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The Wines

30-33.3% Clairette blanche, 33.3-40% Grenache blanc, 30-33.3% Roussanne (all from 3 hectares on sandy soils at La Roquette, 1987-90) between Rayas and Piedlong (until 2009 held 10% Bourboulenc, but quality not deemed appropriate), fermented at 19-21°C, raised 5-10% new 228-litre oak casks, 90% used oak casks made up of 55-67% 1-10 year 640-litre oak casks, 33-45% 1-5 year 228-litre oak casks 6-8 months (until late 2000s 15-20% vat handling), malo can be completed if occurs early, or more usually doesn’t occur before bottling, unfiltered from 2018 vintage, first made 1986, 10-12,000 b

2018

Bottle 1: cork. Bottle 2: yellow robe; there are elder berry, citrus, mandarin fruits on the nose, also peach with a note of rose petal. The palate has a tender richness, with a little build towards the close, ends grounded, feet planted. That strength shows its Southern origins; it is very aniseed on the aftertaste, of the Mediterranean. It will delight with sea bass in fennel, dishes of Provence. There’s a lovely pitter patter here, neat oiliness in the texture. 2035-37 Oct 2019

2017 ()

fine yellow robe; The nose is joli, has good typicity, is an STGT affair, honey, apricot, quince, plum, compote of stewed white fruits all present, with iodine. It’s a good start. The palate is dumb, under its bottling, has good grip; it’s elegant, with a southern heart, goes sturdily long. The Roussanne plays an important role to wake up the other two varieties, and add finesse. There are touches of oak. This is genuine, with local aspects, is nice and tender. “It is spiced on the finish,” Edouard Brunier. 13.5°. Bottled July 2018. 2033-35 Oct 2018

2016 ()

medium depth yellow, legs visible. The nose is attractive, on peach-white plum with some oiliness of the south, a fine concentrate of lime presence, with soft floral airs. It’s very nicely self contained and ensemble. The palate offers gras richness, texture with soft, plump features; it’s a genuine southern white with glycerol at its heart. There are aniseed notes, and this is STGT wine with good potential for la table, all sorts of dishes: asparagus, goat cheese, Gazpacho, Gravad Lax. There is a little gunflint at the end. It’s a fine detail wine, very, very true. “It is very joli, is balanced, elegant, gourmand,” Daniel Brunier. 13.5°. Bottled April 2017. 2032-34 Oct 2017

2015

shiny yellow. Rich, overt gras shows on the nose, stewed compote of white fruits, peach, white plum, with elegant toasting aiding its appeal, as well as some aniseed. It’s a stylish opening. The palate is attractively plump, has flavours of white peach, light apricot. This is shapely, good southern white with a relaxed content. The length is good – produces dried fruits, saline notes, infused tea such as camomile. Good to drink with Dover sole, for example, turbot. 13.5°. Bottled June 2016. 40% Gren bl, 30% Clair, 30% Rouss. 2027-29 Sept 2016

2014 ()

yellow robe, traces of spritz. The first aroma gives vanilla pod, greengage plum and lime fruit behind. It is overtly on its oak, with an air of lightly roasted nuts behind. The palate has an easy, suave bearing, the gras stylish. The finale is peppery. Its fat is well engrained, not quite together: for now there is fat here, freshness there. Notes of infused tea, near tilleul or linden, appear on the finish. 13.5°. Bottled June 2015. From mid-2016. 2026-28 Oct 2015

2013 ()

yellow robe, legs visible. There is a good spring in the step of the nose, a crisp pear and apricot skin aroma, a note of white tobacco and oven roasted almonds. The palate combines a flan, round aspect with a direct freshness that zips through its later stages. A modern style Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with marked cut, so it can serve as an aperitif, one with some weight. It could travel a little further, and take its gras that bit further as well. It can develop depth given its acidity – try from 2016, but it offers fresh, zappy drinking before then. Day 3: it is still fresh. 13.5°. 34% Gren bl, 33% Clairette, 33% Roussanne. 2026-27  Jan 2015 Previously Oct 2014 ***(*) pale yellow with green flecks. The nose is subdued – gives a slight stone fruit nuance. The palate is more obviously fruited – there are peach notes, but overall it is still a bit reticent. Slightly dry, phenolic finish. Touch of oak here, but should settle that. From 2015. 2022-24  JL Oct 2014

2012

even yellow colour; slight air of SO2 here, cooked fruits beyond it, peach and baked brioche bread, sponge cake, licorice and vanilla. The palate has grip, its richness steady and rather sturdy. Has a plump heart, while a lot of anis de Marseille, local aniseed, takes the late stages, large and long, with a little bit of vanilla. It is still buttoned up after 4 months in bottle, is dense within. Decant this. A fine Châteauneuf white, drink with fish, cheese, tomatoes in basil, steamed fish on fennel excellent. 13.5°. “If you ferment at 16-17°C, you lose this aniseed, you lose length and finale and the aroma of linden (tilleul), white flowers as well,” Daniel Brunier. From mid-2014. 2024-26  Nov 2013

2011

oily, pale yellow robe. Straw, hazelnut, spiced, peppery, toasted air. The palate starts on dried fruits flavours, has appealing gras; this has a good foundation, and develops well through the palate. It is set up for dishes such as hors d’oeuvres, pork and deeper flavours. It gains in content as it goes, ending with fresh cut. Good length. Oak is still apparent towards the finish. 13.5°. From 2014. Bottled April 2012. 2022-24  Dec 2012

2010 ()

pale robe; honey-apricot, fine nose that is salty, has wee brioche baked bread padding, is ripely fruited. Weavy richness on the palate, hence it has grip and spine along with some texture. The start is cautious, bearing a minor nutty flavour, and it is long. It shows more on the finish, and has a spiced aftertaste. It has breadth, can charm. Decant this. “It has been more open and exuberant, and is now closing a little,” F.Brunier. 13.5°. 2020-21  Nov 2011

2009

bright pale yellow, legs down glass. Has a hazelnut-aniseed front air, along with light honey notions and varnish in behind, while the fruit resembles cooked pear and a little lime, but is secondary at the moment. This bouquet invites, and shows richness in a stylish manner. Supple, gras debut to the palate, which tastes well now, is open. It ends on flan and white fruit jam, light banana. Right in a good moment of sensible youth. Lots of food options, including fish, cheese, vegetarian, funghi etc. 13.5° 2019-20  Nov 2011

2007 ()

yellow, quite full robe; a mixed bouquet of butter, baked apple, spice and pear sweets (the last-named from the Roussanne in 550-litre casks) – it is a copious aroma, but without excess. The palate has a ripe, rich but measured tone – the taste is like lime marmalade, pineapple and honey with oak traces and toasting late in the day. There is a friendly juice, trimmed with a little mineral, in this. To 2014. “The 550-litre size cask helps the oak not to be too predominant,” Daniel Brunier. Nov 2008 

2006 ()

50% Roussanne, 25% each Grenache blanc, Clairette this year: honey, peach and flowers in a wide aroma that shows a quiet ripeness. The palate has good style with a touch of extraction, as if the oak brings its own depth along to the party. There is also some oak on the finale, and aniseed in the aftertaste. 13.7°, not trifling. To 2013-14  Nov 2007  Previously March 2007 (vat) *** elegant, quite floral bouquet with soft white fruits present. Rich start to palate, there is some bone in it, but it could be more decisive on the finish. Round, facile and good for food with its soft, pliant texture. Good length. 2012-13  March 2007

2005

wee yellow tint; subdued bouquet, but the sense exists of a full style waiting to emerge – there is a light pear underlay. Coconut and vanilla with some oak traces, placed  within some savoury fruit. Drinks well solo, is well balanced. Good touch of end clarity, also poise and continuity. Refined, well made wine. More aroma from mid-2007. Good drunk quite early, but can live as well for more complexity.  13.5 °  2012-14  Feb 2007

2004 ()

(vat sample) elegant, poised bouquet, floral with some orange/lemon aroma. Agreeable point of richness on mid-palate, cleanly made, fine wine. Appealing, will drink well young. Good length, with some vanilla from the oak. 2017-19  March 2005

2003 ()

dried fruits, fennel mix on bouquet - elegant impression, with some power. Palate expands nicely, good gras comes through, a greengage tinge to the flavour. Correct, mineral finish. To 2014-16. "Since we first made it, this wine is most like what we want. We have gradually increased the oak and are happy now." Daniel Brunier