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The Wines

50% Grenache (1950s-1980s), 50% Syrah (1970s, night harvested by machine, pre-fermentation cooling at 3-8°C for 2-3 days skin contact, start fermentation at 24°C, Syrah & Grenache together, 4-6 week vinification, cap punching, twice daily pumping overs at first, raised 80% steel vat 18 months, 20% 2-3-4 year 225-litre oak casks 12 months, then 6 months vat, fined, filtered, 20-25,000 b

2009

(malo, sugars done) dense robe. The nose is thorough, grounded, shows good, fleshy air of Grenache fruit, is true, and currently rather reductive. Nice full palate, almost in the category of dense wine; the second half is sweet, packed together. The length is OK. Weighty rather than free in style. There is good Syrah early on, but the Syrah “leaves the finale a bit metallic”, C.Valat. 10 years. “We did a 7 week vinification to help the wines to finish and round out,” C.Valat. Dec 2009

2008 ()

(vat only, may get some 2007 oaked in it, as allowed) mild red. Sweet, fruited airs of black cherry, also biscuity – a primary state bouquet. The palate is gentle, drinks now, has furry late tannin, a bit out on its own, but that can settle. The soft early fruit goes down OK, and if the oaked wine is added, it will help to prop up the finish. From late 2010. To bottle spring 2010. To 2015 Dec 2009

2007 ()

dark red robe; supple, open nose – offers sweet red fruits, cherry-cassis-blackberry jam and ripe style tannins – a local air. Juicy start to the palate, right away. It gains in structure and seriousness, there is a good core here, the tannins are live, and it ends freshly. A lot of wine here, and the later stages are broad. STGT wine. Good, pebbly aftertaste. From late 2010. 14.5°. Bottled June 2009. 2017-18 Dec 2009

2006

handsome robe – a good, dense red. The nose has reserves of power and depth – shows blackberry, loganberry, spice, some garrigue, sun bouncing off the land. Peppery, finely muscled debut to the palate, a wine of good heart. The fruit tapers a touch, is wee bit stretched towards the finish. The tannins have a 2006 push, are a bit stiff. Decant this. From mid-2010 it will be a bit more giving. Late heat, local feel, licorice aftertaste. 14.5°. To 2016. Dec 2009 Previously June 2007 *** (vat) quite a dark robe; succulent style bouquet – cherry and plum, rich airs. The palate is ripe, the fruit well-judged in its date of picking; the core is good and persistent, the length good. Solid quality wine, with tannins largely absorbed. It comes along steadily, without a great hit on the attack, and the finish is peppered. There is a Syrah imprint on this. 2014-15 June 2007

2005

sound, quite dark robe; the bouquet is live and present – good black cherry with an oily air, laurel and herbs, a good point of intensity to it. The flavour is herb-tinted, the black berry fruit rounded and clam. Its tannins prevail on the finish, where there is some mineral in the texture. Has a smoked barbecue aftertaste, provides early drinking from 2008. 2011-13 June 2007