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The Wines

40-63% Grenache blanc (av age 35 yrs in 2016), 14-34% Clairette (oldest 1920s on La Crau), 13-27% Bourboulenc, 3-18% Roussanne (vinified in oak), 1-5% Picardan (can be vinified in oak), 1-3% Picpoul (can be vinified in oak), from La Crau (E), Bois Sénéchaux (N-E), Grand Pierre (N-E), whole bunch pressing, 80-85% steel vat, 15-20% oak cask fermented at 18°C, assembled in December, 80-85% steel vat raised, 15%-20% 228-litre & 600-litre oak cask raised 5-8 months, malo blocked, 2 bottlings, one in February, one in June, “drink as aperitif when young, or with flambé gambas & a curry sauce, smoked salmon, sea bass with fennel, goat cheese”, 17-44,000 b

2016

yellow robe. Has a quietly refined lemon aroma, a soft peach fruit, some apricot and mandarin. The palate presents light white stone fruits, is rather dumb, the finish round but innocuous. It’s a bit simple, overly New Wave and very risk free. The aftertaste is lemony, shows some honey on Day 2. It’s OK, but rather tame. Drink as aperitif or with light salad foods. 13.5°. To 2020 Oct 2017

2015 ()

fine yellow robe. The nose is open and charming, runs with tangerine, white flowers, licorice. It’s a good debut – off we go. The palate is a little more reserved, bears soft white fruits with a tiny note of grip on the finish. The palate hasn’t yet found its true setting, and the finish can expand, so drink from spring 2017. It’s potentially a stylish ensemble. 13°. 30,000 b. 2023-24 Sept 2016

2014

fine yellow robe. There is a note of reduction on the nose, hence some “high” white fruit, so decant this. Airs of compote of pears, white fruits and licorice mingle in what is a more weighted nose than many this year. The palate holds a steady line of richness, with a surrounding freshness, the fruit nice and fleshy. Notes of camomile, infused tea appear on the aftertaste, so the sign off is calm and clear. This has good style. It will do well with fine fish such as halibut, turbot, also Coquilles St Jacques, scallops. 13°3. 17,000 b. €17. Bottled Jun 2015. 63% Gren bl, 15% Clair, 18% Rouss, 6% Bourb, Picpoul, Picardan. 2024-25  Oct 2015

2013

clear, very pale, flinty colour. Herbal tea, underripe white plum aroma, a light note of melon de Cavaillon, peach notes in the nose. This springs out well, the attack lively, and lined with a fresh thread either side. It persists well in a quiet way. The flavour is a touch neutral, dried stone fruits present, a light note of licorice. It gathers a little grip in a tight ball on the finish. Has a safe couch of content, and a little salt and nuttiness on the exit. Recommended to be drunk with white cheese. 13.5°. 2018-19 Dec 2014 Previously Oct 2014 *** pale, translucent colour. Granny Smith apple (big green cooking apple) aroma. This is long and linear in style. Pear and apple flavours on the palate. The finish needs to be rounded out. From 2015. 13.5°. 2020-21 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

flinty yellow robe; there is good spring in the step of the bouquet, gives a bracing collection of white fruit, pear, white peach, is a good start. The palate starts on mild gras richness, extends in a becoming way. Length is good. A finesse wine, has style. 13.5°.  2019-20  Oct 2013

2011 ()

pale yellow. Vanilla, Melba toast, pear bonbon sweets, white strawberry airs. The palate grips rather tightly, and gives a subdued performance. It needs decanting. It is finely styled, closes in compact, tangy matter. There are hints of mint and oak. A firm wine for the moment. From mid-2013. 13.5°, 46% GB, 26% Cl, 18% B, 6% R, 3% Picpoul, 1% Picardan, bottled May 2012, this year. 2022-23  Dec 2012

2010 ()

extraordinarily pale, near water colour, with a splash of cream in the white. Has a silex or flint first air, greengage plum then flan, a cooked pear inlay, light drift of hazelnut. The palate grips with steady consistency, has no loose ends. Fresh in style, there is verve in this. It is bracing wine, suited to the aperitif – I suspect that is exactly the idea (tasted blind). Fruit and matter float off towards the finish and there is a note of pepper on the aftertaste, with authentic vanilla and fennel touches. Interesting to see how this develops – it has an almost Sancerre freshness in it; how often have I been able to think like that at Châteauneuf in the past several years??13°. €15 at the cellars. 55% GB, 24% Bourb, 9% Clairette, 8% Rouss. 2021-22 Dec 2011

2009 ()

pale, young yellow robe. Lemon, lemon curd, orange peel, greengage plum airs feature in an aromatic, very secure bouquet that carries a classy foundation. There is still vanilla form its oak; it’s suggestive rather than obvious. The palate sequels very well from the nose, making for an effortless link, with flavours of roasted nuts, dried fruits, white peach, This is a good amalgam of prompts, stimuli, and for a sun-filled year, is refined, carries great finesse. Its evolution has brought grapiness – that extra depth. As it breathes, the nose clarifies, while the palate deepens and thickens – the nose takes to the air, and the palate moves closer to the ground. There are tiny oxidative dabs within the palate. It grips well on the close, has a clear, firm ending. This would be great in a magnum. Day Two: very nutty, good grip, a fresh thread, clear close. 13.5°. 2029-31 Sept 2019 Previously Dec 2011 ****(*) pale yellow robe, flint, legs down the glass. The first air resembles verveine or verbena tea, with a honey-hazelnut added depth behind, a touch of white jam and pineapple. The palate has interesting weight that allows it to be secure in content while it still travels well. Has fine length, ending on spice-pepper and nutty notes, a good snap emerging from its matter. There is a hint of late oak. A wine of good balance and reach, is stylish and very good value at €15.50 at the cellars. 56% GB, 27% Bourb, 14% Clairette, 3% Rouss. 2023-25 Dec 2011

2007 ()

glinty, flinty robe; the bouquet shows pretty fruit, a gracious almond paste aroma, baked apple, but is a bit lactic. The palate starts with an orderly flow of fruit, ticks along quietly, but that lactic side re-surfaces on the second half, rendering it flat there. Drink this very cool. Aperitif or light foods. To 2014-15 Nov 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ** (assembled wine) broad and quite a rolling bouquet; there is a good, fresh strike of fruit on the palate and an underlying richness. Quite a charming style coming along here, destined for early drinking. Accessible wine, with sound length. Nov 2007

2006

pale flint yellow; the bouquet is lively and zesty – it is fresh, rather citrus and tangy with a gentle flan layer underneath, also pineapple chunks as it airs. By Day 2 it has become more refined, and less racy. There is some bite on the attack, then a salty, darting mid-palate. Its most rounded moment is the finish, though it is a little short. Pushy dried fruits lead the first taste, then some hazelnut and vanilla pod. Easy to drink – it is edgy, and so far not a serious, structured wine, although it can evolve – and may be more interesting and varied around 2011. It drinks more cleanly on Day 2. Decant this if drinking it 2008-09. 13.5°. 2015-16 Oct 2008 Previously Nov 2007 **(*) supple, lightly buttery nose that shows flan and some apricot. The palate grips early on, with acidity evident. This is a mixed bag. Seems to need to settle. Is a touch sharp towards the finish, although the air settles it down a bit. Drink from the spring of 2008. 2011-12 Nov 2007

2005 ()

nutty aroma in the vintage style, is a strong bouquet with a salty tone; The palate is turning to an evolved, full nature. Is nutted in flavour again late on, but the gras is not completely convincing. There is some bone towards the finish, and it persists quite well. To 2011. Nov 2007

2004 ()

glycerol in the glass, has a live mild yellow robe. This could be a white Saint-Joseph on the nose – with its hazelnut, tight and interesting aroma, with some light flan for comfort. There is moderated hazelnut once more on the palate, and white fruits led by apricot. There is definite sinew in this, which reflects that Nalys whites, always prominent in the appellation, also benefit from some keeping. Food is best for this now; its length is good. To 2012. Nov 2007

1998

light gold tones in the robe; the bouquet is in good shape here – shows clear honey, a touch of bonbon and butterscotch. The palate has a mix of apricot and nut and its centre is soft. There is a little late tannin. I like its texture. To 2012. Good with truffle dishes including scrambled eggs and black truffles and foie gras. “It was hidden for three or four years and had a tendency to reduce, but has come back out of its shell,” P.Pelissier, winemaker Nov 2007