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The Wines

50-70% Roussanne (up from 30%), 20-40% Clairette (down from 60%, vinified solo), 10% Grenache blanc from La Fortiasse (S-E, ave age 30 yrs in 2014, vinified together), steel vat fermented at 18-20°C, raised 6 months, a little lees stirring, malo blocked, 10-11,000 b

2019 ()

firm yellow, lustrous robe; has a fresh, purposeful, well varied bouquet, lots of éclat/spring-snap and bounce on the outer, springs out on a pear intensity, beeswax, greengage, with lime, a note of ginger. It has a discreetly sturdy depth, is broad. The palate comes with good early vigour, salted threads on the outside of its compact, sealed 2019 gras, vintage strength on the second half, picking up power towards the close, weight and late glow there. It’s a tiny bit clumsy on the finishing moments. It’s bold, surging Châteauneuf blanc that is a lovely pairing with crab tagliatelle. 2031-33 April 2020

2017 ()

sturdy yellow robe. Weight and freight on the striking nose: it has a fat, oily, laden nature, shows grilling, and a basket of southern fruits, white plum, peach. The palate is a real winner, is broad and rolling, carries real good depth, covers the ground well. It has traditional virtues from traditional varieties, and is very well suited to sauced dishes, bold flavours. The finish is extended, sustained, with clutches of aniseed, infused tea, linden (tilleul). This really delivers the south in the glass. 14°. 70% Rouss, 20% Clair, 10% Gren bl. €20. 2033-35 Oct 2018

2015 ()

shiny yellow robe. The nose is quiet, gives a low-key aroma with brioche, apricot, nuts present. The palate bears fleshy white fruits content, with an easy roll about them, has a copious nature, with a low-key freshness and a dart of clear fruit on the finish. It requires decanting in order to free more expression. 13.5°. 2028-31 Sept 2016

2013 ()

yellow robe, with a quiet lustre about it. The bouquet is soft, evokes salt, lime and mild pear fruit. It is alert, more fresh than obviously deep, gives a note of aniseed, licorice. The attack is enjoyably open – this sports tasty white stone fruit, collects fine grip as it finishes. A very tidy performer, has good style, is pretty long and fresh. Its clarity is commendable; this is fine Châteauneuf white, very drinkable, w.o.w. wine. There is a precise nugget of juice as it ends. It finishes quietly, with a slight dip. 13.5°. 2024-26  March 2015 Previously Oct 2014 **(*) pale hue with green flecks. Nutty airs with herbs, a mix repeated on the palate. There’s fat and glycerol on the palate but the éclat and lift of fruit seems missing. It is also a touch phenolic/tannic on the finish. 13.5°. 2020-21 JL Oct 2014

2012

pale, moderate yellow. This has an airborne bouquet, shows an air of stewed plums, white fruits, peach: it is still cautious, but can fly high in time. The palate possesses the elegance and clarity of 2012, tastes well, has a nutted aftertaste, plus ginger, with Asian spice notes there. The zest of citron and aromatic tea flavour is backed by smooth matter. It is long on elegance and refinement. The close is fresh, well wrapped, textured. Very drinkable, w.o.w. wine in its youth, and a good aperitif. 13.5°. 2023-25  Oct 2013

2011 ()

pale yellow robe, legs down glass. This has a good hazelnut first air, honey and almonds mixed in – it combines a Northern Rhône aspect with a Southern Rhône couch of buttery gras richness. The palate lining is a bit stiff: inside there is a mild white jam, light flan flavour, and nuttiness returns on the finish. This has fair length but limited scope. A “reasonable” wine that lacks flair and lift after half way. I find it insipid. There is some glow on the aftertaste. 13.5°. €15.50. 2020-22.  Dec 2012

2010 ()

yellow, some green tints. The aroma is baked, comes with a quietly sturdy couch whose aroma involves honey and vanilla pod, spice with light floral scenting. The flavour summons dried fruits, whit fruit jam, builds into a pocket of compact richness on the end, a flavour of apricot jam there. The length is decent. I sense it is just shutting down a little. 13.5°. €15.50 at the cellars, OK price. Bottled March 2011. 2025-27 Dec 2011

2009 ()

pale yellow; citrus air, then a mix of iodine and dried white fruits – this a rather broad bouquet, not that evident as yet. It is slightly reductive, can be decanted thus. The palate is centred on a hazelnut, dried fruits flavour – it is a grounded wine, needs food. The matter is solid, and it closes firmly and confidently, typically 2009. It has an oily, quite powerful thread though it. From spring 2011. Best with food. 14°. €15. 2022-24 Oct 2010

2007 ()

mild yellow, legs a plenty down the glass. The nose is upbeat – sherbet lemon, spice, apple and pear, some pineapple. The palate gives a traditional wine with honest fullness and heat in it. Its juice is pretty, it flows calmly, the white fruits are refined, while there is dance in its delivery. It drinks well solo, has a good little point of freshness, bonny length. To 2019-21 Nov 2008

2005

oily, buttery, nutted nose with a waxen air. The Roussanne plays a role in stamping its character with the nuttiness. Quiet richness on the start, with nice bone in it. There is a hazelnut flavour with a pleasing, understated rich and round tone. Both length and acidity are good. This is more stylish, more rounded and better wrapped together than many white 2005s. 14.5° - not an issue. 2021-23 October 2007, London Previously Aug 2007 ***(*) elegant bouquet flecked with mineral, suggesting a Roussanne presence, along with a wee salty grip – the aroma darts out rather than emerging softly. Air of 40 minutes benefits it – butterscotch, and nutty, dried fruits. Interesting, refined but full flavour here – dried fruits such as apricot with spice. Has a direct, zingy texture, a rather upfront edginess before a softer finale. Lacks a little depth, and at first escapes before the finish. Air helps it, so there is hope – summons up a peach-apricot aftertaste that is pretty decisive. Is naturally made, not hustled, and the flavour of hazelnut grows on the finish – the last laugh for the Roussanne, maybe. Esp 2008 on, and something of a sleeper that can come along with time. 2018-21 August 2007

2004

refined, elegant nose, with a little nuttiness present. Suave texture on the palate, silken feel, with white fruits, honey. One of the best 2004 whites I have tried. “The Clairette was very important this year,” Bruno LeRoy. Dried white fruits finale, with an apricot tingle. 2019-21 Feb 2006 Previously July 2005 ***(*) lucid bouquet, clear and attractive, holds well. Nutty, apricot/peach flavour, good weight and content, pretty thorough wine. 2017-20 July 2005

2003 ()

honey, ripe fruit, pineapple aroma, quite deep, also spice, the skin of white fruits. Restrained, notably chewy white fruits flavour. Drink with food above all. Just closing up, more expressive from 2007. 2017-20 July 2005

2002 ()

nicely evolving bouquet, nutty at this stage, also shows the classic floral dimension of the Clairette. Full, persistent palate, shows character. Fennel, aniseed touch to flavour. Solid overall, length holds quite well. Interesting wine. 2012-14 July 2005 50% crop, unusual 90-95% Clairette, 5-10% Roussanne, Grenache blanc

1999

(vat, on its lees) steady yellow; creamy, quite big bouquet that is already out and about. Stylish palate – three-quarter weight wine, chewy matter, a touch fatter than the 1998 white. Rather serene, likeable. Can tick over as it ages. 2017-19 Feb 2000

1998 ()

fair weight, fullness on the nose – the fruit is ripe, and is softened by white flower aromas. The palate offers greater richness than several 1998 whites – it is attractive, the attack is creamy, but it is also clear in tone. Has a nutty finale. The balance is comfortable. 2016-18 Feb 2000