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The Wines

45-50% Clairette blanche and some Clairette rose (1960s), 40-45% Grenache blanc (1950s-1960s) and some Grenache gris, 5% each Picpoul blanc, Bourboulenc (1970s), mainly from Les Bosquets (N, 1984-85), not all destemmed, 90-97% steel vat, 7-10% new 228-litre oak cask fermented at 16-18°C, raised 3 months (down from 4-5 months), first oak use 2006, malo completed, called Domaine Mathieu until 2015, 3,000-4,500 b

2019 ()

has a pale robe with a vanilla hue to it. The bouquet shows some slightly “high” fruit ripeness, a note of that in its apricot, compote aroma, has an undertone of roasted nuts. The palate sits rather doggedly in the glass, has a vintage weight, a secure depth with a lip smacking tone towards the finish, notes of peppermint there. It’s geared more to la table than the aperitif, will suit white meats, even those with mushroom sauces since there is a little of the earth in the wine, not the sky. It’s a genuine Châteauneuf blanc, takes a traditional route. 13.5°. 2026-27 Aug 2020

2018 ()

pale yellow colour; the nose is in the sky, floats with pear fruit, a note of lemon curd, aniseed. The palate is fresh and immediate, offers white fruits with a rather ephemeral presence, the action happening quickly. It has a tender, near floral close. It’s aperitif style Châteauneuf, a long way from the traditional, table friendly wines. Taken on those terms, it is correct, well made, and will please drinkers not used to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. 13.5°. 3,000 b. 50% Clair, 40% Gren bl, 5% Picpoul bl, 5% Bourb. Bottled Jan 2019. €21. 2024-25 Oct 2019

2017

attractive yellow robe. There’s pleasing serenity on the neat nose, a crabapple cranberry note at its centre, a nudge of lemon. The palate bears an enjoyable, mild richness that is easy to appreciate, is an open book, suited to chicken, poultry dishes, noodles, refined Japanese cuisine. The palate bears fine acidity, and this is stylish, well made, STGT Châteauneuf blanc, no sense of the hot summer in it. 14°. 3,000 b. 50% Clair, 40% Gren bl, 5% Bourb, 5% Picpoul bl. Bottled Feb 2018. €20. 2027-29 Oct 2018

2016

pale yellow. The nose is soft, appealing, offers apricot and white plum fruit airs with a touch of citrus, pear drop sweets tang. It’s a charming start, and suggests a great aperitif is to come. The palate links well to the nose, runs with soft, restrained richness, gathers grain, dried fruits after the mid-point. The flavour mixes lime, mandarin, and it’s as clean as a whistle. The aftertaste is nutty. This is graceful, holds pretty detail, delineation, is delicate and joli. 13.5°. To 2022 Dec 2017

2015 ()

shiny fine yellow robe. Aniseed, licorice, aniseed mingle on the nose, white peach and white plum. The palate bears rounded white-fruited gras with a note of weightiness towards the finish. There is a soft cooked lemon aftertaste. This is fleshy, and suited to pork, risottos, chicken in sauce. 13.3°. 4,000 b. Bottled Feb 2017. 2023-24 Sept 2016

2014

fine yellow robe. Lime fruit freshness shows on the nose, which also bears infused tea airs, camomile plus licorice present. There is an undernote of varnish. The palate is open and expressive, gives a good surge of white fruits, peach-nectarine in flavour. This has good style and drive, is drinking well now. It has the depth for la table, noodle dishes, steamed foods, spring rolls. 13°. 4,000 b. €19. Bottled Feb 2015. 50% Clair, 40% Gren bl, 5% Bourb, 5% Picpoul. 2021-23  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

translucent robe. Apple-pear fruit aroma, perhaps a hint of flowers. There is an apple nuance on the palate, but the flavour is short and fleeting. Needs greater definition. Slightly sweet and sour on the finish. 13.5°. 2020-21 JL Oct 2014

2012 ()

mild yellow, wee note of vanilla in the robe. There are creamy notes on the nose, cooked white fruits in the aroma, essential oils, soaked pear and tilleul (lime-linden). The palate is more chunky than fluid in style, though it has enough cut to end pretty clearly. It is still turned in on itself, but the glycerol and gras present mean it will emerge, and live pretty well. It has sufficient content to go to a second stage comfortably. From 2015, and decant in the meantime if you can’t wait. 13.5°. 2025-26  Oct 2013

2011 ()

pale robe, a light sheen over it. Has a crisp, citrus-inspired outer air, an aroma of pineapple chunks making a riper interior, with a note of bonbon sweets, glazed fruits. The flavour resembles orange marmalade, runs with clean lines, doesn’t linger long, passes on through. Could have greater definition, more stamp, is a bit dilute. Drink now, and is OK for the aperitif or light flavoured foods, cold meats. Bottled Feb 2012. €16.50. 2017-18 Dec 2012

2010 ()

fine yellow colour; there is reduction on the nose, a slight hang dog air, with spiced white fruits, vanilla, white plum mixed into it, light honey notes. The palate is tight, holds “high” fruit that is almost delivered in a wet blanket way, saturated. There is squeeze in the texture, but it is lined with vigilant tannin that fences it in, controls it for now. More free and expressive in autumn 2012. Better than post-bottling, progress registered. 14°. €16.50 at the cellars. 2021-23 Dec 2011 Previously March 2011 *(*) very pale. Airy, floating nose, wee air of resin. Bonbon sweets flavour in a light wine that slips quietly along. Undistinguished. Bottled one month ago, 50% Clairette, 45% GB, 5% Bourb this year, 4,000 b. “The Picpoul didn't ripen this year, so we left it out,” André Mathieu. To 2014. March 2011

2009

big improvement over time here: firm yellow robe. Beeswax [also found ten years ago] and honey, dried fruits airs, quince paste, and fennel-aniseed make up a varied bouquet. There are noble notes of advance on the palate, quince, spearmint, with a very good finale that is clear and suave. White plums, mixed fruits and a marked almond-nuttiness show in the flavours, while the salted, neatly firm finish is classy. There is some of the vintage strength on the aftertaste, a sunny robustness. It’s going well now, holds over several days. 13.5°. 2028-30 Sept 2020 Previously Oct 2010 * pale robe; pear-sherbet aroma that is ripe to the extent of being hang dog, shows white fruit, varnish, wax. Creamy white fruit leads the palate; there are lactic notes here, a wine that needs decanting and shaking up before drinking. It dries towards the finish, lacks real depth and grip. Peach on the aftertaste. A plain wine that lacks lift. 2014. Oct 2010

2008

light flinty yellow robe; fresh early aroma, backed by ripe white fruits, flan, banana – it is airy rather than lasting. There is a similar fresh take on life on the palate – this is a wine with aperitif qualities. Fresh and active, it is drinkable, has good matter. Ends on some burn and heat, though there is honey in the clear aftertaste. 2014-16 Nov 2009

2007 ()

pale robe; fresh top air, fruit on the turn, a little stale, with varnish below. There is high tone in the palate white fruits – has a packed white stone fruit middle. It continues nicely, has bonny flesh and content late on. The flavours include pineapple, a tangy apricot, bonbon sweets. To 2015. Nov 2008 Previously June 2008 *** bonbon, wee pear aroma, that is prettily round and also persistent. The palate sets off with some verve, gains some extra weight. There are mild white fruits and honey touches in the flavour and some late heat. Its elegance is agreeable. 13.5°. 2012-13 June 2008

2006

pale, flinty colour; has a subdued nose with a little top sweetness and some dried fruits, mild lemon within. The air releases butter and spice, keeps its quiet control and comes en finesse – sweet bonbon and peach together. The palate starts in a lively way – this is a wine of workmanlike qualities (it could be a Lirac with a bit of dimension). The flavour is nutted, with light flan and plum emerging late on. There is acidity in it that keeps it mobile, and helps its length. It is more full early than late. It holds up over a few days, implying that it can evolve. A correct wine, but not a turn-on. 13.5°. 2014-15 October 2008 Previously Dec 2006 (vat) *** (vat) ripe, white fruit, round and persistent, its roundness is very noticeable on a comfortable bouquet. Live thread runs through the palate’s white fruit, some zing here, is a fresh-toned wine. I like the grape variety mix – this year is 50% each Grenache Blanc, Clairette. Sound core to it. Let it settle – will be good from September 2007, for instance. 2010-11 December 2006

2005 ()

pale; fresh, white fruit skin aroma, some honey, lime-iodine – not very bursting out. Broad palate, with spice in the white fruit. There is a fresh thread through it and some later power, but its style is to play its cards early. That is in keeping with its role as the first wine, with a Prestige and more expensive white also produced. Low key flavour, but perfectly agreeable. Just could have more core, since it tapers towards the finish. 13.5° To 2009. Feb 2007