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The Wines

60-70% Grenache, 10-20% Mourvèdre, 10-20% Syrah, 0-10% Cinsault (av age 45 years) from stone covered clay-limestone soils, destemmed, 3-5 week vinification, regular pumping overs, cap punching, aged large barrels, 2-4 year 600-litre oak casks (2012 last year with all 228-litre casks, 2014 the first with all 600-litre casks), steel vat 12-15 months, fined, filtered, called Cuvée du Château from 2013, “drink with Provençal prepared shoulder of lamb, 2-3 bottlings, 60-100,000 b

2016

very dark robe. The nose is sweet, amply filled with black berry fruits, cherries, hints of licorice. The palate is ripe, gushes rather than runs, offering a supple wave of black fruits with pliant tannins embedded and rolling with the flow. It ends roundly; there’s a little power within, but it loses depth on the aftertaste. It’s a copious, in the instant, open Vacqueyras, on the go already. 14.5°. 75,200 b. 70% Gren, 10% Syr, 10% Mourv, 10% Cins. 2025-27 Feb 2018

2015

shiny red robe. Red-fruited bouquet on red cherries, redcurrants, has some huskiness, florality. The palate introduces clear red fruit, a becoming elegance, delivered with tang, cherry stone style bite within a cosy texture. There’s good purity in the fruit, fine droplets on the finish. This is a restrained, not hefty 2015, which I like. It gives good, cool drinking. Bottled one year ago. 14°. 2028-29 Feb 2018

2014

bright, shiny red. The nose has stone red fruit intensity, a surge of that, red cherries on the go, with a touch of the crystalline. The palate links closely to the nose, red fruits with a clear strike of delivery, a winning purity; it kicks along as it closes, is vigorous. It’s the reverse of the usual 2014-15 relationship here – the 2014 a bigger wine than the 2015 – more spunky, has more drive. It grips tightly, is a wine still en route, is evolving gradually. The tannins are refined, well entered. Decanting advised. It has certainly come together since the vat tasting. 14°. From 2019. 2028-29 Feb 2018 Previously Dec 2015 **(*) (vat) has a pretty full red robe. The nose has a southern, warm climes air led by black raisin, brewed black fruit, some dust, sweet prune. The palate is simple, with compressed juice at its centre. It is traditional in style, its tannins coming with a gummy texture and a note of spirit. A wine for stews and autumn/winter. From mid-2016. It won’t live that long on this showing. 14°. 60,000 b. €11.50. To 2020 Dec 2015 

2013

shiny red colour. The bouquet is spiced, baked, dumb, the fruit withdrawn, hints of red cherry eau de vie. It’s not all together. The palate is a sinewed, tight affair, so is a typical 2013. It only gradually releases its juice, the second half showing more than the attack. It has sound heart for the future; it can become tasty, for example in a large glass around 2022. It has character, can be floral and vary well over time. This is one for the aficionados. 14°. From spring-mid-2019. 2029-30 Feb 2018

2012

Bottle 1: corked. Bottle 2: red robe, a ruby top. Has a sweet red fruit pastille aroma, with a cosy curve to it, easy and pleasing, is very much a 2012. The palate moves with fresh detail, is juicy and appealing, the quality of fruit high, clear. There are touches of geranium, floral and spicing that combine to lend some shade to its sunlight, and vary it. It ends with good grip, is satisfying, up to lamb, duck breast [magret de canard]. It’s discreetly persistent. 14°. 2025-27 Feb 2018

2011

(barrel/vat) dark, shiny robe. There is a full spread to the nose, which has a red meat chunkiness, a solid red fruit aroma, some violet, and a note of eau de vie. The nose isn’t yet on the go. The palate is young, stiff, with imposing strength and firm tannins. The gras isn’t showing liberally. A feet on the ground, thorough wine that needs time. It ends firmly, completely with touches of coffee liqueur. Decant this, and wait – drink from 2015. Has the potential to deliver plenty. 14°. €9.50, good VALUE. 70% G, 15% S, 15% M this year. 2027-28 May 2013

2010 ()

dark red robe, shiny and with legs. This has an earthy, slightly high air, led by black berry fruit, a touch of licorice. This shows good Vacqueyras depth and body, is pretty well-defined, has local nuances. The palate has a shapely debut before a build-up of tannin and intensity, smoked moments. It attacks on spiced black fruit, and is thorough, the tannins not shy on the finish. From late 2014 to allow more fusion of its still quite wild late moments. Solid, reliable Vacqueyras. 14°. 70% G, 15% S, 15% M this year. 2024-26 May 2013

2009 ()

dark robe; broad, grounded nose with faithful garrigue herbs in it, also a leathery angle to its cooked Grenache red fruit – there is weight from prune and beef stock – the bouquet certainly offers a lot. Traditional style Vacqueyras on the palate – it starts boldly, the tannins run up and down, are obvious close to the point of demanding. There is plenty here – get out the hare or the venison. True wine, from its place without deviation. 14.5°. 70% G, 15% S, 15% M this year. 2019-21 Feb 2012

1995

ruby, mature robe; medicine, mineral nose laced with some prune and rose in the aroma. Dried fruits, fig flavours with some richness. Overall, it is tiring – drink now. March 2005