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The Wines

from 2010 81% Grenache (av age 45 years, youngest 2004, 1992, oldest 1920s), 7.5% Syrah (1985), 7.5% Mourvèdre (1985, a recently rented plot), 5% Carignan (1950s) - before was 85% Grenache (av age 40 yrs in 2008, youngest 1992, oldest 1920s), 10% Syrah (1985), 5% Carignan (1950s) from near Maucoil, Quartier Champovin, Boislauzon, sandy, clay-limestone, some galet stones soils, light crush, whole bunch 15-20 day fermentation, daily pumping overs, press wine added, concrete vat raised 17-18 months, fined, unfiltered, organic wine, up to 50,000 b

2018 ()

gentle red robe, with pale top. The bouquet offers a beguiling aroma of spice and rose petals, underlined by strawberry fruit jam. It shows immediate character, away from the herd. The palate picks up on the floral theme, with discreet red berry fruit lining its path, and notes of fresh ping in the tannins, a rocky element from them. This is bingo Thinker’s Wine, one to study and ruminate upon. It has sustained length, and the aftertaste is a festival of spice and pot pourri, dried flowers, a lip smacking, well rounded conclusion. The tannins require another year or so for fusion, but they bring personality to the wine, even now. It’s  hard to find wines  such as this in these days of conformity. 14°. 2029-31 July 2020 Previously May 2019 **** (vat, close to the final blend) dark red; the nose is bouncy, gives vibrant blackberry, prune, has scale. The palate delivers rolling bounty, really tasty black fruit, simmered black berries, comfy tannins well within. This is up-tempo, instant offer Côtes. The attack is big, and it quietens a little towards the close. There’s plenty of wine in the glass. From mid-2019, were it to be bottled by then [which it won’t]! 2032-34 May 2019 

2017 ()

dark red; the bouquet comes straight off the garrigue, with menthol, scented prune, liqueur of plum fruit, smoke-rocks present. The palate has the usual butty depth of a warm year, sinew, muscle, with vibrant tannins that add a savoury note. This is real grounded wine, one with spark. It’s moving well, has character. The finish needs time to refine – so drink from early to mid-2020. “It’s fresh, pure,” Laurent Charvin. Bottled March 2019. 2035-36 May 2019

2016 ()

(vat) dark robe – dark red with some black tints. Dusty trails, herbes de Provence mix on the nose, spice and cooked plums – it’s a Grenache-inspired bouquet; raspberry and mulberry feature well also. The palate runs with fluid content, and some iron in the tannins; it’s thorough and persistent, has more structure than most Côtes du Rhône reds. It finishes on a good charge, momentum. Loganberry, dark fruits lie at its heart. The aftertaste is fresh, has good mini-crunch. The cool threads on the palate are most engaging, and I love its genuine length. It’s properly good table wine, STGT. From 2019. 2027-29 July 2017


(vat) plum red colour. There is a low level air of kirsch, cooked red fruits on the nose, which shows a little power. The palate springs out brightly, with a wave of red fruits and crisp tannins following them. The aftertaste is puckish, brings in a chewy, rocky content wrapped around its ball of red fruit flavour. This has spine, potential, and will be handsome around 2020. 2026-28 Sept 2016

2014 ()

mild red robe; the nose gives a steady aroma of raspberry fruit, with some brightness; it is restrained in style, and there are pockets of dusty herbs. The palate gives keen red fruits, with a swish of clarity. It’s very dentelle in style, toothsome, a clear-cut drinker, still on the spare-naked side. The Grenache is well peppered, accurate for the vintage, and there is a soft floral presence as it finishes. It  has a true character. 14°. Allow until 2018. 2024-25 Sept 2016  Previously Oct 2015 ***(*) steady red robe. Raspberry fruit with a mulled nature, and a liberal spread of black pepper, some dried herbs establish the nose. The palate is peppery on the attack, holds some quietly coated red berry fruit, with a little suave tannin to finish, and also a pucker of vegetal on the aftertaste. Has local attributes, some character. Grilled meats, spaghetti Bolognese ideal. 14°. From mid-2016. 2021-22  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

quite a full red robe. The nose is a true child of the garrigue, provides a vibrant image of garrigue scrub, mixed herbs, holds a peppery red fruit. The palate is in tune with the nose, giving rocky style, peppered red fruit, the smokiness of the rocks never far away. It has an upright, clear and a trifle spare shape for now. The finish goes ping on its minerality. Absolutely no make-up applied to this wine. 14°. From 2017. 2024-25  Oct 2015


red robe; the nose has an appealing floral scent that sits quietly above its gentle but steady couch of raspberry fruit. Herbs such as thyme are also in play. This is an interesting and stylish debut. The palate bears comfortable red fruited matter, is just starting to open and flesh out. The finish is peppered, clear, and the Grenache fruit washes its juice pretty well along the path. This will be charming in another two or three years, and will offer more than the usual Côtes reds in stimulation: it is rated on that future basis. I like its precision. 14°. 2023-25  Oct 2015

2011 ()

(the final assemblage, Bottling Feb 2013) attractive red robe. Has a supple, aromatic nose, a nice ripe raspberry jam. There are notes of toffee – the nose is round, open, curvy. The palate holds intricate, fine, small red berry fruits that come with a tang of licorice. It keeps its foundation, and leads into a herb, flint, grainy and attractive finish. The sign-off is aromatic, shows rose petals. Authentic, clean drinking. “It is fresh, delicate,” Laurent Charvin. 15°. 2019-21  Dec 2012

2010 ()

healthy red robe. The nose is wide – here we go. It has appealing, rather ample layers with red berry fruit compote and a wee note of kirsch present. It is not out as yet, but the depth is very secure, solid. This is building into a bundle of complexity. The palate has a tight, compact, dense fabric. The finish is on licorice and thyme, dusty outcrops, with menthol and mint on the final moment. Very good Côtes du Rhône, one with proper body, access to the lands, STGT. It carries many 2010 attributes – balance, freshness, intricate body. It can resolve its pebbly finish gradually. Drink now if you want a direct swing of wine, since it moves very freely, but it will gain in interest and nuance over time. Great value for money. 14.5°. From spring 2014. 2023-25  Dec 2012

2009 ()

sound red robe. There are floral hints in the raspberry fruit, sun rays spring to mind – the nose is clear with a couch of firm, compact matter. There are licorice and mineral airs as well, which is an achievement given this is the hot, baked 2009 vintage. The palate has a red berry, close-knit flavour, a hint of baked tart or crust at the end, which is dense. It is more wrapped up than the free swinging 2010 - the Solid Citizen versus Ebullience. This will develop gradually, and will become spiced and evocative of Christmas time. Decant it. 14.5°. 2021-23  Dec 2012  Previously Oct 2010 ***(*) (vat) mottled plum red colour; baked, ripe Grenache with a typical herb-resin backdrop – good Grenache appeal. The front palate is gutsy, big-hearted, has genuine drive with punchy late tannins. Good quality in this – it will reward the wait, drink from late 2011. Good length here, a cracking wine. STGT style. 2017-19 Oct 2010


slight evolution in its red robe. The nose gives a gentle, full roundness – raspberry jam with kind sweetness and light cocoa and floral airs. The palate has a spiced start; it is at a stage when it is absorbing its early prime influences – the 2008 pepperiness that was all over it. It has gained roundness. It ends on scented, agreeable, pure fruit. This drinks well now, is a CHR Café Hotel Restaurant wine. “It is a typical year when the terroir delivers; I get a lot of positive feedback on 2008 – there is more to it than people expected,” Laurent Charvin. 14°. 2018-19  Dec 2012  Previously Nov 2009 **(*) (vat) fair depth of red. Simmer of cassis liqueur in the nose, pure and rather fragrant. Fleshy, obvious blackcurrant fruit on the palate, but more on the surface than well entrenched into the wine. Has its carbonic gas for now, is in full elevage, at a raw stage. Can emerge. To be bottled May 2010. From 2011. 2017-19 Nov 2009

2007 ()

(vat) pretty, full red colour. The red fruit aroma on the nose comes with a little mystery, and peppery smoke. The palate is careful in style – this is a waiting game wine – it has quite a rich, tender lean at its core; the red fruits come with late mineral grip, then a herbal and finally licorice aftertaste. The length is good, and this has quiet authority. 2014-15 March 2009

2006 ()

largely full red robe; the bouquet is good and varied – baked fruit with date and fig notes, caramel, latent red jam such as mulberry, the mulberry being a Grenache association. There is good local feel in the palate – its Grenache fruit is sympa, and this is a wine of clear integrity, one that hasn't been over imposed upon. It shows the vintage's slight peppery tannins, and they add life and pep. Sound length. Drink with food rather than solo. STGT wine. 14.5°. 2012-13 Feb 2009 Previously Dec 2006 *** (vat of 100% Grenache, sugars and malo finished) already has a steady bouquet – nice raspberry fruit. Clean, clear fruit here, is well poised and well constituted. Colour is good, is a promising wine, persists well. Dec 2006


attractive, bright, still rather full red – this looks in good shape. The bouquet sets off on a smoky, thyme herbs, licorice and dark plum aroma, has garrigue, local appeal, also the glint of the year, a locked up heart. This is a real bundle of Provence in the glass. The palate is really tasty – this is a rolling wine that offers a wave of blackberry and plum fruit, comes with a vibrato intensity. Cooked red fruits, grain, dry vintage dust feature on the finale. The length is good – it ends clearly, with notes of flint and licorice. It is excellent now – its early austerity has calmed, is fresh and long, has firm fruit. Good, grip, genuine, STGT wine. A real point of appeal is the round, neat spot of gras richness, a plump ball of sweetness, just before the finish – a ball of sunshine between the winds and dry lands pictures. Sweet toothers would find this dry – it ia real wine, with a lovely dentelle, toothsome quality. 14°. 2020-21  March 2013  Previously August 2008 *** sound red robe; combination of cherry and rose on the bouquet, and comes with a little fruit pastille generosity, a hint of sweetness. The palate fans out well, carrying some black cherry with a fine display of tannins that run in a handsome arc down the line. Runs very clearly, and the texture is supple until the quiet tannic tightening on the finish, backed up by a genuine peppery outbreak. This is a wine of classy simplicity; it is still young and primary, and will truck on quietly and discreetly. 14°. 2015-16 Retails for Ru 1290 or £28 here at Le Sommelier, near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Ring Road. August 2008, Moscow


uplifting red robe – a dash of pretty red as it pours into the glass, and there is only a wee note of top ruby. The nose is more mature than young; it has a toffee sweetness, a rich blackberry jam air, mixed with raspberry, red fruit that spreads across well. There are drifts of cigarette ash and licorice. The palate is aromatic, spiced there is really agreeable, bonny drinking here, a wine that parades core Grenache virtues. The dusty pepper at the end is composed particle by particle -  precise and light on its feet. Jolly good, wholesome, STGT wine. Going well, and consistent to its early days. 14°. 2017-18  March 2013  Previously June 2006 **** attractive, mainly red robe; the bouquet gives a restrained charm – it very clear and approachable, offers peony, floral airs, along with mineral and plums. Really enjoyable red berry jam fruit on the palate, with a little tannin to tighten and order it. It can be drunk solo. Finishes cleanly. STGT wine. “I'm sure that around 2010-11 it will be a different, more spiced wine, but will still show well,” Laurent Charvin. Much charm, a lot of character - a wine that floats nicely, has a beguiling butterfly character. 2014-16 June 2006

2003 ()

smoky, red fruits nose with the air of jam in it – it prolongs well, and is no way overheated à la 2003. The palate serves up red fruits with a baked plum taste, a touch of kirsch and marzipan – it is altogether different from the 2004. It is chunky, but still in the pure house style, so all is relative – it means the wine comes across as grounded. Good length. 2015-17 June 2006

2001 ()

there are ruby tints in the red robe. This displays graceful, tender, floral airs, along with leather, damp woods and minerality – definitely in transition, thus, a feminine and masculine mix together. There is also a low-key air of strawberry in syrup. The palate has fine grain, an iris-scented mid-palate, and a fresh, cinnamon ending. The finale brings in Christmas box spices, figs, is round. Suited to pheasant, partridge. 14°. To 2016-18.  Dec 2012


(vat, 90% Gren, 10% Syr) fair red colour. Quite rich, immediate nose, is sparky, shows some darkness. The palate has nice style, lots of pushy fruit with a fair frame around it. Not very big, but agreeable, with low-key tannins at the end. Pretty good persistence. “We lost 40% through bad weather this year,” Gérard Charvin. Bottling Jan 1999. From mid-2000. 2011-13  Oct 1998

1996 ()

quite dark, deeper robe than 1997. Warm bouquet that is a little hidden, has bosky notes. The attack starts with a quiet, slow-burn flavour, its content lasting quite well. Decent depth here. Shows tannin on the finish. Traditional wine, with flair. The nose will be interesting around 2000 onwards, and the palate, which is very Grenache styled, will be on a good trail around 2001 onwards. 2008-2010  Oct 1998

1995 ()

ruby tints in the robe; has a swinging bouquet – roasted coffee beans, is still live and wide. Air settles and rounds it out. The palate has taken on a supple, clam sweetness – this is a wine of clarity, finesse and lovely pedigree - a choral, not an orchestral wine. The end palate is attractive, nice and pebbly. I like its harmony. STGT wine. “It was a brute that became fine and fresh,” Laurent Charvin. 2010-11 June 2006