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The Wines

80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre (av age 40 years) from 2.5 hectares of clay-limestone soils on Hautes Plaines, hand harvested, 30 day vinification, whole bunch fermentation, cap punching, pumping overs, aged 50 hl large barrels of Russian oak 16-18 months, unfined, filtered, 7,200-8,000 b

2016

(barrel) dark red robe, legs visible. The bouquet has a sweet inlay of cassis fruit, a certain vibrancy in its delivery. It’s broad and can develop variety as it evolves. The palate runs with fluid content that is still compact, has herbs and smokiness, a bustling set of tannins that take over after the mid-point, leaving the black cherry juice compressed as it closes. The finish is pretty full. There is body here, a sound grounding, to allow it to live until 2033-35. 14.8°. 8,000 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. Drink from 2021. Oct 2017

2015

simple red robe. The nose is cool, spiced, lined with mild red fruit airs. The palate is immediately fresh, with lithe content and an assertion of tarry tannins as it ends. It’s very much “on the steel”, and lacks a little mid-palate gras. It will draw together with time, though. There is a herbes de Provence, dusted grain finish. Naked, no make-up wine here. 14.5°. 7,200 b. 80% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv. €13 at the cellars. Try from spring 2018. 2024-25 May 2017

2014

(barrel) dark colour; the nose presents a note of intense, cooked black berry with a red meat angle, a seared note. It is a little wild. The palate delivers strength from within, led by a broad-fronted black berry fruit and live, quite dark tannins. This has some ground force, is a genuine, vigorous Gigondas. The finish involves dark tannins, a near limestone tang, plenty of butty qualities. Lots of wine in the glass here. 14°. 8,000 b. €12. From 2018. 2026-28  Dec 2015 

2013

(barrel) purple hue. The nose is muted, with a hint of dark fruit and spice. There is more definition on the palate, which stays fresh and focused. Again dark fruit and spice come through, with firm but fine tannins on the finish that suggest ageing potential. Syrah seems evident in the blend, but isn’t overblown. 14°. From mid-2016. 2025-27  JL Dec 2014

2010

quite a dark red; smoky, resin-nutty front air – there is a grilled overlay to its Grenache red plum fruit, low-key herbs, a trace of crème de menthe and eucalyptus; the main air baked and grilled. The palate is spiced and enclosed, holds raisin and prune at its heart. Assertive tannins lead to a dry, firm finale. It is in a raw state now, kicks with a bang on the second half of the palate. Has a true fruit, is not got up, is in a naked state. Has potential and character. From 2014. 14.5°. €6.80 export. 2029-31 Dec 2011

2009

plum-tinted robe; has a lonely garrigue, pine-lined vineyard air, cooked plum with some flint-menthol-fennel influences, but the tone overall is dry. Traditional school seasoning in the flavour – prune, black spice. The tannins are dry and enter too early for comfort, and these take over the whole show, and dry it out wholly. To 2017. €6.80 ex cellars. July 2011

2003

gummy fruit aroma – red plums – delivered down the line, with no brio. Has mixed flavours on the palate – they come with fungal, earthy notions. Grenache leads the way stylistically, but the finish, like many 2003s, is dry. The fruit has charm, the tannins do not. Back to the time capsule, Dr Who, and cross your fingers. To 2010. July 2005

1997 ()

(barrel) subdued matt red; the bouquet is plain – a little plum fruit here, with a minted angle, no great depth to it. This is easy, rather simple, has fair fatness in it. There are no hidden places, the cards are on the table. Fair length. Early drinking. Uninspiring, but OK. From 2000. 2007-09  April 1999