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The Wines

50% Grenache blanc (1940s), 25% Bourboulenc (mid-1980s), 15% Clairette, 10% Picardan, 5-10% Marsanne, 5-10% Roussanne, Picpoul blanc & Picpoul gris (early-mid 1990s) from Grand Vallard, La Montagne, Les Encostes, 50% steel vat, 50% 2-year 600-litre oak cask fermented, raised 15-18 months, (before 2005 was oaked, “more fine without the oak”, raised on lees 9-10 months), malo completed, unfiltered, 1,500-2,000 b


(bottled two weeks ago) good solid yellow colour. Has a full, refined nose which shows hazelnut and honey – it is varied and will express more, and the main fruit is peach. The palate has a flavour of waxen, dried fruits – it drives well, is long and interesting. The attack is textured – nice, oily, suave – while the acidity is sound – both freshness and sap combine here. It ends nice and comfortably. 14.4°. 2020-21 May 2012

2009 ()

fine, clear pale yellow. There is a toast-oak drift across the nose, vanilla prominent, shows nice bite, cut. There is a lime aroma refinement, flan present. Air releases reduction, and the fruit becomes “high” in nature, shifts to a hint of banana. The palate has a fine grain, offers a flavour of dried fruits, is notably toasted, has sinew. The oak on this was 1-year old. I am not quite sure where this will go next (very low cloud, snow in the air today in London), seems indeterminate. Has a fine grain, is long and extends better with food. Good with cheese, spiced biscuits and fine slices of scallop accompanied by a pickled vegetable salad and basil oil at Chez Bruce Restaurant. The gras within is dusty, peppery, and it ends firmly, with light aniseed notes. Rated ***(*) with the food – careful marriage important for it. 14°. 2022-24 Jan 2011

2005 ()

chunky, solid bouquet – white fruit, baked tart underlay; it is not very open, shows yellow plum, Mirabelle fruits, flowers. Decant to open it, make it less dumb. The palate is a sinewed affair, holds white fruit, develops spice, shows acidity early on. Solid wine that needs time. Has chewy moments on the finish. Good with a truffle risotto, scrambled eggs with black truffles, chicken dishes with truffles also. 14.5°. Has a red wine form late on. From 2008 on. 50% Grenache blanc, 45% Bourboulenc, 5% Clairette, Roussanne, Picpoul. 2020-22. Nov 2006