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The Wines

45%-50% Grenache blanc, 45-50% Clairette blanche, 0-10% Bourboulenc (all 1989) from sandy soils on Roumiguières (N-E, near village), before 2015 was 33% each Grenache blanc, Clairette blanche, Bourboulenc, concrete vat fermented, starts at 11°-13°C until 1020 specific gravity, then 13°-15°C, concrete vat raised 3-4 months, malo blocked, “drink as an “aperitif, or with fish, shellfish, our white goes quiet between 4 and 7 years’ old, then becomes more complex, buttery, suited to foie gras and similar dishes”, 2,500-3,600 b

2019

pale, flinty yellow; the bouquet is restrained, offers a hint of pear fruit, a citrus-nuts sideline. The palate comes with an elegant texture, drinks serenely, has a peach flavour with peach stone tang towards the finish. It’s well entwined between the three varieties, the Bourboulenc guiding its freshness nicely. It can develop, expand its finish more with another few months. The aftertaste is gently floral, bonny. 14°. From late 2020. 2030-32 July 2020

2018

yellow robe; the nose has nice style – nuts, cooked lemon, is lightly buttery, is well together, has poise. The palate sets off on a bonny firm start, has dried fruits, peach flavours that precede an aniseed finish. There’s good spark inside its agreeable firm gras, ends roundly, a touch floral, fine acidity. It can do well à table. 13.5°. 3,600 b. 45% Gren bl, 45% Clair, 10% Bourb this year. 2031-33 Oct 2019

2016 ()

pale, flinty yellow, a bright robe. Has an overt, zappy, fresh nose that gives pear with lime-mandarin, orange peel airs, white flowers, a burst of fennel. The palate runs with lively purpose, holds fluid content, some shapely, easy gras richness, all upbeat with late spicing, ginger, and sound, clear grip on the finish. This is low temperature fermentation Châteauneuf blanc, and I would prefer it when it is just touching its second stage for more variety and nuance. It’s racy as it stands now. It will be liked now, but will be more interesting from spring 2019. 50% Gren bl, 50% Clair, no Bourb this year. 13.5°. 2023-24 Sept 2017

2014

yellow robe with a little thickness in the colour. The nose is attractive – pear, white peach, dried fruits, salted notes. The palate starts in elegant fashion, gives soft white fruits with enjoyable fleshy, plump content, ending roundly. This is a cosy southern orb of charm, is gentle and stylish, with lovely fine notes near the end. Aniseed touches, fennel suggest Clairette – hence the smooth texture and elegance. There is light grip, tang on the aftertaste, peach and nuttiness there. Table wine, really suited to local Provençal dishes, and very good with a daurade now. It has amplified over the winter. 13.5°. 50 cl bottle at La Maisouneta, good value restaurant, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. 2021-22 Sept 2016 Previously Oct 2015 **(*) pale yellow robe. Salty, still quite strict aroma here – it is very much on fruit with cut, white plum, greengage, and a tang of licorice. The palate is easy to drink, if a little lightweight in a southern Rhône context. One of the now much found cool, clipped wings whites, where the objective is to rival the finesse of the folks up north. The finish drifts, is tame as the wine falls away. 13.5°. 2,500 b. €15. Bottled Jan 2015. 2019-20  Oct 2015

2009

thickening yellow robe; peach-apricot lead a ripe bouquet that comes with liquid honey, roasted nuts, a touch of spirit, licorice, and, as it airs, lemon peel. Variety is building up well. The palate has mixed white fruits, white raisin flavour, the second half punchy. It lengthens on salt, the finish is firm, the length correct. It requires pairing with full flavoured dishes, sauces. Air aids it, adds texture, as the glycerol moves to the fore, bringing suave notes. Good style, local truth here – it’s in a very stable condition now. The finish is fresh, helped by the blocked malo. It’s a classic Châteauneuf blanc from sand, coupled with classic local varieties.  14°. 2034-36 Feb 2020

2008

deep yellow; the nose is buttery, on white raisin, oiliness, infused tea, flirts with oxidation, as does the palate, but it carries fresh spine, is a classic evolving Châteauneuf blanc. The flavour brings in sponge cake, Rum Baba, aniseed. The texture is smooth on the outer, grip on the inner, will be great with truffled scrambled eggs, poulet aux morilles/chicken in morel mushroom sauce, lobster Américain, pike quenelles de brochet, all the old favourites. Sir frees it, renders it lucid on the close, citrus notes there, and honey on the nose. 14°. 2030-32 Oct 2019 Previously Dec 2009 *** pale yellow, bright. Reticent bouquet – aniseed, hazelnut, nougat, a touch of white fruits. Subdued fruit at first, but moves up a gear with air, opens out. Traditional style, quite firm on the palate, needs food. Balance is OK. Decant this. From mid-2010. 2018-20 Dec 2009

2007 ()

gracious, pale yellow robe; the bouquet is sympa – there is a gracious display buttery, lime white fruits, with pockets of spice. The palate has a white stone fruit flavour, and acidity that I take stems from the Bourboulenc: it is a wine of some drive and purpose. The aftertaste is clean, and this would make quite a zappy aperitif, since it is intrinsically a full affair, but has the outer energy. Modern, well made Châteauneuf white, that is also wide on the finish. 2018-20 Nov 2008