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The Wines

20-24% Clairette blanche, 20-23% Bourboulenc, 20-23% Roussanne (some 1960, most 1982-1983), 20% Grenache blanc, 10-20% Picpoul blanc (since 2016) from 6 hectares spread across Les Serres (S-E, Roussanne), Cabrières (N-W, Bourboulenc), Palestor (N, clay soils retain freshness), L’Arnesque (N-W, Bourboulenc), 4 hectares on clay, 2 hectares on galet stone soils, hand harvested, 24 hour cold crop maceration, 3 week vat fermentation at 18-20°C, then assembled, 70-90% steel vat, 10-30% new-4 year 228 & 600-litre oak casks, some egg vats (since 2015) raised 5-6 months, malo blocked, first wine 1987, 15-20,000 b

2018 ()

firm yellow robe; light cork. Bottle 2: steady yellow robe; the nose leads on a ripe air of peach, with a touch of apricot, citrus, has secure depth. The palate is enjoyable, parades fresh white fruits with a little iron in the texture. It finishes with cut, a hint of glow, power that means it demands food. It’s expressive, slightly on the steel, has a bracing side to it. It’s suited to chicken dishes, also sea bass, firm fish. 14°. 2030-31 Oct 2019

2017

fine yellow, a pear skin note; the bouquet sits quietly, shows aniseed de Marseille, white plum, peach notes, a hint of petrol. It’s a sound start. The palate links well, holds a fine concentration of white fruit juice with a good delivery, ending on a spur of extra depth, grapiness. It’s a little in on itself, so decant. This is good for poultry, spaghetti alla vongole/clams, halibut. There is some nice lip smack on the aftertaste. 14°. 19,000 b. 20% each Gren bl, Picpoul bl, Bourb, Clair bl, Rouss. Bottled Feb 2018. €23. 2029-31 Oct 2018

2016

fine yellow robe. This has a nicely plump aroma led by peach, peach stone with an undernote of brioche, aniseed, greengage plum. It has local depth, a sure ripeness, a gunflint note also. The palate bears a nutty-dried fruits, apricot flavour with good, fresh tang in the late stages. There is inner glow from its 14.5°-plus, the last impression from that. It’s very much a table wine for full flavoured dishes, lobster, sauced foods. The finish is quietly firm, certain, gives dried orange zest there. Honest, genuine, with a little complexity-mystery within – it has the depth to offer that. It can live well. 14.2°. 2025-27 Sept 2017

2015 ()

fine yellow robe. Greengage plum, soft vanilla, grapey aroma, shows pear in syrup richness, is rounded. The palate is tangy, grippy, holds firm richness at its centre. I find it a bit dumb, in transition. There is a little tannin in it. It’s less bright than the 2016, and is suited to veal and pork dishes. 14°. 2022-23 Oct 2017

2014

bright yellow. The bouquet starts on honey, has northern influences, petrol touches, apricot, flowers, aniseed – it is attractive, charming. The palate is stylish, refined, bears gentle white fruits, an elegant ball of gras, the texture good and soft. It has a very neat finale, is very good. Suited to clearly flavoured dishes – fish such as St Pierre, turbot, seabass, monkfish. 13.5°. 2021-22 Oct 2017

2013

steady yellow robe. Banana, pear, almost candy aroma here, with fruit tart and just a little freshness on top to pep it. It can be decanted to knock off a little reduction. There is an air of white fruits compote at its heart. The palate leads on an apricot, dried fruits, flan flavouring, almond present. It has a little gras depth, is more traditional than modern. It finishes cleanly with a mild salt note, as well as a show of high, very ripe fruit, perhaps from the Roussanne. Air develops is richness and thickness. This is suited to Vieille France, fish in sauce, chicken in sauce dishes. Fine late acidity from the Bourboulenc does a good job at keeping it dentelle and lifted, includes a flavour of tangerine. This has local ID, is near STGT wine, is very faithful white Châteauneuf. 14°. 2024-25  Jan 2015

2011 ()

glistening pale yellow; has a pear-apricot, big and forward nose, with mandarin, Bergamot, pear syrup in the air, candy and a banana note behind. This gives a rather heavy presence in the glass – it is coated but stolid wine, lacks flow. Has a gloopy nature, needs foods, is plain. Fair but uninspiring. 13.5°. €21. To 2018.  Dec 2012

2010 ()

opaque vanilla colour. White jam, rounded air of sweet appeal, mixes in light honeycomb, salty Roussanne influences, flowers and mineral. The palate isn`t showing a lot post-bottling. Has a good structure, beau potential, is classy. The length is soft, and the agreeable flavour on the later stages resembles white jam such as apricot and peach. There are fine aniseed touches on the aftertaste. Good balance. 13.5°. 2019-20 April 2011

2009

low-key yellow robe; hazelnut, vanilla, baked air – the bouquet is rather solid, has a small breeze of clarity. The palate is not very feature-filled – it presents solid matter that is hard to define or pinpoint. It could have more style. From now it is OK, but best decanted – or leave until mid-2011. Best with foods, rather than aperitif: poultry, soft, white cheeses, trout. 2019-20. Oct 2010

2008 ()

clear yellow robe; white fruits, bonbon sweets, green apple, baked pear tart, with the air releasing a honeycomb aroma – the bouquet has plenty in it. The palate has a creamy, oily and rich nature with a top point of freshness. Its length is fresh, its balance very good. The aftertaste brings in herbs – this has character, is a really attractive wine. I would like to eat Vacherin cheese with this, or a wild mushroom pasta. It gives lovely drinking now, but can certainly live on thanks to its balance. 2018-20 April 2009. Three weeks between picking the Roussanne and Grenache blanc, and the Bourboulenc in last place this year.

2007 ()

floral aroma - sympa, the bouquet floats freely, has candy on it. The palate is well set, dried fruits present, and a good length through it. Elegantly rounded, gentle richness. Comfortable, bonny drinking – can act as the aperitif. Lovely drinking now. 2013-15. Nov 2008

2006 ()

vanilla pod, slightly buttery aroma in a mild bouquet. Elegant, cool-sided texture, carries the flavour of dried white fruits. Good, clear acidity on the finish, has a spiced aftertaste. Good core, is a precise wine, although it may be a little forced in the cellar. Could have been bottled a bit early, has more to come, and is true to its varieties. Should be good and elegant around 2008-09. Marked on its potential. 2014-15 April 2007

2005

rounded, ripe bouquet that is elegant, and contains some pepper, spice. The harmony of the nose continues on the palate, where there is elegant length. Light spice and good grip on the finish. The content is present but discreet – I expect it to emerge more evidently in time. Solid quality here, though there is a little burn on the aftertaste – a feature that crops up from time to time this year. 2015-16 Nov 2006

2004 ()

fresh, pretty elegant nose, a floating air of white fruit. The palate gives slightly marked acidity, the interior rather burnt. The fruit is subdued right now, stone fruit it is in style. Has just been imported, so some benefit of doubt. Has some gras, but isn’t together today. Try from mid-2006. 2010-11 Nov 2005

2002 ()

stylish, floral aroma with good cut. Attack is fresh, with richness behind. Needs to knit its acidity - that is a potential problem. Fair length, try from 2004. May 2003