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The Wines

70-80% Grenache (early 1900s-1960s) from clay-limestone soils on Santa Duc (N-W), Les Bosquets (S-W), Les Parties (S-W), 20-25% Syrah (early 1990s) from Santa Duc, 0-8% Mourvèdre, hand harvested, whole bunch fermentation (a change since the early 2010s), light crushing, 10-20 day vinification at up to 28-30°C, varieties apart, daily pumping overs, aged new-4 year 228-litre oak casks 7-10 months (until mid-2010s part vat, part cask raised), unfined, filtered, first wine 2006, 4,500-12,000 b

2016

(casks, bottling soon) dark, intense robe. The power within the bouquet evokes eau de vie, black berry and cherry fruits, with some oak. It’s a big unit. The palate is similarly high octane, on a heady mix of oak-varnish and concentrated black berry, blueberry fruits. This is still planted firmly in the cellar, is strongly oaked, and needs time to regain a more relaxed and local outlook. The finish is fleshy, with the fruit backing off against the oak, also shows a line of power there. 14°. 70% Gren, 25% Syr, 5% Mourv. From late 2020. 2029-31 Oct 2017

2015 ()

(casks, bottling Jan 2017) dark, full robe. Pine, incense feature in a dark bouquet, some streamlined blackberry fruit at its heart. The palate bears rolling black fruits with tar-licorice tannins, the fruit towards blueberry on the finish. There is oaking on the aftertaste. It’s a pretty full, traditional Gigondas. Allow until 2019 to fuse the oak. 14°. 4,500 b. €16. 2027-29 March 2017

2013

(vat/casks) deep, bright purple colour. There is an air of creamy oak on the nose, reciprocated on the palate. Has cassis-blackcurrant and cherry fruit flavours with a fruit pastille style nuance. The tannins are firm on the finish, the oak again present and giving a drying sensation. It may come round, but the oak is dominant at the moment. 14°. From 2017. 2024-25 JL Dec 2014

2012

(vat/casks, bottling 16 Dec 2013 in two weeks) dark red; oak-pine-varnish assertion on the first aroma, black cherry inside. The palate expresses southern, free rolling fruit, has much tannin attached, leaves an oak, emphatic finale. The oaking needs to be less, less smoked, less intense for this to show balance and offer enjoyment. Its black fruit doesn’t have enough chance to get in the clear. Try from late 2016, but this is not a work of harmony. 14°. 70% Gren, 22% Syr, 8% Mourv this year. €13.50 ex cellars. 2021-22  Dec 2013

2011

three-quarter depth red. Pine, smoke, red cherry liqueur, grainy aroma. The palate also runs on a note of varnish, acetate, close to the pine sensation. That dominates , to the detriment of tasty fruit. Edgy wine, unconvincing. Oak and brittle fruit exist on the finish. Burnt wine. 14°. To 2016. €13.10 at the cellars. 70% Gren, 22% Syr, 8% Mourv this year. Dec 2012

2010 ()

(vat/casks) dark robe; soaked black cherries (griottes) and grilled airs overlay the bouquet that has a mint cream intensity, some refined aroma of prune - this is a “dark” nose overall. There is a suave, progressive run of oily fruit until a group of wide tannins bring firmer, grilled notes. This is all set to do well – a young wine, with good heart and lots of flavour to be shown thanks to a glowing basket of southern fruits. It will be interesting and more varied when 7-8 years' old. From 2015. 70G, 22Sy, 8M this year. 2029-31 Dec 2011

2009

the robe is tiring, a matt plum colour. The nose is already on a cooked fruit, spice established level, not a lot of surprises to come; there are oily, black pepper, resin touches. The richness is set into the palate, but then drying tannin comes along, the risk of getting curly is present here. Its gras carries it a fair way; there are “dark” forces here – it is an autumn, winter wine for game and hearty stews. Has a char-tar end that suggests oak here. Not a long liver. 2017-18 July 2011

2008

(vat/cask) quite a deep red colour. Nutty, slightly crunchy red fruit, red cherry aroma. Oaked start to the palate – a sweep of modern style red fruit within, which continues cleanly, taking the oak with it as it goes. Sound length. A mainstream, modern wine, not obviously Gigondas now. From 2012. 2019-20 Dec 2009

2007

good, complete dark red. Hovering reduction on the nose that is just short of being clear – shows cassis, blackberry jam within. A wine that still needs time on the palate – it is marked by resin and its raising, the oak, and the aftertaste is heated. There is oily, blackberry-violet, marked licorice flavouring here, the fruit holding a spot of tension and the tannins a little on the edge, the end a bit dry. It will be more of an ensemble from spring 2011. It glows at the end, and beyond the oak lies local character. 2022-23 Previously March 2009 ***(*) oily, herbal nose, gives ripe blackberry fruit, pine also. The palate holds baked black fruits, becomes sweet towards the end – gives a mix of date and a meaty-charcoal combination. Good, solid finale. A wine that is making its way, is running a good race. From spring 2010. 2017-18 March 2009

2006

dark red. Mature red berry, simmered fruit aroma, well packed together – it is young and primary. Agreeable red fruit advances cautiously along the palate, gaining discreet weight as it goes. The balance is OK, has an assured, currently subdued finale. Upright wine now, ends a bit dry, but has possibilities. Length OK, herbs in the finale. 14°. 2016-17 Nov 2008

2004

mild red; raspberry, red berry aroma with a baked side to it – airs of warm garrigue, pebble stones, a touch of flowers. The palate is a bit on the heat – there is a slight lack of flesh to this, even though it is clear. The finish is dry, and overall it is a bit severe. I wonder how ripe the crop was. 2015-16  Dec 2006