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The Wines

50% Clairette blanche, 50% Grenache blanc (both 1970s) from next to the Château de Beaucastel, new-1 year 600-litre oak casks, some 228-litre oak casks fermented, raised 8-9 months (before mid-2010s was 80% steel vat, 20% new 228-litre oak cask fermented, raised 8-9 months), lees stirred, malo blocked, 4,000 b

2017 ()

steady yellow robe; the nose is buttery, reflects a sunny vintage in its relative fat aspect, shows pear, apple blossom, apricot, has a biscuity tone. The palate is full, on dried fruits, carries spice into the closing moments, where there is a note of glow, a hint of tannin. This is sturdy, and still not fully together, especially reference the second half, including moving its oak further in. 13.5°. From spring 2019. 2030-32 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(cask) pale yellow robe. Has a refined oak-toast, dried fruits, cooked lemon aroma. It’s a nose that is more airborne than grounded, so is rather New Wave. The palate is also elegant, presents an attractive and neat, tasty ball of gras richness, all very precise. It ends on fresh, refined content, ginger, spice grip. Drink with fine cuisine. I’d like more depth, I have to say. It will soon be ready. 2024-25 Oct 2017

2015 ()

rather thick yellow robe; has a concentrated nose which gives toffee, stewed white fruits, peach, infused tea such as camomile. There is a ping of aniseed-licorice – it’s very Clairette in influence. The palate unfurls a cosy richness, is very much a wine for la table, has a strong peach near the stone flavour, with a nudge of crispness and tannins as it ends. Decant it. Fine late freshness. 14°. From spring 2017. 2027-28 Sept 2016

2014

bright, pale yellow robe. Has a fresh, springy bouquet marked by cooked lemon, peach, greengage notably. This is softly textured, suave, with oak vanilla, spicing. The length is sustained. The flavour centres on apricot, apricot skin and banana. There is a traditional core to this, with the stewed fruits, but the modern twist is the oak. It doesn’t really sit comfortably as one style, to the max, or the other. Day 2: nutty, vanilla flavour. It drinks easily, but is rather arm’s length. 13.5°. 2022-23 Nov 2015

2012

medium yellow robe, legs. Oak toast, apricot, hazelnut airs, honeysuckle and white flowers, the oak is evident. The palate has a quiet debut, a low-key display. Its matter is floating, not profound, and oak comes through prominently. There is some late gras richness for a round finale. Its fat will be more evident from late 2014, and time will ease the oak. 2020-22  Oct 2013

2011 ()

pale robe. Dusty, vanilla and wax, dried fruits air – the nose is not really showing openly and confidently. Fried fruits continue on the palate, with the flavour adding nut, the fruits tight-knit, as if taken from near the stone. It ends on grip, bite, with a smoky, near white tobacco influence. In modest shape now – it lacks fireworks, flair. Time may coax more out of it. From spring 2014. 2021-22  Oct 2012