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The Wines

60% Grenache (1923 on Archimbaud sand-limestone soils, 1958 on Devant Limade limestone siliceous soils & Cabassole slope marl-clay soils, first plot to ripen) 5 plots also include Garrigues de l’Étang, Les Pendants, 27-30% Syrah (late 1970s, 1994 on Garrigues de l’Étang), 10% Mourvèdre (2000 on Cabassole), 3% white – Clairette, Viognier, Grenache blanc, 1% Carignan (1953 on Les Capelles clay-marl soils), Grenache 70% destemmed, Syrah, Mourvèdre destemmed, 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, can do cap punching, some part vat emptying/refilling, Grenache/Mourvèdre aged 4-6 year 500-litre oak casks, Syrah aged 2-6 year 228-litre oak casks 12 months, then assembled and vat raised 6-12 months, unfined, filtered, low sulphur use, “it should show well for at least 10 years”, 5,000-9,500 b


this is a deep robe – an intense dark plum colour with black tints. Sweet spice lies just ahead of a deep, soaked raspberry, cooked fruits and licorice aroma. The palate gives prune fruits, with much darkness within – it goes long and deep. The tannins have crunch but inner ripeness. This holds good quality juice – thick but fluid. The finish offers a little essence with rocky tannin. This has the concentration of the vineyard more than that of the cellar. It keeps going well. This is strong grade Vacqueyras, one with the drumbeat of its warm lands. 15°. Only 5,000 b this year. From 2018. 2026-27 July 2016


(vat) dark robe; oaky, oily first aroma with a chocolate intensity as a result, some meat stock airs. Pushy oak is present on the palate, a little green it is, and brings varnish into play. The oak is overdone and the ripeness of the fruit, nearly overweight and exaggerated, brings us into fruit bomb territory. A bit potent, on the OTT run, Over the Top. Time needed. From 2016. 15°. 9,000 b. 2022-23  Dec 2013

2010 ()

very dark colour. There is a smoky darkness  in the nose, which shows oak and big plumbing of black fruit, 2010 ripeness, smoked bacon. It has potential, an Indian tea depth, an air of black raisin, local ID, garrigue. This is wholesome, full-on wine; its black fruit is intense, with close-fitting tannins that drive it forward. An abundance of warm to hot soils play on this wine’s nature – it is virile, with a lot going on, but it handles its elements well on a Big Stage. It is good, right on the mark, with a spark of dusted tannin and nutmeg at the end. Upscale Vacqueyras. 15°. 2028-30  May 2013   Previously Feb 2012 **** (casks/vat) dark robe featuring purple and black. Has a high octane nose, a drumbeat of spirit, alcohol – heady Grenache off hot plains, an inset of black berry fruit. Rosemary, herb drifts come with a note of caramel. The palate rushes forward, a swirl of free run black fruit, with bitty tannins, a wine of scale. This is not facile drinking time, and there is marked back palate heat. The attack is big on savoury appeal. There is liqueur styling in this Real Big Boy. Ends on grainy licorice. The palate certainly reaches out, and there is a night-time dark intensity about it, is a potentially complex wine. 15°. From 2014. 2023-25 Feb 2012

2008 ()

high tone, wild style bouquet – ink and smoke, licorice, a “dark” start. The palate carries brambly stone fruit, prune fruit, with a crisp style to it. Quite persistent. Has a click of freshness at the end, and gives an interesting herbal, heather finale, baked outcrops. “Syrah starts the charge and when the bottle is open and near the end, the chocolate side of the Grenache comes through. I recommend decanting this,” Eric Bouletin. 2018-19 July 2010

2004 ()

(vat) red jam aroma with spice hints and a game side and a little Provençal pepper. Good, typical palate, has an alert, spiced flavour with nice structure. Gains at it goes, shows good clarity. Esp 2009 on. 2019-21 June 2006