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The Wines

50% Clairette blanche, 50% Roussanne (both 1990, 1 hectare on Cabrières (N-W), Roussanne picked 2-3 weeks before Clairette), planting another 0.5 hectare on Cabrières in 2020, bought in in 2016, until 2004 33% each Grenache blanc, Roussanne, Clairette on Cabrières, steel vat fermented, steel vat raised 3 months, malo blocked, first wine 1993, 3,500-5,000 b

2019

quite a firm yellow robe; has a good, clear traditional Châteauneuf aroma founded on ripe white fruit with an implicit oiliness of the South, and a secure depth. It’s not overtly aromatic, is more de la terre than the sky. The palate links well, runs with classy gras, great upholstery, the richness prolonging well, into a more upbeat, citrus tang finale. This purrs along most winningly, is a top 2019 Châteauneuf. It merits a large glass and a cracking fish: it’s STGT, ace Châteauneuf that is broad and notably long, really well orchestrated and true. There’s a hint of reduction, so it can be decanted. 14°. 2034-36 June 2020

2018

opaque yellow colour; the bouquet bears a refined aroma led by peach, musky flowers, white plum, has togetherness. I note Clairette in this, has fat. The palate gives white fruits, dried fruits, is slightly on its power, has a bigness that demands food. It could be more elegant. It glows on the aftertaste – it’s around 15°, 14.5° on the label. Bottled Jan 2019. It needs three months to settle: so go with it from Sept 2019. It will be better to drink this towards eight years’ old, I believe. Only 2,500 b this year. 2035-37 May 2019

2017 ()

fine yellow robe; the nose is just entering its quiet phase, has some damp wool airs, pear-apricot, cooked pear, a touch of fennel that I associate with Clairette. The palate comes with solid depth, aided by a graceful delivery all through, appeals on texture. There’s fine gras here, flavours of white peach near the stone. It’s elegant, has grip, too. It can open further. The Roussanne was harvested end August, the Clairette 16 September, which was very early for it. “We had a full harvest – 35 hl/ha – on the whites, this year, unlike the reds, which were 22 hl/ha,” Claire Michel. 2033-35 May 2019

2016

fine yellow colour. The nose is a classic rather dumb southern climate take, with Clairette bringing that dumbness, along with a note of petrol, iodine, plus peach, white plum. It will come out and blossom over time. This is juicy, fluid, and blessed with elegant gras, a smooth texture around it. The acidity is fine, the freshness discreet, with appealing grip to close it, late spicing. This is a slow, gradual giver-developer, and will reward patience: so drink know, then pause, then revert from mid-2020. 14.5°. 2026-28 Sept 2017 GB £34.60 Yapp Brothers +44(0)1747 860 423 www.yapp.co.uk sales@yapp.co.uk

2012

pale yellow, green glints. Soft, appealing white fruits’ aroma, with light spice in the white plum fruit, along with an orange peel air – the bouquet is attractive, supple, welcoming. The palate has a winning gras richness, a smooth texture and citrus notes. The flavours resemble infused tea such as linden (tilleul) and apricot. It combines the magic 2012 formula of freshness and richness. Good with a smoked tuna and cold tomato dish. Up to sauced dishes – poultry, fish. Good harmony here, and length. Traditional in the sense of being a wine for la table. 14.5°. 2024-26  Oct 2013

2010 ()

bottled one week ago, 3,750 b this year: soft yellow robe; fresh airs on the nose which has life, zip, shows nut and mixes lime and bergamot so leans towards the citrus of the south. Attractive palate – it is soft, and extends with life and freshness, holds good bodied matter, and emerges on spice moments at the end – attractively. 2023-25 March 2011

2009

pale, flinty robe. Honey-verbena (verveine) aroma that is moving in to variety as it evolves, shows aniseed and is all agreeable, light touches of honey also present. Good poise and structure on the palate – has founded depth of gras or richness, ends solidly with jam and sweet thoroughness. Suited to sauced dishes, richer foods, also sweet Asiatic spices. Good length. A solid wine that reflects the vintage well, is STGT wine. 13.8° - “the Clairette never brings big alcohol”, Marie-Josée Michel. 2023-25 March 2011

2007

has a wide, bounding nose with prominent citronelle and a touch of fennel, asparagus. The palate is steady, solid, quite muscled – the flavour is lime, white stone fruits, pear that come along with an intense little burst. A tight wine that drinks firmly. Food best for this – white meats, spaghetti funghi, turbot, a good mixed bag of potential dishes. 14°. 2022-24 June 2008

2005 ()

quiet, white fruits aroma; good richness on the palate – it is rounded and full. Attractive wine that handles its power well, is already at a supple stage.  2018-21  June 2006

2004

attractive, glowing yellow. Has a rather cih, lemon jam air with a spice, white pepper top note and a sense of baked bread inside – that is subtly present. There is plenty to show on the bouquet; after 1 hour, more pear and dried apricot airs emerge. The palate has richened up over its eight years – one can almost feel it taking on weight and persistence as it evolves. There are notes of mandarin and a saltiness towards the finish. It combines firm body and a fresh length, being chunky and compact on the aftertaste. Lobster brings out a hazelnut flavour late on, and it is also good with pork – where vanilla pod comes on the aftertaste. A wine of interest and character, true to its place, with traditional Châteauneuf virtues. 13.5°. 2021-22 East Sussex, April 2012  Previously May 2006 *** reserved, butter, nutty nose, some honey and dried apricot here. Floral, nutty, white fruits flavour that is tightly bound together. Dumb middle, then quite a big, savoury finish. Bounds out and forward, gaining in flesh, with air. Goes very well with a shrimp, blood grapefruit, asparagus local dish. 2014-15 Copenhagen, May 2006