(2021) The blend here is old vine Grenache, Vermentino and Syrah, a selection of fruit, with fermentation and 10 months ageing in 600-litre barrels, new and second use. It immediately gives an impression of cool precision on the nose, a little lemon and lemon bon-bon note, yes some small, taut red berries, but intense, salty and mineral like a slatey dry Riesling in some ways, the oak more or less imperceptable in the aroma. In the mouth there's a sweetness to the fruit, a little dusting of icing sugar over frozen red berries, just giving up their juiciness, but again this is ultra-cool and elegant. The oak adds a creaminess, as much to the texture as the flavour, and the poise and effortless elegance extends and clarifies into a long, long finish. Superb, and though different from Garrus, for me giving more or less equal pleasure.
(2021) This is Esclans estate wine, no cuvée name except 'Château d’Esclans', made from Grenache and Rolle, partly vinified in demi-muids (600-litre big barrels). There's a white peppery, stony character here, taut with lemon zest and cool Asian pear fruit aromas, the oak transparent. In the mouth the texture is creamy (the barrel ageing and lees stirring no doubt helping with that) and the fruit is bright, a little red apple but mostly a dry redcurrant, a hint of peach, then zipping, saline acidity to extend the finish.