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The Wines

100% Roussanne from S facing red clay, rolled stones, deep soils at Les Champs (1947-48, 1980, 1992, the extension of the Saint-Joseph hillside at Tournon), loess soils on the medium heights of Opateyres (1995, 1946-50 at Tournon, the back side of Les Oliviers), fermented, raised 35% vat, 65% 5-15 year 228-litre oak casks 10-12 months, best decanted

2019

1) (600-litre cask, 1995 Roussanne, Opateyres) ***(*) yellow robe; the nose is tight, on subdued apricot, peach, floral-butter notes. The palate is fresh, linear – this is direct, peppy, nutty wine, gains a bit of gras towards the finish. It’s really very closed, is tight, naked, shows menthol, is very terroir, STGT wine. “It doesn’t hold a lot of gras, but is good for a blend – it will bring acidity, which we need,” François Ribo. 10 years 2) (228-litre cask, Coteau des Champs, Roussanne) ****(*) yellow robe; the nose lingers well, shows dried fruits, smoke, roast nuts, infused herbal tea. The palate debut is nutty, grips well, has good spine, fresh control, not a lot of spare flesh, but is very well together, very long. It’s easy to underestimate its intricate quality. It holds very fine acidity, has sève [sap] and that together, way to go. “You don’t feel the sun too much, even though this is full South facing; this shows well at 15-20 years,” François Ribo. 15 years Nov 2019

2018

full yellow; there is joli warmth, roundness to the nose, nutty airs over a peach jam base, apricot jam base, is a typical 2018 in that jam tone. The palate is wide, holds rather luscious white fruited content, squeezy gras richness, is generous, and very much one for Vieille France, butter-based cuisine. It gains a little smoky grip on the close that aids its balance and clarity. It’s a well filled St Jo blanc, with a late line of menthol bringing extra interest. It’s a tale of the vintage’s fat, and the terroir’s linear shape. 2029-30 Nov 2019

2015

1) **** (Les Champs, used 600-litre oak cask, 5-6 gm of sugar still to ferment) airborne, tender nose with nut and peach airs. The palate comes en finesse, holds precise juice, and has very bonny, elegant length. Stylish, nicely tight. 9-10 years. 2) ****(*) (low part of Opateyres, more sand and loess than clay, 600-litre oak cask, sugars finished) shiny yellow. Lime-melon air, also peach – a well defined nose. This dances along on the palate, has a real skip in its step, lovely grip and puckish length – it is very clear and pure, with steady body. It is very long, and there is a real good fresh thread through it. 11 years. Dec 2015

2010

bright, light yellow, wee green tints. There is a floral first air, backed by white fruit jam and definite fennel. It is a well founded bouquet that presents a good, secure start. There is a good ensemble on the palate – dried fruits, grip and some tannin late on that demands food such as poultry. Attractive and charming wine. Tender wine, with depth, good balance. 12.5°. 2020-22 March 2012

2008 ()

full, marked yellow robe; the aroma reflects the air of white jam – apricot and peach – and what I would term some passion fruit zap. The palate has a salty first tang, offers nice tight grip, is expressive. Dried fruits in the flavour, quiet late flesh on this. It is very Roussanne in its rather sturdy nature under the airy outer, is ready now, suited best to foods. To 2013. Nov 2009

2006

even yellow, ripe lemon colour; balanced nose – lime and citrus influences with plenty of potential behind that outer ring; the air brings pineapple but a very clear air nonetheless. The palate has a bright acidity, real good grip and length. Very good style in this, a dancing freshness on parade. There is a feather duster touch on the palate, great purity and fine mix of silk and steel. Has some of the saltiness of the Roussanne, and excellent supportive acidity. It is Roussanne-led, but can qualify as STGT. 13°. To 2014. Dec 2008

2003 ()

balanced bouquet, mix of honey, white pepper. Tasty wine, exotic flavours - spice and apricot, pineapple tart. Solid, structured, pretty. Full and some potency from the vintage, but not really in excess. 2011-13

2002

(cask) soft honeyed nose, ripe fruit/flowers, nicely direct. Early richness, relaxed; apricot/peach dried fruits. Sound length.

2001 ()

apricot, spice hints, lightly damp aroma; fresh rich matter at start, then is reserved, ends mineral. Pure, will show more 2006 on.

2000 ()

floral aroma. Pretty, stylish palate. Good white fruit; the Roussanne brings more spice and tightness to the wine than a Marsanne would. Length good.