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The Wines

30-47% Grenache blanc, 20-51% Roussanne (new oak vinified), 3-23% Bourboulenc, 12-20% Clairette, vat fermented at 16°C, Roussanne receives 30-40% new oak, rest (75%) steel vat raised 6-7 months, then assembled, malo blocked, 22-40,000 b

2019

clear, attractive yellow robe; the nose is elegant, serene, salted, good and precise, has citrus dabs, with peach stone, infused herbal tea notes, roast nuts. It’s a good start. The palate continues well on a refined trail of white fruits with crisp pockets, detail. It’s very well made for purity and clarity, gather s a little Southern glow towards the finish. Its precision is appealing, carries a tight display, can soften over time. The flavours resemble compote of white fruits, aniseed, white plum. It’s a direct, stylish Châteauneuf, and it’s interesting that clam (vongole) spaghetti really lifts its fruit, concentrates it into a citrus ball. 14°. 2029-31 June 2020

2018 ()

firm yellow robe; the bouquet is profound, rather muscular, has white raisin and spicing at its heart, dried fruits in behind. The palate is broad on the attack, fuelled, has a ground force. It carries its thorough take into the nutty close, which is solid, pretty sustained. This has dimension which is well manageable, and will suit sauced poultry, truffle dishes, too. 13.5°. 28,000 b. 42% Gren bl, 41% Rouss, 12% Clair, 5% Bourb. Bottled March 2019. €40. 2028-30 Oct 2019

2017

quite firm yellow robe; lime and glazed fruits lead the bouquet, nectarine with some tangerine zest; it comes on the “up”. The palate shows well, offers salty, good flowing content, grapefruit in the flavour, with a winning breeze in the late moments. This has spark, and can drink solo, with just a little richness at its centre. It plays the freshness card pretty well. 13.4°. 22,000 b. 42% Gren bl, 38% Rouss, 17% Clair, 3% Bourb. Bottled March 2018. €35. 2025-26 Oct 2018

2016

shiny yellow robe. The bouquet is subdued, has a soft white fruit, pear notably, aroma, plus nectarine. It’s curvy, but is all about restraint. The palate is soft, mild, holds richness that is a little simple, all in a round shape. It lacks character, and has been played very safe. There is a little graininess on the finish, a change of texture there. I’d like more depth, more of the south in the glass. The drinker very much has to go towards it rather than vice-versa. It’s OK, but disappointing to me. 13.5°. 2020-21 Sept 2017

2015

firm yellow robe. Infused tea and peach mingle on the nose, along with a note of cooked lemon, lemon curd. It’s a pretty sturdy bouquet. The palate starts in a full manner, giving an orange-inflected white fruits compote, with savoury gras present. It hasn’t yet got a real centre, is a series of moving parts. There is drift on the finish. I’m not sure how truly fresh it is. 13.5°. 30,000 b. 42% Gren bl, 31% Rouss, 16% Clairette, 11% Bourb. Try from mid-2017. 2022-23 Sept 2016

2014 ()

yellow robe. Has an open and varied bouquet, a bonny air of banana, cooked peach, a little guava jelly. The palate digs in with depth, and picks up tannin as it goes. This needs some time and drinking with full dishes, a wide palette possible, including Asian cuisine. The content is nicely full, and it will become stylish over time. Really genuine Châteauneuf blanc that truly and fully persists. 13°. From 2017. 2024-26  Oct 2015 

2013

fine yellow robe. This has an immediate, attractive nose, a refined combination of flan ripeness, white fruits with salt and lime. This gets off to a good, running start – it is a lively, appealing bouquet, a really good first announcement. The palate also achieves unity between its freshness and an attractive supple gras richness. It is very drinkable, right off the bat. It has very enjoyable mid-palate suppleness and gras, nice and dainty and soft, with a touch of “high” in the compote of fruits. It shows a little “perlant”, a shiver of carbonic gas lying though it. This is w.o.w. Châteauneuf-du-Pape: it is excellent on the digestibility scale. It fades a wee bit. It is all in the immediate and up front. 13.5°. 2020-21  Feb 2015 Previously Oct 2014 **** pale yellow robe. The nose has depth and distinction, gives stone fruit and mandarin-citrus expressions. Lovely depth of fruit on the palate. Really full fat and opulence, but zesty as well. Lingers long on the finish. Good now but should offer interest later on. 13.5°  2023-24 JL  GB £138/6 bots Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com Oct 2014

2011 ()

pale flint colour; bonbon, banana air with zest in it also, an air of greengage plum. This is tasty, easy, open, drink now aperitif wine. It is built around traditional varieties, but has been lightly handled, so is floral, fine with a good interior. It shows a Bourboulenc styles freshness on the finish, with fine acidity there. Good aperitif wine with salty late touches from its Roussanne, one that sets up the appetite well. Precise vinifying has been well achieved here. 13.5°. 39% Rouss, 38% GB, 15% Cl, 8% B this year. €31. 2017-18  Dec 2012

2010

bottled two months ago: pale robe. Tropical fruits in an expansive nose that shows apricot jam, has light toasting. The palate is also rich, flatteringly fat, unctuous; the flavour is close to grapefruit, is a touch unfinished at the end, a bit stiff there from its oak. There are salty touches through this from the Roussanne. It is nice and clear, its gras richness is supple. From spring 2012. 44% GB, 39% Rouss, 11% Clairette, 6% Bourboulenc, 31% oak this year. 13.5°. 2019-20 July 2011

2009 ()

light yellow; aniseed-fennel, quince aromas with a definite centre and good focus, light banana-spice and fresh plum airs. The palate is tight but supple - I like the combination. There is a sense of oak on the sides, it gives nutty moments, then constricts itself. The finish is clean. A bit low on soul, is clear-cut. 46% GB, 44% Rouss, 9% Clairette, 1% Bourboulenc this year, 36% oaked. 13.5°. 2018-19 July 2011

2008

evolving robe – pale yellow, straw signs. White jam, fennel-aniseed aroma with a comforting flan underlay. White plum, spiced greengage – the palate is emerging ahead of the nose as it evolves. There are nutty late moments, with some oak bite still. It holds its acidity still, is tight at the end, but has matter to offset the acidity. It will gain over time, can certainly live and become varied and honeyed. A decisive wine that will be good with fish. 13.5°. Less GB, lot more Bourboulenc than usual this year: 39% Rouss, 27% GB, 19% Clairette, 15% Bourboulenc, 38% oak this year. 2025-27 July 2011 Previously Nov 2008 *** (vat portion, or 65% of the final wine) low-key yellow colour; pear drop sweets, fresh nose, with plenty on offer; there is a good mix of zest and matter on the palate, that runs directly. Makes for free, easy drinking, can do the aperitif. There will be more content to come from its Roussanne, the oaked part of it – volume and richness will stem from that. 2019-21 Nov 2008

2007

minor yellow colour, with legs; has a greengage, bonbon sweet aroma of pear drops, with apricot in the background. The palate has a giving, flexible start – it comes with a supple curve, and is a bit simple, although the content is steady, and a low-key richness exists. A late drift of honey appears. 13.5°. To 2015-16. “I think it is improving and showing more. Just after bottling, the fruit was more lively, but it is now gaining in volume and breadth,” Christian Voeux. “It will age in a tranquil way, since it has freshness and balance. It reminds me of 2002,” Alain Dugas. Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 *** the aroma is persistent, with butter foremost, and some bonbon, mild lime – it has clean lines. The palate has a good, tight cohesion, and grips. There is a little richness under the top freshness. The length is good, assured and rounded. I notice the Grenache blanc (30% this year) on the finish – that roundness. The Roussanne (40% this year) has less impact than usual. A fine wine. Bottled end April 2008. 2019-20. June 2008

2006

entrance of lime and yellow in the robe; honey-honeysuckle flower aroma that is advancing, bringing variety as it goes – brioche, baked bread, honey wafts. The palate shows some of the zest of the Roussanne, a salty touch, then it pauses, before a more steady run. The Roussanne – a high 51% this year – bobs up again in its slightly firm, near tannic finale. The palate is interesting and refined, even delicate, with nothing fancy about it. A stop and think wine – not one you gulp without reflection. Merits fine cuisine. 14°. 2015-17 Nov 2008 51% Roussanne, 32% Grenache blanc, 12% Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc this year. Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) quietly ripe, rounded bouquet. Round start to palate, and the wine is good and ripe, with a channeled finale. Mixes elegance with some richness, and continues along the palate with some nice grip. Could evolve, too. Nov 2006

2005

there is some potency in the bouquet, but the fruit isn't very open just now. Decent content in it, there is potential here. Some pineapple on the palate, which grips quite well. A beefy wine, is 14°, needs food. Very dumb now. 2013-15 Nov 2006 “This was a lot more exuberant in September. I often find that in November the wines are rather hidden – they close up at the end of the year for around nine months,” Alain Dugas

2004 ()

peaches, white fruits aroma, a little flan and buttercup flowers. Emerging fruit on the palate, hazelnut and dried fruits, persists quietly. Needs to lengthen as it ages, is low-key and a bit short now. To 2015. Nov 2006 Previously Dec 2005 **(*) 32% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne, 22% Bourboulenc, 16% Clairette December 2005, CdP

2003

comfortable yellow robe; honey, peach, golden syrup nose that also involves a little lime and hazelnut, dried fruits. The palate starts cautiously, and seems to have a tannic lining down both sides – has a robust constitution. A firm wine that veers towards the oxidative, but that is only a superficial impression – it gives a jam taste towards the finish, and has good, rich length, with a honeyed aftertaste. Interesting wine, with a clear finish – this could be really striking within three to four years. 13.5°. 2018-20. Nov 2008 Previously Dec 2005 *** 46% Grenache Blanc, 21% Roussanne, 14% Bourboulenc, 19% Clairette December 2005, CdP

2002 ()

mild yellow. The nose is fairly wide, mixes oil and citrus features. The palate is led by white fruits such as apricot that comes with quite an intense flourish. Has some length, quite a chewy end, decent charm. From 2004 onwards. “We harvested the Roussanne and the Grenache blanc before the rains, the Clairette after them, but much sorted and discarded. The Bourboulenc never rots, resists everything. The Roussanne was just a bit chaptalised,” Alain Dugas. This is in the front rank of 2002 whites. It has respectable gras, finishes a little hotly. 13.8°. The only white this year – no Beauvenir. 37% Grenache Blanc, 27% Roussanne, 21% Bourboulenc, 15% Clairette. 2011-13  Feb 2003

2001

quite a yellow colour; full, stylish, harmonious nose, is buttery. The palate is buttery on the start, then moves into greengage plum, lime, shows acidity and is well directed towards the finish. Has expressive length, a salted finish from its Roussanne. A very interesting second phase will come here. 2013-15  Feb 2003

1998 ()

fair yellow robe; nicely rounded, citrus-inspired, smoky aroma in abroad, open bouquet. The palate is getting interesting, is now in an evolving, sappy phase. The final third is juicy and generous, runs on well, is quite hearty. More obviously southern now it’s older, shows some heat at the end, a bonhomme of the warm soils described by Marcel Pagnol. There is a salted note at the end, iodine. “We started harvesting the white crop on 30 August – the Roussanne and the Grenache blanc, with the Clairette and the Bourboulenc 10 days later,” Alain Dugas. 2013-16  Feb 2003

1995

evolving yellow; baked cake, almond airs in a rather broad bouquet – shows the first hints of genuine middle age, such as light honey. The palate offers salty touches, becomes more rounded with air, and also leaves a mineral note. Gras richness features on the final stages. Nicely elegant wine with a reserved ending, a shade dry there. It is marching on. The dry year is in its bones. 2009-11  Feb 2003