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The Wines

60-65% Grenache, 25-30% Syrah (pre-2000 was 15-18%), 8% Mourvèdre, 2-3% Cinsault, Counoise, hand harvested, destemmed, aged 50-55% steel vat, 25% 1-2-3 year oak casks, 25% new oak casks 12-14 months, fined, light filtration, 270-340,000 b

2015 ()

(casks, an example of the blend) shiny red. Has a sweet-centred nose, red fruits with a dash of cassis, all in roundness. It has a healthy potential. The palate gives a fluid run of well-juiced content, pressed in from outside by firm, ripe tannins. There are aromatic notes, strawberry fruit, a sense of thick but mobile coulis fruit here. The length is good. Take your time here – from 2020 at the earliest; it will gain over time. 2035-37 Nov 2016 Previously Sept 2016 (vat/casks) ***(*)  shiny dark red with purple present. Simmered black cherries start the nose, with some beef stock depth within, a hint of menthol and pulp of fruit. It’s a wine from warm lands. The palate holds supple content, mixes in dried garrigue herbs with tannins that give lift on the late stages. A genuine Châteauneuf, has good local virtues, if a touch on the swell side. 14.7°. From 2019. 2030-32 Sept 2016

2014 ()

(casks, bottling July 2016) dark red, black tints. This has a blackberry, free running, direct aroma, an open start. There is a note of chicken stock, oak and licorice also. The palate delivers crisp, slightly taut for now black fruit, with some steel in its tannins. It ends freshly, spearmint clarity there, and a dash of the garrigue herbs, along with oak. Good, clear wine. From 2018 to allow it to become more rounded, less on the “steel”. It has the basis of a good wine. 14°. 60% Gren, 30% Syr, 8% Mourv, 2% Cins. 280,000 b. €26.50. 2027-28 GB £70/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013

(casks) medium red hue. The nose is rather sweet; vanilla oak dominates at present. Herbal, red fruit lies behind. The palate is fresh but light, shows some dilution. The tannins are rustic rather than raw. From 2016. 14.5°. 2023-25 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

red robe. The nose has vitality, red berry fruits on show; it is simply clear, juvenile, transparent. The palate runs with a quiet flavour of red fruits, picks up fresh, direct tannins. It’s spare as it stands, still in a primary state. It’s also rather “light”. The close is peppered. I can only assume that this is a classic slow burn Redon, that should be left until 2019-20. 2030-32 Nov 2016 Previously Nov 2013 ****(*) (casks, bottling July 2014) dark robe; the bouquet is wide – airs of roast beef, a plunge of black berry, a nose sourced from sunny lands, has a solid, ripe centre, some oaking. The palate gives a good, constant flow of black cherry in a lightly peppered, oaked flavour. Proper, good depth, serious Châteauneuf that holds good quality fruit and well-handled content around it. There is definite tongue tasting cherry fruit, a succulent heart; good potential. It finishes on tasty black cherry fruit, no excess power, all in order. 14.5°. 60% Gren, 30% Syr, 8% Mourv, 2% Cins/Coun, €26.50, 270,000 b this year. 2027-29 Nov 2013

2011 ()

shiny red robe. The nose gives a blackberry, loganberry aroma, and is nice and round and inviting, also shows some herbs such as thyme. This is opening up nicely, bears sweet red fruit juice, with trim tannins to close it. This is nice and true, natural Châteauneuf. It finishes on a little rocky tannin. 14.5°. 2027-28  GB £180 12/b in bond or £20.46. Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com  Nov 2015 Previously Dec 2012 *** (casks) dark robe. The nose is a mix up of red meat and herbs, laurel. There is a raspberry fruit theme through it, and a strong sense of wild, near feral airs comes across. The palate offers raspberry fruit with a salty note of clarity on the end palate. It has a smoky, grainy run and a herb influenced nature. Its acidity is not really comfortably inset for now, and the meaty, wild side appears also on the palate. The tannins have iron in them for now. Wait – certainly until mid-2015. Could be a little better than 3 stars. 14.5°. 2024-27  Dec 2012

2010

has a red robe with a slight hint of change at the top. The bouquet digs in well, has a succulent depth: it’s still very young and not varied, the fruit with some nerve. It holds up well. The palate is quietly firm, also very young with some steel in the tannins, fresh length and flair, a late spot of crunch. It is a little stripped back as it stands, with not a lot of obvious flesh. Decant it. From 2019, wait some more. 14.5°. 2035-37 Nov 2016 Previously Dec 2011 **** (casks) full red robe; the nose is careful, not showing a lot – there is refined red fruit inside, strawberry discreetly present, also a smoky, light spice surround. The palate has the straight line shape of the year, and its fruit moves well, being clear and approachable. It is still living on its smoky, spinal youth, and needs 2+ years to come together and meld. It has character. There is a baked, raisin note in with prune flavouring on the finish. From 2015 – I sense slow burn development here. 2028-30 Dec 2011

2008

quite clear red robe. Dusty, sawed wood front aroma, possible black fruit behind. The palate is propped up by its oak. There is a little juice in its minor black fruit, and it ends quietly – on oak and cherry flavouring. The palate is stretched inside. Oak-content ratio is uneasy. One to review around 2011. From 2011. 2016-18 Nov 2009

2007

good, beckoning dark red robe. Charcoal-tar top air, crunchy and oaked influences, the oak well ahead of the fruit right this minute. The palate is also oak-forward. Its interior black fruit is serene and supple, flows, but the whole wine needs leaving for 2+ years to allow the oak to absorb. It is not at all local now. The cassis fruit has a line of acidity in it, with a sort of grapefruit nature. From 2012 for safest results. 2021-23 Nov 2009

2006 ()

clear red colour, very Grenache in style, shows slight advance. The nose is softly fruited, but lacks precise definition. I find a lactic note on the palate, and it bears bright, fresh fruit, despite that. Not really showing real top form, seems at a half way house. Very young. 14.5°. 2023-25  Dec 2012 Previously March 2009 *** bright, full red. Has a nutty, red fruits aroma with a few herbs in it – it is clean cut. The palate is also a clean affair, and is still very primary – the red fruit is crisp, not nuanced. The nose is more local than the palate for now. There are fresh, upright tannins at the end, the length is sound. From 2011. This needs time to be more interesting and more expressive. Bottled July 2008. 2025-26 March 2009 Previously Nov 2007 *** (example of the assemblage) full, quite dark red; bouquet has a toasted oak top, with black fruit underneath, is suave in nature. Streamlined black style fruits here. The oak needs 3 years to fuse. The fruit is round in shape. An elegant, modern style wine without excess, but its oak is imposing on this example, meaning there is a tar aftertaste and a bit of late burn. From 2010. 2023-25 Nov 2007

2005

complete red robe, plenty in it. The bouquet is a potentially full affair, but at a reserved stage now: suggests black fruits with some oaked smokiness. Tight, framed black fruit, with a crisp, live finish. There is sparkling fruit, it is really on the go. There are surrounds of measured richness, nothing heavy. An intrinsically elegant wine. Good length. From 2010-11. 2027-30. Nov 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ***** (pre-bottle) full, complete robe; stylish, rounded and clean-cut fruit aroma – there is some lurking gaminess, but the top red fruit is handsome, oily and ripe. Decisive fruit attack comes with smooth, clear lines. Fruit quality is high, this persists well. Clear, peppery, springy red fruit finale, the Grenache is bonny here and there’s plenty of life in it. Rounded and attractive, this has ripe tannins, too. 2024-27 Nov 2006

2004

there is a healthy glow in the plum red, fully centred robe. There are smoky, oak-tar top airs, caramel, along with brewed fruit within the bouquet which has a sense of richness. It is still very much on a secondary, not tertiary platform, is advancing steadily and more slowly than many. This is modern style Châteauneuf – it is still absorbing its raising, the fruit is swish. It doesn’t make a big local statement now. The flavour resembles cooked fig, prune. I would leave this for two winters – until mid 2015. Decanting a help. The oak and content are not truly in sync; it doesn’t have a lot of depth. 2027-29 Oct 2013 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) dark aroma, runs on a woody, potentially full path with some underlying sweetness, has correct primary airs. Good, easy attack, with clear red fruit and well-woven tannins. Good length, has the potential for more. Clearly defined, shapes as if it can broaden. From 2009. 2021-24 Nov 2006 Previously Oct 2006 **(*) quite dark; Bouquet reveals black berry fruit with a herbal tang, some mint, also herbaceous. Easily fruited, is open now. There’s a tarry fringe to the black fruit and a fresh finale. No great body, is a direct wine with a peppery aftertaste. Length is OK. 2014-16 Oct 2006

2003

steady red colour; cooked red fruits, plum jam aroma that is still compact. The palate displays red fruits with a supple nature at the start, then gains a chewy, sustained, touch mouth puckering-drying aspect late on – in the vintage style. There is power here. It is bold from middle to finish, picking up heat that is agreeable. More enjoyable from 2009. It is a still tight, and atypical, wine. 2022-24 Nov 2006

2001 ()

ruby attached to the red robe now; has an expressive, rolling bouquet that is scented but also carries a little chocolate in its good foundation. Sinewed, emerging fruit on the palate, that lengthens well. Ends briskly, displaying red stone fruit there. Is moving towards harmony, especially so from late 2007 on. Is rather refined now, with an easy texture and good end grip to warp up proceedings. Is a reserved sort of wine. Has moved up a gear as it has come together. 2022-24 Nov 2006 Previously May 2003 **(*) quite a potent bouquet, brewed fruit presence. Rather stern, upright palate, charged wine, with an oaked side. Fair content here. Tannins dry the finish. 2006 on. 2017-20 May 2003

2000

full plum robe, some matt. Spicy, licorice, prominent and alert bouquet – chocolate, menthol, raisin. The palate is close-knit, its richness secure. Has reached a singing stage, is running well now. There is good binding between its fruit and tannin, and has life in it, kick at the end. Beau, good character. Moving well, nothing but up. 2018-21 Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2007 *** the robe is still full, especially denoting the Syrah. The bouquet at first shows some game and animal, is wide and secure, with sweet-toned dates and toasting, ground coffee later on. There is also some raspberry liqueur here. This is a good, nicely oily wine with plenty of flow. There is black fruit mixed with pepper and spice. The stylish tannins draw it together on the finish, and render a late mocha effect. This is doing well, but watch out for the late thrust of the tannins. “It always had a velvet in it, with fine tannins; I find it is evolving in a similar way to 1990,” Jean Abeille. Nov 2007 Previously May 2003 ** quite full, violet-floral aroma, close-knit. Rather stern start on palate, seems forced. Heady instincts, show through on finish, with another slight herbal touch. No need for vinification like this in 2000. Tough wine. May 2003

1999

the robe is still full, with some turn at the top of the robe. Has a brewed, overt nose – black chocolate and spice. The palate comes in a copious style, is rather clumsy, but full and evident. The fruit is laced with some cool, near tea flavouring. There is a mineral thread through this, with the vintage cool fruit apparent. Can live on. 2017-19 Nov 2006 Previously May 2003 No Rating bit of an oaked bouquet, with a burnt aroma here. Fair attack, closely bound fruits, but then tightens and dries. Tart, fresh finish, uncharming wine. A strange do. May 2003

1998

a full robe with lots of red in it; Has really wide bouquet with lovely packing in it; there is charm in the soft red fruits, but power and depth in behind, via some tobacco and rum: all comes in a silken air. This is rich on the palate, with a real gourmandise backed by good structure and tannin to keep it in shape. Very good length. It is ripe late on, with red fruits that are still clear. The bouquet is young, with no hints of game. Broad and silken on the palate, this is a joy to drink. 2025-28 Nov 2007

1997

some turn in the robe; second phase starting on the nose – herbs, forest damp, cooked fruits, is very typical. Very nice evolution on the palate, it is quite full, with secondary notes appearing. Sound integrity of flavour, a little verve, a tasty do. Plums, fig in that flavour, quince as well. Will be elegant over the next five to six years. 2011-13 Nov 2001. This area of Châteauneuf was hit by hail in 1997.

1996 ()

quite deep, fair colour; the bouquet is sympa – has discreet depth, offers rather stewed dark fruits. Three-quarter weight palate that is marked by its tannins. Quite big, also chewy wine that lacks a bit of core to fully handle its tannins as yet. I would come back to it around 2002-03. Decent, can get there. 2014-17 Oct 1998

1995 ()

small top turn on the robe, quite dark otherwise. Hung meat, animal edges on the nose, polished leather – upright, dry leaning for now. There is a degree of shift on the palate, though its tannins are still hanging around. Interesting – a wine for game. Rather medicinal finish. Not quite sure where it goes from here. From 2004, since these wines do take time to reveal their true worth. “The very big crop served to dilute the density of the wine,” Jean Abeille. 2015-18 Nov 2001 Previously Oct 1998 **** good colour, rich aspect. Hefty, meaty, darkly fruited nose that has scale, and is also nicely stylish. Plenty on the palate – there is good matter surrounding its firm, clean tannins. A bit like 1989 without such demands from the tannins. It runs on dark, cooked fruits such as cassis, prune, damson. Decent depth, a stylish wine to come. 2018-20. Oct 1998

1994 ()

dark, black tinted, profound robe, some matt in its make-up. There is some evolution on the nose, an early hint; dark fruits, leather notions. The palate is rather square, also dumb. Works on a small scale, is stuck in its groove now, but can show quite well in time. It has an upright style, and will be more demonstrative around 2002. 2013-15. “We had late September rain, which came when we had finished three-quarters of the harvest. July and August were very hot – day and night – and the Grenache suffered this year,” Jean Abeille. Oct 1998

1993 ()

dark, thorough robe. The bouquet is promising, opening a little; there is some game coming through, cocoa, licorice according to Abeille & Fabre. There is a nice southern feel on the attack, which the supple texture features most; it then takes on an upright style, not surprising given the vintage travails, notably rain in the spring and a lot at harvest time. It is totally between young and mature now, has agreeable matter, a degree of fullness and nice length. Well worked. The aftertaste dries a bit, gives a dark chocolate tone. It will really sing around 2001-02. 2009-11 Oct 1998

1992 ()

some turn toward ruby on the robe; hung meat air on the nose, hints of sweat and leather, and a final dusty note. Very attractive on the palate – cherry flavours, a nice amount of content. Easy and agreeable to drink, a wine that declares well. Suited to the restaurant trade. Licorice turns up on the finish. It is pretty clean all round, the length is decent. Good period to drink now. 2006-08 Oct 1998

1990

ruby on the top robe. Has a real damp, sous-bois, leaves aroma. The palate glints out its richness in a very satisfying way. Really sympa wine, with well-ripened gras, interesting variety of flavour, layers of different prompts through the palate. Olives, figs, jam in the taste. Its length is correct. Can run on over the next six years to get further down the line. 2014-17 Nov 2001 Previously Oct 1998 ***** very intense robe; all power on the nose – ripeness, raisin airs, aromas of the garrigue – a powerful show of southern climes in the bouquet. The palate is a mass of flavour, still tightly rolled up. Has funky power. Dark fruit and tannins emerge on the aftertaste, are really well set into it. Big wine indeed. I rate it among the best of the 1990s, since many are too blousy and loose. This really is promising. It is chock full of gutsy content, but has been well fashioned. 2016-20 Oct 1998

1989 ()

interesting, complex bouquet of great variety, leathery airs to the fore – no doubt the drought has its say-so here - smoke, black stone fruits, garrigue. Steely, tight palate with plenty of life. Can unfold well – this is a Bordelais Châteauneuf-du-Pape, reflecting its vintage faithfully still. I back the 1989s, always have. 2015-18 Nov 2001. Previously Oct 1998 *** quite dark, advance on the top robe; the nose is stubborn, bears dark airs such as prune, but is not supple or giving. There are roasted aromas here, needs decanting I reckon. The palate is rather 1 dimensional; while it is dumb, it is also rather narrow, lacks an obvious centre and is rather tough. Has flesh in it, but seems limited. Firm tannins, in the vein of the vintage. Can they come round? Leave alone certainly until 2002, I would say. 2010-13 Oct 1998

1978

magnum: ruby in its pale red; rounded, really delightful sous bois, damp leaves air, coffee also – classic signs of maturity, but there is southern glow still. The attack is borne by southern sweetness; there is a reasonable frame of tannin and structure around it. Not a big fat wine at all, is dignified. Helped by being in a magnum. I confess that I would have expected more life in the only 20-year old boy. 2010-12 Oct 1998

1967

Domaine de Mont Redon on the label: has a good ruby robe. The nose is lively, expansive, serves a sensaround cocktail of sweet spice, rose hip. It is a pure child of the garrigue, classic and nuanced, with spiced Grenache plum fruit, menthol: pure joy. The palate has a very joli start, is plump and cosy, the length very good, comes with a lovely freshness, menthol coolness. After 90 minutes’ air, it breathes expansion into its bouquet, while on the palate a wonderful complexity and plum fruit take over the front seat from the spices. This is remarkable: it keeps going forward, shows only more bounty as it airs, is a wonderful wine. I remember this as being extremely good at the time. 2026-28 Dec 2015

1961

a magnum on my birthday: garnet colour, but still has some pretty middle ruby, good depth. Shows a lovely, even bouquet for the first two hours open: a sort of creamed plum aroma, really fat. Air flirts with a touch of coffee beans, but that backward step is overcome by the southern warmth. Hints of bosky, cedary airs and black olives after six hours` open. The palate is where the real roundness lies – this is all “en sphérique” – a complete orb. Spiced plum, prune with the roast grouse is a fabulous mix. There is gentle final warmth, just a bit of bite and speckly spice. Harmony and elegant fullness in the glass. There has been no real decline here – just serenity. Heat pushes through after six hours. To 2010-15 on this magnum showing. The reason why one keeps wines a long time – they stimulate many senses. October 1999