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The Wines

100% Viognier (1994-97), from the plain at 400 metres near Alba, south of the Ardèche, clay with limestone and basalt, 80% steel vat fermented, 20% oak cask fermented at 18-20°C, raised 7-8 months, malo blocked, 60,000 b

2010

mild yellow, fine legs down the glass. Pear aroma on the front nose, an elegant backdrop here with a good, clear tone to it, nice and decisive. The palate is good; it is great to have a clear-running Viognier. Exotic fruits assemble after half way. This is gradually making its way, is sympa, very drinkable, a great aperitif, ace wine. There is a slight tannic trace, from a little oak, towards the finish. 13.5°. €10.50 from Chapoutier, worth it. To 2014 June 2011

2007

low-key yellow; the bouquet is gaining in breadth as the vines age – shows stewed pear, exotic airs, a bit of banana. There is grip wrapped around the palate – within lies a heart of cooked stone fruit, and a little eau de vie as it finishes – its potent side revealed. This is becomes interesting with the passage of time – it is a touch potent for me. The nose is good – ahead of the palate. 14.5°. €8. 2011-12 Dec 2008

2006

soft gold, full yellow colour; dried fruits, spice and white pepper mix in with an apricot aroma – this is an upright style of Viognier. The palate is cohesive and pretty rich, with a willing fullness, a wine that is shaped for food. Has a little late spice and grip, with orange marmalade at the finish. Persists, too. Has character rather than being technical. 14.5°. Nov 2007