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The Wines

60-65% Clairette (mid-1960s), 30-40% Roussanne (early 1960s), 0-10% Grenache blanc, from Cabrières (N-W), a north facing site, hand harvested, steel vat fermented at 18°, assembled after vinification, raised 5-6 months, malo blocked, organic wine, called Domaine Grand Veneur until 2013, from 2014 called Vignobles Alain Jaume Le Miocène 4,500-5,000 b

2018

shiny yellow robe; the bouquet carries some local weight, isn’t quite out and on the go as yet. There are notes of white raisin, nuts, white peach, a little coolness, aniseed. The palate is stylish, bears good, authentic gras, which sits and holds up the mid-palate well. The aftertaste has a gummy, lip smacking style. This is more traditional than modern, with the clear virtues of the former. 14°. 5,000 b. 60% Clairette, 40% Rouss. Bottled Jan 2019. €29.50. 2031-33 Oct 2019

2016 ()

pale yellow, pale pear colour. There are aromas of stewed fruits, nectarine, peach, crushed grapes, nuttiness on the nose: it’s a bright start. The palate debut is fresh, with a tangy and nutty flavour; it fleshes out as it goes, holds a pear-peach flavour. The grip is steady on the finish, a little tannic firmness there. It has a steely, mineral thread, is spinal, has been made with fashionable tension in mind, not local fat. The aftertaste is salted, a little spare. 14°. 2025-26 Dec 2017

2015 ()

firm yellow robe. There is an air of passion fruit, a dash of vivacity, in an otherwise firm nose that also carries an infused tea, varnish angle. This sits firmly in the glass, is well packed with good, thorough content, has a steady late display of nutty, apricot-peach flavours, and a gooseberry-like flourish, notes of white flowers. This is STGT wine. It goes long, in effortless fashion, has a pitter patter of tiny feet, and is up for pork, white meats, tuna, Asian cuisine. 14°. €24 at the cellars. 2026-28 Sept 2016

2014 ()

clear, bright yellow colour. The nose is elegant, airborne, floats with freesia flowers, a note of licorice, plum fruit. This is fresh and open on the palate, with life in its pear fruit expression. It lengthens well, and has the quiet body to accompany fish such as plaice, cod, but not heavy hitters such as tuna, red mullet, salmon. It is right in the zone now. 14°. Bottled March 2015. 5,000 b. 2019-20 £183 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk Oct 2015 

2012

flinty yellow; the bouquet offers immediately fresh, zingy greengage plum, low-key pear, pear skin, fennel airs. There are nut and citrus tones which resemble an accent on the Clairette (tasted blind). Decant this to coax out more. The palate gras is comfortable, the flavour a ripe peach with light white strawberry. Its serenity is attractive, a centred on a good, winning roundness and stroking texture to boost it. Good balance, a fine, STGT wine with a genuine Clairette heart which really does the job. It is a good example of the finesse and calm depth of the Clairette. 14°. 2021-22  Nov 2013

2011

pale robe. Lemon, verbena, mint tea aroma with greengage plum and pineapple behind – this is a good, serene bouquet. The palate is close-knit, but nor firm. This needs coaxing out, so decant it, while time will allow more to be revealed. A wine for food. The nose is appealing on its fresh dance with sound substance, while the palate is based on white fruit, peach and apricot. It ends on a light note of aniseed. There is a mild sweetness; elegant and pure wine here. 14°. 2020-21  Dec 2012

2010

pale yellow; has an advancing, evolving air – hazelnut with a gummy undertone, a sweet note that isn`t fresh. The palate flavour is subdued, bears modest white fruit, is nondescript. It picks up a burnt side, is modest white Châteauneuf. Edgy, lacking real depth. May just come round if left until 2013 spring. I worry seeing 15.5° on the label – what is going on??? 2018-19 Dec 2011

2008 ()

bottled already: pale flint. Light nose, SO2 influences, pear fruit, bone in it. This is light, pasty wine with tremulous depth, all rather over in a flash. Some alcohol sticks out. Right now I would prefer a Villages – this really lacks body. To 2013. Nov 2009

2007 ()

(vat) soft, quite refined aroma, that shows spice and a little butter, lime and also high tone, varnish. The palate debut is marked by white fruit such as peach and citrus notes in behind, the latter likely to absorb as it evolves. The matter is good and full enough to provide a second phase. 2013-15 Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ***(*) (vat) broad, supple aroma – plenty of richness in it. The palate is nutty, has a good, full flow, and is good and wide. Has a clean, aniseed-tinged finale. Fat, early wine. To be bottled Feb 2008. Nov 2007

2006 ()

even yellow colour. Has a pear-bonbon aroma with some vivacity, but is a little edgy on its sides; there is a touch of vanilla and spice, too. The palate is up and down. Previously Nov 2007 **(*) the aroma conveys butter laced with spice, even pineapple. Young wine on the palate, with a thread of acidity and well-founded late richness. There is some banana in the flavour. Is a bit burnt on the finish – there is a sense of late detachment from the alcohol. 14°. The live acidity and richness are not knit together. 2011-12 Nov 2007

2005 ()

soft, subdued bouquet, lightly tangy, is delicate now. Baked white fruits flavour, such as apple. Fair harmony here, has some growing, extending chunkiness and weight late on – very much in the vintage style. Esp 2008 on for more display and ensemble. 2013-15 Nov 2006

2004

the aroma shows the usual zip and engaging style of the whites from here: there is a refined, slight lemon air with homey, but the bouquet is a little fleeting. The palate is also refined, and not quite singing out yet: it stops a little, and has a baked apple finale. An elegant style of wine. 2009-11 Dec 2005

2002 ()

off white, light yellow colour. Floral toned bouquet. Discreetly ripe style on palate, good chewy content, some richness here, and a salted, tangy finish. May 2003