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The Wines

80-85% Grenache (early 1970s), 15-20% Syrah (early 1970s), from the poorest, most rocky Oligocene clay soils on the Dentelles de Montmirail & St Jean du Barroux, only small bunches with concentrated grapes, so no need for a very long vinification, hand harvested , min 75% whole bunch fermentation, light crush, wild yeasts, 15-18 day vinification, foot cap punching at first, pumping overs, raised 80-90% concrete, enamel vats 21 months (down from 24-27 months into early 2010s), 10-20% 8-20 year 225 & 228-litre oak casks 21 months, unfined, filtered, total SO2 40-80 mg/litre, “a wine that you can almost eat, one that stays in the mouth – drinkable, but concentrated”, organic wine, 5,200-9,000 b

2016

dark red; menthol, good uplands of the South aroma on the nose, which transports me there, along with prune, bacon fat. The palate carries the snap of black pepper, with garrigue, menthol, brisk cut outside, salting. The centre is dense, solar. It can move together with time, holds its firm juice well. It’s accomplished, the balance good despite its power and generosity. The length is good, very sure. “The tannins this year are more fine than in 2015,” Philippe Gimel. 15°. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. €32 at the domaine. From 2023. 2037-39 Feb 2020

2015 ()

dark red; the nose is restrained, with raspberry fruit and a hint of oak, cassis fruit gums. I’m not sure how clean it is. The palate is OK, on cherry fruit, raspberry. The tannins are on the dry side. This doesn’t convince me. The close is dry. I wonder where it will go. It may shake off this dry spell, but not sure. 14.5°. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. 2029-31 Feb 2019

2014 ()

dark red. The nose is getting into its stride, has a liqueur, coulis depth, mulberry, soaked fruits, a trim sweetness and florality, a wee note of violets. The palate is stylish from the start, works well on sève [sap]. It is aromatic, delivers proper grip on the close, a refinement from the 2014 vintage there; the length is good. It can extend its richness with another 18 months. 15°. Only 5,200 b. “I bottled this in April 2017, earlier than usual because I had had so little wine to sell in 2013,” Philippe Gimel. 80% Gren, 20% Syr. 2026-27 Feb 2018

2007 ()

dark red robe, still very lively. Subtle floral notes are entering the bouquet, which possesses a red stone fruit, berry foundation from its Grenache; there are drifts of violet, herbs and licorice. The palate sequels well from the nose – the flavour is led by raspberry, with a jolly, oily ripeness – it has supple, gourmand features (was opened yesterday). The berry fruit is smoothly knit, and the texture on the finish is lissom, leaving the lips covered but clean. There are nice dark fruit in its second half, cocoa also. Good length. 15°. 2018-19 May 2012

2006

dark, maturing robe; the nose is wide – gives an intensely ripe, raspberry liqueur oiliness, some raw meat in the air – it is broad and sustained, is an impressive start. The palate is sturdy, well-founded, the flavour led by raspberry and mandarin, the latter an unusual association, but the taste rocks and rolls. It has lots of depth and persistence, coating tannins, and ends on an “up”, vigorous note. The finale is clear. There are a lot of natural extracts in this, is not a cellar-made wine, and the is a handsome orchestration of its elements. 9,000 b this year. 2019-20 May 2012