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The Wines

from 6 plots at Chavanay (1980s-2003), 2 week steel vat fermentation, raised 65% steel vat, 35% 1-5 year 500-600 litre oak casks 11 months (until early 2010s was raised 10% new 228-litre oak casks, 20-40% 2-5 year 500-litre oak casks, 50-65% steel vat 11 months), malo completed, assembled just before bottling, filtered, 10-12,000 b

2018 ()

fine yellow colour; the nose is reserved, lucid white fruit central to it, a hint of cool pear, a wee note of mineral. The palate is New Wave, on sleek delivery with pear, greengage flavours. It’s a very streamlined form of Condrieu, no spare flesh. There’s a touch of white fruit gras on the close. 14°. 2024-25 Nov 2019

2017

pale yellow; has an aromatic, floating aroma with pear and peach, is very neat. This drinks effortlessly, glides finely, has very good style and a precise finale, where there is an appealing nugget of pear-apricot. This is very refined. 14°. €18.45 export. 2022-23 Nov 2018

2015 ()

shiny, prominent yellow robe. The nose is a big bundle led by grilling, oak, has a lime-lemon aspect. The attack is almost spritzy, has a perlant quality – carbonic gas use here, I suspect. The flavour gives guava, a note of papaya, with a seasoned orange finale. This is a big venture, requires richly flavoured dishes that don’t get knocked over by it. The length is secure. 14°. 2020-21 Oct 2016

2014 ()

yellow robe. This has a waxen, oily bouquet that gives expressive pear fruit, stewed pear, with a note of camomile tea. This is rich, open arms Condrieu with a flavour of apricot, compote of white fruits. The finish brings a low-key note of greengage plum and aniseed, a cool influence. This has a little complexity. 14°. To 2018  Oct 2015 

 

2013

yellow, clear robe. The nose gives a pear aroma with a degree of mineral around it, though there is also a touch of ingrained sucrosity, and a note of green tea. The palate starts on squeezy white fruits led by peach and apricot. It runs consistently, shows a little simmer of heat as it finishes. This is a pushy sort of Condrieu where the sugar and alcohol are not necessarily in tandem; it is a bit weighty. Suited to foods over the aperitif. 12,000 b this year, rising. 14°. To 2019-20 Jan 2015 Previously Nov 2014 ***(*) comfortable yellow, a little flint. The bouquet is curvaceous – gives a rounded aroma of pears in syrup, with a light citrus-mandarin nudge and a flan and cooked banana depth which is subtle and helpful. There is a good, instant flavour of quince and lime fruit, a note of peach jam, so like the nose it combines freshness with gras depth. Stylish and genuine, a nice and long wine which is continuous along the palate. It has an obvious, honest fullness – it isn’t a New Wave elegance wine – and there is a definite, quiet hum of power. Very good with lobster, turbot, monkfish, also goat cheese, spiced dishes. The nose is more elegant than the palate – the palate billows out in the middle with a fat flavour, then crunches down more and shows potency. It is possibly destabilised by its alcohol. 14°. 2019-20  Nov 2014

2012

pale yellow. Pear, spice and garrigue herbs air, a lemon breeze also, orange zest – the overall impression is one of freshness. This has a fine-tuned, nicely mineral palate, with a variety of sensations – ash, smoky, tight peach, flint, crisp pear notes. It ends with dentelle, toothsome, aniseed and white tobacco splashes. Clear drinking here; it is good now, breezy and nicely full. 14°. 50% vat this year. To 2019.  Nov 2013

2011

fine yellow. There is an “up” note on the bouquet – fresh sherbet lemon, a tandem of lemon and honeysuckle, and an attractive streak of licorice, a touch of walnut: the nose has its subtleties to entertain. The palate runs well from the nose – it is compact, with a compote, stewed fruits pear-apple centre. It eases into a late run of acidity. Light n’easy wine, good style, drink now. It tones down on the finish, so suited to aperitif. To 2015.  Nov 2012

2010

legs run down a rich-looking pale yellow robe; This has a wide air that brings together banana, flan, ripe fruit, musky flowers – it is a nose of some abundance. The palate has a fresh line through its grainy content. It is reserved at first, shows bite on the attack, is not flamboyant. It ends on a note of near burning and subdued heat. It needs food to accommodate its finish, which is charged. Leaving it until spring 2013 will also help. 14°. 2017-18  Sept 2012

2009 ()

pale yellow; the nose is rounding as it ages, is curvy and mild. There is a mix of white plum and butter, scents of bergamot from Sicily. This has a nutty, white jam flavour, but is in transition now – so decant it to coax it out. The length is sound, there is grip on the finish, and the content is secure there. Pretty decent - needs food not solo drinking, and is taking its time, derived from its solar origins of 2009. 14°. 2016-17.  Sept 2012  Previously Nov 2009 *** (vat) **(*) light green apple, pear skin aroma. The palate is careful, well sealed, makes calm progress as it goes, ends roundly. 14°. To 2014. (3 year old 228-litre oak cask) *** pale; soft pear aroma in a well-fashioned nose. The palate is pliant, offers nice, squeezy fruit with a gain in tannin towards the finish. Good, clear finish. Beau Vin. (2 year 500-litre oak cask) ***(*) clear robe – green tints in the yellow; hazelnut, mineral nose trimmed with white fruits, white pepper, apricot and mandarin, pretty classic Chavanay features. Attractive fruit on the palate – it is clearly defined, its length gradually extends, is more straight fown the line than the 228-litre cask. OVERALL ***to ***(*) to 2015-16 Nov 2009

2008

yellow glints in the robe. Custard, flan, buttery, liquid honey airs – this has gained depth and roundness. It is stylish and not at all exaggerated. The palate has a near lavender or linden (tilleul) infusion note in its white jam fruit flavouring. There are flattering, exotic fruits on the late palate. The finish is restrained. It is right there now. 14°. To 2015  July 2012  Previously Nov 2009 * pale robe; soft nose – white fruit, sherbet, possible SO2. The palate darts out – this has a notably fresh style, ends calmly, is more measured there. A direct wine, suited to the aperitif. 14°. To 2013. Nov 2009

2007

quite a bright, level yellow, legs down the glass. The nose is reticent, tight - there is a mild lime-greengage aroma sorinkled with spice, and a little uplift from honey and flowers. The palate also grips tightly, delivers a stone fruit, slightly eau de vie flavour, the latter being its end note - away from its fruit. I note 14 degrees on the label. The length is OK, but the fruit could last longer. Some late heat. A wine that may benefit from a little time to fuse - from spring 2009. 2012-13 Dec 2008

2006 ()

yellow robe; there is a little mystery in the nose – a good sign. It is softly scented, one of the few 2006s to display floral airs, honeysuckle plus lime. The palate starts harmoniously, then gains a little weight through the palate, and ends on a tightened, slight mineral-oak note. There is a bit of tang in the aftertaste, a white raisin-mandarin duo. Has above average structure. 14°. 2011-12 Jan 2008

2005

yellow colour; apricot, peach mix in the aroma with a little mineral – spice and butter in the background. Softly textured palate, nice and harmonious. Very good flow, is silken now. Honey and butter on the finish, is refined and beau. Great harmony and balance, a singing wine. The back label recommends drinking it with Coquilles St Jacques (scallops) or white meat in a cream sauce. 14°. To 2010. Nov 2006

2004 ()

suave aroma - white fruits that are quite ripe, floral, mayflowers fringes. Dried fruit, close-knit texture, successful density and good follow-through. Structured wine, with a degree of tannic presence. Honest, local touches here, is tasty, warm and has a buttery, apricot ending. Earthy appeal is very genuine. STGT To 2010 April 06 Previously Feb 2006 *** nice, broad, expressive bouquet with a little mineral. Soundly fruited, clean length with pear flavour and some heat on the finish.

2003

ample, thrusting bouquet, ripe and thus tones of banana, the effect is lush with just a hint of mineral behind. Measured palate, typical of the domaine in its classic wines. tapers after a fair start, is rather taut. Some caramel, brown sugar and heat late on. Food is a must for this. Bit more flourish can be expected in 2006. Drink by 2008. Sept 2005 Previously * tight bouquet, has potential, also oak traces. Palate is structured by its oak, so is direct. Full content. Some end burn. Oak is in charge, too much so.

2002

light pear aroma; pretty end gras, medium-weight wine.

2001

minerality here, nose has opened, pear/apple and smoky, too; lissom, elegant wine, fine apricot and pear, nutty touch on slightly burnt end. Decent length. Drier feel than many.

2000

melted butter/apricot/oak aroma; light pear taste, dumb at present; ends with mineral/liquorice combo.