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The Wines

Viognier 85% from Chavanay, 15% from Saint-Pierre de Boeuf, steel vat fermented, raised steel vat and used oak casks 6 months, until 2011 Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes Viognier, 32,500-45,000 b

2016 ()

pale yellow. The nose gives a pear aroma, a light note of banana, vanilla, licorice and aniseed together. The attack is keen, juts a bit loose, skimming. The flavour resembles white peach. It’s easy to drink, and may be under the impact of its bottling just 10 days ago. It fades a little on the finish. Aperitif wine here. 14°. To 2019 March 2017

2012 ()

pale yellow, legs down the glass. There is subtle depth in the nose, airs of toast, exotic fruits, butter and flan, spice and licorice: this is a promising, delightful bouquet. The palate debut is poised, elegant: it takes on more obvious charge after that, its gras running sideways and holding up. A good, true Viognier, a well-presented one. There is a flinty, cool note in its fat, which works well. Drink with vegetarian pasta, aubergine, cheese, chicken. The finish shows a wee note of burn, also glow. 12.5°. 32,500 b. To 2016  Nov 2013

2011 ()

yellow robe, light gold. Pear, white fruits compote, while vanilla and white raisin bolster its centre: this is a prominent bouquet. Within its nicely oily fat lies a fine acidity that keeps it fresh towards the finish. There are notes of marmalade, lime and citrus, in it. Fat is its main feature, is a ripe do. Traces of bitter on the finish prevent it from being flabby. Attractive to drink with chicken, soft cheese, sauced dishes. This has a warm climate, southern feel; some would find it sweet on the first half of the palate. Mandarin features on the aftertaste. Has good, subtle, determined length, a real fine spot of acidity. There is a very good, clear stretch after the fat. 13°. 2017-18  Oct 2013  Previously Sept 2012 ***(*) mild, pale yellow but the robe has a rich aspect. Here come the banana and pear drummers from the Viognier Big Band: the aroma is broad and deep, jaunty, no skimming here. It shows a nut, pear skin, more granular air as well. An excellent start, with orange and mandarin, spice – a great bouquet, curvy and ripe. The rich flavour unfurls well on the palate, glazed fruits, barley sugar, pear, white strawberry jam. An impressive attack after the impressive nose – this is outstanding for “Vin de France”, and I highly recommend it for genuine Viognier expression from the variety’s heartlands. It is all on the early pleasure, is an aperitif de luxe, not a free swigger, and is also suited to traditional Viognier foods such as chicken, asparagus, cardoon, Asian spice foods, but I would leave out lobster. To early 2015. 13°. 35,000 b this year. Sept 2012

2010 ()

rich yellow, glycerol sings on the robe. Has a pear jam air that stops short of being plush, has an apricot and orange marmalade depth, offers a light late trail of finesse. The palate is forward – it pulls out the stops with its delivery of lime marmalade, a tangy citrus ripeness. It lacks a little mid to late palate content after its strong start, but is sound. Its price is fair, in GB around £15-16.  13.5°. Sept 2012

2006 ()

good live pear fruit aroma with a ripe core, broad and nutty; more buttery, a little flatter with air and warmth in the glass. Very true Viognier aroma with some good mineral content at the start. The palate delivers more than the vin de pays it says on the label, as usual. Quite a chunky pear flavour with no false opulence and a chewy nature near the finish. Tight, peppery finish with no excess flesh. Very good for its category. "The aromas suit sea bass or red mullet, or strong, creamy cheeses", Martin Lamb, Ransomes Dock restaurant, London. 2011. June 2007

2004

ample, springy bouquet, with well-founded depth, a mix of pear and smoke, is typical. Straight hit of delicious fruit on attack, the wines holds good sides and direction. Acidity keeps it alert. A little burn on the aftertaste. Classy for a mere vin de pays. September 2005