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The Wines

50% Grenache blanc (1972), 20% Bourboulenc (1982-87), 20% Clairette blanche (1982-87), 10% Roussanne (1972), from galet stone covered clay-limestone soils on La Grenade (S-E), concrete vat vinified at 16°-20°C, concrete vat raised 5-8 months, malo blocked, 15-20,000 b

2019

fine yellow robe; the bouquet has a sultry aroma of crushed white fruits, a compote with “high” implications. Peach-nectarine airs come through, with an implication of sunny ripeness. The palate starts carefully, on mixed white fruits, carbonic gas, runs with charm, refinement, has a squeezed lime thread, with precise freshness on the close, exotic fruits there, the length good. It’s an elegant, slightly New Wave Châteauneuf that could serve as an indulgent aperitif or with steamed fish, modern cuisine. 13.5°. 2027-28 Nov 2020

2018 ()

pale yellow colour; the nose leads on bonbon, sherbet lemon, pear fruit, takes an airborne route. The palate is loose and simple, rather undercooked for a Southern white. There is a fleeting flavour that involves citrus fruits, a note of white plum. I find it simple, sad to say, but expect it was made to be fashionably “tendu”, tense, or fresh. Pity they forgot the stuffing. 13.5°. 15,000 b. 50% Gren bl, 20% Bourb, 20% Clair bl, 10% Rouss. Bottled Feb 2019. €24. 2024-25 Oct 2019

2017 ()

elegant yellow robe; crème patisserie, musky flowers close to acacia with a buttery curve to it – this is also a stylish nose. The palate achieves grace and commendable lift, runs with soft caress, the fruit neat and detailed. This is classy, balanced. The flavour centres on white plum with nutty touches, and the close is more refined than many 2017 blancs. Good for fine dining, pure flavours, steamed dishes. 13.5°. 15,000 b. 50% Gren bl, 20% Clair, 20% Bourb, 10% Rouss. Bottled March 2018. €22. 2026-28 Oct 2018

2016 ()

pale yellow, flinty colour. Stewed white fruits, compote style, lead a quiet nose, Clairette in it, and typically subdued as a result, has a cooked lemon hint. This is tasty, nice and immediate, with pear, quince fruit that is presented freshly. It lengthens with a sure hand, has jolly freshness, an upbeat nature. The aftertaste brings in ginger snap. This enjoyable, refined wine. 13.5°. 2022-23 Sept 2017

2015

yellow robe with a sheen about it. The bouquet is wide, quite fresh, has an aroma of dried fruits, fennel, pear skin. The palate is fresh on debut, skips along with freedom, has a little oiliness and floral plug in before the finish. The aftertaste is tender, mildly fruited on a soft compote of stewed white fruits. It’s a simple glass for light flavoured dishes. 13.5°. 20,000 b. Bottled March 2016. To 2020 Sept 2016

2014

fine yellow robe. There is a peach, licorice, fennel mix on the nose, which is mostly clear and has a direct saltiness. A wee note of reduction is present. The palate ties in well with the bouquet, is expressive, and enjoyable. The fruit is bright, spiced, tangy, and it persists well. A natural, unforced wine, with local qualities. It goes good and long, delightfully so: just as you expect it to disappear, it reappears. 13.5°. 20,000 b. €20. Bottled Jan 2015. 2024-26  Oct 2015

2013

pale yellow hue. The nose is discreet, with just a hint of apple and herbs. It is full and fleshy on the palate with adequate gras richness and glycerol. Apple and pear flavour. Compact if a tad unexciting. Slightly dry finish. 13.5°. 2020-21 JL Oct 2014

2011

pale, vanilla-yellow robe. This has a frisky, citrus-inspired nose, gives a criss-cross of fresh white fruits such as peach. There is a wee damp wool note that I associate with very ripe, even “high” crop. The palate is all about its early freshness, like a wine with one-quarter Loire in its veins. It skips along, has some gras, but is just a shade brittle at the end. It straddles food and aperitif status. From 2014. 13.5°. 2018-19  Dec 2012  Previously Feb 2012 ***(*) (vat) has a flinty paleness. Immediate zest, as pear skin air on the nose, with light notes of flan and cooked apple, greater density thus, behind. It shows a quiet, helpful fat. The palate is fresh and good, shows prominent white fruits, and is a wine on aperitif status now. It mixes well its zest with local richness or gras. A grand aperitif, but eat also with steamed fish, for instance. The touch of flint, smoke and aniseed on the aftertaste is a bonus. To 2018. Feb 2012

2010

fair yellow robe; has a sappy, hung fruit aroma, a glistening of pear-peach fruit. There is a bedrock in the nose of white fruit jam, and the juice of squeezed limes. The palate starts crisply, bearing fine, subtle dark notes - tannins present here. It lengthens on to a white raisin, rather rich sign-off. There is a good ensemble here, and it is best suited to food. The aftertaste blends hazelnut, brioche bread, apricot. OK to drink now. 13.5°. €15 at the cellars, decent price. 2021-22 Dec 2011

2009

attractive, shiny full yellow, low-key gold robe. Has a hazelnut, slightly oxidative air – butterscotch, dried apricot, figs – a varied, evolving nose that reflects the high sun-deep south nature of the year. It’s very nutty. The palate has a tight-knit body, with some near tannic sides; it breathes its strength from within and comes with a compact, firm richness on the sign-off, the aftertaste solid. The flavour centres on roasted nuts, quince fruit, white raisins. This is core southern white, with the richness nice and together. Suited to sauced dishes – goat, young goat (cabri), pork in fruit. It’s interesting, at a good early second stage now. There is vanilla on the aftertaste. 13.5°. 2024-25 Sept 2017

2008 ()

mild yellow colour; graceful, clear nose that is in the zone now. Good mineral airs exude, ending on a note of honeycomb – this is promising. There is sinew, a wiry theme along the palate: the flavour is built around dried fruits, the aftertaste adds hazelnut to that. The length is fair, but it is still a little unformed on the palate. Has a future. From late 2010. Decant. 2019-20 Dec 2009

2007 ()

steady yellow; the nose is bright and breezy – its fruit is lively, comes with a smattering of spice, and it has rounded tendencies under that bright outer – there are airs of lime, greengage, almost gooseberry. The palate is light – it provides easy drinking, comes with charming fruit, and is ended by a little bubble of nut and grip. The aftertaste poses questions – it has acidity, and goes up and down rather than flowing. A bit short. To 2012. Nov 2008

2006 ()

mild, pale yellow; has a butterscotch, rather baked apple aroma, with at the top spice and dried fruits. There is some implicit richness, within a mild, ripe lime setting as well. The palate starts on an almond flavour, similar to a N Rhône Marsanne – there is a willing richness in this, before it straightens and tightens and becomes more pebbly. It therefore ends tidily, not loosely. A nicely traditional, unpretentious wine for food, and mid-term drinking: not a long liver. Is sunny and agreeable now. The air releases honey and ginger in the taste. Goes well with baked salmon served in grated garlic, soya sauce, lime juice, done in the oven. 13°. 2013-14 Sept 2008 Previously Oct 2007 *** ripe style nose that is broad and has a little mineral air – reflects peach, sizzled butter. There is sound grip on the attack, as dried fruits come through. Finishes firmly. This is a wine for food, not solo drinking, its length is good and its finish clear. “I would eat simple grilled fish with this, not sauced fish; or goat cheese – the wine`s acidity would be up to that,” Amélie Barrot. Oct 2007