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The Wines

100% Clairette Blanche from sandy clay-limestone, galet stone soils on Les Bosquets (N, 1985) & Les Parrans (S, 2008), whole bunch pressing, fermented at 22°C, raised 25-33% new 228-litre oak casks, 67-75% 2-3 year 600-litre oak casks 9-10 months, lees stirred during vinification only, malo usually done eg 2004, 2006, 2011, part in 2005, first wine 2003, 1,000-1,100 b

2017 ()

dark yellow colour; the nose is getting together, shows oak, toasting with quince jam, white raisin. The palate has a nutty flavour, is immediately rich, firm, tenacious: it has muscle in its second half, and a pushy, tangy close. Decanting very much an aid. There’s a streak of freshness, spearmint, on the finish. 14.5°. 600 b. 100% Clairette. From late-2019. 2030-32 Oct 2018

2015

firm yellow robe. The nose is plentiful in depth but less so in definition; very ripe peach, white raisin, aniseed airs hover. The palate has a rich front, bears cooked white fruits with notes of savoury, white fruit jam as it closes. There is an inkling of cooked orange, some tang late on. Decant it. It’s sturdy, for rich dishes. It could be of good interest around 2021-22, on its second stage. 14.2°. 1,000 b. 100% Clairette. Bottled July 2016. 2024-26 Sept 2016

2014

deep yellow robe. The nose is broad and produces an aroma that resembles chicken stock, has a slight fungal quality, some cooked pear, “high” fruit present. The palate is sturdy, marked by infused tea, verbena leaves, and smoky apricot juice. It is a trifle cellar exerted. Time may ease its stiff, pushed along finish. From 2017, thus. 13.5°. €32. 1,000 b. Bottled July 2015. 2022-23  Oct 2015 

2011

attractive pale yellow. Flint, smoky first air, a bonny note of cooked apple, with greengage plum backing, also flowers such as buttercup and honeysuckle that render it appealing. This has a neat ball of flavour, led by plum and peach, has cut towards the finish. Fine acidity helps its smooth progress. It quietens down on the finish. Nice, natural, unfussy wine that isn’t especially deep but travels well, has some good late chewiness. Decant. Shows the quality of the Clairette this year. Bottled July 2012. 13.5°. €31. 2022-24  Dec 2012

2010

rather ripe look to its yellow, legs down glass. Oak-vanilla-honey first air, plus greengage plum, spice, white raisin: the nose has pretty true southern instincts. The palate starts on a supple note, its gras offering appeal now, and allowing solo drinking as well as a variety of dishes – risottos and so on. The finish is clean and round. Honest, genuine, not flashy wine. 14°. Bottled July 2011. 2023-24 Dec 2011

2008

pale flint; broad, honeyed, oaked nose, backed by creamy white fruits, is a prominent, slightly spicy do. The palate is also rich in style, with some loose late acidity that serves to lighten it, gift it movement. Oak resurfaces at end, is evident. Clear aftertaste. From late 2010. 2017-18 Nov 2009

2007

mild yellow; white stone fruit aroma, light butter, custard, caramel adjuncts, also honeysuckle – results in an attractive bouquet. Restrained, entwined palate – this is a wine of finesse, shows hazelnut, peanut elements, its length is good. There is a delicate freshness in it. It deserves haute cuisine rather than big flavoured country foods. I also think tuna would be ace with it. From 2011. 2022-24 Nov 2008

2006 ()

fresh bouquet – banana, pear, white fruits, some exotic touches. Subdued start, then rich mid-palate. Nicely fresh, and long, aniseed reach in the flavour. Sustains well. Crop picked 27 Sept – “ripe, without being too much,” André Mathieu. 2014-15. Dec 2006

2005 ()

mild, lightly buttered bouquet with variety – apricot skin, some spice, vanilla pod, burnt toffee. Agreeable, rich start to palate, broad and well-founded. Runs along richly and broadly, length is good. Has less fire than many white 2005s – so much the better. Just a little early acidity on the palate – this fades with air, and it even flattens after one hour: ideal with food. Fair end grip, and an elegant, lime marmalade taste late on. 2014-16 March 2007