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The Wines

80-90% Grenache (1950s+), 15-20% Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, aged new, 1-year 228-litre oak casks 19-21 months, unfiltered, 9,000 b

2012 ()

(casks, bottling July 2014) dark red. This has a becoming, welcoming nose with a soft, floral leaning, a sweet centre: this holds Châteauneuf-du-Pape richness, sun, roundness, soaked plums. The palate is likeable, tasty; the black fruit is discreetly full and persistent, the ensemble with its tannins successful. It is stylish overall, is not a Whizz Bang, Over the Top offering, has shades and nuances. Its late freedom is appealing, is calm and stately, nothing done in a hurry. From 2016. 14.5°. 90% Gren, 5% Syr, 5% Cins. 2027-29  Nov 2013

2004

full, plum red colour; the top air of oak with sweet date and raisin is sturdy – this expresses mulled, rather than fresh fruits, and doesn`t at all come from the elegant, floral school – it is wide and dense. It is also sturdy on the palate – this is a rather retro style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It has a sweet theme through it, but the fruit could be accused of lacking cut. It would go down well in the shires of England and chez les Suisses. It ends on a full, rather weighty note. Less oak raising would equal improved access to the terroir with this wine. The length is OK. 15°. 2020-22 Dec 2008 £22.92 per bottle in bond

1999 ()

dull red with a top of ruby that shows advance. Has an animal, sweet raisin and pepper aroma, spice and smoke and some floral airs accompanying it – it is open and on the go now, and reflects Châteauneuf. The palate carries the vintage`s clear fruit, with nerve and sinew emerging towards the finish, which is decisive. The red fruit comes in a baked manner, with tannins and the residue of the oak bordering it, then the usual Tardieu-Laurent tar aftertaste. It has held together well, but the sweet purity of Châteauneuf-du-Pape fruit can never parade itself here on the palate given the way it has been aged. Not a wine for the Rhône purists. 14°. 2017-18 Dec 2008