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The Wines

70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, from two plots just outside the north-east of Châteauneuf zone, clay-limestone, stony soil, destemmed, 15 day vinification, cap punching, aged 85% vat, 15% 4-year oak casks 12 months, unfined, filtered, first wine 2005

2015

Côtes du Rhône this year: red robe with some brightness. The softly aromatic nose is led by red berries with some sweetness, a coulis style depth to it, agreeable mulberry fruit. The palate expresses Grenache red fruits, with late spice coming through. It is nice and fresh, has life, is buoyant, the finish dark via its tannins that have a firm edge. It’s nicely direct and free of imposed make-up, has the vintage crunchy texture, still just a bit dry from that. Good with lamb. There are aromatic touches in its red berry flavour. From spring 2018, hoping for some ease in the tannins – they are rugged enough to demand red meat be eaten with it. 14.5°. To 2022 Sept 2017

2011

Villages this year: dark robe. The nose is stubborn – there is not much definition, and it presents a solid, thick mass with prune at its heart, with even darker notes such as Indian tea, grilling and reduction. This is a fat, wide, soaked black fruits wine, before the onset of grainy, fired-up tannins. It holds hearty fruit with definite charge and content. A full-on, table wine that has a crunchy late palate. It is a country wine with attitude, is sweet-noted and just about avoids being INXS. From mid-2013. Not sure if is straight Côtes du Rhône rather than Villages this year - served blind under that category. 2018-19  Dec 2012

2009 ()

steady red robe. Broad, rolling fat fruit aroma whose sweetness is inviting; it combines good clarity and ripeness, also has some airs of licorice. The palate delivers wholesome red fruit, and ripe tannins give it plenty of late support. The Grenache does well here, runs a good race, provides its heart. There are oak traces. Good length. From mid-late 2012. 15°. 2019-20 Jan 2012

2007

full red, a little darkness in it; the bouquet has a biscuity, nutty top air, with its red fruit underneath clean – there are enough hidden corners to be promising for the future. The palate has a pretty, limpid fruit start – the fruit being like red cherry liqueur, fruit that keeps going. Well-made wine, with good fruit and length, one that can be drunk now, with no frills or waiting around. Its clarity is appealing. 2011-12 Feb 2009 Previously Jan 2008 (vat) quite dark robe; has a real early post-fermentation nose, wild young grapes. The fruit is three-quarter depth at most, a little angular for now. Too early to judge properly, but there are some fruit signs late on. This is still almost at a malolactic fermentation stage. Jan 2008

2006

black cherry hue here; has a harmonious, sideways, slightly olive and ripe south generosity in the nose – black fruits dominate, with some smokiness. There is ripe, rounded, gourmand black berry fruit, without being excessively assembled. The wine flows well, with even tannins. Has an easy appeal – a get on and go, w.o.w. wine for drinking in wine bars. There is some late tannin. 2011-12 Jan 2008