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The Wines

50% Grenache, 10-20% Cinsault, 15-20% Syrah, 10-15% Carignan (1960s vineyard), 5-10% Counoise from mostly sand, also lime soils 50% from Roquemaure, 50% from St Geniès de Comolas, hand harvested, destemmed, varieties co-fermented, 10-14 days, pumping overs, concrete vat raised 18 months, unfined, filtered, “drink with rabbit terrine with tarragon, mushroom paté en croute”, 72,000-90,000 b

2018

plum red colour, a subdued tone to it. The bouquet lies low, has a quiet intensity, centres on ripe, firm blackberry with a floral hint that pleases. The palate is compact, holds sealed content with a lining of tight tannin. It builds gradually and well along the palate, the sign-off nicely full. It has good structure, a subdued elegance, is a quiet burn of a Côtes, suited to lamb, also veal dishes, mushroom dishes, is one for the Thinkers. 14°. 72,660 b. 50% Gren, 20% Syr, 15% Cari, 10% Cins, 5% Coun. €9 at the Château. From spring 2021, can be decanted. 2027-28 Oct 2020

2015

(vat) fair red robe. The nose gives a soft blackberry aroma, isn’t varied beyond a little minerality. The palate holds a cassis, blackberry flavour with some inner strength of tannin appearing as it ends. The finish needs another nine months to fuse. Correct Côtes rouge. 14°. 90,000 b. 50% Gren, 20% Syr, 15% Cari, 10% Cins, 5% Coun. €3.95 export. From spring 2017. 2020-21 June 2016 

2014 ()

sound red robe. The nose gives a light hum of blackberry jelly fruit, has a sweet curviness, reminds me of Pez sweets, a likeable opening given. The palate is similar, bearing jelly fruit as if it could be spread on the morning toast. Its succulence works well, the tannins are mild. It glides along, presents a neat orb of flavour, is ready now. The aftertaste is a little scented, floral. It has its own character, away from the mainstream. Decanting an option. 14°. 2019-20  Feb 2016 

2013 ()

(vat) handsome dark red, black at the centre. Has a sleek, shiny nose of black cherry fruit, a note of toffee – the fruit appeals through a subdued note of sweetness. The palate is expressive, also bears peppery, very lucid, clean black fruit. This is shapely, polished Côtes du Rhône, has an implant of late grainy-licorice flavoured pepper-dust tannins. There is an enjoyable little burst of garrigue herbs on the sign-off. This is superior Côtes du Rhône; its weight is medium-plus, but the fruit quality is high. Wine for la table. From spring 2016. 14°. 2020-21  Feb 2015

2011 ()

dark, shiny robe, a full red. Blackberry fruit features in a restrained nose, comes with herbs such as thyme and rosemary, smoke and minor chocolate notes. The palate offers bold, front-running black fruit, a taste of black fruit pastilles, with a touch of licorice, has plenty going for it; its tannins are crisp, grainy. This has a clear-cut, direct style. Mulberry fruit peeps out at the end. The finish will soften in another year. Good wine. 14°. 2017-18  May 2013

2010

sound red robe; the nose is moving into a foxy, secondary range, has grilled notes with deep red berry and licorice; it has been open for two days, so the red fruit aroma is intrinsically flamboyant after opening. The palate is threaded with powdery spice, has a definite spine, licorice. It is in a stubborn phase; the fruit is going smoky and underground, and the tannins are on top. The structure dominates the fruit. It is driven by its spinal column, the finale is clear, with a grip centred on minerality, with mocha and prune. “Maturity and acidity came together at the same time this year – it is my favourite vintage. We were able to harvest really slowly, with the grape quality very high,” Rodolphe de Pins. 14°. 2018-19.  May 2013

2009

decent red robe. Nose has an air of blackberry pastilles – this is a sunny and welcoming opening. Very tasty palate – zap, we are into w.o.w. wine here, no hesitation. It is really succulent, time for a Juju, Vicar, lozenges arriba! Shows a little late tannin. A hint of the vintage dryness on the finish – a pebbly note. “It has delicacy, fragrance thanks to the Cinsault, which this year was about 25% of it. Jacques Reynaud (Château Rayas) taught me about the Cinsault,” Rodolphe de Pins. Bottled Jan 2011. To 2015 or so. March 2011

2008 ()

mild red robe. The nose reflects red fruits, redcurrant jam, is nicely filled and agreeable. Gives easy pleasure on the palate, offers bright and very drinkable fruit, its imprint is clear. The aftertaste is spiced. Can drink solo, without food. There is nice and pure access to the fruit. 13.5°. 2016-18 “I would give this easily 10 years of life,” R de Pins. June 2010

2007

the red robe is a shade sombre. Baked top air, currants –the nose is a little reticent, shows gradual evolution. Good debut, good attack that delivers stone red fruits that are scented towards the finish. Will be more open and flourishing in a year`s time. Really juicy end fruit here. Like all the wines here, this is very drinkable. 14°. 2017-18 June 2010 Previously Feb 2009 (vat) *(*) purple top to a dark robe. Rather clinicial, “tinny” nose, a cherry aroma that stands off, does not invite. Crisp black fruit on the palate – also rather untouchable. Its acidity doesn`t sit comfortably, and the fruit vacates on the finish. I note (a sample tasted blind) that it is not yet bottled, so some leeway to settle. To 2011. Feb 2009

2005

black plum robe. Grainy, lithe aroma, is nutty, travels up and down rather than across the glass. The palate is closed-in, has some brisk acidity, shows red fruits, stops a bit short. 2009-10 April 2008

2004

clear strike of fruit, stylish bouquet. Well-fruited palate, with some nerve in it – it gains and gives licorice, red fruits. Some late alcohol, no worry there. 2009-10 March 2007