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The Wines

85-90% Grenache (1902/1930s/1950s), 10-15% 1969 Syrah from Le Grand Plantier, Les Sables, Les Hautes Garrigues, Le Travers de Guérin, whole bunch vinification, 3-4 week vinification, pumping overs, aged 30% new, 70% 1 year oak 12 months (was 50%-50% until 2006), unfiltered, biodynamic wine, last year 2015, from 2016 wine in the classic Gigondas, 2,700-12,000 b


tasted before decision to not issue on its own, and instead blend it into the classic Gigondas: (casks) dark red robe. The bouquet has an inner oiliness, ripeness, holds blackberry close to lozenge form fruit, black olives. It’s securely deep, not showy. The palate attacks on menthol and compact, tangy black berry fruit, further black olives with some dark chocolate, tar towards the finish, the oak in play there. This is a well-bodied wine that covers its territory fully and widely, has a southern intensity from within as it ends, notes of dates there. It’s a big wine at heart. From 2022. 2040-43 Oct 2017

2013 ()

dark red robe. The bouquet is ample and broad: it gives an aroma of really plump red fruit with oak-pine, varnish airs also present. The palate offers wavy, stylish content, develops real insistence of dark, smoked fruit and oak on the finish. It is en route now, though there is a sense of a wine in a hidden pocket while it sorts itself out and decides on the running order. It will be best left until 2018 to lessen the oak influence. The finish is demanding via its oak for now. 14.5°. 2,700 b. Bottled 18 Feb 2015. 90% Gren, 10% Syr. €38 at the cellars. 2029-31  Dec 2015

2012 ()

(casks, bottling April 2014) full robe; inky, chocolate, oxtail air in a dense nose that carries oak depth – there is a firm, marked inset of that. This is big, broad, sun-filled wine, no holding back. It has an oak and ripe jam style, the flavouring of vintage, aged jam. This leaves a big coating – it is very solid and needs drinking with game, wild boar, stews. It needs time to get down and mingle more with its drinkers, and to show more appeal. There is some late gasp, but for the next 4 to 5 years it will be too much of a construct, is the sort of wine that will do well in the USAwith its full-on approach. 14.5°. From 2018. 4,500 b. 2029-31  Dec 2013


(casks) dark robe. Stylish, floating aroma here – notably attractive blackberry with a tiny bit of leather, a rich prune, a touch of red meat under that – the bouquet has movement. The palate has the free rolling fruit of 2011, isn’t especially deep, but keeps going, freshly. Oaking lies alongside, not burnt, thank goodness. This has good, clean lines. An elegant Gigondas, with precision of detail in the glass. It lasts, and is aromatic on the aftertaste. From 2015. 14.5°. €30 at the cellars. Only 4,200 b this year. 2026-28  Dec 2012


(bottling in 1 month) nicely full, inviting and oily red robe. Smoky, tar notes, a good spread on the nose, which carries discreet, classy ripe fruit; rose-floral airs hover, and there is definite depth here. The palate grips tight at the start, develops a running, filled fruit which has bite on the finish from its oak-smoke. The length is secure, is dominated by oak for now, with the fruit tucked underneath. It is barely out of short trousers, and will benefit from a good wait – from 2016, for instance. There are perfumed, floral notes on the aftertaste in with the oak, which is encouraging. 15°. 2031-33 Jan 2012


(bottled last week) rather full robe. Smoky, green olives aroma, also sunny fruit, a spot of sweetness in it, also licorice. Poised, upright, structured palate, which is fine in style. The oak drives it for now, but it isn`t too imposing. Has a thorough, fine run of flavour. Very long, is promising. It will please, especially for its fine tune qualities – it is aerien – airborne - in a solar year, which is a triumph of finesse. From 2014. 2031-33 March 2011

2008 No Rating



steady, quite dark red robe, matt hue. Resin lead on the nose, minty and woodsy for now. Very incomplete. Red berry such as raspberry and oak ensemble on the palate, with late heat, oak and tar that needs to absorb. Not yet together – it is raw rather than polished. Has the makings of a big tasting, rather punchy wine. From late 2011. 2020-22 Dec 2009 Previously Nov 2008 **** (casks) quite a dark robe; the bouquet has the air of plum liqueur – a crème drink of red stone fruits, along with a hint of game, sweet fruit that is nearly overripe, and oak. The palate has a butty nature – it is a compact terrier of a wine. There is knit black fruit, with the final stages announcing oak and a tarry tang. It is fresh enough at the end to beckon a progressive evolution. This is a muscled wine. From 2011. 2021-23 Nov 2008

2006 ()

full, dark plum colour. Oily fruits aroma, mixes prune, Christmas cake without the heaviness, rosemary herbs, has scope for the future. Level layering of black fruits across the palate, with a kick from half way from some tannin and oak-charcoal. Still a wine of its cellar. From spring 2010. There are sound elements that can fuse – it shows restrained richness from a good, not great, vintage. Sweet tea in the aftertaste. Fair energy here. 2019-21 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 **** (casks) dark plum colour; brooding power on the nose – I can smell a wide strip of alcohol across it with simmered black cherry below, also some bosky notes with licorice and charcoal here. The palate has a direct black fruit start – off it goes – and its tannins come along early, they are mobile but well inlaid. Its richness sustains to the finish, where there is some clear, black berry fruit. A “dark tasting” wine now. From mid-2010 or 2011. 2022-23 Jan 2008


full black-purple colour, a bit matt in tone. The nose is rather charged, rather dry – shows some high tone, and comes over widely and assertively – its brewed black fruits are a little soaked, as well. Has a mature fruits, raisin flavour – Christmas cake doused in rum. It ends on some tannin that is a little powdery in nature. A full-on wine with a special cuvée push in its character (tasted blind). A sipper, not a quaffer. From autumn 2009. 2018-19 June 2008 Previously Nov 2007 **(*) (casks) dark robe; black cherry fruit in the bouquet, with some sweet jam notes, like a ripe Reine Claude greengage plum. Supple, slightly faux richness on the palate, has a fleshy, gourmand style with an olives-herbal ending. Is a little oxidative in nature, not very fresh. Its tannins are present in quantity. A low-key wine, is rather overdone. Esp mid-2009 on. 2016-17 Nov 2007


(casks) solid but fairly refined bouquet, a little pepper. Compact palate, fully flavoured, plenty of richness. Oak right now quite subdued, though evident on finish. Solid, a big wine. Esp 2010 on. 2020-24 July 2005


red plum with some lightening of its depth. The bouquet is charged, sweet-toned and rather sappy – exudes sweet tea, and the onset of some game and damp woods. The palate has a pretty, rich start, the richness full and wholesome. It ends towards a drier, licorice tannin note and the final quarter is peppered and grippy. I am not sure about its ability to swallow its oak. From late 2009. 14.5°. 2018-20 June 2008 Previously July 2005 **(*) oak runs around its aromas, leaves a chocolate effect. Black fruit on attack is intensified by its oak. Rich interior, just as well. Prune flavours deep within. Oily finale. Return to it 2007/08. 2015-16 July 2005


soaked nose, heavy style, oily, with violets, berries. Fat, lush early on, some sweetness. Very ripe fruit angle. Rounded, pleasure-out wine, has some kick, but does a lot early on the palate. Fair length, very southern in a robust, quite funky way. In tune with Louis Barruol`s temperament. 2014-15 October 2005, Copenhagen

1998 ()

the robe is still quite dark, with black traces in it. The first impact on the nose is rather volatile – has a peppery, charged bouquet that is wide: shows black cherry, roasting and some game or earthiness – this has character. On the palate there is a real instant hit of black fruit – a lot of piercing fruit – with red berries later on. Live, good full wine with plenty of matter. Its alcohol is full-on – this has set its sail, and there it goes, a feisty wine. The alcohol may surge up and it may become fiery over time. 2012-14. Jan 2008

1996 ()

dark robe, suggests quite high extract policy. The bouquet is funky, gives stewed fruit airs, the fruit ripe, also has some red meat depth – this is true and well varied. The palate also has a good, chunky style – this is indeed beefy wine. The tannins are genuine at the finish, which is long and warm. The grapes have been deliberately very well ripened here, the maturity emphasized. A touch of oak hovers (tasted blind). This is a real core Gigondas that is very wholesome and impressive. From 2003-04. 2016-19  April 1999


still rather dark robe; the nose is menthol-infused, and has the military back, the upright air of 1995, in correct fashion. The black fruit aroma is crisp, and gives an image of flight, airborne movement towards the Dentelles de Montmirail. The palate is complex, and mixes freshness, tannic structure and tight, dark fruits. There are also floral notions, in a great palate. The finish is lovely, and manages to offer clear fruit, while its oak is being swallowed. It becomes very typical on the nose, and has moved into STGT waters, local typicity. 2025-28.  “It was a late vintage, small yields, but there were a lot of resources in the grapes, and is one of my preferred years,” Louis Barruol. Dec 2011 Previously June 2010 ****(*)good full robe; the deep bouquet displays licorice along with stylish rose, floral touches and a light note of cedar. The palate delivers plum fruit, freshly; the flavours are varied, and always scented. This is really pretty, still full of juice and elegance. Good balance, too. 2022-24 “I started harvesting on 5 October - I really waited, so much so that it was freezing cold at harvest time. I prefer it to 1998,” Louis Barruol. June 2010  Previously April 1999 **(*) fair red robe, a little advance in it. The bouquet is spiced, peppery, has a supple red fruits foundation. The palate starts on rounded red berry fruit, but the late tannins are dry, for now give some bitterness. It lacks mid palate stuffing, seems stretched. From 2001. Has to solve the vintage challenge of the dry tannins. 2014-16  April 1999