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The Wines

80-100% Clairette rose, 0-20% Roussanne from galet stone covered soils on Les Serres (S, 1940s), fermented at 16°C, raised part concrete vat, part new 600-litre oak casks 18 months, called Vieilles Vignes de Clairette until 2014, 400-600 magnums

2016 ()

(casks) rich yellow robe, legs visible. The bouquet is a swirling basket of ripe, grapey, peach aromas with toasted oak alongside. There is a note of petrol, and a bonny honeysuckle also. The palate bears gracious, suave richness which is prolonged, intense, with sun beaming out of its heart. The finish gives lime marmalade, nectarine, mango fruits. This is a right cocktail of bounty, destined for la table and sauced dishes, refined cuisine where the clear flavours count. It has very good length, and a spiced aftertaste. From early 2019. 2028-30 Oct 2017

2015

rich full yellow robe. Has a bold, glossy, grapey aroma, the oak infusing well. Cooked lemon and brioche show through. The palate extends well, follows a wavy richness with the ripeness of the crop apparent in its oily texture. There’s a flavour off concentrated cooked orange, with a fresh uplift as it closes. This has style and character, is well suited to classic French cuisine, with butter and sauces. I like the Clairette rose’s ability to inject grapiness into its wines; it’s more tangy than the Clairette blanche, with bursts of acidity. 13.5°. 2024-25 Oct 2017

2014 ()

(casks, bottling Feb 2016) pretty full yellow, legs visible. The nose is very buttery, ample fat present. It accentuates flan, crème caramel. The palate bears easy gras, lives on its texture and a coated smoothness. There is a little dig in from a spot of tannin and a knuckle of grip on the finish. Self-contained wine, can be decanted. For salmon, sauced dishes. It is a little low on personality. 14.5°. 100% Clairette rose. €125 a magnum. From spring 2016. 2023-24  Oct 2015 

2013

pale yellow colour, with distinct legs on the side of the glass. This is rich and full on the nose, which expresses jam fruit (apricot) with a hint of toasted oak. The palate is also rich and concentrated. It expounds tiny yields and/or old vine fruit. It isn’t very expressive aromatically but is opulent full of gras. There is a glow of alcohol on the finish - otherwise it is clean and dry. Definitely needs food. Perhaps a dessert or blue cheese? Atypical for the AC, so be warned. From 2017. 14°. 2025-27 JL Oct 2014

2012

(cask, bottling Feb 2014) mild yellow; strongly oaked nose, charry furrows across it, inescapable, rather severe toasting in it. There is plenty of depth beyond that, a ripe matter. The palate handles the oak, absorbs it better than the nose; it is wide and sustained, rather obvious. Traces of late acidity come through. For me, it is a pity that 100% Clairette receives this oaking. Its richness and Clairette oiliness emerge, peeping out at the finish, on the aftertaste. The Clairette is suppressed here. From 2017. 13.5°. 2027-28  Oct 2013

2011 ()

(cask, bottling Feb 2013) medium yellow, legs. Broad-beamed, chunky, sturdy aroma that is oak-inspired, not varied; for now it is playing just the one card, strongly. It has a sweet jam, peach flavour with pineapple also – it is a target for sauced foods, rich cooking. Clairette with maturity, it seems; it ends on a slight petrol note, is more cellar than vineyard. Has a rich heart. Can only improve with time, and re-find its outdoor roots. From 2015. 13°. Brace yourselves for the price: €110 per magnum. 2023-25  Dec 2012

2009

gleam and glisten in its yellow robe; the nose is led by hazelnut, nuts, with fruit such as apricot and peach, eau de vie of pear, and in the second rank, lime-citrus elements. A lot of variety – wait until 2015 for this to open up properly. The palate is solid, rather sealed up. Has a compact white fruit centre, not revealing a lot at the moment. It is firm in texture and definition. Suited to foods such as veal, pork. The aftertaste carries a white raisin taste, a tight nut and flan flavoured exit. Decant this. From 2015. 2025-27 – can certainly live. Dec 2011 Previously Oct 2010 **(*) pale yellow, with green tints. Oak-apricot, white jam aroma, along with pineapple chunks and syrup from the oaking, is smoky. Has a rich, glycerol texture. There is an unusual cigar ash finish, an offbeat note – the pink Clairette, no doubt. Ends on banana from its oak, and tightens into dried fruits. Is a bit here and there – does not run evenly. The length is OK. From late 2011, wait. €42, a lot. 2019-20 Oct 2010