LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2017 rosé This is a good address for consistent wines with a decent amount of local pedigree. The Brotte family started to vinify their purchased crop in 1980, a rare early example of what is now an accepted practice. They also work closely with the good quality Domaine Grosset at Cairanne, and own Domaine Barville at Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Château de Bord at Laudun. From 2012 and 2015, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaine Barville red has varied between ***(*) and ****, the Les Hauts de Barville red also a **** wine in 2017, bearing refined fruit, with the ****(*) 2018 ripe and gourmand.
LVT 2017 r A joint venture between the Grangeon family of Domaine de Cristia and their USA importer Peter Weygandt. There are two plots each of 1.7 hectares on adjoining sites on the sandy soils of Courthézon, which were bought in 2009. Le Grand Pin (as in Pignan) is a little higher than Guigasse, and the vines are younger. The wines are made in genuine hands-off fashion, and evoke the 1960s of laissez-faire winemaking, before the 100 point brigade rode into town. The Grand Pin was an exciting ****** wine in 2015, and ****(*) in 2016
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh 2015 rosé Sound, can be mainstream, but quality has been on the rise since the mid-2010s, and prices are reasonable. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, a trio, were really good, ranging from **** on the Vignobles de la Serrière to ***** [Hommage Odette Bernard] wines, with the Grande Réserve a ****(*) STGT wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Grande Réserve red was the top of the three reds in 2017, a stylish, balanced ****(*) wine; it also hit ****(*) in 2018 - nicely together, stylish, well structured. The Côtes du Rhône Grande Réserve white is a steady wine, usually around ***, the red similar
LVT 2018 r 2014 wh Correct, sometimes very good Tradition red - a savoury **** in 2015, an extremely long ****(*) in 2017, and a genuine, savoury **** in 2018; the Prestige has been a better wine, hence the Trad has been a less good wine until its recent revival. C'est simple. Very ripe crop use is emphasized. Son Arnaud, born 1990, has been working on the domaine since 2012 – in the vineyards and the cellar, while daughter Astrid, born 1995, has been working on the commercial side since 2015.
LVT 2012 r The owner of the Domaine de la Charité that makes sound Côtes du Rhône in the Gard, right bank, vineyards. His first steps into Châteauneuf-du-Pape here. Oaking a-plenty.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Top class, across many wines, too. The Vieilles Vignes white is an admirably stylish, intriguing white, with the 2014 **** and promising much future complexity. The red Beaucastels can be plump and accessible, as in 2014, or free and easy to drink, as in the mildew ravaged 2018, or more slow burn, as in 2013. The content is more fleshy and redondo than it used to be in the 1990s-2000s, the ***** 2016 Beaucastel red a good example of that.
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin red reflects the family's long standing love affair with the Mourvèdre - Jacques Perrin planted much of it in the late 1940s onwards. Its deep roots perform well on the clay soils of the Courrieux site near the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape - it would be more tricky in the free draining soils around the Château. 60% Mourvèdre, it is immensely classy and long-lived.
The own vines Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet white comes from just across the tracks from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, is stylish and local, punches well above its grade as very genuine wine for la table, the 2018 ****(*) STGT wine, and previous vintages ****. The Coudoulet red is produced on a much larger scale (about ten times), being topped up with fruit from the Prébois vineyard a short distance away. The 2017 was a classy ****(*) wine, well worth seeking out, and recent vintages have all been **** or ****(*) for it.
Even the Famille Perrin Vieille Ferme merchant wines have taken a move forward from 2014-2015 after a bit of a dip (see Famille Perrin entry).
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh Finely styled red wines from N-E of appellation, near Courthézon, a lot of sand in the soils. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites have a hand made feel; the 2016 was a serene **** wine. The Puy Rolland is a stylish single 4 hectare vineyard wine within the estate, based on 1910-1920 and replacement Grenache; all three of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 were **** wines
LVT (Last Vintage Tasted) 2018 r 2018 wh Leading name, modern style, wines that age well. Gardine is in the west of the appellation, with loose draining, limestone-influenced galet soils. Among the Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds is a 3,000 bottle Peur Bleue wine, with zero added SO2. This was a w.o.w. ****(*) wine holding entrancing fruit in 2016. The Brunels also own the modern fruited Château Saint-Roch at Lirac, and since 2007, a range of merchant wines called Brunel de la Gardine - very sound Côtes du Rhône red. There is a good Rasteau red, with a zero added SO2 added in 2016, called Rasteau Meme Pas Peur. The classic Châteauneuf white is consistently excellent, very enjoyable, a wine of elegance. There is now a Rasteau red as well - ***(*) in 2014 and **** in 2015.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh A leading estate that is being well woken up by the Guigal family, who acquired it from the Groupama company just before the 2017 harvest. They have renamed it Château de Nalys. I have always rated these vineyards as some of the best at Châteauneuf-du-Pape; there is red coloured sand - unusual - on Nalys, with other top plots on La Crau, which includes 1920 Clairette blanche, and on Grand Pierre, a site where Domaine du Banneret grow many of the 13 varieties.
There is now a first wine, called Château de Nalys red and white, and a second wine, Bordeaux-style, called Saintes Pierres de Nalys in the red and white. The first full vinification year under Guigal was 2017 - the 2016s straddle the old owners with the tail end of the raising under Guigal, rendering the wines rather safe in such a mighty vintage.
The first whites are very much in the Guigal mould - good, confident winemaking, polished wines with stylish gras central. The Château de Nalys [56% Roussanne] is a little deeper than the Saintes Pierres de Nalys, which is led by Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc and Clairette blanche.
Over the years, the approach has been modern, successfully done. For a long time Nalys was a white wine leader - back in the 1970s, for instance. The red cuvées had multiplied, with lots of 1,600 to 4,000 bottles which are highly priced and rather confusing for the domaine's ID in the mind of the average consumer. 75% is bottled, 25% is sold in bulk. The 2015 Eicelnci white was an STGT ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh Sleekly styled wines from a very old estate. The special Val de Dieu red was a genuine, muscular, **** wine in 2015, while the 2016 Clos du Belvédère white (100% old Grenache blanc) was a tremendously long and elegant ****(*) wine, with oak. The Château de Vaudieu white hovers between ***(*) and ****, but a standout was the ****(*) 2017, a wine of subtlety and detail, very well assembled in such a hot and dry vintage. The Bréchets also own Domaine des Bosquets at Gigondas and Domaine de la Jerome Côtes du Rhône Villages.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé Good, supple fruit these days in the reds, wines of stature. The classic Châteauneuf red was **** in 2015, a wine of true virtues, and also in 2017. Two recent amusements have been the introduction of a 1,000 bottle Châteauneuf-du-Pape made from 100% Vaccarèse, called Forget me Not, a **** wine in 2018 that was correctly floral [not cheap, though], and a 600 bottle pure Cinsault, the 2018 a ***(*) wine. The ****(*) 2017 Châteauneuf Château des Fines Roches white [the classic wine] stood out in a tricky hot year for its class and balance. The family also own Château du Bois de la Garde nearby, which provides very sound, consistent Côtes du Rhône and Villages wines.
LVT 2016 r Champions of whole bunch fermentation, followed by 3 or 4 years of vat raising. Popular in Scandinavia. Mature style wines. The 2012 and 2013, 2015 and 2016 Très Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Prestige red were both marvellous - really true, the 2013 and the 2015 STGT, all the first three wines ****(*), the 2016 *****
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Has moved to much earlier bottling. Rock steady, underestimated wines with plenty of drive. The Vieux Chemin is full and authentic red. The Château Fargueirol Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a juicy, genuine **** wine in 2015, an STGT **** wine in 2016, and a genuine, local **** wine in 2017, while the old vine 100% Grenache Cuvée Antonin red was a vigorous, fresh ****(*) wine in 2015. The 2017 white was an authentic, well-filled **** wine
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh More and more use of Syrah, also Mourvèdre risen from 5% in 2007 to 23% in 2016 to 40% in the 2018 Tradition), and the Counoise has been thrown out after soil studies said it was not best suited . . It's as if there is no certainty about what works best. The 2018 Tradition red and Baron were both **** wines, the former raw but promising, the latter serene, properly elegant. The 80% Syrah Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve red, occasionally made, was ****(*) wine in 2010 and 2015, STGT also. The 2017 white, a wine I have enjoyed over the years with local colour in it, was a ****(*) wine, a true southern delivery in it.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé Progress here with the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, whose vineyards are now organic, but also other wines: witness the excellent 2015 Côtes du Rhône Bois des Moines red, made from old vines, half Grenache (1952), half Mourvèdre, a ****(*) wine. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Clos du Roi white was a fat, stylish **** wine
LVT 2014 wh 2014 r Since 2008, a 10 hectare estate. Having been in the Lubéron since the the late 1980s, the owners subsequently separated. Fair quality wines from sandy soils. The Saintes Vierges white is pretty successful, can be a **** wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh This was separated from Château des Fines Roches in 2005 – it is in the same ownership, and stands just beside the Fines Roches. Before 2005, its wine went into the Château des Fines Roches wine, although a little of its own wine was issued in 2003. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape red has a sleek style, with no more than 13,000 bottles made.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Modern, sleek wines, have lost some of their character recently, and crop has been harvested extremely early. A new manager, Ralph Garcin, arrived in 2016, but by 2019 had departed for the Guigal empire. Continuity, and a clear statement of local ID, are needed here. It is a long-time organic domaine, one of the largest and oldest. The special Cadettes red was a ****(*) wine in 2016, with its recent high of 52% Grenache welcome in my view. The white is elegant, the Clos de Beauvenir the plot-specific wine from just in front of the Château. It is less obviously oaked, and more refined as result, from the 2016 vintage, which was a **** wine
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé The wines are more smoothly fruited than in the past; an estate that has been on the up after enjoying wide renown in the 1950s-1960s. The main shareholder now is the Lavau family. The vineyards are organic. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white has been modest until a **** 2018, which held the body to evolve allied to freshness: the increase in Grenache blanc from around 30% to 70% was decisive. Generally, the special Trésor des Papes white from old vines is better - the 2016 flirting with Vin Nature style, a **** wine with good personality. The preferred 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red of the three tasted was the L'Esprit de Maucoil, a **** wine
LVT 2014 wh 2014 r Organic from 2012. The laboratory for local growers, and the wine school for budding winemakers and viticulteurs from all over France. Based in the north area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the way to Orange. It is now certified organic. I find progress since around 2010, both red and white - the latter unusually made from 100% Clairette rose.
LVT 2018 r Robust style, genuine, based on 80% Grenache from clay, sand soils, under 5 hectares. Raising - a mix of vat and used oak casks - barely lasts one year. There are never more than 10-12,000 bottles of the red; the 2016 was a generous **** wine, typical of the vintage, the 2018 also ****, quietly stylish.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2012 rosé Take your time wines that fuse and blossom very slowly. Quality has been on the rise recently, with the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red [there is happily only one wine] an outstanding ****** wine, taking me back to the glory days of the 1960s from here, and the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white a ****(*) wine of good local presence. They also own a good vineyard in Lirac at Roquemaure, the old Verda Cantegril, which gives a full and fluid Lirac red. A good Gigondas Château Mont-Redon Réserve red was recently added, the 2017, a **** wine. There is also a growing amount of a branded Côtes du Rhône Réserve Mont-Redon red, which was a fresh ***(*) wine in 2015. The two families who have run it for decades, Abeille and Fabre, went their separate ways in 2016-17, and the manager in charge now is Pierre Fabre.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Grandiose. The most fascinating wines you can encounter anywhere. STGT on the agenda, with extremely well cared for vineyards and hands-off winemaking, the wines raised in extremely old mainly 600-litre, misshapen casks. Always late harvesting here, into November occasionally. The Reynaud family also own the wonderful Côtes du Rhône Château de Fonsalette a little to the north, and the Vacqueyras Château des Tours, the latter very close to Rayas in its gentle, spiced features, and offering a very good red and white Côtes du Rhône as well.
LVT 2014 r Also make a punchy Plan de Dieu. Christian is the son of the legendary Gabriel Meffre of Gigondas.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2012 rosé Now organic and biodynamic. I note progress with the 2011 and 2014 (white Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Le Traversier is good, also **** in 2017) and the red Massif d'Uchaux Jocundaz in 2011, 2012, 2015 - the 2015 a **** w.o.w. wine). There has been shorter raising on the red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, now called Le Traversier, since 2011; the 2015 was a good hearted **** wine, while the 2016 special Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Grandes Grenachières d’Hippolyte red was an intricate **** wine
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Modern, progressive, doing well. The Châteauneuf Château Sixtine red is very good - the 2015 was an extremely long, STGT ***** wine, while the Tradition level wine, Cuvée du Vatican red was also STGT in 2015, a **** wine. The Manus Dei Châteauneuf red is a merchant wine. The white 100% Roussanne comes from sandy soils, and is well adapted to traditional, sauced cuisine; the 2015 was a **** wine, as was the 2018, a stylish and attractive wine well in tune with its vintage.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Owned by Ogier these days, reviving, sound+ wines. The quality for both the red and the white ranges between *** and ****, with the red Clos de l'Oratoire a ****(*) wine of quiet inner complexity in 2015, and a potentially varied and interesting ****(*) wine in 2016. The 2018 was an STGT **** wine. Both the 2017 and 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white have been **** wines, the latter medium weight, aromatic. I regard the label as about the most iconic in the whole of the Rhône.
LVT 2018 r Top marks for genuine Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, local style, authentic wines. The vineyard is based on 8 hectares on Tresquous just north of the village. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a VALUE, STGT ****(*) wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Gold standard estate, joy to taste only one red, one white, so good blending is crucial. The yields are always very low – not much more than 20 hl/ha, which serves to concentrate the red wine, and there is an above average emphasis on the Mourvèdre, all planted in clay soils. The blend is now usually 55% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 5% various including white grapes, having been 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah, 5% various including white grapes into the early 2010s. The 2014 red was utterly charming, a real en finesse ****(*) beauty, while the 2015 is logically a bolder, more demanding ***** wine, requiring patience. The ****** 2016 red is enormously, majestically deep and long, a vintage that will age extremely well. The whites drink well in their first couple of years, then back off, close down, and emerge as more complex, stimulating wines around seven years' old [Vincent likes to drink them around 15 years' old]; they live well and deserve a top table accompaniment. Both the 2015 and 2017 whites were STGT.
LVT 1994 r Traditional domaine
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh A staple, mainstay domaine at Châteauneuf. The wines reflect the best characteristics of the Grenache. They would be considered by some as traditional, with a long cask and large barrel ageing meaning they rarely carry vivacious fruit. The wines live a very long time, and in vintages such as 1961, 1978 and 1990 are wonderful examples of core Châteauneuf, with STGT qualities. The special Papet Châteauneuf red is often a marvellous wine - ****(*) in 2015, ***** in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012, ****** in 1990. The Côtes du Rhône reds are full of character and come from old vines near Bollène - their success in the tricky 2014 vintage is testament to the quality of the vineyards and the domaine.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh A domaine that always delivers full wines with genuine character. Since 2003, the wine style has been markedly changed at this previously traditional estate, the year when they hired oenologue Philippe Cambie, who favours rich, savoury wines with very ripe tannins. The grapes are picked later and more fully ripe than before. Fruit bomb syndrome hovers like a Flying Cigar. Destemming and more cellar work during vinification has been undertaken. Vatting time without the stalks has risen from 25 days to 35-38 days. The aim has been to soften the wines and allow earlier drinking.
The Tradition remains generally well-filled, and is the most accessible of the three reds. In 2014, it was the only cuvée made, and drinkers are rewarded with a hightly tasty, juicy **** wine, so look out for that. The 2017 Tradition was also a commendable **** STGT wine in a vintage-dominated year. Of the two Prestige wines, which are based on 1905 Grenache planted by greatgrandfather Edmons, who was a tailor at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Combe des Fous is more local and opens earlier than the Deus ex Machina, which is robust, smoky wine supported by 40% Mourvèdre; both were **** wines in 2015, and ***** wines in 2016. There is also a new oak raised 100% Grenache Châteauneuf red called Sanctus Sanctorum, with 800 magnums every year, half of them going to the USA. All the wines here benefit from being drunk from four to five years on – they are thorough and need time. A frisky vin de pays red and a solid white Châteauneuf (the 2015 a **** STGT wine), with a red Côtes du Rhône that is mostly sold the Netherlands complete the picture. The quantity bottled on the Tradition cuvée has risen from 37,000 in 2005 to 100,000 in the 2007 vintage. The rest of the wine is sold in bulk.
LVT 2018 r 2016 rosé 2018 wh Modern approach, accessible wines from the draining soils of the South-East of the appellation towards Sorgues. The Châteauneuf white was very good from 2012 to 2014, with 2018 a revival into ****(*) - great with sea bass, daurade, and aged Comté cheese. Both the 2014 and the 2016 Châteauneuf Tradition reds were **** wines. The range now covers as many as six different Châteauneuf reds with different blends, including the 100% Mourvèdre Grand Clos red and the 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache gris Coteau Brûlé red. The 2018 H to H Châteauneuf red, named in full as Homage to Heritage, was a most interesting blend of 50% Grenache noir, 30% Grenache gris, 20% Syrah: a ****(*) wine of inner strength and appealing vigour. Whole bunches are fermented these days. The 2017 Grand Vin, half Grenache, half Syrah, was the top 2017 at ****(*). They are all bottled within one year after the harvest. Their Côtes du Rhônes come from very good alluvial, garrigue soils at Sérignan-du-Comtat
LVT 2015 r 2016 wh A domaine with a long history, and a notably high profile, much visited by Parisians and le beau monde in the 1930s. The first vinification on the spot in a new cellar was in 2014; rented vats were used before. The first vintage under the Perveyries was 2010 in red, and 2014 in white. Carole is an Arnaud of the Domaine des Cabrières and Château de Maucoil in the past, and their eight hectares had latterly been within Maucoil. The main lieux-dits are Palestor and Bois de la Ville. The wines have been organic since 2012. The vin de pays crop – one-third each Caladoc, Marselan and Syrah, planted in 2013 for an amusing red - is sold to merchants, as is most of the Châteauneuf - only 4,000 bottles of the Urbi red are made. Both the 2013 and 2015 Urbi were **** wines.
LVT 2014 r 2016 wh Traditional approach: the red wines are full-bodied, clear and genuine, with improvement noted on the ****(*) 2012, the STGT **** 2013, and **** 2014 reds. The 2014 white was **** after a halting, lightweight start.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Albin's mother is an Arnaud of Château Cabrières. He has received his own vineyards from that estate after his mother`s divorce settlement. The Domaine La Bégude des Papes is the original chunk of that - 10 ha - but more vineyards are to come, and the name will be Domaine Albin Jacumin henceforth. His cellar was built in 2007. The red is shapely; the 2015 captured the vintage well - it was muscular, and well-defined, a ****(*) wine. The white, ripe but also fresh, has made marked progress since 2014, the 2017 a sophisticated, graceful *****(*), a real achievment in such a hot vintage
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé Very good address, often STGT wines, too. Fair pricing. The special Vin de Felibre d'Anseume Mathieu red is a very consistent Prestige wine, rarely below ****. The 2017 white, 50% Clairette, 40% Grenache blanc, delivered a stylish **** STGT wine, the ***(*) 2018 being light and aperitif-like, by contrast. For years the domaine was called Domaine Mathieu, until the split after the 2014 vintage of the two brothers, Jérôme (his domaine now called Saje) and André
LVT 2017 r 2015 wh Owned by the Brotte family, with its wine previously part of Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes. The 2016 Domaine Barville Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a sweet-hearted, genuine **** wine, the 2017 also ****, a restrained style to it
LVT 2015 r 2008 wh Organic domaine since 2001, an ex Co-operateur; promise is being delieverd in the mid-2010s
LVT 2013 r Daughter of the Berthet Rayne family, promising start
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh 2011 rosé Officially organic since the 2007 vintage. Fair prices, fair-plus quality that, if anything, is on the rise. They have an association with the golfer Nick Faldo for one of the six wines in his "collection", a Châteauneuf-du-Pape red. A new 100% Grenache Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was introduced in 2015, Elixir des Papes, steel vat raised, bottled early, in June following the harvest. The 2015 was an engaging and deep ****(*) wine, the 2016 a fine ****, and the 2017 a very long ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 r 2013 wh Really good, reliable, traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape, both red and white. Good value, as well. It is now organic.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2010 rosé The Tradition red is good value, and STGT. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a **** STGT wine, too, a relief after some lighter recent vintages. The other red wines are smoothly Grenache-dominated; the Gloire de Grand-Père was a good ****(*) wine when tasted pre-bottling for both 2015 and 2016 (the 2016 STGT), while the old Grenache Chante le Merle (singing blackbird) can really hit the heights: ***** in 2016, when it was an STGT wine, and in 2012. The occasional and expensive Châteauneuf La Folie seems to be slightly surplus to requirements in vintages such as 2015. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a ****(*) wine of character, its blend of interest: 25% Gren blanc, 25% Clairette blanche, 20% Clairette rose, 20% Bourboulenc, 10% Grenache gris. There is also a good, easy drinking Côtes du Rhône red.
LVT 2005 r A domaine that was sold in 2014, the vineyards split between neighbours at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Has been a northern sector domaine finding its way, some STGT tendencies. Converted to organic production in 2009. Jean-Paul Bouvachon was a restaurateur in Normandy, bought the domaine in 1988
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Really well-made, genuine wines from a talented vigneron. STGT wines crop up with some regularity - the **** 2013 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, the ***** 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape and **** 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, for instance. The white is well worth a look, is traditional and well made, the 2016 a full **** wine. The Vieilles Vignes red was a ****(*) STGT wine in 2015, and a ***** wine in 2016.
LVT 2017 r 2016 wh Underestimated quality, STGT southern zone truth. More Syrah, less Grenache recently. The wines can be fully charged, coming as they do from the precocious south-eastern sector. An unusually high 10% Muscardin can serve to keep the lid on the power of the red wine, which was **** in 2015. The white gives good, traditional virtues, based on 60-70% Grenache blanc, and 10-20% Clairette. A special white, Etienne Pecoul, 100% Clairette blanche, was introduced in 2015, and two special reds, a 100% Grenache, also Etienne Pecoul, and a 100% Mourvèdre, Henri Perges, in 2015. They come from Les Galimardes, and the 2016 Etienne Pecoul red was a ****(*) STGT wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh An excellent STGT source. It has been officially organic since 2011, but dad Gilbert was already very hands-off in the vineyard in the bad old, spray happy days of the 1970s. There is vat only raising, no oak. Laurent, 50 in 2019, is one of life's Eternal Questors. It is one of the unsung top addresses, the quality super consistent, the authenticity of the wines beyond reproach. The 8 hectares are in the North-West of the appellation, mostly on Les Cabrières, where north-facing soils aid freshness. Unusually, 5% is early to mid-1960s Vaccarèse that grows in sand. It has a similar maturity to the Grenache [but is lower in degree], and brings a violet hue to the robe, and a finesse, subtle fruit to the palate.
Among recent vintages, the ***** 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red can be a major wine from that excellent vintage, while the 2015, 2017 [iron and freshness distinguish it from many peers] and 2018 [STGT] are all ****(*) wines, with a correct vintage imprint each time. There is a very good, long-lived Côtes du Rhône red as well, the 2016 an exceptional, well-structured STGT ****(*) wine.
From 2015 there has been a white Côtes du Rhône, and from 2016 a little over 1,000 bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, composed of 80-95% Clairette rose dating from 1968; the Clairette rose immediately gives an off piste character to the wine. The 2016 was a ***(*) wine, 2017 and 2018 both ****.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh 5 hectares were sold to Jean Bonnet in 2006, with previous owner Olivier Hillaire setting himself up on his own under the name Domaine Olivier Hillaire. The red notes refer to wines tasted pre-sale. It is now owned by the widow of Philippe Kessler of Château Calissanne near Aix-en-Provence, with a total of 10.5 hectares. The 2016 white Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Clef de St Thomas was a w.o.w., drink young **** wine, most elegant, with mild oaking, the 2017 also ****. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Clef de St Thomas red shows some cellar exertion when young
LVT 2016 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé The whites have become elegant since the 2000s, with the Grenache blanc-based Châteauneuf-du-Pape white regularly no less than ***(*), while the reds have been a bit uneven. There was improvement in 2015 on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red - a **** wine - with the 2016 a ***(*) wine. Whole bunch vinification here. There is a Prestige red wine called Réserve de la Comtesse, and the 2016 was a sturdy, traditional **** wine
LVT 2017 wh 2016 r One of the famous 19th century names, in the southern area. Only a little is bottled these days, although the younger generation of Monsieur Bouche's daughter may change that. The red is regular wine; I prefer the white, a traditional table wine, which was ***(*) in 2016 and 2017.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé Very good domaine, highly reliable, with admirable quality over the decades I have known it. It is biodynamic. There is sleek fruit, very consistent quality, year in, year out. The special red Boisrenard is overtly oaked, so allow plenty of time; the 2015 was a ****(*) wine. Good Rasteau reds from classic blue clay soils there.
LVT 2015 r Have recently started to bottle more of their Châteauneuf-du-Pape and their two Côtes du Rhône reds, one 100% Grenache called Bastien, the other Syrah, called Vincent - Bastien was ***(*), as was Vincent in 2015. The soils are worked.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Polished, robust wines, improving over time, with finesse coming through in both 2014 and 2015, when the Tradition red was a ****(*) genuine wine. In 2017 the Tradition red was also ****(*), a genuine reflection of the vintage and its lands, while the 2018 was also ****(*) - impressive and ample. The white is nicely traditional, suited to the table. It is now biodynamic. Since 2009 there has been the joint venture with Peter Weygandt, their American importer, working with 3.4 hectares on the sandy soils of Courthézon, the title Chapelle St Théodoric, the wines extremely good and made in a laissez faire manner
LVT 2018 r A name of real note, and STGT qualities. This is a northern sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape domaine. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a really genuine ***** wine. The Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes red is a robust wine, good punch in it, can also be STGT. Since 2016 there has been a limited edition zero added SO2 Vin de France red called L.126, 95% Syrah, 5% Marselan, the 2018 a **** w.o.w. wine.
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh 2015 rosé Beyond its Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this domaine also makes a Gigondas, Vacqueyras and sound Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, and red and white Côtes du Rhône from two of the five Châteauneuf-du-Pape communes, Courthézon and Bédarrides. It converted to organic in 2011.
2018 has been an important vintage, marked by a leap forward in quality, suggested by the red Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine called Trilogies, the replacement of the Tradition red once the Mourvèdre came on stream to make the third variety in the blend - from 2012. This was a ****(*) wine in 2015 - long, stylish and structured. Well, the 2018 hit *****, stylish, balanced and naturally elegant, excellent VALUE, too. Meanwhile, the just a few casks' worth Châteauneuf-du-Pape David et Goliath red that had never exceeded ***(*) when I have tasted it in the past, also came in at ***** in 2018: fruit with tuneful freshness, excellent length.
Both the 2018 and 2015 Gigondas Combe Sauvage were polished, appealing **** wines. The whites have always been good, and the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was an authentic, potentially charming ****(*) wine. The Vacqueyras impressed me in 2012 and 2014, as did the Côtes du Rhône Les Vignes de mon Père red - ***(*) - white - ***(*) - and rosé - **** - in 2015.
LVT 2018 r First wine in 2000; Nathalie Fabre is sister of Daniel Chaussy of Mas de Boislauzon. Vineyard work is organic. It is finding its way, with definite progress noted with the 2016 vintage: a **** Tradition red, and a ****(*) Réserve de Félicien (old Grenache) red. There is sound purity of fruit in the wines. The 2018 Tradition red was an aromatic, w.o.w. wine for early drinking.
LVT 2018 r 2011 wh Gérard Bouyer created this northern sector domaine in 1984, and changed the old farm into a vineyard-only enterprise, growing it from 10 to 23 hectares. He retired in 2009, when his daughter Christelle took over with her husband Jérôme Grieco, who left his job as a motorway/autoroute patrolman at 34 to make wine – he is self-taught. Christelle, a cousin of Daniel Chaussy at Mas de Boislauzon, has accountancy training and has worked full-time at the domaine since 2011. Their first wine was 2009. No weedkillers used. SO2 used just before bottling, 16 mg, for example.
The vineyard rental arrangements lapsed in 2019, so Jérôme and Christelle have reduced the total vineyard to 15 hectares, eight hectares less, “so it is a manageable size for the two of us.” The Châteauneuf part is now 5.5 hectares, with 0.5 hectare bought from neighbour Domaine La Millière during that 27 hectare estate’s sale in June 2019. Henceforth there will only be Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Vin de France.
I thoroughly recommend the wines, which hold good fruit, and are blessed by clarity, with none of the souped up sweetness so prevalent these days. No oak is involved here, and whole bunch fermentation is practised. The superior Les Anglaises (1935 Grenache) was a ***** wine in 2016, a ****(*) wine in 2015; based on 1935 Grenache that is N-West facing on sandy soils; one of its features is the silken feel it often gives. The regular Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is always full of fruit. Good Villages and Vin de France reds that have character are also offered. The Vin de France Début d’une Histoire is well worth trying; it centres on 1965-1973 Cinsault from red clay in the commune of Orange, a vineyard that could give Rhône Villages if it weren’t all Cinsault. A wine of character, off the highway, it is very popular in bars and hotels in Paris. An enlarged cellar from 2013 allowed raising to double in time from nine to 18 months. By 2015 bulk sales had been reduced to 20% in favour of bottling at the domaine. Delas buy some of the bulk wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Stylish, accomplished wines. The white has become extremely elegant. Both the 2014 and 2015 white Châteauneuf-du-Pape were ****(*) wines. The reds can pack a punch. The classic red Châteauneuf-du-Pape is bottled within a year these days, and is a lighter, busier and earlier wine than the main cuvées; it was STGT in 2014, and ****(*) in 2016. The best of the three special Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds in 2016, by some way, was the ***** Vieilles Vignes. It was also the top performer in 2018, when it was a ****(*) persistent, garrigue-influenced wine. The Vacqueyras vineyard was increased by 1.5 hectares of 1950s-1960s Grenache to 5.83 hectares in 2014; from 2015 that new vineyard is now responsible for the Vacqueyras Cuvée Spéciale red.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh One of the steady quality domaines, year in, year out. Racy, sometimes exerted wines, but they come well recommended. The **** 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white held true southern gras richness. I liked the balance and restraint on the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, a **** wine. From the 2016 vintage, they have ceased to make a Prestige or special cuvée wine
LVT 2018 r 2011 rosé 2018 wh Top class estate, deep wines, prices now rather high. The Châteauneuf reds beyond the Tradition are punchy, can be glamorous, can be powerful. The Côtes du Rhône reds are full of character, from classic garrigue soils and mature vines. In 2015 the family bought a Côtes du Rhône domaine at Jonquières, the Clos Saint Antonin; this produces Côtes du Rhône and Plan de Dieu Villages reds.
LVT 2017 r A start-up in 2016, with organic vineyards. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a fulsome, perfumed ***(*) wine, the 2017 came with moments of savoury appeal, also ***(*)
LVT 2014 r 2014 wh Good Flor de Ronce Prestige wine, some way ahead of the Tradition red. The 2014 white was very good, a wine of character. The wines are organic.
LVT 2016 r 2017 wh Polished fruit, good value Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition red. There used to be rather high octane special wines, but the gifted Florent has been toning those down, to excellent effect, as witness the ****** 2016 Châteauneuf Cornelia Constanza, an STGT wine. There is a sound, traditional white. A good, easy drinking merchant Côtes du Rhône red has appeared after the sale of their vineyard in the Gard, on the right bank. Florent (pictured) now makes the wine
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh Important changes, for the better, from 2010 at this good biodynamic domaine: Jean-Paul Daumen has gone for vineyard-specific wines, issuing two new name Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, Les Trois Sources, named after three streams that feed the domaine, and Les Hauts-lieux. The former represents the four lowest terraces of his north facing hill, the latter the three highest terraces. There is greater definition and clearer texture in both wines than his previous reds, which age very well, and carry interest and character. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservé is made in no more than 3,000 bottles, not every year, and is mainly sold to the USA. It has become more refined, and less TOO MUCH in recent vintages - 2015, for example, followed up also by the ***** 2016, when Syrah (too jammy) was reduced in favour of Cinsault and Counoise. I found over-extraction in the past, especially around the late 1990s, and J-P admits to this. Vineyards, both for Châteauneuf and the excellent Clavin Côtes du Rhône red and white, are mature, with lots of old Grenache. There is also a small merchant wine range under the title Jean-Paul Daumen, that includes Lirac red and Gigondas red.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh The Vieilles Vignes is one of the great Châteauneuf-du-Papes. It is wisely omitted in tricky vintages such as 2013 and 2014 or in low harvest years such as 2018 - which benefits the classic red. This is a long-standing biodynamic (the brother Philippe, now in the USA, was hot on this before it became well known) and organic domaine, run by sisters Sophie and Catherine Armenier, the latter "officially" retired on 1 January, 2019. Sophie's son Vincent, firmly committed to all things organic, and reduction of SO2 use, has been on the domaine since 2014. From 2009, a new cooling system aided quality. The white wine is improving, has a very consistent, en finesse style. The 2015 white was a marvellous, poised ****(*) wine - great to achieve elegance in that warm to hot vintage, while the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was ****(*) STGT wine, and the Vieilles Vignes red a lovely finesse ***** wine in 2015, and a ****** wholesome beauty in 2016.
The Lirac Domaine de Marcoux La Lorentine is was initally a joint venture between two good estates at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Marcoux and Roncière. The vineyard was bought in 2002, and the first wine was 2003. The vineyard has been organic since 2007, officially so from 2010. There are 8 hectares by surface, with tired Grenache being replaced in 2 ha lots, with the soils left six years to regenerate. The blend has therefore changed from 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% each Mourvèdre, Carignan to 40% Syrah, 40% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache. The wine is solid, more recently on style over power to the point of being polished up. The 2016 is a classy ****(*) wine, well worth seeking out; at just over one-third of the price of the Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it's VALUE also. It was called Domaine La Lorentine until the late 2000s, then changed to Domaine de Marcoux, the wine called La Lorentine.
LVT 2017 r The Prestige red Noble Révélation is a consistent quality wine, **** in 2012, 2016 and 2017. This is a northern sector vineyard
LVT 2017 r 2014 wh Gentle progress, motivated young owner. The Tradition red is better balanced and more enjoyable than the rather overdone special red, Coralie et Floriane Le Soleil de nos Vignes
LVT 2010 r Traditional wines
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2015 rosé Same ownership as Domaine du Grand Tinel, solid quality. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, 60% Grenache blanc, is a full, traditional table wine, **** in 2016 and 2017. Very good organic Côtes du Rhône rosé in 2015. A sound Vacqueyras, 80% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre (1950s-1970s), was introduced from a little over 2 hectares in 2015.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Good, traditional, northern sector, organic domaine. Son Cyril is moving towards crisper fruit on the reds. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône Villages red was a cousin of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, a **** wine
LVT 2018 r A biodynamic domaine, one of the earlier ones. Philippe de Blicquy, who revitalised this ordinary domaine, and converted it to organic practices, moved on to running a wine merchant and olive oil business in 2005. The son of Patrick Wallut, de Blicquy's partner in the domaine, now runs the estate - Stan Wallut. The Châteauneuf is not always truly stable, in the mould of some Nature Child wines, and the 2012 was bottled in July 2013, 10 months sooner than in the past. It had bounced back from a dodgy start by February 2019, rising to being a charming, typical 2012, **** wine. A good new Côtes du Rhône red, La Griffe, was introduced in 2009; it is authentic and full, the 2016 a **** wine. Magnums of a jolly Syrah-Grenache are produced with fellow organic growers David Reynaud of Domaine Les Bruyères at Crozes-Hermitage and Matthieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet at Cornas; it is called Les Trois Barbus - the three bearded ones, and the **** 2016 was a good party wine of high appeal.
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh The Cellier family part of the Domaine Saint-Benoit. Marc Cellier retired in August 2007, and his three sons took it over and are doing their own thing. They are very motivated. The reds are unforced in style, with juice and fruit to the fore. The eldest son, Ludovic, has been at the domaine since 1999. There are now two whites, the 100% Roussanne Insolente (**** in 2015) and a recent Alchimie: both were good in 2014.
LVT 2010 r Laure Mousset is part of the Château des Fines Roches family. A 100% Grenache wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh A domaine with a sizeable 20 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the north-west sector, near Cabrières. Some years are OK to good, others less so, which is frustrating. It is now organic. The 2018 classic red was a fuelled **** wine, with sound freshness. The 2016 Chanssaud d'Antan special red (old Grenache 90%) was a ***(*) wine in 2016 and a **** wine in 2015. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a **** wine in 2018, based on the traditional virtues of 70% Clairette blanche and 30% Grenache blanc.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Quality is rising. The classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, called Calice St Pierre, is down the line, a touch wild, but it is cheap: the 2016, called Le Calice de Saint-Pierre, was an STGT ****(*) wine, price €18. There is a good, thorough white, 70% Grenache blanc, that was **** in 2014 and 2017. The Côtes du Rhône red is a genuine wine, ***(*) in 2016
LVT 2012 r Laurent is an ex-Co-operateur from the Cellier des Princes. The 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is commendably manly.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Note the improving white, which was a nicely muscular **** wine in 2015, also **** in 2018, giving good VALUE. Sandy soils, all Grenache, fleshy style Châteauneuf red, which was good and thoroughly genuine, a ****(*) wine, in 2016
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Despite the opposition of local groups, this Château, owned by the Roux family, fell into outside hands in January 2007. Shock, horror! Actually, the outside hands are very well qualified – the Cazes family of Bordeaux, owners of Ch Lynch-Bages and Les Ormes de Pez. Sénéchaux has been delivering better wines since around 2000 – safe and fleshy Grenache at their heart, and the winemaking has been tidier. The location is a good one, not far from the village on the east side, and this domaine now regularly provides elegantly fruited wines, with soft tannins - a touch safe and polished, at times. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is absolutely of high interest: it's well made, enjoyable and extremely consistent - an STGT **** wine in 2014, a w.o.w. **** wine in 2015, a top class ***** wine in 2016, and **** in both 2017 and 2018. It is based on Roussanne, Clairette and Grenache blanc in that order, with a touch of Bourboulenc to bring acidity.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Highly traditional domaine with a prominent USA following. There are nine plots across five lieux-dits, total area four hectares, where the star turn is Grand Pierre, its sand-sandstone soils abutting the Nalys vineyard now owned by Guigal. The soils are worked until July. Jean-Claude was an urban architect until working his mother's side vineyards from 1988; he then ran both careers, with offices in Toulouse and Tours, until 2005. He likes to vinify the varieties together.
These are wines of a good stamp of character, whole bunch fermentation with all red and white varieties allowed present in the co-fermented blend. The red is consistently a **** wine or, as with 2012 and 2016, 2017 and 2018 ****(*), the 2016 STGT. The reds will live for around 30 years: the 1989, Jean-Claude's first vintage, was still in great shape in late 2019, for example. A white was first made in 2015, vinified by Benjamin Tourbillon of Domaine Tourbillon, who is Audrey Vidal's partner. If you seek The Real Thing, then here it is.
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh Organic domaine, recent start up. This is the domaine that has arisen from the old Domaine du Vieux Calcernier – an estate mentioned in the Châteauneuf archives of the nineteenth century, with vineyards close to the village, mainly in the southern zone. One brother, Christophe de Courten, handles this estate, the other, William, is also going along his own path now. There are 4,000 bottles of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition red, which was a ***(*) wine in 2015. And 1,500 bottles of the Cuvée Spéciale, also ***(*) in 2015. Both wines are raised in new oak casks, and bottled within one year of the harvest.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh An underestimated domaine with good natural style to the wines, no excess. The 2016 Tradition red was a genuine, charming **** wine, the 2016 Vieilles Vignes red a stylish ****(*) wine
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Traditional qualities, with a new oenologue since 2006, bringing changes in the raising of the wines. The Alexis Establet Prestige level red is an unsung hero: **** in 2015, 2018, and ****(*) in 2016, while the occasional red Hérès was a ****(*) wine, holding the essence of the south, in 2015. The white Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a good, traditional southern white for la table, the 2016 a **** STGT wine (the 2011 and 2013 were also STGT). Good quality Côtes du Rhône red and white also, the **** 2016 red with connections to Châteauneuf-du-Pape
LVT 2018 wh 2016 r A mix of finely fruited and some big, obvious wines as well - the latter selling for very high prices. Both the 2016 Cuvée Réservée and the 2016 Cuvée da Capo reds were ****(*) wines when tasted pre-bottling, the 2018 Réservée also ****(*) - well built, fresh, aided by the stems. The white Châteauneuf Cuvée Réservée is on a hot streak recently - 2014 and 2015 were both extremely good at *****, the former STGT - and the 2017 came in at ****(*), the 2018 **** - all much improved over previous vintages, while a new white, the A Tempo, is also a good addition, the 2016 a **** wine, the 2017 a ****(*) wine of good character. The merchant wines Sélection Laurence Féraud are a useful collection, while Laurence also has a joint-venture with André Brunel of Les Cailloux - also good.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Modern style wines, fresh whites that are suited to aperitif, early drinking, while the Tradition red is bottled within nine months of the harvest. Both the 2014 and 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition reds captured the fruit essence of those vintages, standing at **** in each case. The Elisabeth Chambellan old vines red is tuneful and accomplished, good value, too; the 2015 was a ***(*) wine, the 2016 ****. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône red was a supreme w.o.w. wine, ***(*)
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2012 Muscat Modernist, get on and go estate, run by the son and daughter of one of the High Profile figures of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Jérome Quiot, who died in his sleep aged 67 in the autumn of 2018. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white was a gourmand, table-friendly **** in 2016, as was the red, a sleek and coherent wine. The Ventoux red is authentic, from the commune of Caromb, near Beaumes-de-Venise.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2018 rosé Top end Châteauneuf-du-Pape, longstanding quality. The whites are rich - the Châteauneuf La Crau 2015 blanc being a true southern imprint ****(*) wine, for example, the 2016 a ***** wine. The red Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau requires a long time to come round in a big vintage such as 2016, when it was a ****(*). The 2017 was also a ****(*) wine, perhaps indicating a revival - since it hasn't been running to its most impressive levels in recent years, however, since it used to be one of the top three or four wines here. I find fruit purity is gaining as we approach 2020.
The Bruniers also own Domaine La Roquète at Châteauneuf, Domaine Les Pallières at Gigondas (with Kermit Lynch) and have interests in Lebanon, at the Massaya vineyard. Since the 2010 vintage, La Roquète has been dropped as a named source of red wine, its 25.5 hectares of fruit now going into the second estate wine, Télégramme, and a new Vieux Télégraphe cuvée, Piedlong et Pignan from sandy soils, which is most refined, the 2017 a pure ***** wine. One white, Clos La Roquète blanc, continues to be made from a sandy 3 hectare plot, and this was an STGT wine in both 2016 and 2017.
Among the lesser wines, the Vin de pays de Vaucluse Le Pigeoulet is good in both red and white, the latter a striking **** wine in 2018, carrying garrigue virtues, for la table. The Le Pigeoulet red gives great drinking, and, since 2011, there has been a full red Ventoux, Mégaphone, which was a **** winner in 2016.
LVT 2016 wh 2016 r Longer raising than Domaine du Vieux Lazaret, which is in the same stable, and one-sixth of the latter's production from 12 hectares. Good, consistent quality, with the 30% non-Grenache vines, notably the 20% Mourvèdre, adding interest. The 2015 Duclaux red was a **** wine, a potentially handsome bottle
LVT 2016 wh 2016 r 33% bottled, rest sold in bulk to mainly Rhône merchants. Very clear wines, with weight attached. Son Vincent has been waking up the quality, and now works with his younger brother François. He looks after the vineyards and the vinification. In 2012 he married Emilie Boisson, of Domaine du Père Caboche. His brother François (33 in Oct 2016) covers commerce, with some attention on matters in the cellar as well. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard area was given an enormous boost in 2009 when 16 hectares were added, much of it on the N-W site of Farguerol, from the boys’ aunt Geneviève Avril, wine which before had been sold in bulk. That took the overall surface to 36.5 hectares.
The 2015 and 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds were on form - the Tradition **** in both vintages, l'eperdu a suavely rich **** in 2015, and a thick, but potentially impressive ****(*) in 2016 also, and the Lucile Avril a concentrated, grounded ****(*) wine in 2015. The white Côtes du Rhône is a rare example of a largely Grenache gris wine. There are 60 hectares of Plan de Dieu, 7 hectares of Ventoux also.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh An organic-biodynamic domaine established in the 1960s. The reds hold more lucid fruit than in the past, and character. There is plenty to interest the mind and the palate - a 70% Bourboulenc white Lirac, or 100% well-controlled Syrah Lirac L'Astrolabe. The Laudun Chapelle de Mayran red 2015 was a healthy **** wine, now bottled in the Vaucluse following Bernard's move across the river. This is a good address. Bernard split with his brother Frédéric, who left to start his own biodynamic consultancy, in 2012. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Catarina red is on the move now, the ****(*) 2018 shapely, bearing pure fruit. There is a new second Châteauneuf-du-Pape red called Mattéo, bottled after just six months' raising, the 2018 a **** smoothly textured, clearly fruited wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Catarine blanc is 100% mature Clairette blanche, a wine with appealing purity in 2016, a **** wine, the 2018 also ****, its clarity inviting a second glass.
LVT 2011 r Recent start-up
LVT 2017 r 2016 wh 2011 rosé Good name in the east of the appellation, both reds and whites. The red Etienne Gonnet, from old vines, has always been a truly stylish wine. Guillaume Gonnet has been raising the standard recently, with drive and commitment, and the wines are showing worthy Châteauneuf-du-Pape finesse these days, including with his Guillaume Gonnet Vigneron range. The 2015 Châteauneuf Elegance de Jeanne red was a **** STGT wine, the 2016 a ***** wine. There is also an interesting range of small lot merchant wines under the Gonnet Rhône Sélection title, such as the Ventoux.
LVT 2016 r 2010 wh After a spell of wines that could be be wild, outlandish, compelling from the wrong side of the tracks, some very sweet, there is a more enveloped approach with the 2016 Châteauneuf reds, the classic and the old Grenache Saint-Georges **** and ****(*) wines respectively, nourished by good fruit. The domaine is now organic.
LVT 2018 wh 2018 r A domaine formed by the young generation in 2014. The father of Marie is Marcel Georges, a well-known figure at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, who used to rent the vineyards for the Château de l’Hers in the west of the appellation. There were also 13 hectares owned, eight of which were sold to a gentleman involved in the financial world, also owner of Domaine de la Genestière at Tavel. The last 5.3 hectares were acquired by Marcel’s daughter and son-in-law, Benoît Lombrière, who used to work in the Ministerial Cabinet under President Sarkozy.
The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Thaïs white [its first vintage] was a refined **** wine with Grenache blanc gras and Roussanne elegance; the 2018 was also ****, holding well stocked gras richness. The style on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Marie red is one of elegance, aided by low intervention winemaking: both the 2015 and 2016 were ***(*) wines. Pierre-Jean Villa of Saint-Joseph and Condrieu gives advice.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Polished reds, supple fruit, can be powerful. The 100% old vine Grenache Les Gallimardes was a complex, long ***** wine in 2015, the Tradition red was a nourishing ****(*) wine in 2017, and a cracking ***** wine in 2016, as was the Les Grenaches de Pierre red, while the 2015 white was ****, a solid wine for la table, as it usually is. There is sometimes a Gallimardes white based on 1970s vines, and the 2016 was a delicious **** wine, for la table, the 2018 an excellent ****(*) STGT wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh The Giulianis left the Cave Cellier des Princes of Courthézon after the 2005 vintage. Bernard is the third generation to work vineyards, and the first to vinify. A new cellar was built in 2007. Raising of the Châteauneuf has moved from steel to barrels, with half sold in bottle. The style is for easy going wines. The occasional superior Châteauneuf red called Les Galets Jeanne is formed around 1960s Syrah, and in 2016 was an enjoyable **** wine. The Châteauneuf Flora white was a rich, sustained **** wine, suitable for sauced dishes, in 2018. The Giulianis' son Florian joined the domaine in 2014, aged 22 years. After a bts in Avignon, he worked for a year on an estate in New South Wales, Australia.
LVT 2018 r 2.5 hectare domaine owned by Isabel Ferrando-Giraud, the owner of Domaine Saint-Préfert. The Colombis vineyard is on the west side of the village beside the route de Roquemaure, loose brown sand soils, not perhaps the best exposure. The first wine was made in 2004. It's pure Grenache, always smoothly fruited, modern in style.
LVT 2016 r 2011 wh The Tradition red wine strikes me as robbed by the increasing number of Prestige wines, the best of which is indeed the Cuvée Prestige. Upward quality trend here; the Tradition red 2016 was a **** wine, pre-bottling, with a high degree.
LVT 2016 r Small domaine, working at improving. Whole bunch fermentation, oak influences.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh The Masquin family have a well-known brush (as in broom) factory at Courthézon. Julien's grandfather Paul Masquin was one of the founders of the Cellier des Princes Co-operative at Courthézon. Julien took over 10 of the family's 25 hectares in 1998, and the remaining 15 hectares in 2000. He has been in no hurry to produce wine from them, allowing the soils to rest and tidying up the vineyard over several years. He left the Co-operative in 2008, the first vintage came in 2009. He works with chef de culture Sébastien Rigault. Very good promise, both red and white, both Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône, with the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Humeur red a nicely rugged **** wine. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Monplaisir white, 70% Grenache blanc, 30% Bourboulenc, so traditionally based, was a ****(*) wine, the 2017 a **** wine.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Modern Châteauneuf-du-Pape in style. The domaine now works under the Terra Vitis – officially reasoned agriculture – banner. These are brightly fruited red wines that show well in free running years such as 2014 and 2011; the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a fun-filled **** w.o.w. wine, with delightful fruit for early drinking, while the 2017 was also ****, being cool and carrying a genuine garrigue inflexion. The limited edition Châteauneuf-du-Pape Maxence red 2017 was a *****, authentic wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is based on Grenache blanc on sandy soils, and drinks well, the 2017 an expressive **** wine. There are also good, sound Ventoux reds and an easy drinking, early bottled Cairanne.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Recent start-up. Fair: supple style, power a question from its sandy soils. Their oenologue, Philippe Cambie, is mentioned on the back label. Note the white here: the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, 70% Grenache blanc, was **** wine - properly southern, with character, as was the **** 2017, a wine with richness and garrigue features. I feel the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red could be raised for longer [it is bottled in July after the harvest]. The Côtes du Rhône white is 100% Clairette blanche.
LVT 2018 wh 2016 r Gérard Jacumin's new domaine, since 2007. Organic wines, in a clear, direct style. The 2016 white Châteauneuf-du-Pape (always genuine, contains 25% Picpoul blanc), was an interesting **** wine, some complexity given by the use of all six of the white varieties permitted; the 2018 white was also ****, a wine of character. but only 2,200 bottles made.
LVT 2019 r 2017 wh Racy fruit, up front wines from now well established young grower, though the 2012 showed more sucrosity. Since 2012, there has been a move towards greater finesse in the vinification, a move I applaud. This is now one of the best names at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Julien's father Christian started in 1972, and sold to Guigal, Barton & Guestier, and only produced 600-700 bottles. “Papa loved the vineyard, was a lover of wine and the vineyards, but was allergic to business,” Julien Barrot.
A new vinification cellar started with the 2015 vintage, built on a plot called Les Mascarrons, the remaining vines outside the back door. There are now two Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, the Signature [name until 2017, from 2017 called Cuvée Julien Barrot], and the 4,000 bottle Pure, and from 2016 a Châteauneuf-du-Pape white also called Pure, 100% Clairette blanche, which Julien planted in 2003. He also makes a good, spicy and authentic red Vin de France called Liberty from noble galet stone covered vineyards at Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, the 2015 the first vintage and a **** wine, as were the 2016 and 2019.
LVT (Last Vintage Tasted) 2018 r 2016 wh The 10 hectare vineyards include 2.5 ha of 1910s-1920s vines on La Crau, east of the village. Quality has been improving. The wines are genuine, rather hearty, and usually well priced. The Grande Réserve is the old vines wine, the adjective "grounded" usually next to it; in recent vintages it has varied between ***(*) and ****.
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh First vintage in bottle was 2009. 8 hectare property, with the wine sold in the past as Domaine de la Cabane. Sébastien is the fifth generation, and created the Consonnière name. The 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a **** wine, one with a gentle styl, while the 2018 came in at ****(*) - genuine, with some classic Châteauneuf finesse.
LVT 2009 r Pierre Folliet is a professor of tasting, bought the domaine in 1997, has a wine store in Lyon: 130 rue Vauban, 69006 Lyon, +33(0)9 51 99 37 87 email@example.com Unusual, long raised wines with their own character, well worth a look
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh Now organic; younger generation on board. I welcome the raising of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape red changing from only old large barrel to concrete vat with large barrel; the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a **** with thick, rolling content, and progress was maintained via the classic, copious, savoury, genuine **** 2018. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white, based on Roussanne with Grenache blanc, has also made progress to be a ***(*) wine in both 2016 and 2017
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh A small domaine with reliable quality red wines. The very mainly Grenache 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Baptaurels was a well crafted, gourmand ****(*) wine. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white (80% Roussanne) was much improved in 2015, a **** wine, after a ***(*) 2014. There is a rather good and traditional Côtes du Rhône white.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé Traditional style, genuine wines, can be STGT, that often need leaving four to five years to settle down; they can amply repay the patience. Good, traditional white, suited to la table - both 2015 and 2016 were **** wines. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes red was a real garrigue-fest, a **** STGT wine, while the ***** 2016 and the **** 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes red were also both STGT wines
LVT 2013 r 2013 wh Traditional style, with whole bunch fermentations
LVT 2010 r 2014 wh Owned by the Brunier bothers of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. This is a younger vineyard, and finesse is favoured over power. Sandy soils contribute to that. There have been big changes since the 2010 vintage. That was the last one for red wine here, made and sold under the Domaine La Roquète name. Since then - from 2011 onwards - the red vine fruit from its 25.5 hectares has gone into Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Télégramme, that estate's second wine, and a new wine, Frédéric & Daniel Brunier lieux-dits Piedlong et Pignan, which is 90% from the Pialons vineyard, 10% from Pignan next to it. The remaining three hectares of white vines continue to provide a wine called Clos La Roquète blanc, which is light and can be stylish.
LVT 2016 r 2015 wh Fleshy style reds, a good start. The Cuvée du Lion special Châteauneuf red is always good; the 2015 was an authentic wine, ****(*) quality. 2015 saw a third Prestige red wine added, called Le Lien, which was a **** wine. The white is traditional and full in style, suited to la table; the 2015 was ****. Some of the 2016 reds were a little off beam when tasted pre-bottling in October, 2017
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh A family who left the Courthézon Cellier des Princes Co-operative in 2004. Father Maurice works the vineyards, and the son Patrick, late-30s, does the vinification. From 2007 they have become involved with the use of ex-Bordeaux casks and more oaking. The preferred 2016 of the three tasted (the three special reds) was the full-bodied Aeternalis, a **** wine.
LVT 2009 r An organic domaine, vineyards on the clay-limestone mixed with sand in the commune of Courthézon; improvement with the 2009 red
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Craus Centenaires red, made in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2015 is based on 1896 Grenache; the 2015 was a **** wine. There is an easy to drink white, the aperitif on the agenda.
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh This is now a biodynamic domaine, and the 2016 red was a really delightful ****(*) STGT wine
LVT 2012 r 2017 wh The Torts left the Cellier des Princes Co-opérative in Courthézon in late 2005. Jean-Marc is the fourth generation of his family to cultivate vineyards at Bédarrides. His first vinification was iin 2006. A domaine finding its way. Half the Châteauneuf is sold in bottle, half in bulk.
LVT 2016 r 2010 wh More hands on deck to help Serge Chastan now, with the arrival of his son and daughter - a good augur for the future. Northern sector wines. Organic since 2007. The special 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape XIII cépages red was a rugged, but interesting **** wine, while the 2015 was a Wild Child ***** wine
LVT 2016 r STGT qualities here. Régis Barrot retired in 2013, and now lives in the Philippines with his wife Norma, near Davau, on the sea, His sister François and her husband André now run the domaine, of which two hectares were sold in 2014, leaving nine hectares of Châteauneuf now, with one hectare of vin de pays at Courthézon. The 2014 was all sold in bulk to merchants. The style remains hearty, traditional, with whole bunch fermentation. The 2015 and 2016 are both **** wines. There are six bottlings per vintage.
LVT 2011 r 2011 wh STGT qualities here on the reds. Long-lived, interesting whites, also. In 2012 2.5 hectares were sold to Yves Gras of Domaine Santa Duc at Gigondas, and other hectares were rented out to Bernard Duseigneur at Lirac, of Domaine Duseigneur.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Very traditional, inc whole bunch fermentations. Can hit the mark; the special Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Henry Tacussel red, made from 1904 and older Grenache, was a very good, true, old school ***** wine in 2016, and ****(*) in 2015. The 2017 white was a savoury, STGT ****(*) wine, with real local virtues on board
LVT 2018 r 2008 wh One of the sound domaines. Olivier Hillaire used to work his family vineyard of Domaine des Relagnes. This was sold in 2006, after which he set up on his own. The Tradition red is singular in being 80-90% Grenache gris, which invests it with grace and perfume in a slightly cooler vintage such as 2018, when it was a **** wine. Olivier now has two Prestige wines, the Petits Pieds d'Armand, 100% early 1900s Grenache from La Crau Ouest, and Les Terrasses, from Les Escondudes near Bédarrides. Both are new oak cask raised. Olivier's son Baptiste is now the renter of the ex Clos Saint Pierre, re-named Château des Secrets, in the north of the appellation, after its sale in 2019.
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh Wines have been light; 2011 was more full, if reflective of Cellar Effort, while the 2012 was open, the 2015 red more grounded, as befitted that vintage, the 2016 a **** wine. The 2015 white was an expressive, elegant ****(*) wine, one of the best whites of that year. There is a new wine called Le Pressoir, made from 40% Mourvèdre, with 60% Grenache, just 1,600 to 1,800 bottles; the 2015 was a juicy and stylish ****(*) wine.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh A new cellar in 2006 gave quality a push upwards. The wines are crisp, modern. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition Domaine Paul Autard 2015 red was a wholesome **** wine, the 2016 a big, sleek ****(*) wine. Oaking is apparent [and can be intrusive in my view, unless you wait many years] in the Prestige wines, including the 100% new oak white. The Prestige Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015 La Côte Ronde red was a stylish and purely fruited ****(*) wine, as was the fresh and stylish 2018, also ****(*). The 2016 Juline was also a ****(*) wine when tasted pre-bottling. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is 100% new oak
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh STGT qualities here, biodynamic, and has been organic for decades. Grenache in concrete vat - as it should be. The 2016 red was a ***** wine, as was the 2010. The 2017red was a sparky, full ***** wine, one of the best of the vintage
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2011 rosé There is a very fruity Tradition red wine, suave and appealing, always good value. However, I feel there is still a yearning for full-on wines these days, rather than ones that may serenade the palate. There are pretty deep Prestige wines, when they are made; they are expensive and unctuous. The special mon Aïeul red was formerly mainly raised in concrete vat, with 10-20% casks, but the 2018 was all 600-litre cask raised, whcih brought the inevitable clash between its 100% Grenache and the oak. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is jaunty, stylish, the 2016 a **** w.o.w. wine, the 2018 a **** wine of fine acidity that drinks with freedom. From 2011 a good Lirac red has been made from mature vines at Roquemaure
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh Robust wines historically, although the 2015 red was a **** wine with a ping of clarity and fine detail - the influence of daughter Pauline
LVT 2018 r Bonny, natural wine from a small, organic estate established in the early 2000s. It is well worth buying. The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a most commendable ***** STGT wine, good VALUE, the 2017 also STGT, an appealing, provocative **** wine, and the 2018 a juicy, savoury **** w.o.w. wine
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Stéphane Usseglio seeks finesse in his reds, so has gone back to the simplicity of concrete, and dropped large old barrels. The domaine is now organic and biodynamic, and is moving along extremely well under his skilled hand. The Tradition red was a ****(*) STGT wine in 2016. There was an excellent Cuvée Impériale in 2013, and a fabulous one in 2016, a ****** beauty. It is based on 1901-02 Grenache from sandy soils north of the village - hence the serenity. The other special wine, La Part des Anges, is more robust; it is 70% early 1970s Mourvèdre, a regular **** performer that in 2017 carried Bandol freshness, Châteauneuf-du-Pape strength, while the 2018 was woollybully wine, on the wild side, a lot of pumping heart in it.. There are improved white wines as well here.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Sad back story, but hope continues in life. Luc Perrin took over from his father Roger in the 1990s, and raised standards. He succumbed to cancer in 2011. His sister Véronique Rolin and her son Xavier continue and are very motivated. Véronique has her own oenologue consultancy in the Northern Rhône. The classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is very genuine, as is the Châteauneuf-du-Pape white - the 2016 a generous, traditional **** wine, the 2018 a tasty, flowing, detailed ****(*) wine. The special wines, Les Galets de la Berthaude red and Réserve des Vieilles Vignes red were ****(*) and **** wines respectively in 2016, though I was less comfortable with them in 2017. There is a fair, easy going Côtes du Rhône red called Fruité, and a super Vieilles Vignes red which has recently been a Villages wine, the 2016 a splendid, Burgundian finesse ****(*) wine.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Full, often punchy wines, which need time to fuse. The emphasis is on Grenache. The 2015 Châteauneuf Les Olivets red, which is the classic, baseline wine, was a ****(*) wine, its cousins the Réserve and the Prestige 2015 reds both **** wines. My two preferred 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, pre-bottling, were the ****(*) Le Secret des Sabon and the Prestige, the latter a ***** wine of very faithful Châteauneuf-du-Pape virtues in 2017. The **** 2018 Prestige expressed its 70% Grenache accurately, with neat plumpness and consistent flow. The white Châteauneuf-du-Pape Renaissance, led by Roussanne and Grenache blanc, is a solid performer, the 2016, 2017 and 2018 all ****
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh Sleek, aromatic, modern wines. Slight move towards more finesse and less opulence since around 2010, a good thing, as witnessed by good 2014s; I note the 2017 and 2018 were both around 14°, indicating earlier harvesting than in the past - OK, providing the polyphenolic [tannins/pips] ripening is in place. The Auguste Favier red remains the obviously coated style of wine. There are now organic practices in the vineyard. The whites, based on old Clairette blanche and rose, are accomplished and stylish.
LVT 2016 r 2008 wh Unpretentious wines from a 7 hectare estate. Slight improvement, the 2015 red a **** full and convincing wine, the 2016 red a ****(*) STGT wine.
LVT 2016 r 1.86 hectares on two sites in the north of the appellation, for now the wine vinified at Maison Brotte in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
LVT 2011 r 2011 wh Part of the Fines Roches, Mousset family empire - takes in Domaine des Quatre Vents, Mas Grange Blanche (good red) and La Font du Roi also. Modern, fruit-forward wines
LVT 2016 r Traditional, wholesome wines, with definite STGT qualities. A new Prestige wine since 2012 - Les Raisins Bleus made from the wooded vineyards near Rayas. Son Yannick joined the domaine in 2012, born in 1986. Hand-made, genuine feel here.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2018 rosé From the Beaucastel stable, with a growing proportion of own vineyards, and long-term partnerships where the Perrin family help to supervise and execute the vineyard work. The title of the range changed to Famille Perrin, instead of Perrin & Fils, in 2009. There is extremely reliable quality, with the cheaply priced La Vieille Ferme range recovering from a dip (feel of very mass produced wine) in 2015; those wines are soft and easy. The organic Vin de France L'Oustalet red is also worth a mention: the 2016 was an impressive ***(*) wine, with neat richness and the ability to impress, the 2018 also ***(*). L'Oustalet is the family's one Michelin star restaurant in the village of Gigondas, a highly recommended destination.
The Vacqueyras Les Christins red has been an encouraging **** STGT wine in both 2015 and 2016, while the 2017 was a nourishing, superior ****(*), the 2018 ****. That's one to go for.
I find the recent Cairanne reds not as locally-inspired these days, as they follow a rather minimalist or down the line style. The Vinsobres reds are extremely good, while the Gigondas Clos des Tourelles is a wine of great stature from old vines.
LVT 2011 r This merchant joint-venture started in 2000 between Laurence Féraud of Domaine du Pegäu and André Brunel of Les Cailloux. As one would expect, good wines, notably the Rasteau.
LVT 2010 r A small plot now owned by a Gigondas family who are sound vignerons. Big wine.
LVT 2017 r Guillaume is the current generation of the Gonnet family of Domaine Font de Michelle. He has three small lot organic red Châteauneuf-du-Papes from vineyards between Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Bédarrides in the east/south-east. These are exciting wines; they are all based on old vines, and the Bel Ami and Hommage à Maryline, the latter sadly in respect of his wonderful late mother, were both **** wines in 2015, the Maryline a ***** wine in 2016. The Bel Ami and La Muse were both ****(*) wines in 2017.
LVT 2007 r The one-off wonder of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, who sadly died in the spring of 2016. I find the wines heady in the big vintages, and prefer the quieter years, and the more simple cuvées. There is an absence of tasting notes since Henri forbade me access to his cellars following what I wrote on his views about Joan of Arc and Napoléon Bonaparte. The spirit of the Provençal grudge was alive and well!
LVT (Last Vintage Tasted) 2018 r 2019 wh 2011 rosé The Tradition Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine is unpretentious, classic Châteauneuf, no frills, good. The old vines Grenache Châteauneuf-du-Pape Secrets de Pignan was a ***** STGT wine in 2016 from its N-E sector, sandy soils. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white is 33% Clairette rose, while the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Chapelle [under 1,000 bottles, not made every year] is 100% Clairette rose, and well worth seeking out. There is also good Côtes du Rhône Villages red. This has become an extremely reliable estate, the standard high across the board. There are now organic practices for the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards. I would highlight the excellent Côtes du Rhône white in 2016, a **** w.o.w. wine. There is also a merchant range under the title Réserve St Dominique, the 2016 Ventoux red a highly expressive, tasty **** w.o.w. wine, the 2017 Rasteau a **** STGT wine. Go on, Eric!
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh Neil Joyce is also owner of Domaine Dalméran at Saint-Etienne du Grès. This is a well-sited house in the west of the appellation, one that has been lavishly restored after years of being run down. The style is modern, the wines organic now. There were promising opening vintages, notably for the Tradition red, which varies between **** (2014), ***(*) (2015) and ****(*) (2018, also STGT); the other reds risk being overdone, at high prices, as well. Very good red Vin de Pays 2011, and a highly enjoyable w.o.w. **** Côtes du Rhône red in 2016.
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh Recent venture based on a hill north of Vinsobres that, beyond Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers Gigondas (2017 stimulating ****), Vacqueyras red (the 2015 a good **** wine) and sound Côtes du Rhône as well - the emphasis is on ripe Grenache from as old vines as possible. The two La Ferme du Mont Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds, Capelan [racy, modern] and Vendange [rich] were **** wines in 2016, pre-bottling. There is promise here.
LVT 2017 r a joint-venture between English wine agent Charles Blagden and Domaine Font de Michelle. It involves two sites, Croix de Bois (0.7 hectare, large galet stones, sand, a clay subsoil) and Le Pointu (0.5 hectare, sandy, no galet stones). The wine was made at Cros de la Mure in the Massif d`Uchaux from 207 to 2009. Since 2015 there has been 10-15% Counoise, the same of Mourvèdre, reducing the Grenache from around 85% to 90%. The wines are on the up, sun-filled, authentic, genuine. The 2016 was a bright **** STGT wine, well worth seeking out, the 2017 a **** wine of character
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh 2011 rosé Quality on the upgrade here at this 250-member Co-operative in the north-east corner of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The best of the five 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds tasted was the newly introduced Prestige des Princes Réserve red, a **** wine. Decent Valréas Domaine de la Côte red - ***(*) in 2014 - but basic wines for hypermarkets are ???
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2012 rosé Good quality, both Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône. It is now a certified organic domaine. The Châteauneuf Les Quartz red is always a good wine - ****(*) in 2016 and 2017. The 2016 Châteauneuf Les Safres white was a delicious ****(*) STGT wine. From a set of very good Côtes du Rhônes, the **** Nature 2014 (no SO2) was an STGT wine, while the 2016 was a **** w.o.w. wine, each vintage coming with character.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh The family that used to own Château Husson for five generations. Given up for reasons of succession and inheritance, the Grangets started in 2008 with 8 hectares in the east and north-east of the appellation. The wines are now organic
LVT 2013 r A 4-hectare plot within the Château de la Font du Loup, a pretty setting with sand in the soil. 100% old Grenache. All three of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 were **** wines, the 2014 and 2016 both STGT
LVT 2017 r Traditionally styled Châteauneuf-du-Pape red from what was part of the Clos du Mont-Olivet. The Côtes du Rhône range from near Nyons, where they have their cellar, is organic, along with olive oil production as well.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh What joy! Just one wine, no special nonsense Cuvées. This has for many years been a slow developing wine, authentic, a very good address. Daughter Claire's first vintage was 2008 - she does the vinifications. She was joined in June 2012 by her younger brother François, who works on the vineyard, and helps in the cellar. Their policy is to harvest earlier than the parents, seeking freshness and finesse. I detected a smoothing out and polishing up, with a loss of impact, in the 2013 red. The ****(*) 2015 and ***** 2016 reds were both STGT wines, the former full of garrigue with character, the latter a vivid, licensed to thrill affair. The white is half Roussanne, half Clairette blanche, both planted in 1990 on the galet stone soils of Cabrières near Mont-Redon. It is steel vat fermented and raised for only three months, the malo blocked. The 2016 was a stylish **** wine that will develop gradually; however, I feel the white could be more adventurous in concept and execution.
LVT 2018 wh 2017 r Extremely consistent high quality, with a leaning towards finesse. Well worth trying in order to appreciate the true qualities of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and prices are very reasonable, too. The Les Cailloux red was STGT both in 2013 and 2015, the former ****(*), the latter ****. The special Centenaire red is based on late 1800s Grenache from the north-west sector, on galet stone clay-limestone soils on Farguerol; introduced in 1989, it isn't issued every year. In the top vintagesd such as the ***** 2010 and ****** 2016, it combines richness, silken virtues and coolnness. The white is also good, nicely rich, both the 2012 and 2016 ****(*) STGT wines, the 2018 a **** STGT wine. Good Côtes du Rhône reds - Est-Ouest, Sommelongue, while the white La Bécassonne carries more to it than most in its grade, the 2018 a ****, w.o.w. and V wine.
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh 2019 rosé Large scale merchant, some recent improvement on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape; the 2016 Domaine St Patrice Vieilles Vignes red being an authentic **** wine, for example, and La Cour des Papes running at ***(*) to ****. They have an involvement with the Cave de Cairanne, Camille Cayran, so are producing steady Cairanne red and white (the white New Wave) now. There is an easy drinking Ventoux red called Chapelle Sainte Croix, and a similar Gigondas red called La Combe des Marchands, which was a spicy **** wine in 2016.
LVT 2012 r 2011 wh Philippe Cambie's selection of wines, with sourcing in negociant or merchant form, crop purchases. Seeks pure fruit, gourmand style
LVT 2016 r 2012 wh Owned by Skalli, big business. Improvement in 2010-2015 vintages; wines becoming more reliable, including a ***(*) 2015 Caves Saint-Pierre Châteauneuf-du-Pape Préférence red.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2016 rosé Part of the Mega-big Boisset empire. Sound Côtes du Rhônes, also Gigondas and Vacqueyras, the 2015 Vacqueyras red a **** wine, and a reliable Tavel, the 2016 a ***(*) wine. The style of the Louis Bernard Châteauneuf-du-Pape red is for a good drinking, fruit-forward wine, which was very successful in 2018, a **** w.o.w. wine in that vintage. The range includes northern Rhônes such as Crozes-Hermitage red, the 2015 a ***(*) wine, and a Saint-Joseph red, the 2018 **** pre-bottling. Accessible pricing here.
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh Part of the Skalli empire. Steady quality, with a new name, the Côtes du Rhône Pavillon Réserve Saint-Pierre red a **** wine in 2015. The 2016 Vacqueyras Pierrelongue red was a genuine wine of character in 2016, **** wine [a leap forward in quality]. From the northern Rhône, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Roquebrussane was a **** wine when tasted from casks
LVT 2012 r Oenologue dimension here, new business, authentic Côtes du Rhône red, 60% Mourvèdre
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh Traditional wines, STGT and authentic qualities, a very good address. The 2015 Châteauneuf red was a high quality ***** STGT wine when tasted pre-bottling, while the largely Mourvèdre Tintot 2015 red was a polished, impressive ***** wine. The 2018 Châteauneuf red was also STGT, a grounded, muscular **** wine.
At the initiative of the three young generation entrants to the domaine - twin sons Quentin and Joris, and their first cousin Arnaud, all born in 1995, a fourth red Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine was introduced in 2017, called Famille Chaussy Sélection. It is from Palestor and Clos St Pierre, and the 2018 was a very commendable, STGT ****(*) wine, full of attitude.
More STGT evidence was the mini Châteauneuf-du-Pape red styled 2016 Côtes du Rhône Villages, a ****(*) wine. The white Châteauneuf-du-Pape changes its blend quite often; one of the better ones was the sunny **** 2017 - 70% Roussanne, 30% Clairette blanche.
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh Cyril Mousset is part of the Château des Fines Roches family. The Côtes du Rhône red is from a 2.5 hectare vineyard on the sand near Courthézon, the 2016 a serenading **** wine, while the 2016 Châteauneuf La font de Bessounes red was a **** wine, with a stealthy crescendo along the palate, the 2018 also ****, an expressive wine.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh I first met Louis Geniest (1909-1990) in the mid-1970s, then the domaine disappeared off my radar, with much of the wine sold in bulk. His son Jean was a lawyer until his death in December 2008, and the domaine is now run with passion and commitment by his widow Monique, a lady in her eighties, with a cellar chief called Matthieu Faurie-Grépan present since 2011.
The remarkable thing about this estate is that their 30 hectares, average age 40 years, are all in one extended plot in the south-east of the appellation, on the sites called Crousroute and La Lionne, the latter close to a branch of the main Rhône River. That is a very large single vineyard, more usually found with the big Château properties. There are three red wines, and, since 2013, one white. About 30% is sold in bulk, down from 50% in 2011.
The style is for perfumed wines, with a gentle take that is found in the southern sector. They unfurl gradually, and after eight years or more, the bouquets become varied and interesting. Both the 2015 and 2016 have been very successful. The 2015 Mas Saint-Louis red (Tradition) was a ****(*) STGT wine, while La Grande Réserve red was ****(*) wine in 2015 and ***** wine in 2016. There are still old vintages available going back to the **** 2004. The Arpents de Contrebandiers red was a most harmonious wine, like a feather in the wind, in 2014. This is a style that will slowly regain favour as the promoters of BIG wines at Châteauneuf lose influence. The 2016 white was an exciting, vivid ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 r 2011 wh Serge Mouriesse is an oenologue at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, (eg Domaine Pontifical), wine vinified at Daniel Stehelin's cellar in Bédarrides. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tour d'Ambre red has risen to 2,800 bottles [though only 900 in the coulure vintage of 2017], first wine 2008. The style is for a Big Wine, sipping style; they are expensive.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2018 rosé A southern Rhône merchant/négociant, which is also active in the northern Rhône. Recent owners of the renowned Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes estate at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Quality efforts have been made since the late 1990s, with a special cuvée emphasis, involving older vine fruit and modern, oak-related winemaking. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Héritages red and the Clos de l'Oratoire red were both ****(*) wines in 2015, the former STGT, with lovely finesse, the latter quietly complex.
The main problem for the consumer is the proliferation of wine titles - at least five Côtes du Rhône reds, for example. The northern Rhône range is being gradually expanded, with a surge in 2015 due to the quality of the vintage; the 2015 Saint-Joseph Baligant was a ****(*) wine when tasted from cask at one year old, and the Crozes-Hermitage reds Héritages and Les Paillanches were both **** in 2017.
More attention is being paid to the northern Rhône recently, with improvement noted in the Côte-Rôtie La Serine, for instance, a fruit-filled **** wine in 2016
LVT 2015 r The merchant business was launched in 2010, when Pierre Vidal left the Cellier des Princes; these arrangements really got going from 2012. Pierre bought one hectare at Lirac in April 2014 from Luc Pelaquié. There are full-on style reds, a broad range, with sound Village reds from Plan de Dieu, Signargues and Saint-Maurice. There is also a very respectable, southern glow infused Châteauneuf-du-Pape red, ***(*) in 2015, while the long aged (three years), very small quantity Châteauneuf-du-Pape Parisii red, based on early 1960s Grenache, was a smooth **** wine in 2012
LVT 2012 r 2016 wh Michel Chapoutier's latest foray in the Rhône – he bought the old Jean Marchand domaine in June 2008 – a total of 4 hectares – with Pierre-Henri Morel, who used to be part of the Chapoutier team in the Northern Rhône. Pierre-Henri now lives and works in Australia. The idea was to also have a selection of other southern Rhône wines from appellations that are not so well-known, such as the Côtes du Rhône Village Signargues in the right bank Gard département.
LVT 2017 r 2016 wh 2012 rosé Young courtier-merchant business based in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since 1998. A family from Haute Savoie. Romain Duvernay's great-grandfather was a négociant to the CHR (Café, Hotel, Restaurant) trade in Haute Savoie, and both he and his father Roland are oenologues. First bottling under their own name with the 2009 vintage. Northern wines are sound, Southern wines can be reductive.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh This is the split off of the old Domaine Mathieu, under brother Jérôme, who works with 7.5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and two hectares of Côtes du Rhône. The old Grenache Châteauneuf-du-Pape Marquis Anselme Mathieu red was a **** in 2015 and in 2016. The 2016 Côtes du Rhône red was a bouncy, w.o.w. **** wine
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2018 rosé Grand Veneur was the domaine wine until the 2014 vintage, when the title Vignobles Alain Jaume was adopted. The merchant side of the domaine is called Alain Jaume & Fils. Clos de Sixte is the Lirac estate, Château Mazane and a merchant wine called Grande Garrigue the two Vacqueyras reds - both have stepped up a gear, with the Mazane 2016 a ***** wine, the Grande Garrigue a **** wine, so well worth trying, having been sound but not very imaginative before. Some of the reds feel extracted, over cellar-influenced, so need time to regain a more comfortable poise. The Châteauneuf Vieilles Vignes red can be a storming good wine - ***** in 2016, for example, while the Châteauneuf Le Miocène red is consistent, noted for a good ****(*) showing in the tricky 2017 vintage. The whites are elegant, with the 100% Roussanne La Fontaine especially stylish, and the classic wine Le Miocène, based on 60% Clairette blanche, an STGT wine in both 2012 and 2015, and nicely traditional, a **** wine, in 2018. There is a neat, stylish Côtes du Rhône white also, Blanc de Viognier.
In May 2015 the Domaine La Grangette Saint Joseph at Jonquières, 1 km from Violès, was bought from the Tramier family. Its 50 hectares on clay-limestone soils are mainly Côtes du Rhône and its wine will be used to expand the domaine Côtes du Rhône red quantity.
LVT 2014 r The merchant arm of Jérôme Quiot, the owner of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret at Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the Château du Trignon at Gigondas. Sound Vacqueyras red. The business is expanding.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh The vineyard of Pierre Barrot, the brother of Robert Barrot of Château des Fines Roches, who is the father of Amélie & Gaëlle, whose husband Frederic Maillet is now the vinifier as Pierre nears retirement. The red wine has been previously bottled for the family above all; his mother likes to drink it when it is 20 years old! The plots are spread right across the appellation, and the wine has a bright authority. The 2016 was a ****(*) wine when tasted pre-bottling [bottling is due in March 2019, release in March 2020]. It is at the higher end of the price scale. There is now a white as well, 80% Grenache blanc, 20% Clairette, the 2017 a sturdy ***(*) wine, the 2018 an excellent STGT ****(*) wine - classically built, with a firm handshake.
LVT 2018 r 2016 wh Very steady quality; wines can take time to fuse and blossom. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Père Pape red was a ***** wine, pre-bottling: thorough and persistent. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Crau de Ma Mère white was w.o.w. **** wine, while the new Châteauneuf-du-Pape red Cuvée Alex (only 3,700 bottles) was a ***** wine in 2015, big and fresh.
LVT 2011 rosé 2014 r Good, very reliable Côtes du Rhône reds from good soils at Château du Bois de la Garde near Bédarrides
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh 2016 Muscat VDN Bright new kids on the block, handling Southern Rhônes with panache, merchant business. The aim is for a "modern and expressive style" in the merchant range. Xavier Vignon is an oenologue. Among his clients features the reviving Domaine de Coyeux at Beaumes-de-Venise. The Xavier Beaumes-de-Venise is good, action man red wine, as in the 2014.