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The Wines

60-75% Grenache (1900s oldest, 1995 youngest), 10-20% Syrah, 10-18% Mourvèdre (1982), 2-5% Cinsault, Counoise, white grapes incl Clairette, main sites are Les Pialons (N, stony clay-limestone, 1900s-1983 Grenache), Le Mourre de Gaud (N-E, sandy, some stones), Rayas (N-E, sandy, gravelly soils), 40% (2016) to 90% (2017) destemmed since 1997 (Mourvèdre always), varieties co-fermented, though Mourvèdre can be on its own because is last harvested, 23-25 day concrete vat vinification, pumping overs, aged 50 hl barrel 18 months, unfined, lightly filtered, 45-53,000 b


(an example of the blend) dark robe; has a measured, harmonious nose, nice poise, comes with berry fruits, smokiness, a hint of licorice, light floral notes. The palate holds bright, welcoming dark fruit, spark in it, is juicy and continuous, lucid. This is open, drinks well, the tannins supple and inside. It’s very pleasing, without grandeur, holds suck on pastilles, coulis style fruit, some buzz in the powder of the tannins. From 2021-2022, say. 2042-44 May 2019

2017 ()

bottled three weeks ago: dark plum red colour. Black cherry, a vibrant abundance on the nose, laurel, cooked plums, raspberry liqueur, a hint of acetate. The palate is closely knit, with the strength of liqueur fruit, hints of power, is very vintage 2017 in that respect. The tannins are a bit demanding, dry toned. Allow this three years to fuse, integrate. It has weight and assertion, is chunky. “The normal blend is 75% Gren, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, but this, because of the coulure, is 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 18% Mourvèdre, 2% Cinsault,” Claire Michel. From 2022, time will help. 15°. 90% destemmed. This is the 50th year of bottling their wine. 2038-40 May 2019


full red robe; blackberry with prune airs, a nose of intense depth, comes with mixed herbs, menthol, a real southern package. This is licensed to thrill, with waves of garrigue coming on stream, menthol and laurel, straight off the warm lands. This is vivid, STGT Châteauneuf, with lots of oily truth, capacity. It has great length, really sustained. Dark stone fruits lie within, prune, very dense prune. The tannins have size and life. “It was more exuberant, is more timid now, has balance, finesse,” Claire Michel. I don’t call this timid! From 2022. 2047-50 May 2019 Previously Oct 2017 ****(*) (vat, bottling Apr 2018) dark red, full robe. The nose is extremely wide, bears a sweet, southern nature, with layered, well filled black fruits airs allied to notes of black olives, a local density apparent. The palate is weighted and freighted, expressive, comes with a mass of thick content, southern garrigue herbs woven into it, rosemary and a tang of tilleul/linden, laurel all jostling together. This has a grass roots certainty, is a thoroughly grounded wine for the long haul. The finish is a swirl of black fruits, butty tannins. 14.8°. 50,000 b. From 2020-21. 2044-47 Oct 2017 GB £276 12 b i/b or £294 6 mags i/b Yapp Brothers +44(0)1747 860 423 www.yapp.co.uk sales@yapp.co.uk

2015 ()

dark plum colour; has an up front, multi layer raspberry fruit aroma, mulled mulberry with some animal lurking. It’s a beefcake opening, is a solid do, offers laurel, sage. The palate has a very garrigue, mixed herbs entry, cooked plum fruit with keen tannins, freshness in them. This has character, has good bounce in it. It’s coming along well, its juice running well, is STGT wine. The length is joli, real buzz on the finish – it’s savoury, herbal there. Take your time with this as the tannins season themselves. “It is more austere than the 2016,” Claire Michel – I agree. From 2022. 2045-47 May 2019 Previously Sept 2016 ****(*)(barrel) full, dark robe. The bouquet is full, elegant, has good promise to be a captivating start over time. There is refined black fruit within, and some smoke-tobacco hints. The palate gives generous, free-wheeling gras, and is already in shape to be a well-balanced, top grade 2015. It has lovely poise, and purity of fruit, the tannins carrying fine detail. It moves with serene grace. This will sing a lovely tune in a large glass when eight to 13 years old. From 2019. 2040-42 Sept 2016

2014 ()

the robe is a classic Grenache plum red in hue. The bouquet is into its second phase, has evolved into clove, strawberry jam, woods airs, rose petal, Earl Grey tea. The palate rests on light red berry jam, carries floral musk, red berry fruit, has a slightly sticky texture, a few Pinot noir associations, supple tannins within. The juice finds its way to the finish OK. This is notably aromatic, accessible Châteauneuf that will be great with goat, kid, lamb. “There was a lot of harvest rain – we had to stop at least twice,” François Michel. 14.5°. 2032-35 May 2019


clear, bright red robe. The bouquet is elegant: the fruit is scented, suggestive of flowers and sunny days, the red fruit within precise, resembles strawberry. It is on the verge of wanting to break out into more freedom. The palate reflects the nose in bearing a supple, effortless content – it is a wine that strokes the palate. It may gain depth and drive, but has clearly been made with an eye on reining in any wayward, punchy tendencies. It doesn’t grab me as it has done in the past, is tame. 14.5°. From mid-2017. 2026-29  Oct 2015


has a ruby-tinted robe; the nose is going well, on spiced plum, some husky notes, strawberry jam, a hint of menthol. The lucid hand out on the palate is very 2012, plum fruits, floral nudges, with a gradual and pleasing gain in weight as it goes. Plum-damson fruit is the central flavour, with some silk in the gras. It’s good now, and will improve. “I arrived from New Zealand in June, and this was my first vintage. It has good balance and freshness,” François Michel. 2036-38 May 2019


quite dark red; has a nose of some depth, the forest floor at its centre, along with prune and meat, a wee note of coffee and resin. The palate moves broadly, and is led by a smooth texture. It has some “dark” weight, lingers a little. The exit reveals licorice and date. A traditional wine, spiced and bosky, with fair guts and good length. From mid-2014. 14.5°. 2026-27  Dec 2012


(barrel) rather full red robe; has a broad, quite weighty nose that comes with sweet style layers of aroma, and a ripe Grenache depth, ripe mulberry fruit at its heart. The palate sets off on a grilled, grippy red fruit with sparky tannins on the final stages. It has a clear, tangy aftertaste. Power simmers inside this. It can extend and refine its finish by mid-2014. The length is decent – this has drive, and is genuine wine. 65-70% Grenache – reduced from 75% due to coulure. 2028-29 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(barrel, to be bottled in 2 weeks) good, full robe. The nose is thorough, has a latent sweet width, a shiny front, reflects griottes or soaked cherries, red cherry. The palate is round, centric, has a raspberry fullness – the concentration of the vintage is here, and it shows slight herbal notes, baked stones. A wine of good, authentic features – it is no hurry. It ends tightly, is firm and flinty there. From 2013. 2030-32 March 2011


quite a dark robe, black at its centre. Peppery, blackberry juice air with beef stock and gravy notes, leaf and mineral – a typical, good local aroma. The lead fruit is blackberry on the palate, with a skip in the middle before it revives; has drinkability - a supple note until a more drawn-in finish. A nice, thorough 2008. CHR – café-hotel-restaurant – wine that is scented, and will go well with diverse dishes. Ends on a mineral tang. I like its nice pure end red fruit. “It has made a lot of progress in bottle, and in a year it will be well arranged and sorted out – it was light at first. We did an enormous sorting, triage, in 2008. I would eat rib of beef, quite simply done, or lamb cutlets with a gratin of aubergines with herbs and spices,” Marie-Josée Michel. I would like mashed potato, purée of spuds with black truffles . . a bit greedy, but there you go. Only 35,000 b this year, against the normal 53,000 b. 2017-18 March 2011

2007 ()

thorough robe, a deep, dark red. Really wide, also sweet spread across the nose, plum as in Grenache, with cocoa and slightly meaty notes, an intense black berry. The nose is showing some game notes now, just a hint of turn or advance. The palate is tighter than the nose, comes with ripe tannin sides, a flavour of chicken stock in the plum fruit with liqueur style late notes, a hallmark of this big vintage. It is fat towards the finish. This hold the richness similar to other years of bounty . . it has solar instincts, and perhaps the 2009 is a bit drier. Note that the spring of 2007 spring was more rainy than that of 2009, and the nights were fresher, as well. It ends on herbs, thyme, baked notes. This is never going to be a subtle wine. 2026-28 March 2011 Previously Nov 2008 ****(*) (barrel) bright, full robe; ripe strawberry fruit that has been picked quite late comes across on the bouquet – the liqueur nature of the aroma is wide and yeasty. Full-bodied Grenache leads the palate, that has plenty of heart and persistence. Very good Grenache quality here – the wine is long. A wine that will deliver bang for its buck, and there is good juice at its heart. From mid-2010. 2019-22 Nov 2008


attractive deep plum red, a thick robe. This has a most engaging bouquet – it spreads a broad, sustained and warm air, mulled berry fruits with dabs of freshness, a little oxtail depth, and mineral. There is, however, a Brett undernote, hung dead animal lurking. The palate is spiced and generous, the fruit running with a good continuity, and bringing in some tar-tannic kick on the finish, with dried herbs, powder on the aftertaste. This has local, traditional meatiness – you can get your teeth into it, and the recent style is a big departure from this thickly textured Vieux Donjon. However, again, Breet grows on the palate as it breathes, and I find the Brett constricts its freedom of clear expression. 14°. 2028-29  Jan 2016 Previously Nov 2008 ****(*) quite a full red robe, a little advance. Has a smoky, prune-date, fungal aroma with a bonny sweet centre, spiced Grenache on display – it is a classic varied Châteauneuf bouquet after some ageing. The palate continues the spicing, with plum fruit and tannins that bite, still have kick, deliver tar on the finish. Very much a terroir, STGT style of Châteauneuf, max on authenticity. Its tannins aren’t refined – I like that. Very long, traditional wine. 14°. 2030-32 Nov 2015 Previously Nov 2008 **** cherry red; raspberry liqueur or melted coulis aroma with a meaty fringe, a brooding width – can vary well as it ages. The palate is an ensemble, the red fruits clearly delivered, a grain of tannin from half way and a largely Grenache imprint. It ends roundly, its length is good, comes with a little flourish. From early 2010 for the settling of the finish, but it may also close, and become a bit more rugged. 2021-23 Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 ***(*) pretty, red plum. Has a pleasing, herbal nose – there is good life in the red fruits, pretty red jam with some bonny herbs, nice and thorough. The palate red fruit has some pepper set inside it, and is very Grenache in style. At first it is round, but then it tightens up and gets quite crackly. The finish is firm and black peppered. Not the biggest vintage from here, but has a sound interior. From late 2010 or 2011. 2024-25 June 2008 Previously Nov 2007 (assemblage example) *** some mauve in a full red colour; black berry aroma with a meaty innuendo, has a solid base with some animal in the making. Quite wide, but a tendency to be stinky. Black fruits with an immediate tannic hit, I sense a touch of extraction here that brings with it a taut side. Is uneven now, has a tar/charcoal aftertaste on a rather dry finish. Seems severe, and I would prefer to retaste after bottling. From 2010, no hurry. 2018-21 Nov 2007


level red colour, very Grenache. Has a tight, composed nose – there is good crackle in the red fruit – Grenache arriba – and the aroma travels sideways across the glass. The palate starts in a restrained fashion, shows an enclosed nature. There is good purity in the fruit, and it lengthens well. Finishes on its tannins, with extra kick that brings raisin cake notes. The purity in both the bouquet and the palate is good. A tight wine now, with a clear, fresh finish. From 2011, and especially from 2014 for good access to its richness. On the upward path – more to offer. 2026-28 June 2008 Previously March 2007 ***(*) quite a full robe; cherry, prune aroma with a sweet touch underneath; there is some meatiness and a high tone air, too - plenty for a broad future bouquet. Juiced, clear fruit on palate, with some dash in the texture. Ripe fruit lies at its heart, this is full wine in the making. Has a red meat, beefy finale with a herbal, rather scented aftertaste. Salt of the earth, plunging wine. From 2009. 2019-22

2004 ()

mild red colour with a little turn in it. The nose is starting to evolve – there is clarity in its red fruits, some fungal airs and red jam notes. The palate has a nutted, tight start, with red cherry fruits inside, and a certain grip and directness: I find this like 1996 in its physique. There is quite a tasty bout of late red fruit – some low profile gras there. Ends clearly. Drink with veal, pork especially, maybe grilled lamb. 2021-23 June 2008. “This was difficult to vinify – the Syrah was not that ripe, and the phenolic acids also lacked ripeness. We left the Syrah later than usual, since it was very slow to ripen,,” Claire Michel. Previously Sept 2007 ***(*) red, firm core; latently punchy bouquet – wide and ripe. Plum, macerated red berries lie within the bouquet – it is solid and sustained, promising, even if not very big. It becomes more floral after 2 hours air. Red stone fruits lead the palate, which has a rounded, running shape. Plays a waiting game, will be more varied by 2010. Good length. A little alcohol lurks, but it comes in the robust way of the domaine, in a lesser register. Less complete than the best years, but has local character. When to dip into this is the key. 2023-25 Sept 2007 Previously June 2006 ***(*) mineral, a little chocolate on bouquet. Sturdy palate, comes in a square shape at this early stage. Good sides of black fruit, is good and long through the palate, with a fresh finish. 2019-22 June 2006

2003 ()

ruby robe, classic Grenache appearance. The bouquet gives a spiced, cooked plum aroma with “smiling” roundness-sun warmth, damson jam, notes of alcohol, with fig, Barolo touches. The palate starts with immediate, slightly fiery red stone fruit, glows on the aftertaste. There is a thick skins feel to the texture, dried and sun-filed, very typical of the extreme heat of the summer. It can settle down with air, and shake off late fire. This is genuine, grounded, very vintage strong Châteauneuf. Salt notes come through on the finish, as it moves with air. It will be very good with lamb tajine. 13.5°. 2029-31 Sept 2019 Previously June 2008 **** red plum colour; broad, baked red fruits aroma with the ripeness moving the air to prune – this is a deep bouquet, with violet and nutty moments as well. The life in the bouquet moves into the palate, which fronts up well with full, appealing red fruits, a touch of kirsch about the flavour. This is vigorous in the good sense of the word, a mouth filler. It ends on charged elements, and is over 15°. An abundant wine. It may be regaining its fruit after a dry spell – “we find it a bit drier than in its youth, it dried especially during the winter of 2007-08,” Claire Michel. 2022-24 June 2008 Previously March 2005 ***** brewed, chocolate presence on bouquet, also pebbly and herbal, is filled and compact. Tasty! The attack moves off with very attractive sweet pastilles, velvety texture. Chewy, meaty towards finish. High degree but you wouldn`t know it, and the aromas do not reveal that, either. Real good terroir wine, its feet firmly on the ground. Earthy, leathery surrounds, all as they should be. Esp 2009/10 on. STGT wine. 2021-24 March 2005, London "I find it like the 1998" M-J Michel.

2002 No Rating



smoky, wispy, latent red fruits aroma at first, then the air brings on a more earthy, fundamental, farmyard display. Pretty, striking red fruit that has real dash about it, big and lovely fruit. There is a lovely ball of intensity in the fruit, and it distributes its favours openly – it is nicely compact, savoury, tasty, even if it lacks a little cut. Very approachable, fine wine. Lingers well on the finish. Good balance overall. 2018-20 Dec 2010, Copenhagen

1999 ()

red robe with only a little turn in it; the bouquet is moving into a downhome, rather funky stage, with red fruits, overt pepper present, tea aromas also. It is wide, mostly clear for now. The palate red fruit has shoulders, is pretty robust and meaty. It ends on a pepper, grainy, pine-resin note. The pepper and a cocoa effect run through the fruit, showing some of the vintage acidity. The fruit persists well, and the wine is getting there now. “It is a little rustic, or animal this year; it was closed for a long time, but since early 2007 it started to open up,” Claire Michel. Its prime drinking moment will be until 2017 or so, but can run to 2022-24. June 2008


still quite a full red; savoury, oily red fruits air – masses of appeal on the nose, has a really sweet, rich-toned air of finesse, some bosky notes, licorice and cocoa as well. Real come hither appeal. This is exciting wine – boom! So much pleasure in the glass. It is fresher and younger than many 1998s. There is remarkable foundation for its richness, its sweet charm, with a vibrant delivery. Persistent, robust, full, fine – what more do you want? In with the red fruits are cocoa, tobacco leaf, excellent flavouring. Is actually a w.o.w. wine – get out of town! I must put my pen down. “It has a lot of perfumes, and a complexity that reveals itself bit by bit. It was closed, but for less time than the 1999, and also was less really closed,” Claire Michel. 2026-30 June 2008 Previously April 2008 ***** firm plum red colour, legs down the glass. Good, ample and promising nose – very Grenache in style, with its red fruit that comes all en rondeur and tightly packed – it is wide, sweet and funky, and sets up the palate a treat. The palate has a fungal tone now – it contains red fruit that has some loose, free expression, then it starts to tighten. It ends roundly. In rugby, this is a scrum, not a running back line wine. It is notably persistent, a chunky Châteauneuf of yore, but cleanly delivered. The second year of destemming here. There is raisin, railway cake on the finish. Gutsy, salt of the earth, STGT wine. The air releases a more floral ending, herbal twitches avec. Beau, lingering wine, definitely one to buy if at auction. 13.5°. 2024-27 April 2008 Previously Feb 2000 *** (casks) very dark, black robe; damp airs entering the nose, olives, southern notes, a touch of spirit. The attack is assertive, and this is marked by acidity along the palate, its alcohol a little on the outside. It needs to be left a long time – say until 2005. There is middle fruit, but the wine is very punchy now. Is heady, maybe a touch forced, so be patient. 2018-22 Feb 2000


the robe is moving into ruby, though there is plum red at its heart. Game, damp earth, animal aroma at first – a brewed-up plum in the fruit side of it. Has the grounded nature of this tannic vintage – it was never an Air Child. The bouquet develops depth, a smokiness alongside the plum, as it breathes. The great feature of the palate is its freshness. The attack is still chiselled, its firm tannins implicit. This is a long way from the fat, sweet fruit bombs of recent years, much in vogue. The plum fruit has a floral, fragrant side to it, with good spice within. Maybe a touch better drinking in winter or autumn times – it is a bit stiff, a bit military, and not for the Sweet Tooth brigade. Air aids its gentle side, bringing floral features to both nose and palate. 2018-19 July 2010 Previously Feb 2006 ****(*) soaked, southern aroma, drips with a mix of Earl Grey tea, a plum sweetness, leather and herbs. Bouquet moves around, changes through the drinking. Rich, oily palate, a great texture wine. Damson, herbal, game finale. In good form now. Length good, prune, stone fruit aftertaste is very long. 2016-18 February 2006, Stockholm Previously Jan 2006 **** ruby top rim on robe, plum underneath. Smoky, jam fruit aroma, fruit is wild and brambly, licorice present also. Well directed as it matures. Smoky, broad flavour of black fruits, prunes and licorice. A real southern presence with the Châteauneuf-du-Pape elegance obvious, but also a chocolatey, tight fruit and woven texture that speaks of the vintage and its drought. Full wine, starting to soften very agreeably, with a herbal imprint on the aftertaste. 2016-18 January 2006, Sussex, England Previously March 2005 **** full red core to the robe, some top ruby. Broad, ebullient nose - raspberry liqueur, smoked bacon, lovely depth. Funky, fungal sidelines. Wild berry fruit display on palate, a lot of early impact. Gradually dries towards the finish as tannins emerge - they have now reached a moderated presence. The fruit is pretty piercing, contains white pepper. Restrained finish. Runs continuously on palate and is enjoying middle age. 2017-19 March 2005, Cheltenham, England Previously Oct 1998 ****(*) very dark. Fantastic brew on the nose, a cooked blackcurrant in a bouquet that is big and wholesome, has a nice sweetness lurking. Delightful, ripe dark fruit leads the palate – cassis again, with the suggestion of complexity to come. It is all wrapped in roundness, a wine that sings. Very consecutive along the palate. 2012-14 80% G, 10% S, 10% M as usual this year. Oct 1998


robe shows some advance already. The nose is cooked, almost in a burnt condition, indicating less than perfect ripeness. Bosky notes hover. The palate goes straight, is short on width. Pleasant, a bit dry-textured, not very full. There is some length, ending in licorice flavouring. A grainy, upright vintage here. 2007-09 Oct 1998


I would give this 7 stars if I could! The robe is still full, with the only light spot the top. This is a real rocker – a nose of great give, I can stay here all day, keep sniffing away, and forget taxes etc. It shows a succulent plum air, the lavender and summer hot stones of the area, licorice touches – there is mystery in the nose as well, a moveable feast. The palate has an explosion of flavour, is greatly ample, hints at game, shows mighty depth, a probing fullness. The texture is succulent, and the wine really glides around the palate. There is a triumph of spice at the end after this journey of beauty and stimulation. This wine is relaxing and meditative, and is the run of vintages such as 1947, 1961 and 1978. It is very, very long, has definite length, is a glorious Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This is why I write about wine. The texture is fabulous, also the harmony. “It has been like this for some time. I would eat a brochette of woodcock or thrush,” Marie-Josée Michel. It was uncorked at 11 in the morning, decanted 30 minutes ago, and now it is 4.25 pm. It finishes freshly. Wonderful experience tasting and, yes, drinking, this. 80% Gren, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault and others. 2032-35 March 2011 Previously Oct 1998 **** still dark colour; ripe, almost overripe nose, deep and wide, with some game and fungal influences. This is big wine on the palate, straight off the block. It holds dark, sleek flavours, licorice in the fruit. It is very ripe on the one hand, almost sappy, and on the other the tannins are still dry on the finish, leaving it unclear as it ends. Decant – that will help its integration. 2010-12. As usual, all varieties mixed for fermentation. Oct 1998

1986 ()

colour has a pale rim, ruby above cherry. Enveloping, warm southern nose that is Grenache inspired. A seriously weighted wine on the palate – the attack is strong, has full flavours, a pepper extract. Runs on to a quite hot finish, shows a tannic edge there. Full and traditional, good length, a thorough wine. Not a very big year. To 2004-07 Feb 1991


real good depth in the robe, there are parts of ruby, but the interior is a sure red plum colour. Very good mineral flick across the nose, which has the dry cut of the vintage in it – that clarity. Very much on the herbal, garrigue run – there is lots in the bouquet. The nose develops fig airs that remind me of Barolo – it gets sweeter on the nose with air. The palate has its character of good grain, prune, black fruits in the flavour, a near salty tone. It runs along upright lines, a shade of crisp medicine in its taste. There are prune-cedary notches on this, which is a linear wine alongside the spherical shape of the 1990. “It is very fresh, and is a lot on the fruit; it shows licorice and secondary aromas, but here I am relatively surprised, and content,” Marie-Josée Michel. This was vinified in the village at the family home of 9 avenue Saint-Joseph. As it breathes post decanting, it becomes rounder, but retains the mineral effects on the end, and there is still a firm side to the tannins. Opened 11 am, decanted 45 minutes ago, it is now 16.45 hrs. 95% Grenache, 5% Syrah, as used to be the case across much of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in those days. 2023-25 March 2011