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The Wines

Viognier (late 1970s) from granite soils at St-Michel-sur-Rhône, maceration pelliculaire in the press, 228-litre oak cask 4 week fermentation, wild yeasts, raised 10-20% new, 80-90% 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 11-12 months (until late 2000s was 70% vat, 30% new, 1-year oak 11 months), malo completed, filtered, called Les Chays since early 2010s, "drink with asparagus & prosciutto ham, goat cheese, fresh foie gras", 8-8,500 b

2015 ()

shiny yellow robe. The nose is discreet but promising, has inherent style. There is refinement in the pear fruit, a note of licorice-aniseed also, and a trace of flowers. The palate expresses some exotic fruits such as mango, with a stealthy increase in grip as it flows. It drinks well now. 14.5°. 8,000 b. To 2019 Oct 2016

2014 ()

shiny yellow robe. The nose is reserved, has a smoky, toasted aroma, and a backdrop of banana, pear. The palate is pretty stylish; it runs with a free breeze of apricot, nectarine fruit, and finishes freshly, bringing in aniseed on the aftertaste. This engages well. 13.5°. 8,000 b. €18.50 export. To 2019  Oct 2015 

2013

fine yellow colour. Orange marmalade, pear-apricot aroma, fair depth. The nose is a shade rustic, obvious. The palate holds pear and honey flavours, builds into a little sweet jam fruit and a touch of freshness as it ends. This is a touch plain, is a low acidity, low horizon wine. 13.5°. €14.40 export, 8,000 b this year. GB £25 Vodens Vintage Ltd.  To 2018  Jan 2015

2012 ()

very pale, flinty robe. Hazelnut, spring flowers aroma, Melba Toast from its oaking. This is a mildly fruited but firm affair that finishes clearly, but fails to ignite. The nose promises more than the palate delivers. The palate has fair depth, but lacks brio. Has a low-level pear-peach flavour. Try decanting it. It fails to leave an imprint on palate or mind, is just there in the glass, disappointing, but I strongly suspect it has just been bottled (tasted blind). From spring 2014. 13°. €14.20 export. To 2017  Nov 2013

2011

steady yellow. Liquid honey, hazelnut aroma with prominent oak toast, the fruit apricot jam. This is a fungal, grounded wine showing reduction, so decant it – the reduction renders the fruit “high”. Has a fat texture, a ball of that fat lying at its centre. It is suited to sauced white meats, guinea fowl, for instance. The finale is grainy, mixes pepper and tobacco. A lot in the glass, has an assertive style, obvious oak, is a Big Production. Only food – too big for aperitif. 13°. Made to do OK in its second stage of life, as well. To 2018.  Nov 2012

2003 ()

classic Viognier aroma, soft pear, warm, with a banana effect from the hot year. Palate continues in same vein - stylish wine, with some alcohol on finish, but is easier to drink than many this year, more clear-cut. Fair length, compact and clean at the end.

2002 ()

quite a straight wine, subdued flavour. Mid-weight, mineral touches.

2001

expressive, exotic fruit aroma, acacia; banana on attack, fleshes out gently, pear skin finish. Refined, tightens on the end.