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The Wines

15-50% Grenache blanc, 25-42% Clairette, 20-25% Roussanne, 0-20% Viognier (vines early-mid 1990s) from 1 hectare, sandy soils with forest perimeter at Saint-Laurent-des-Arbres, 2-4 year 600-litre oak cask fermentation at 18-22°C, raised 50-100% 1-4 year 228-litre & 600-litre oak casks, 0-50% steel vat 6-7 months (first vintages 70% steel vat, 30% cask until oak had aged), malo blocked, filtered, heavy bottle, “drink as aperitif, grilled fish”, 1,800-3,500 b

2018

bottled three days ago: clear, joli yellow; the bouquet has immediate, southern depth, weight, is on crushed white fruits, compote airs, notes of cooked lemon bringing lift. It’s a good mix of ripeness and brightness. The palate is stylish, bears cosy white fruit content, with some silk in the texture, and a pleasing flavour of peach, white strawberry, vanilla from its oaking. It’s a grown up, shapely, refined Lirac blanc, good with a range of dishes, and precise flavours on the plate. Tuna would be good, cheese also, Szechuan cuisine. 14°. 2027-28 May 2019

2017 ()

good, steady yellow. There’s a bonny swirl on the nose, garrigue influences, spearmint, nut paste, oak. It’s weighty and full, has a true southern oiliness, and nutty notes from the oak. The palate attacks with very enjoyable white fruit content; there’s lots going on, has properly sustained length, good pedigree fruit and style in a superior Lirac blanc, made by a family who make very good whites. It will accompany well Bresse chicken, sea bass in fennel, the latter prompted by late aniseed notes. It is elegant, stylish, balanced, has good foundation and flow, gets me going. Refined juice is central to it. 14°. 2025-27 Oct 2018 Previously Aug 2018 **** yellow robe, a few gold glints. It has a reserved, low-key but intrinsically fat aroma, very much in the mould of a gourmand white for la table, based on traditional southern Rhône varieties. There are brioche-flan connotations, a hint of cooked lemon, liquid honey. The palate links closely on a sealed in, firm fat, richness which lasts securely. It’s rather immobile, dumb now. This will be good with sauced dishes, veal and mushrooms. It has good mid-palate heart with cooked orange on the aftertaste, some freshness there. The length is good. It’s subdued now, has a good foundation, a nudge of oak and caramel on the close. The length is sturdy. 14°. 42% Clair, 24% Rouss, 18% Vio, 16% Gren blanc. €13.50. From spring 2019. 2026-27 Aug 2018

2016

firm yellow colour. The bouquet is restrained, elegant, offers apricot and soft honey, a light note of nuts, some mild oaking and a trace of orange zest lift. The palate is joli, rounded, a pleasing fat at its centre; it lengthens steadily, on a small stream of saltiness and white fruits. It has real dance and vivid expression, with the mineral deep in its soils on parade on the second half. This is stylish Lirac blanc that can be decanted. It will show very well à table, served in a large glass. 14°. 2023-24 May 2018

2012

pale yellow, some green tints in a shiny robe. Cut grass, lime and bergamot air, with fat across the glass. The palate has a scorched sense, the fruit not convincing. It ends on a gummy, sticky note. The oak is too much, so any purity is suppressed, resulting in a mixed bag, an international wine. I find this has been made from “painting by numbers”, and needs a more personal touch and less modernism. A cellar-induced flan, banana, custard flavour wraps up the finish. It will be better if left until 2016 when the oak will have dropped back. 14°. To 2018-19  May 2013

2011 ()

pale, flinty yellow. Easy, rather sweet fruited apricot air, open and simple. The palate is also mild, marked by white fruits, a light note of acacia present. This doesn’t grab the imagination, is a quiet worker with a limited horizon. Nothing especially wrong, but it lacks get up and go. 14°. 60% Gren bl, 22% Rouss 18% Cl this year. 2015-16  May 2013