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The Wines

30-35% Grenache blanc (1990), 25-30% Clairette (1920s), 10-20% Roussanne, 3-20% Picpoul gris (1985), 10-20% Bourboulenc (early 1980s), 0-5% Picardan from clay-limestone, clay-sand, galet stone soils on Palestor (N), Boislauzon (N-E) and Cabrières (N-W), six varieties all picked at same time, steel vat fermented, raised 80% steel vat, 20% oak cask 5-6 months on lees, malo blocked, first wine 1997, organic wine, 2,000-5,000 b

2018 ()

refined yellow robe; the bouquet has a brioche, gentle white raisin aroma, cooked lemon present. The palate holds steady gras, a flavour of compote of white fruits, pear included, with a mild tone towards the finish. It has a discreetly solid make-up. It could be more out and about, so decant it. 14°. 2,800 b. 35% Gren bl, 30% Clairette, 15% Bourb, 15% Rouss, 3% Picpoul gris, 2% Picardan. Bottled July 2019. €23. 2028-30 Oct 2019

2017

refined yellow, pale rim; ginger, zesty citrus and sherbet airs show on the nose, a peach, viscous presence. The palate has uneven acidity, bumps along, is light, with a sharp point towards the finish. It seems green, and unsettled, lacks true richness; has it been acidified? Maybe more calm from late-2019. Not sure about this. 14°. 2,800 b. 35% Gren bl, 30% Clair, 15% Bourb, 15% Rouss, 3% Picpoul gris, 2% Picardan. Bottled July 2018. €22. 2023-24 Oct 2018

2016

fine yellow. Has a traditional, elegant bouquet that is rather dumb, suggests a little white strawberry above its airs of fruit tart, cooked citrus, greengage plum notes. This is soft and nicely fleshy, plump: it’s a true sphere, delivered with a velvet hand, a wine of texture. It finishes roundly, curved. It’s more table than aperitif wine: white meats, seafood spaghetti. It performs well with Icelandic cod – good, late lift with that. This will please over five to six years. There is a tiny little nugget of salt-grain on the aftertaste, rather sturdy late grip. 13.5°. 2023-24 Dec 2017

2014

yellow robe. Has a plump peach-apricot aroma that is inviting, easy and open, gives a scent of spring flowers. This is gourmand, fat, smoothly coated wine with tender gras at its centre. It is good, steady and rounded, the length agreeable. There is a tiny point of tannin and aniseed on the aftertaste on the finish. Its acidity is fine. 13.5°. 2020-21  Oct 2015

2012 ()

(vat, but not certain to be bottled since the white is slow to sell – if it is bottled, that will be March 2013) pale robe. Has a zesty air, sound filling of ripe fruit below, with nutty, light linden (tilleul) and lavender airs. The palate richness is appealing, nice and deep, the gras richness tight, the length sound. A good-bodied wine suited to food over the aperitif. It is fresh, and a little oak is present, not overdone. To 2019  Dec 2012

2011

shiny, pale yellow. The nose is rather technical – shows bonbon sweets, candy, white jam, a wee note of honeysuckle, also dried apricots. The palate texture is sweet, goes in and out of that, with some cut. Unconvincing wine – the style is tough, lacking charm. Lacks a centre of focus. From mid-2013. 13.5°. To 2019. Dec 2012

2009

flinty, pale yellow. The nose is built around dried fruits, is lightly salted. There are honeycomb moments on the palate, which is nice and fresh, rocks along with a gradual widening as it goes. The finish is rather chewy, also crisp. A clean wine, it can evolve and is interesting. 13.5°. 2019-21 Oct 2010

2008 ()

pale, iodine robe. Salty nose, but its alcohol gives it a false “bone” – there is pear in the fruit, comes with mild depth, pepper and some SO2. The palate starts cautiously, is a traditional style Châteauneuf that needs food, and another 12+ months – is not a wine to drink in its youth. Tapers, recedes towards the finish. Try from late 2010. 2014-16 Nov 2009

2007 ()

pale robe; pretty, nutty-buttery nose that suggest good, ripe grapes were picked. The palate is a rounded affair, with a likeable richness inset – it is ripe and ready wine, very round and long. Veritable, sympa wine whose richness leads to food rather than aperitif. 2015-17 March 2009 Previously Jan 2008 (vat) *** very light yellow. Has a salty, rather Sauvignon aroma in its extreme youth today – there is pear skin, some alcohol and high tone. Pear and apricot start the palate that gathers a little depth as it goes, and has a fairly secure foundation late on. Modest content in weight, so this is best for the aperitif, or light, lunchtime foods. To 2012. Jan 2008

2006

pale yellow; the bouquet is waxen, with citron and light nut aromas and honey: its upright tone precludes the presence of floral aromas. The palate comes rather on the steel, and there is plenty of zest about this, with a little gras within. It is a get on and go wine, a lively one. Drinks cleanly. 10 minutes air softens and eases the palate. An aperitif wine; also suggested by the Chastans – river fish, scallops, cooked oysters, young goat cheese, white meats, peach desserts. To 2013. 13°. Nov 2007

2005

very pale yellow; the nose has some substance, is a bit closed, with white stone fruits and a touch of damp wool, indicating evolution. There is a little richness on the palate, is all rather locked up, but the texture is quite oily towards the finish, showing that it can advance. Sound, quite subtle wine. From spring 2008. 2012-13 Previously Nov 2006 ** very pale, almost watery colour. Simple bouquet – reflects cardboard boxes, not much fruit on display. Rather strict, narrow channel of shape here. Bourboulenc seems on top, and more fat is needed. There is some content and length but it's oh so dumb today. Lightly nutted finish. Revert in 2008. November 2006

2004

steady yellow. Ginger, spice, cooked lime, a nice spot of vanilla and salt show on the nose. This is restrained, mid-weight Châteauneuf, going along quietly; it gathers dried fruits, tobacco into its satchel towards the close. It has the clarity of 2004. 13.5°. 2019-20  Oct 2013 Previously Nov 2006 **(*) smoky, elegant pear-nut aromas. The palate is nicely rounded – the texture is elegant and it continues well. Has a gentle charm, the length is good and there are floral outcrops near the finish. 2012-13 Nov 2006