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The Wines

45-70% Grenache (early-mid 1970s), 25-30% Mourvèdre (early 1980s), 10-30% Syrah, from filtering gravel-limestone soils, destemmed, 20-28 day vinification, pumping overs, part vat emptying/refillings, steel vat raised 9-12 months, unfined, filtered, biodynamic wine, 30,000 b

2015

plum red robe. This has a discreet but involving bouquet, a lissom air of black berry fruit with rosemary, sweet herbs, cooked Victoria plum fruit. It’s a spicy start. It is fresh, salted on the palate, still a little stiff, but feels hand made, with care and detail. The fruit has a spark of clarity, and this will meld over the next year. There are tar notes on the close for now. The Mourvèdre plays a good role in lining it firmly, and bringing freshness. Its coolness is STGT. The length is good, sustained – it lasts well. It delivers an intricate southern message, and isn’t yet an evident wine: one for the well plugged in drinkers. It will be handsome around 2020-21. 14°. From 2018. 2024-25 Jan 2017

2013 ()

dark red. The nose is attractive, and in full bloom: there is a savoury, scented combination, with mulberry and raspberry at its heart. This is a good, trim package: it bears gracious fruit, has appealing, fresh and clear length, comes all as one. There has been a good job here – the wine is very much on harmony and silky tannins. Very fine. €11 at the cellars. “It was complicated this year – we made no Gabriel cuvée this year to help this Garance,” Eric Plumet. 2020-21  Apr 2015 Previously Nov 2014 *** bright red, some purple. Peppery, dusty spice outer air, with an aroma of liqueur red berry fruit within, a hint of licorice. The bouquet reflects local cool breezes. This shows 2013 accurately: the free running, loose red fruit on the attack, with a brisk strike of pebbly tannins and their licorice as it ends, with something of a whoosh, the alcohol in evidence there – a gasp of spirit. It has an interesting grapiness, literally. This is a balancing act between alcohol and content – there’s plenty of fruit, but not profound body. It has good regional ID, though. The impression is light. From spring 2015 – the extra time will help to bolster its depth on the finish, which is granular right now. 14°. 45% Gren, 30% Syr, 25% Mourv. €4.80 ex cellars. To 2019.  Nov 2014

2012 ()

dark red. Chocolate, Big Production aroma, a weighty and ripe bouquet that is hardly under way, has lots of life. Time will develop its nuances. The palate is punchy from the off, serves a widely spread, liberal dose of black berry fruit with close companion tannins that need another 12 to 15 months. Still very primary – it needs to calm and become a friendlier, easier drink. A sound run of red berry fruit appears on the aftertaste, which is encouraging. From spring 2015. Thorough wine. Drink with red meats. 14°. 50% Gren, 25% Syr, 25% Mourv. 2020-21  Oct 2013

2011

dark red; there is an appealing round shape to its full bouquet, has a real deep inset of black berry fruit. Tar, some woods around vineyards, a tangle of pine, tar and wild flowers are in the air and mind. The palate has a smoky, slight menthol coolness that is typical of Massif d’Uchaux. This persists with steady purpose. Has a good, well-judged completeness at the end, nothing OTT (over the top). Heightened, ripe fruit lies at its centre, with a little violet. A really good bottle, strong typicity, STGT wine. Rib of beef lovely, a magret de canard, duck, also. 14°. To 2018.  Oct 2012

2010

shiny, dark red; inviting, round, nicely sunny nose with good squeeze in its black fruit, and a little smoked bacon – this has natural, unforced depth. The palate enjoys a good, close link to the nose, with a highly appealing flesh-fat mix that is right on the button, no excess. Very drinkable, is smooth all the way. The flavour centres on black fruits with a hint of prune and ripe, integrated supporting tannins. Drinks well now, is w.o.w. wine. 13.5°. To 2018. Feb 2012

2009

50% Gren, 25% each Syrah, Mourvèdre this year: tight, enclosed black fruit nose with licorice and prune in it, it is wide and young, and reflects Mourvèdre when I know there is 25% in it. Beefy start – robust, big-sided wine with a sense of inherent power, ends on pebbly tannins. Good length. A solid wine destined for drinking with food. 13.5°. From autumn 2011. 2015-16 Sept 2010

2006

1st bottle corked; 2nd bottle: dark red colour; has a bulky aroma, with deep-set black fruit and tight-knit muscle. The palate displays black fruits, prune with some smoke and tar – delivers the fruit intensely, and ends on some power which is happily not excessive. Shows some menthol late on, and is a solid wine with a genuine feel to it. 13°. 2013-14 Aug 2008

2004 ()

medium red. Restrained, promising nose with a solid air of fruit inside. The palate is well-weighted; this is a stocky wine, attractive and well-structured. Its acidity is helpful, its length crisp. “It is a keeping wine. There was more acidity than usual in the Grenache, even when it was at 14.5°, this year,” Eric Plumet. Esp 2007 onwards. 70% Gren, 30% Mourv. 2012-14  Feb 2006