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The Wines

84-85% Clairette blanche, 14-15% Clairette rose (1870s-1890s), 0-1% Grenache blanc from filtering, sand, silty soils on La Jensatte on Peyguerol at St Geniès-de-Comolas, hand harvested, fermented 2-year 225-litre oak casks (ex Ch d’Yquem) at 16°-20°C, raised in casks on fine lees with no stirring 8-10 months, malo 50% completed, filtered, first wine 2012 as Côtes du Rhône, from 2015 has been Lirac, “drink with cod fillet in coconut milk & cardamom, sea bass grilled in Pastis & fennel, fine pastries, tarts”, 1,400-2,500 b

2018 ()

(casks) yellow robe, attractive. The bouquet is chunky, on a firm white fruit aroma without much sideline, shows sherbet, cooked lemon, gives a feeling of weight. The palate is also fuelled up, has a thorough heartbeat, lacks the clarity of the best, but receives marks for genuine, local depth. There is a savoury finish that will pair well with pork, even veal. The aftertaste has grip, a little tannin, sturdy glow. It’s a robust Lirac blanc. 13.5°. 2025-26 May 2019

2017 ()

pale yellow. The nose is silken, assured, has a most refined air of peach, a hint of aniseed, is a very good pedigree start. You have to seek it out . . . and it’s worth studying. The palate continues the silken, serene theme, stylish richness all along. The texture is a winner, is a pointilliste wine, one of accumulated detail – an achievement in this very hot, dry year. The finish is calm, round, quietly prolonged, fine juice there. It also offers a late wave of spearmint freshness. This is top notch, well balanced Lirac blanc, one with a caressing refinement. There are notes of oak on the aftertaste. 13.5°. 2,500 b. €14 export, VALUE. 2029-30 Sept 2018

2016 ()

firm yellow robe. The nose is tight, has a subdued but quietly rich aroma led by peach, white plum, has secure inner depth, a solid foundation, a deep base. This is sturdy, well-filled, rolls around on its glycerol richness, the thick juice of old vines. There is fennel-licorice on the finish, where there is firm richness – it has a toffee thickness there. This is a thorough, table wine, the fruit very elegant, and cased in by its oaking. It’s a true southern white, for Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. The length is really good. This is classy, with great vinosity. Decanting a must. Allow from 2019 for more oak infusion. 13.5°. 2025-27 Sept 2017

2014

yellow robe. Has a broad, upfront nose, airs of orange marmalade, ginger, cooked citrus fruits, peach-apricot, nuts. There is a good, rather triumphant flourish on the nose. The palate has a salty debut, a good and free expression backed by stylish gras richness, holds a comfortable, assured content. It ends on tight, salted clench, dried fruits. The length is good – it has a serious, near red wine profile. Aniseed comes through after 20 minutes – very Clairette. This has character. 13°. 2026-27 Feb 2016

2012

sound, mid-depth yellow. Pear, cooked apple such as Bramley apple  nose with a beeswax note, white raisin and tobacco, almond and toast – there is plenty to discover here. The palate is centred on firm foundations; this is a wine of tight features, sealed fruit. There are juniper touches on the finish, along with cooked lime, aniseed. There is a thorough line of gras richness which doesn’t fully reveal itself. Serious wine. Air encourages a lovely texture. Decant it. 2019-20  May 2013