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The Wines

65% Grenache (1950), 20% Mourvèdre (1985, some 1950), 15% Syrah (1974), from 400 m vineyard, 50% destemmed (all Syrah, some Grenache), 30-40 day vinification, pumping overs every 2 days, part vat emptying/refilling during fermentation, Mourvèdre and 10-20% of the Grenache fermented by maceration carbonique, aged 30-33% new, 30-33% 1-4-year oak casks, 33-40% large 30 hl barrel 15-18 months, unfined, unfiltered, first wine 1989, 80,000 b


(casks) very dark robe, black more than red; the bouquet is effusive, thorough, brims up on large black berry lozenges, has a buccaneer style, hints of oak. The palate is swell, rolling with wavy black-toned content, and agile tannins, good freedom in its delivery. It’s a polished, slightly international, state of the art Gigondas, which is about half cellar/human, half local ID for now. The longer you wait, the more it will be local. Its gusto is appealing. The aftertaste steers some oak into the picture. From 2024. 2043-45 Jan 2021 GB £72/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/rhoneep

2018 ()

shiny dark red; the nose is broad, sustained, gives a concerted aroma of raspberry fruit with side notes of dried herbes de Provence – the fruit stands up well. The palate involves oaking on the attack, runs with well collected red fruits, mulberry for example, and tannins that have inner strength, real resolve. It has racy notes in a firm filling. Its bright approach appeals, and the aftertaste is well juiced. Good length, good shape here. 15°. 80,000 b. 65% Gren, 15% Syr, 20% Mourv. €16.6 at cellars is VALUE. From 2023. 2045-47 Feb 2020

2017 ()

(casks/large barrel) full, shiny dark robe; the bouquet has an oily, southern nature, bears a still reserved aroma of red fruit, some grilling, smokiness, and sweet herbs. It’s weighty, as is the attack, which is fired up around cherry stone flavours. This is vigorous, challenging Gigondas, more for sipping than drinking freely. The finish has a rocky charge; it releases a little thick red juice on the close. 15°. 65% Gren, 20% Mourv, 15% Syrah. From mid-2021. 2038-40 Oct 2018


(casks/barrel) full red robe. The bouquet has a savoury nature, is filled with red fruits, close to strawberry, with an oak-toffee element. It’s very primary, young. The palate rolls with spiced red fruits that have good clarity, and takes on quite thick, ripe tannins, oak again appearing as a sweet contributor as it closes. The fruit here is tasty, the content nicely wavy, fleshy, and once it is all fused, this will be an attractive Gigondas. From 2020-21. 2034-37 Oct 2017


(casks/barrel) shiny dark red robe. The bouquet leads on a soft, slightly sweet, toffee-like, ripe aroma of black berry fruit, with oak-varnish and licorice present. The palate also bears oak along its path, with a sleek run of red-fruit such as raspberry. It’s very much still in the cellar, on its raising, but the aftertaste gives promise, marked by fluid juice that washes around liberally. The oak takes away from its Gigondas ID for now: leave until 2021. The longer the cellaring, the more interesting it will be. 2034-36  Feb 2017

2014 ()

(oak cask) dark red, shiny robe. Ground nutshells, oak feature on the first aroma, has an inset of black fruit jam, a little thickness in the fruit. The palate delivers liqueur style red cherry fruit, is concentrated, more so than most. It finishes in a swirl of oak, tangy tannin, spiced plum and blueberry fruit. 14.5°. 80,000 b. 65% Gren, 290% Mourv, 15% Syr. €14.50. From 2019. 2027-29  GB £72/12 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Dec 2015 


2013 ()

(oak cask) dark purple hue. Subdued, plummy, dark fruited nose and palate here. This is big, broad and full in style. It has a solid tannic frame - the tannins need rounding out, but there is good fruit weight to be in step with them. 14.5°. €14.50 at the cellars. From 2017. 2027-28 JL  Dec 2014

2012 ()

(oak casks) healthy, full red, dark tints. Raisin, oak-caramel front to the nose, the fruit on the back foot, shows airs of crushed nutshells, pistachio nuts. The palate mixes polished red fruit with a large amount of oak – a rectangular shape is the result. Oak blocks access for now. The fruit is sleek, swish, savoury. Modern style Gigondas, but it gains in local depth and width as it ends, chunkily, with a glow of intrinsic power. from 2017-18. 14.5°. €13.90 at the cellars. £22 in GB. 2029-31 Dec 2013

2011 ()

(oak) shiny, rather dark red robe. Blackberry, game and damp forest airs behind a chocolate-mocha, black raisin aroma: this bouquet is robust, shows power. A line of pepper and grain runs through a spiced ensemble on the palate. The shape is square for now, and the tannins mark out their firm territory, while oak appears on the finish. Its elements are coming and going in different directions. Modern, oaked wine with plenty in it – it is a sit-down, full wine. From spring 2015. 14.5°. 2026-28  Dec 2012


dark red; has a prune-chocolate air, but is free rather than weighty or grounded, and mixes in raspberry and discreetly broad black pepper. The attack sets off on Grenache raspberry fruit – it is polished, and there is nice, elegant bite in the tannins. The second half of the palate is well sustained, with its richness oily and lissom. All the elements are in place for a good future and harmony. From late 2013. €8.45 export. 2030-32 Dec 2011

2009 ()

(bottling in 1 month) full red robe. Tar-oak, also licorice aroma in a nose with good heart in it – it is elegant, assured. The attack runs across the palate, and presents plum fruit with a sweet core. Modern wine, but it has a good future, is built around clean lines, and its length is oak-aided. Can be complex around 2017 or so. From 2014. 2027-30 March 2011

2008 ()

matt red-purple. Oak smoke, blackberry, earthy bouquet – a little violet, possible Volatile acidity. Tarry black fruit with oak right in the mix – gives a surge of some richness near the end, pushes out broadly. Tarry wine, but has the grounded nature of Gigondas – once the oak is inside, more will be revealed. Sweet palate notes make me question its longevity. From 2011. 2018-19 Dec 2009

2007 ()

thorough, dark robe. Meaty, tea and cocoa influenced nose, with oak pushing out - offset by depth and matter, though. The palate starts on its oak, but is full, even chunky behind that, , ending on crisp, tangy tannins and a resurgence of oak. It accumulates weight as it goes, and for now is a mix of lip smacking and tannic cut. It can make good progress. From late 2011. 2022-24 Dec 2009


quite a full red still. The bouquet is broad and hearty, shows an air of camphor, cut, in its spiced red fruit. It has fair padding, depth. The palate is well-set, aided by its 15-20% Mourvèdre, has a good grounding of jam-like fruit. Tasty wine – this is good, showing well now. Goes very well with pigeon and pork. 14.5°. 2022-25  Dec 2013  Previously Nov 2008 **** bright red-black robe. Savoury, tea-infused nose, has a sense of meat stock also, is interesting. Smoothly textured palate, a stroker: the fruit is clear, the tannins ripe and well judged, with a kick in them so they add pepper and life. Olive , herbal aftertaste is sympa. A good, willing wine of local feel. Menthol and peppermint, licorice mingle in the aftertaste, with oak traces. About to close, I think. Hence try from late 2010. 2019-20 Nov 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ****(*) (casks) black plum robe; the bouquet`s black fruit is led by a charcoal-oak air – it comes with menthol and licorice sidekicks, is muscular and no-nonsense. There is a bustle of black fruit with power and direction on the palate; holds live, minted tannins. Vigorous wine, with a real local boom in it. The length is sound, and based on its strong matter. Has character, is STGT wine. From 2010. 2021-23 Jan 2008


(cask/barrel) very dark. Sleekly lined, modern black fruit aroma with a rich core – combines some scented tea and sweetness with red meat tang. Supple and generous start to palate, with a growing tannin/oak plus a herbal, mineral take from half way. Cocoa and chocolate aftertaste present now. Has a decent pedigree, finishes cleanly. Esp 2010 on. Powerful and rich and good – the richness enough to absorb the tannin. Will become more local in character. 2021-23 The new oak has risen from 25% to 30%, and contains one-sixth American oak with the French oak. Nov 2006

2004 ()

(cask) mix of meat and black fruit in a toasted, grilled, sweet tea bouquet that rolls along pleasantly. Ripely textured palate, but is rather on the go – is evolving quite fast, and is not that fresh. We are now on the coffee beans, prune path. Lacks cut, and stops a bit towards the finish. “Please bottle me,”, I can hear when I raise the glass to my trusty ear. Can revive if bottled, but not for a long stretch. 2011-13 Nov 2006 Previously July 2005 (cask) **(*) some depth in the nose, tone is garrigue and may become meaty later on in time. Well-knit black fruit, with licorice on the palate, as if Mourvèdre and Syrah prominent here. The length is aided by some oak. Has a pretty correct structure, needs about 3 years. 2016-18 July 2005


the colour is still largely a dark red plum – this has held its colour well. Has a smoky, lateral aroma with depth as well. Out come bacon fat, roasted airs – there is a sweet tone of pleasure. The palate has a well-engrained flavour – the wine is still compact and is lingering in its first stage – it is a slow developer. A thorough wine of good core, but one that is also well defined and clear late on. It finishes on menthol, well-cut black fruits and raisins. Has good and generous length, is a Beau Vin that is complete and rich. Clearly the last bottle was not to be trusted, and we are back along the March 2005 lines. Rehabilitate!! Great value at €12.50 at the caveau in the village. 14.5°. 2020-21 June 2008 Previously July 2005 * question marks here: dark robe; mineral appears in the bouquet, and a sous-bois, damp woods air, too, with leather and menthol. Filled, black fruit s start to the palate. Is fairly warm, with herbs and licorice towards the finish, but then it gets to rasp. I find its balance in question, and it appears a little sweaty with time open. Has taken a step backwards if this bottle is to be trusted. 2010-11. July 2005 Previously March 2005 *** fairly compact bouquet, combines tar and black stone fruits. Meaty wine with good grip, the fruit overall is pretty refined, runs on and the oak works fine. Esp 2007/08 on. 2015-16. March 2005


the nose is stiff, young – shows licorice, garrigue airs such as thyme. The palate is grainy, mineral, fresh, contains clipped, brisk black fruit. Agile wine that lacks a real centre of focus, is slightly Of No Fixed Address, is a moving target. Very young, it show menthol on the exit. I find it a bit firm, goes CLUNK. Its charm is low. 14°. 2025-27. “This was very green at first,” Pierre Amadieu.  Dec 2011

1999 ()

evolving red, very Grenache, moving towards ruby. Has a quietly spiced top air, a very sound mid-bouquet, with leather, a bit of game – a true Southern, slightly funky, Operator. The palate is fresh, dark, has a toffee-style ripeness at its heart, is grainy towards the end. There is a clear red fruit kick-off, which I associate from its Syrah, clean lines, but it is a bit mechanical, finishing early, shortening. It was made at a time when the domaine was re-gaining its footing. 2021-23  Nov 2011


full robe; leathery, interesting nose – shows violet with some brooding funkiness. There is plenty of wine in the glass here – the black fruit is lovely and clear. It lengthens well, has good shape and is still fresh. It has absorbed most of its oak. “It may have shown oak on the nose, but as it is a very good year, the oak was never evident on the palate – it's a balanced year,” Pierre Amadieu. “I find it has kept its terroir, despite the oak,” Dominique Ay, Dom Raspail-Ay. 2016-18 Nov 2006

1997 ()

rather dark centre to the plum-coloured robe, has dark traces. Coffee, stewed fruits nose –toasted, grilled, blackberry and smoke mingle, even stewed apples here. The palate has some brightness in its fruit, its red fruits, with tar from its oak on the finish. The finale is good and clear; this has an elegance that stands out beside the large barrel-raised Romane-Machotte. It was raised in 30% new, 30% 1-year 228-litre oak casks, and 40% large barrel for 15+ months. It also contains 20% Mourvèdre (whole bunch fermentation), along with its 65% Grenache and 15% Syrah, and the soils are sandy rather than clay. It comes across as a more modern wine than the Romane Machotte, with its Mourvèdre and the 228-litre oak raising. 14°. 2020-23 June 2010  Previously April 1999 ***(*) quite dark, black-tinted robe. The bouquet is full, brewed, varied, has mint and polished leather airs, a little oak in with the dark fruits.This has good stuffing, is upright, just a touch burnt, the fullness challenging. Traditional Gigondas with an end glow, heated moments. There is plenty of raw matter for the future; it persists OK, but for now gives no real concessions. Its appeal lies in its honest drive, the balance fair here. The oak shows on the finish. From 2002. 2013-16  April 1999

1995 ()

good, full colour, a robe that looks well. The bouquet is varied thanks to black fruited jam airs, a fair mix, with some scope to go on well. This has a sleek fruit and lissom matter, the fullness assured with a good tannic frame around it. The maturity is good here. It combines style and nice power. It slips into drier moments as it ends. Perhaps it is a little down the line. From 2001. 2011-13  April 1999


matt plum with some red in the robe. Quietly brewed fruit aroma, carries red fruits and is broad. Good, compact wine, with a rich, rather upright centre. Tannins evident towards the finish, where there is good grip. A fresh wine, doing well after 16 years. 14°. 2012-13 Feb 2006