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The Wines

40-50% Clairette, 10-30% Grenache blanc (mid-1960s), 20-30% Roussanne (1992), 0-20% Bourboulenc, 0-5% Picpoul blanc from sandy, clay-limestone soils on La Solitude on La Crau, fermented, raised 55-80% steel vat, 20-45% new 228-litre oak cask (always the Roussanne) & 10% 1-year 228-litre oak cask (part of the Grenache blanc) on fine lees 9 months (down from 12 months until early 2010s), “drink with truffled scrambled eggs, grilled fish, sauced fish, oven cooked fish, turkey in a cream sauce with Vin Jaune”, 12-20,000 b

2019 ()

bright yellow robe; the nose is on reduction, so there is a “high” air to its white fruits, which are sweet in tone, have a peach, apricot, white strawberry presence. The palate reflects a little oaking on the discreet, sure attack, has a lime clarity that aids its gentle flow, though that is backed by rather stylish gras. The finish is nicely, lightly juiced, a hint of drift there. It may develop and expand further, so I would leave it for a couple of years, with decanting advised. 13.5°. 40% Rouss, 30% Clair, 20% Gren bl, 10% Bourboulenc & Picpoul. 40% oak raised 10 months. 2027-28 Nov 2020

2017 ()

firm yellow robe. The nose shows prominent grilling, oak, toffee, which precedes a firm depth of stewed white fruits, a note of herbal tea. The palate is sturdy, lined with tangy, rich matter that isn’t fully expressive yet. There’s a note of greengage and chicory, fennel in the flavour. It’s still very much on its raising, the finish knuckled. It requires time to smooth out and reduce the oak-caramel presence. 13°. From late-2019, decanting a must. 2031-33 Oct 2018

2015 ()

shiny yellow robe. Greengage, white plum airs start the bouquet, is a fine do, with a little note of acacia flowers. The palate is enjoyably fresh, comes with gentle white fruits and an appealing clarity. The length is steady, decent, a bit quiet. It’s OK for the aperitif, light starter dishes. 13.5°. 40% Clair, 30% Gren bl, 30% Rouss. Bottled June 2016. 2020-21 Sept 2016

2014 ()

yellow robe, shiny. This has a lucid, shapely bouquet, with a soft, spring flowers appeal, an apricot, greengage fruit presence, a hint of oak and spearmint. It is a stylish debut. The palate offers an elegant flavour with quince, direct fruit at its heart, and a vanilla, smoky character towards the end. It captures the freshness of 2014 well, has enough depth to accompany cod, halibut, chicken, for example. 13.5°. 12,000 b. €21. Bottled Jun 2015. 45% Clair, 30% Rouss, 25% Gren bl. 2023-25  Oct 2015

2013 ()

shiny, pale yellow. This has a nutty, peanut and lime aroma, is more on freshness than sunshine; there is a fresh, salted tang to some pear fruit. This is only just setting out on its route: it is neatly tucked up, low-key. Freshness is once more a strong theme on the palate. Apricot, honey, nut flavours come through on the second half, a light compote depth at its heart. It can gain more obvious content, and will evolve well thanks to its acidity. The aftertaste gives a mandarin tang. It is actually very grippy, tight, sinewed, and has a Northern Rhône profile – a true sign of the 2013 vintage. 13.5°. 2027-29  March 2015 Previously Oct 2014 ***(*) pale, translucent colour. Stone fruit and citrus nose with a little creamy oak for persistence. Plenty of fruit and gras on the palate; the oak is well integrated, adds an extra touch of complexity. Fresh and harmonious on the finish. 2023-2025. JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

quite a full yellow robe, legs visible. The nose is ripe but stylish – gives airs of flan, peach-apricot, crème patisserie, nuts – it has a bonny, assured depth. The palate is set up for smooth, enjoyable drinking with pork, white meats, soft cheeses. It is pretty serene all through the palate, comes with a cosy southern depth, shows a little fine acidity after the mid-point. There is quiet, tidy late grip. It is well up to salmon, as well. Day 2: has a traditional style, a nutty flavour with grip, and there is a little oak on the aftertaste. 14°. 2023-25  March 2015

2011 ()

pale, quite bright yellow. Oak-smoke, lucid air, tight fruit here – the bouquet isn’t forward, shows a light note of lime. The palate starts on a more supple angle than the nose would suggest. Has medium+ weight and depth, is circled by oak at the end, bringing nuttiness to the flavour. Sound wine, but just not very expressive. The length is OK. It can live and vary, too. Decant this. From late 2013. 13.5°. 13,000 b, €20. 2021-23  Dec 2012

2010

pale yellow; has a smoky, dried fruits first air – the nose carries peach, notably fennel with that, candy and verbena notes. The palate is tight-knit, has good integrity, freshens as it goes, in an interesting manner. The length is fine, the balance is good. Does OK as an aperitif, and would be suited to fine flavoured foods also. Good quality, simply done wine. 13.5°. 50% Clairette, 20% Bourboulenc, 20% Rouss, 10% Gren bl, bottled June 2011, 15,000 b this year, 2021-22. Dec 2011

2007

flinty, pale colour; has an even, calm nose - it isn't that expressive, has a low profile – shows butter, flan and comes in a richer vein than the fresh school of whites – there is a hint of flowers such as honeysuckle. The palate starts with pretty fruit, and has an assured content and roundness. It keeps on well, coming with late grip and quiet power. A wine of depth and shoulders. Good balance and length. It is gently making its way. The finish is fresh. 2019-21 Nov 2008

2005 ()

nutty, tight white fruits nose, dried fruits above all. Has a buttery, quite rich start to the palate, and is broad across the mouth. Holds fleshy, scented white fruits, with some bone late on. Good for this vintage when the whites have been tricky. To 2012-13 Oct 2007 Previously Feb 2007 ***(*) quite pale; fragrant, light butter plus pear drop aromas with a hint of alcohol. There is sleek lime fruit here, and the bouquet holds an elegant heart. Palate is woven and stylish, with enough matter to persist without being too chunky and four-square. Good length, a fresh finish with some heat in it. Well vinified to achieve some grace and proper content together. Nutty, prolonged aftertaste, has a little aniseed right at the end. Near the top of the class of white Châteauneufs this year. 14.5° 2014-15 Feb 2007

2002 ()

lime, wee mineral airs in a fresh, fairly deep nose. The palate gives a bonbon flavour, tightens and narrows towards the end. Is a bit sweet, light, simple, early drinking. To 2006.  Feb 2003

1999 ()

(vat) broad, generous nose. The palate is fruity, has grip to keep it directed, can both lengthen and widen. To be bottled in two months. “We didn't oak this to see how we got on, comparing it to 1998 with the oak,” Jean Lançon. 2009-10 Feb 2000

1998

definite yellow colour; the bouquet is fat, oily, traces of lime that suggest the Roussanne influence. There is a lot of matter in the chewy palate, oak also that combines to render it fairly rich. The oak can integrate, but this will be better and more whole around 2003. Quite a New World white wine. “Châteauneuf-du-Pape doesn`t really have a fixed benchmark, so we are looking for what works best. Certainly, the Roussanne is suited to oak.” Jean Lançon. 100% fermented, raised in oak this year. 2009-11 Feb 2000