marvellous condition. The Grenache is raised in concrete vat - as it should be. The 2016 red was a ***** wine, as was the 2010. The 2017 red was a sparky, full ***** wine, one of the best of the vintage. The white is also genuine, full-bodied, as instanced by the grounded, chunky, STGT **** 2019: it is best drunk after a few years rather than early, and can evolve well.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé There is a very fruity Tradition red wine, suave and appealing, always good value. However, I feel there is still a yearning for full-on wines these days, rather than ones that may serenade the palate. There are pretty deep Prestige wines, when they are made; they are expensive and unctuous. The special mon Aïeul red was formerly mainly raised in concrete vat, with 10-20% casks, but the 2018 was all 600-litre cask raised, whcih brought the inevitable clash between its 100% Grenache and the oak. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is jaunty, stylish, the 2016 a **** w.o.w. wine, the 2018 a **** wine of fine acidity that drinks with freedom. From 2011 a good Lirac red has been made from mature vines at Roquemaure, and a white Lirac came into being from the late 2010s, half Grenache blanc, half Clairette
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh Robust wines historically, although the 2015 red was a **** wine with a ping of clarity and fine detail - the influence of daughter Pauline
LVT 2018 r Bonny, natural wine from a small, organic estate established in the early 2000s. It is well worth buying. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a most commendable ***** STGT wine, good VALUE, the 2017 also STGT, an appealing, provocative **** wine, and the 2018 a juicy, savoury **** w.o.w. wine
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Stéphane Usseglio seeks finesse in his reds, so went back to the simplicity of concrete, then Stockinger casks (increase finesse) in 2015, dropping large old barrels that could give Brett in 2005, the first year he worked in sole charge of the domaine. In that year, he also stopped the use of synthetic products on the 20 hectare vineyard, the soils worked since then. The domaine is organic, and became officially biodynamic in 2010. It is moving along extremely well under his skilled hand.
The Tradition red was a ****(*) STGT wine in 2016. There was an excellent Cuvée Impériale in 2013, and a fabulous one in 2016, a ****** beauty. It is based on 1901-02 Grenache from sandy soils north of the village - hence the serenity. The other special wine, La Part des Anges, is more robust; it is 70% early 1970s Mourvèdre, a regular **** performer that in 2017 carried Bandol freshness, Châteauneuf-du-Pape strength, while the 2018 was woollybully wine, on the wild side, a lot of pumping heart in it. A fourth Châteauneuf-du-Pape red called Les Apôtres was introduced in 2015, just 3,000 bottles, that receives a four months' maceration, followed by 18 months in 6 to 8 hl amphore - to resemble what his ancestors did, namely long maceration, then small container raising. There are improved white wines as well here, emphasis on the Roussanne for the special Pure Roussanne which is very oaked in its infancy.
The vineyard has grown a little at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a lot across the River for Lirac (4 hectares, first wine 2018), Côtes du Rhône and Vin de France. Those vineyards are mainly on sandy soils at Saint-Geniès-de-Comolas.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Sad back story, but hope continues in life. Luc Perrin took over from his father Roger in the 1990s, and raised standards. He succumbed to cancer in 2011. His sister Véronique Rolin and her son Xavier continue and are very motivated. Véronique has her own oenologue consultancy in the Northern Rhône. The classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is very genuine, as is the Châteauneuf-du-Pape white - the 2016 a generous, traditional **** wine, the 2018 a tasty, flowing, genuine **** wine, likewise the table-friendly **** 2019. The special wines, Les Galets de la Berthaude red and Réserve des Vieilles Vignes red were ****(*) and **** wines respectively in 2016, though I was less comfortable with them in 2017. There is a fair, easy going Côtes du Rhône red called Fruité, and a super Vieilles Vignes red which has recently been a Villages wine, the 2016 a splendid, Burgundian finesse ****(*) wine, the 2028 a ***(*) STGT wine.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Full, often punchy wines, which need time to fuse. The emphasis is on Grenache. The 2015 Châteauneuf Les Olivets red, which is the classic, baseline wine, was a ****(*) wine, its cousins the Réserve and the Prestige 2015 reds both **** wines. My two preferred 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, pre-bottling, were the ****(*) Le Secret des Sabon and the Prestige, the latter a ***** wine of very faithful Châteauneuf-du-Pape virtues in 2017. The **** 2018 Prestige expressed its 70% Grenache accurately, with neat plumpness and consistent flow. The white Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance, led by Roussanne and Grenache blanc, is a solid performer, the 2016, 2017 and 2018 all ****
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Sleek, aromatic, modern wines. There has been a slight move towards more finesse and less opulence since around 2010, a good thing, as witnessed by good 2014s; I note the 2017 and 2018 were both around 14°, indicating earlier harvesting than in the past - OK, providing the polyphenolic [tannins/pips] ripening is in place. There are now organic practices in the vineyard.
The Auguste Favier red remains the obviously coated style of wine. It was my preferred red of the three wines in 2019, a ****(*) that ran with good continuity along the palate, its 85% Grenache heart nicely offset by 15% Cinsault. It is is the same price as the Classique red.
The whites, based on old Clairette blanche and rose, are accomplished and stylish, the 2019 Vieilles Vignes Clairette, a rare 100% Clairette rose white, a ****(*) generous, rich wine of genuine heart; it is sold only in magnum, of which there are just 600, the price over €320 per magnum. There is also a serious, for la table, Côtes du Rhône Clos Beatus Ile red, over 80% Grenache, the 2019 a serious **** wine.
LVT 2019 r 2018 wh This is a domaine that has doubled in area since the mid-2010s, the expansion coming mostly from a 4 hectare vineyard across the River at St Geniès de Comolas, which gives Lirac and an old vines Côtes du Rhône red. The Lirac harvest, from the late 1970s to the late 1980s, had previously been delivered to the Cave Co-operative de Saint Laurent.
There are now 7.5 ha of Châteauneuf, and 7.3 hectares of Lirac and Côtes. The prime Châteauneuf vineyards are Pialons (N), where there is still some 1908 Grenache, and Les Blaquières (E), which holds 1924 Grenache – they form the base of the special, 2,000 bottle Révélation red, a wine with measured oaking these days. The Tradition comes from vineyards around the village at 60 metres of elevation, overall 60-80 metres, whereas the Révélation comes from three sites at 110-110 metres, a little higher.
The house style is for controlled elegance. This works best with the Châteauneuf-du-Pape over the Côtes du Rhône and Lirac rouge. There has been recent improvement, the 2015 Tradition red a **** full and convincing wine, the 2016 Tradition red a **** wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is based on Grenache blanc and Clairette blanche, which has served it well in the recent hot summers, all the more so since the complement is mainly Bourboulenc with its freshness. The Côtes du Rhône Le Cabanon de ma Mère white is similarly put together around these three varieties, and the 2018 was a **** STGT wine of character., no surprise given that it comes from the excellent white wine village of St Geniès-de-Comolas. Daniel's wife Aurélie, a Burgundian, used to work at Inter-Rhône in Avignon before joining the domaine full-time in 2015.
LVT 2016 r 1.86 hectares on two sites in the north of the appellation, for now the wine vinified at Maison Brotte in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
LVT 2011 r 2011 wh Part of the Fines Roches, Mousset family empire - takes in Domaine des Quatre Vents, Mas Grange Blanche (good red) and La Font du Roi also. Modern, fruit-forward wines
LVT 2016 r Traditional, wholesome wines, with definite STGT qualities. A new Prestige wine since 2012 - Les Raisins Bleus made from the wooded vineyards near Rayas. Son Yannick joined the domaine in 2012, born in 1986. Hand-made, genuine feel here.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2019 rosé From the Beaucastel stable, with a growing proportion of own vineyards, and long-term partnerships where the Perrin family help to supervise and execute the vineyard work. The title of the range changed to Famille Perrin, instead of Perrin & Fils, in 2009. There is extremely reliable quality, with the cheaply priced La Vieille Ferme range recovering from a dip (feel of very mass produced wine) in 2015; those wines are soft and easy. The organic Vin de France L'Oustalet red is also worth a mention: the 2016 was an impressive ***(*) wine, with neat richness and the ability to impress, the 2018 also ***(*). L'Oustalet is the family's one Michelin star restaurant in the village of Gigondas, a highly recommended destination.
The Vacqueyras Les Christins red has been an encouraging **** STGT wine in both 2015 and 2016, while the 2017 was a nourishing, superior ****(*), the 2018 ****. That's one to go for.
I find the recent Cairanne reds not as locally-inspired these days, as they follow a rather minimalist or down the line style. The Vinsobres reds are extremely good, while the Gigondas Clos des Tourelles is a wine of great stature from old vines.
LVT 2011 r This merchant joint-venture started in 2000 between Laurence Féraud of Domaine du Pegäu and André Brunel of Les Cailloux. As one would expect, good wines, notably the Rasteau.
LVT 2018 r A very modest 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red
LVT 2010 r A small plot now owned by a Gigondas family who are sound vignerons. Big wine.
LVT 2017 r Guillaume is the current generation of the Gonnet family of Domaine Font de Michelle. He has three small lot organic red Châteauneuf-du-Papes from vineyards between Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Bédarrides in the east/south-east. These are exciting wines; they are all based on old vines, and the Bel Ami and Hommage à Maryline, the latter sadly in respect of his wonderful late mother, were both **** wines in 2015, the Maryline a ***** wine in 2016. The Bel Ami and La Muse were both ****(*) wines in 2017.
LVT 2007 r The one-off wonder of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, who sadly died in the spring of 2016. I find the wines heady in the big vintages, and prefer the quieter years, and the more simple cuvées. There is an absence of tasting notes since Henri forbade me access to his cellars following what I wrote on his views about Joan of Arc and Napoléon Bonaparte. The spirit of the Provençal grudge was alive and well!
LVT (Last Vintage Tasted) 2019 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé The Tradition Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine is unpretentious, classic Châteauneuf, no frills, good. The old vines Grenache Châteauneuf-du-Pape Secrets de Pignan was a ***** STGT wine in 2016 from its N-E sector, sandy soils. It is the class act, the 2019 my preferred wine of the three reds, ****(*), showing the aromatic finesse of Châteauneuf with conviction. The third red, Hespérides, stands apart through being composed of half Grenache, half Mourvèdre, meaning it is more muscular, and slower to come to hand.
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is 33% Clairette rose, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chapelle [under 1,000 bottles, not made every year] is 100% Clairette rose, and well worth seeking out. There is also good Côtes du Rhône Villages red. This has become an extremely reliable estate, the standard high across the board. There are now organic practices for the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards.
I would highlight the excellent Côtes du Rhône white in 2016 and 2019, a **** w.o.w. wine in 2016, and also **** in 2019. Half of the wine is split between Grenache blanc and Clairette blanche, both early 1980s, which gives a good platform, and prevents the 50% younger Viognier from over-spreading.
Since 2013 there has been a good Cairanne - usually ***(*) to **** - from the very dark clay soils East of the village near the border with Rasteau; called Les 2 Arbres after two old trees there, it is stylish, and Eric reckons it can age very well thanks to the clay soils.
There is also a merchant range under the title Réserve St Dominique, the 2016 Ventoux red a highly expressive, tasty **** w.o.w. wine, the 2017 Rasteau a **** STGT wine. Go on, Eric!
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh Neil Joyce is also owner of Domaine Dalméran at Saint-Etienne du Grès. This is a well-sited 8 hectare estate in the west of the appellation, the house lavishly restored after years of being run down. The style is modern, the wines organic now. There were promising opening vintages, notably for the Tradition red, which varies between **** (2014), ***(*) (2015) and ****(*) (2018, also STGT); the other reds risk being overdone, at high prices, as well. Very good red Vin de Pays 2011, and a highly enjoyable w.o.w. **** Côtes du Rhône red in 2016.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh A recent start-up, with a range of Vin de France in Syrah and a white that is mainly Viognier, with a Côtes du Rhône red based on 80% late 1950s Grenache, and a very sound Châteauneuf-du-Pape red also based on 60-year old Grenache from galet stone soils. The reds are destemmed, and raised in steel vat after a tronconic oak vinification. The 100% Roussanne Châteauneuf-du-Pape white comes from 2011 vines, and is marked by oak. This is a promising address.
LVT 2019 r 2015 wh A relatively recent venture based on a hill north of Vinsobres that, beyond Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers Gigondas called Jugunda (2017 stimulating ****, 2019 fresh, intense ****(*), also Vacqueyras red (the 2015 a good **** wine, the 2018 a succulent ***(*) wine), as well as sound Côtes du Rhône - the emphasis is on ripe Grenache from as old vines as possible. The two La Ferme du Mont Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, Capelan [racy, modern] and Vendange [rich] were **** wines in 2016, pre-bottling. Promise is being delivered here.
LVT 2017 r a joint-venture between English wine agent Charles Blagden and Domaine Font de Michelle. It involves two sites, Croix de Bois (0.7 hectare, large galet stones, sand, a clay subsoil) and Le Pointu (0.5 hectare, sandy, no galet stones). The wine was made at Cros de la Mure in the Massif d`Uchaux from 207 to 2009. Since 2015 there has been 10-15% Counoise, the same of Mourvèdre, reducing the Grenache from around 85% to 90%. The wines are on the up, sun-filled, authentic, genuine. The 2016 was a bright **** STGT wine, well worth seeking out, the 2017 a **** wine of character
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé Quality on the upgrade here at this 250-member Co-operative in the north-east corner of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The best of the five 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds tasted was the newly introduced Prestige des Princes Réserve red, a **** wine. Decent Valréas Domaine de la Côte red - ***(*) in 2014 - but basic wines for hypermarkets are ???
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2012 rosé Good quality, both Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône. It is now a certified organic domaine. the vineyards in the commune of Courthézon in the North-East of the appellation. The soils are mainly sand, compacted sandstone, which can contribute to elegant fruit, with a relatively high degree at times. The Châteauneuf Les Quartz red is always a good wine - ****(*) in 2016 and 2017. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Réserve holds 40% to 50% Mourvèdre, complemented by 1930s Grenache; since 2016 it has been a top performer - ****(*) to *****, a wine that requires time, but comes together well if left. It is by some way the most expensive of the four Châteauneuf reds.
The 2016 Châteauneuf Les Safres white was a delicious ****(*) STGT wine. From a set of very good Côtes du Rhônes, the **** Nature 2014 (no SO2) was an STGT wine, while the 2016 was a **** w.o.w. wine, each vintage coming with character.
LVT 2019 r 2017 wh A domaine that has changed hands recently, with the family that used to own Château Husson for five generations involved; it was given up for reasons of succession and inheritance, the Grangets, Bernard & Jérôme, started in 2008 with 8 hectares. In 2014 it was bought by Michel Audibert, who has converted the vineyard at Châteaunuef-du-Pape to organic from 2017. Most of the vineyard is on Les Saumades, in the commune of Courthézon East of the village, where the soils are sandy, with galet stones. The Châteaunuef-du-Pape blanc is 95% Clairette dating from the 1970s, and its elegance and calm fullness well reflect its sand-based soils, the 2019 a **** wine, aided by preparation in used, not new, oak casks
LVT 2013 r A 4-hectare plot within the Château de la Font du Loup, a pretty setting with sand in the soil. 100% old Grenache. All three of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 were **** wines, the 2014 and 2016 both STGT
LVT 2018 r Traditionally styled Châteauneuf-du-Pape red from what was part of the Clos du Mont-Olivet. The Côtes du Rhône range, under the name Domaine Rocheville, is from near Nyons, where they have their cellar it is organic, along with olive oil production as well. In 2018 a second cuvée was introduced, called M & G, indicating 60% Mourvèdre, 40% Grenache; the 2018 was a genuine ***(*) wine.
LVT 2018 r 2019 wh What joy! Just one wine, no special nonsense Cuvées. This has for many years been a slow developing wine, authentic, a very good address. Daughter Claire's first vintage was 2008 - she does the vinifications. She was joined in June 2012 by her younger brother François, who works on the vineyard, and helps in the cellar. Their policy is to harvest earlier than the parents, seeking freshness and finesse. I detected a smoothing out and polishing up, with a loss of impact, in the 2013 red. The ****(*) 2015 and ***** 2016 reds were both STGT wines, the former full of garrigue with character, the latter a vivid, licensed to thrill affair. The white is half Roussanne, half Clairette blanche, both planted in 1990 on the galet stone soils of Cabrières near Mont-Redon. It is steel vat fermented and raised for only three months, the malo blocked. The 2016 was a stylish **** wine that will develop gradually; however, I felt that the white could be more adventurous in concept and execution until the ***** 2019 came along, with much of the traditional heart and length that I was seeking, an STGT wine.
With her partner Adrien Fabre of Domaine La Florane at Visan, Claire has a small, good merchant business under the name Cuisine en Famille, two red and one white organic wine, one of the reds zero added SO2.
LVT 2019 wh 2019 r Extremely consistent high quality, with a leaning towards finesse. Well worth trying in order to appreciate the true qualities of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and prices are very reasonable, too. The Les Cailloux red comes mainly from the Southern zone towards Sorgues; it has been a fantastic friend to me over nearly 50 years; it was STGT in 2013, 2015 and 2019, the first ****(*), the second ****, the third ****(*).
The special Centenaire red is based on late 1800s Grenache from the north-west sector, on galet stone clay-limestone soils on Farguerol; introduced in 1989, it isn't issued every year. In the top vintages such as the ***** 2010, ****** 2016, and ***** 2019, it combines richness, silken virtues and coolnness.
The white is also good, nicely rich, both the 2012 and 2016 ****(*) STGT wines, the 2018 a **** STGT wine. Good Côtes du Rhône reds - Est-Ouest, Sommelongue, while the white La Bécassonne carries more to it than most in its grade, the 2018 a ****, w.o.w. and V wine.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2019 rosé Large scale merchant, some recent improvement on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape; the 2016 Domaine St Patrice Vieilles Vignes red being an authentic **** wine, for example, and La Cour des Papes red running at ***(*) to ****. They have an involvement with the Cave de Cairanne, Camille Cayran, so have a big commitment to Cairanne; they are producing steady Cairanne red and distinguished white, called Carius now. There is also a Cairanne in the Rémy Ferbras Terre de Mistral range, as well as an easy drinking Ventoux red called Chapelle Sainte Croix, and a similar Gigondas red called La Combe des Marchands, which was a spicy **** wine in 2016. The Vacqueyras Les Hautes Vacquières red was a smoky, natural **** wine in 2017. From Rasteau, there is an honest, authentic cuvée called La Chevalière [good use of Carignan], ***(*) in 2016 and 2018 and some way ahead of the Rémy Ferbras Terre de Mistral Rasteau.
LVT 2012 r 2011 wh Philippe Cambie's selection of wines, with sourcing in negociant or merchant form, crop purchases. Seeks pure fruit, gourmand style
LVT 2016 r 2012 wh Owned by Skalli, big business. Improvement in 2010-2015 vintages; wines becoming more reliable, including a ***(*) 2015 Caves Saint-Pierre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Préférence red.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2016 rosé Part of the Mega-big Boisset empire. Sound Côtes du Rhônes, also Gigondas and Vacqueyras, the 2015 Vacqueyras red a **** wine, and a reliable Tavel, the 2016 a ***(*) wine. The style of the Louis Bernard Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is for a good drinking, fruit-forward wine, which was very successful in 2018, a **** w.o.w. wine in that vintage. The range includes northern Rhônes such as Crozes-Hermitage red, the 2015 a ***(*) wine, and a Saint-Joseph red, the 2018 **** pre-bottling. Accessible pricing here.
LVT 2019 r 2015 wh Part of the Skalli empire. Steady quality, with a new name, the Côtes du Rhône Pavillon Réserve Saint-Pierre red a **** wine in 2015. The 2016 Vacqueyras Pierrelongue red was a genuine wine of character in 2016, **** wine [a leap forward in quality]. From the northern Rhône, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Roquebrussane was a **** wine when tasted from casks
LVT 2012 r Oenologue dimension here, new business, authentic Côtes du Rhône red, 60% Mourvèdre
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Traditional wines, STGT and authentic qualities, a very good address. The 2015 Châteauneuf red was a high quality ***** STGT wine when tasted pre-bottling, while the largely Mourvèdre Tintot 2015 red was a polished, impressive ***** wine. The 2018 Châteauneuf red was also STGT, a grounded, muscular **** wine; the ***(*) 2019 risks being too thick for pleasure, though - unless you are extremely patient.
At the initiative of the three young generation entrants to the domaine - twin sons Quentin and Joris, and their first cousin Arnaud, all born in 1995, a fourth red Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine was introduced in 2017, called Famille Chaussy Sélection. It is from Palestor and Clos St Pierre, and the 2018 was a very commendable, STGT ****(*) wine, full of attitude; the 2019 was an airborne, articulate **** wine likely to appeal to younger drinkers.
More STGT evidence was the mini Châteauneuf-du-Pape red styled 2016 Côtes du Rhône Villages Les Deux Chênes, a ****(*) wine - this was repeated via the ****(*) complex, also STGT Les Deux Chênes in 2019. It is great V. Way to go, Daniel! The white Châteauneuf-du-Pape changes its blend quite often; one of the better ones was the sunny **** 2017 - 70% Roussanne, 30% Clairette blanche.
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh Cyril Mousset is part of the Château des Fines Roches family. The Côtes du Rhône red is from a 2.5 hectare vineyard on the sand near Courthézon, the 2016 a serenading **** wine, while the 2016 Châteauneuf La font de Bessounes red was a **** wine, with a stealthy crescendo along the palate, the 2018 also ****, an expressive wine.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh I first met Louis Geniest (1909-1990) in the mid-1970s, then the domaine disappeared off my radar, with much of the wine sold in bulk. His son Jean was a lawyer until his death in December 2008, and the domaine is now run with passion and commitment by his widow Monique, a lady in her eighties, with a cellar chief called Matthieu Faurie-Grépan present since 2011.
The remarkable thing about this estate is that their 30 hectares, average age 40 years, are all in one extended plot in the south-east of the appellation, on the sites called Crousroute and La Lionne, the latter close to a branch of the main Rhône River. That is a very large single vineyard, more usually found with the big Château properties. There are three red wines, and, since 2013, one white. About 30% is sold in bulk, down from 50% in 2011.
The style is for perfumed wines, with a gentle take that is found in the southern sector. They unfurl gradually, and after eight years or more, the bouquets become varied and interesting. Both the 2015 and 2016 have been very successful. The 2015 Mas Saint-Louis red (Tradition) was a ****(*) STGT wine, while La Grande Réserve red was ****(*) wine in 2015 and ***** wine in 2016. There are still old vintages available going back to the **** 2004. The Arpents de Contrebandiers red was a most harmonious wine, like a feather in the wind, in 2014. This is a style that will slowly regain favour as the promoters of BIG wines at Châteauneuf lose influence. The 2016 white was an exciting, vivid ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 r 2011 wh Serge Mouriesse is an oenologue at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, (eg Domaine Pontifical), wine vinified at Daniel Stehelin's cellar in Bédarrides. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tour d'Ambre red has risen to 2,800 bottles [though only 900 in the coulure vintage of 2017], first wine 2008. The style is for a Big Wine, sipping style; they are expensive.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2018 rosé A southern Rhône merchant/négociant, which is also active in the northern Rhône. Recent owners of the renowned Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes estate at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Quality efforts were made from the late 1990s, with a special cuvée emphasis, involving older vine fruit and modern, oak-related winemaking. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Héritages red and the Clos de l'Oratoire red were both ****(*) wines in 2015, the former STGT, with lovely finesse, the latter quietly complex.
The main problem for the consumer is the proliferation of wine titles - at least five Côtes du Rhône reds, for example. A couple of noteworthy wines are the recently started Lirac blanc Lou Caminé, which gives stylish drinking, and the nicely accessible Plan de Dieu red which favours ease of drinking over outright power.
The northern Rhône range is being gradually expanded, with a surge in 2015 due to the quality of the vintage; the 2015 Saint-Joseph Baligant was a ****(*) wine when tasted from cask at one year old, and the Crozes-Hermitage reds Héritages and Les Paillanches were both **** in 2017. Improvement was also noted in the Côte-Rôtie La Serine, for instance, a fruit-filled **** wine in 2016
LVT 2015 r The merchant business was launched in 2010, when Pierre Vidal left the Cellier des Princes; these arrangements really got going from 2012. Pierre bought one hectare at Lirac in April 2014 from Luc Pelaquié. There are full-on style reds, a broad range, with sound Village reds from Plan de Dieu, Signargues and Saint-Maurice. There is also a very respectable, southern glow infused Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, ***(*) in 2015, while the long aged (three years), very small quantity Châteauneuf-du-Pape Parisii red, based on early 1960s Grenache, was a smooth **** wine in 2012
LVT 2012 r 2016 wh Michel Chapoutier's latest foray in the Rhône – he bought the old Jean Marchand domaine in June 2008 – a total of 4 hectares – with Pierre-Henri Morel, who used to be part of the Chapoutier team in the Northern Rhône. Pierre-Henri now lives and works in Australia. The idea was to also have a selection of other southern Rhône wines from appellations that are not so well-known, such as the Côtes du Rhône Village Signargues in the right bank Gard département.
LVT 2017 r 2016 wh 2012 rosé Young courtier-merchant business based in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since 1998. A family from Haute Savoie. Romain Duvernay's great-grandfather was a négociant to the CHR (Café, Hotel, Restaurant) trade in Haute Savoie, and both he and his father Roland are oenologues. First bottling under their own name with the 2009 vintage. Northern wines are sound, Southern wines can be reductive.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh This is the split off of the old Domaine Mathieu, under brother Jérôme, who works with 7.5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and two hectares of Côtes du Rhône. The old Grenache Châteauneuf-du-Pape Marquis Anselme Mathieu red was a **** in 2015 and in 2016. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône red was a bouncy, w.o.w. **** wine
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2018 rosé A domaine based in the Orange sector of the Châteauneuf -du-Pape appellation, this has been a good source over the years. Grand Veneur was the domaine wine until the 2014 vintage, when the title Vignobles Alain Jaume was adopted. Some of the reds feel extracted, over cellar-influenced, so need time to regain a more comfortable poise. The Châteauneuf Vieilles Vignes red can be a storming good wine - ***** in 2016, for example, while the Châteauneuf Le Miocène red is consistent, noted for a good ****(*) showing in the tricky 2017 vintage. The whites are elegant, with the 100% Roussanne [all oaked] La Fontaine especially stylish, and the classic wine Le Miocène, based on 60% Clairette blanche, an STGT wine in both 2012 and 2015, and nicely traditional, a **** wine, in 2018.
The merchant side of the domaine is called Alain Jaume & Fils. Clos de Sixte is the Lirac estate, Château Mazane and a merchant wine called Grande Garrigue the two Vacqueyras reds - both have stepped up a gear, with the Mazane 2016 a ***** wine; the Grande Garrigue, **** in 2016, has been a most successful ****(*) in 2017 and 2018, leading Vacqueyras in those vintages. There is a neat, stylish Côtes du Rhône white also, Blanc de Viognier.
In May 2015 the Domaine La Grangette Saint Joseph at Jonquières, 1 km from Violès, was bought from the Tramier family. Its 50 hectares on clay-limestone soils are mainly Côtes du Rhône and its wine will be used to expand the domaine Côtes du Rhône red quantity.
LVT 2014 r The merchant arm of Jérôme Quiot, the owner of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret at Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the Château du Trignon at Gigondas. Sound Vacqueyras red. The business is expanding.
LVT 2017 r 2019 wh The vineyard of Pierre Barrot, the brother of Robert Barrot of Château des Fines Roches, who is the father of Amélie & Gaëlle, whose husband Frederic Maillet is now the vinifier as Pierre nears retirement. The red wine has been previously bottled for the family above all; his mother likes to drink it when it is 20 years old! The plots are spread right across the appellation, and the wine has a bright authority. The 2016 was a ****(*) wine when tasted pre-bottling [bottling is due in March 2019, release in March 2020]. It is at the higher end of the price scale. There is now a white as well, 80% Grenache blanc, 20% Clairette, the 2017 a sturdy ***(*) wine, the 2018 an excellent STGT ****(*) wine - classically built, with a firm handshake, while the **** 2019 showed character, a firm grounding,. with vines on La Crau in play.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh Very steady quality, a domaine of 43 hectares; the red wines can take time to fuse and blossom. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Père Pape red was a ***** wine, pre-bottling: thorough and persistent. It has been correct since then, not that inspiring. I rate the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Crau de Ma Mère more highly; its shape is helped by around 25% Mourvèdre, whose 1997 vines are now getting into their stride. Given that the vines are on the top notch La Crau, it should be good. The **** 2019 was authentic, thorough.
The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Crau de Ma Mère white was w.o.w. **** wine, the 2019 also ****, more full-bodied, while the new Châteauneuf-du-Pape red Cuvée Alex (only 3,700 bottles) was a ***** wine in 2015, big and fresh.
LVT 2011 rosé 2014 r Good, very reliable Côtes du Rhône reds from good soils at Château du Bois de la Garde near Bédarrides
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh 2016 Muscat VDN Bright new kids on the block, handling Southern Rhônes with panache, merchant business. The aim is for a "modern and expressive style" in the merchant range. Xavier Vignon is an oenologue. Among his clients features the reviving Domaine de Coyeux at Beaumes-de-Venise. The Xavier Beaumes-de-Venise is good, action man red wine, as in the 2014.