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The Wines

60-90% Grenache blanc (1970s/1980s), 10-30% Clairette, 5-15% Bourboulenc, Roussanne from galet stone covered limestone soils on Les Grandes Gualiguières (N), Les Bosquets (N), Route de Sorgues (S-E), destemmed, from 2005 30% 600-litre oak cask, 20% 228-litre oak cask, 50% steel vat fermentation at 16°C, raising 4 months (down from 7 months until mid-2010s), lees stirred, malo blocked, “drink with fish, shellfish, sushi, cheese”, 2,000-3,000 b

2018 ()

even yellow robe; the bouquet has scope, shows apricot, peach, has more to come, will vary well. It carries southern weight. The palate connects well, holds enjoyable richness, is flavoured with a compote of white fruits, nectarine, white plum, and its gras continues well. This has style, a secure foundation with just a hint of tannin late on. It’s very much a wine for la table. 14°. 3,000 b. 70% Gren bl, 20% Clair, 10% Bourb. Bottled Jan 2019. €22. 2031-33 Oct 2019

2017

fair yellow robe; there’s a citrus and ginger combination on the alert, pretty profound nose, a note of high tone also. The palate has a beefy attack, is a thorough, filled Châteauneuf blanc for la table. It has a red wine form in gaining depth as it goes, expanding well into the sustained, slightly powerful close. This wears its heart on its sleeve, has a likeable abandon. Very much a wine for white meats, solid flavours, and to drink with its youthful vigour an asset. 14°. 3,000 b. 70% Gren bl, 20% Clair, 10% Bourb. Bottled Jan 2018. €22. 2028-29 Oct 2018

2016 ()

glinting pale yellow; has a zesty white fruits aroma, a low temperature fermentation style, a small note of mandarin. It’s arrow-like rather than spread out. It has an aniseed air derived from its Clairette. The palate is zesty on the outside, citrus cladding with some soft grass within, neatness from that. The flavour involves aniseed, licorice. This is still very much in the cellar, on its tight vinification. It’s tight and crisp, and I would leave it until spring 2019. Peach features on the aftertaste, which shows slight late fade. It will be better and more interesting if left until spring 2019. 14°. 80% vat, 20% oak. 2025-26 April 2018

2015

firm yellow robe. The nose shows reduction, hence there is a “high” note on the bouquet, with stewed white fruits present. It’s a hump rather than anything more precisely defined. The palate gives a tangy flavour with a grapey content, some white plum, stem ginger in the make-up. It’s ponderous rather than free moving, and needs pairing with robust dishes, spiced dishes. Decant it. 13.5°. 3,000 b. Bottled Jan 2017. From mid-2017. 2024-26 Sept 2016

2014

pretty full yellow robe. Has a weighted nose, bears oak and tangerine, cooked citrus fruit airs, notes of licorice. The palate is salty, tangy, holds a near gooseberry fruit with evident cut, and there is a late orange marmalade tang present. It ends on enough depth to be able to accompany white meats, pork dishes, Asiatic cuisine. This is nice and thorough. 14°. 2,000 b. €22. Bottled July 2015. 60% Gren bl, 30% Clair, 5% Rouss, 5% Bourb. 2023-25  Oct 2015   

2011 ()

pale yellow. The first air shows a light oaking – the nose is sound and wide, gives the promise of depth behind, has good style. There is an influence close to grapefruit, citrus fruits. The palate connects well to the nose: there is a flavour of nutty, tangy flan, dried fruits, white peach. The length is sound, and the wine ends roundly and rather freshly. It quietens a tiny bit on the finish. Elegant wine with some body, too. €21. 13.5°. 85% GB, 10% Cl, 3% B, 2% R, bottled April 2012 this year. 2019-20  Dec 2012

2010 ()

pale yellow, legs down the glass. The bouquet has a fresh air, a glint of pear in it, mild citrus-lime notes prominent. The palate grips tightly on the start, has a grand mix of gras and cut. Has a tasty, brioche style finish with verveine or verbena in its flavour. Its fine acidity keeps it moving – a wine that can live, evolve. I give it credit for its well-judged combination of richness and cut. 14°. €20 at the cellars. 82% Gren bl, 13% Clairette, 4% Bourb, 1% Rouss this year. 2025-27 Dec 2011

2009 ()

robust yellow-gold robe. Has a lime, citrus marmalade aroma, pockets of vanilla, sturdy southern strength, along with nuts, toasting, quince plums. The palate is enjoyably rich and fluid, well concentrated, lengthens with salty intent, carries its breadth well along. It finishes on cooked orange, strength; a touch of amontillado has come forward as it ages, but it is still vibrant. It has authentic character, 2009 firmness, is very genuine. Its oily texture is a pleasure. It’s a seamless pairing with poached salmon. 2025-26 July 2018

2007

cautious yellow; supple style bouquet – lime that is fresh, also peach skin, iodine. The palate is steady, measured – there is fair poise thanks to its quite richness (no doubt, the Grenache) but some outer freshness also. Correct length. Can open and go on, has scope. 2016-17 Nov 2008

2004 ()

pale robe; honeycomb, mineral bouquet, interesting with a little damp wool, is at a reserved stage now. Clear, well-balanced wine on palate, shows dried fruits, a good thread of acidity and good, fresh length. Lasts well, too, smoky aftertaste. The palate holds some mystery, I give it marks for character. This traditional style of white Châteauneuf does well in a fresher vintage such as 2004. 2017-19 March 2007