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The Wines

40-45% Grenache blanc, 30% Clairette, 10-15% Roussanne, 10-15% Bourboulenc, 5% Picpoul, hand harvested, steel vat fermented, raised 4-5 months, malo blocked, filtered, 45-80,000 b

2015 ()

fine yellow robe. Has a neat nose, a floating air of peach, white strawberry; the aroma circulates freely, comes with a light note of liquid honey. The palate starts on a nutty, dried fruits debut, gains a lithe gras as it goes. This has a low-key style, en fraicheur, freshness. It’s tame in some senses, backs off its southern origins. It may take on a little more depth over time. 13.5°. 2023-24 Nov 2016 Previously Sept 2016 **** bright yellow. There is attractive variety on the nose – greengage, lime, aniseed. It’s upbeat and welcoming. The palate is also breezy and engaging, runs with crisp white fruits, notes of apricot, white plum. The finish is clear, with the fruit and content lasting well. Well made, bright Châteauneuf, does the appellation credit. Drink à table, more than the aperitif. 13.5°. 2025-27 Sept 2016

2014

pale yellow. Has a neat, precise nose with aniseed of Marseille, pear fruit, a little local influence. The palate gives light content with mild acidity, a late squeeze of matter, fine acidity. This is rather low on soul, is “correct”, but this was such a good vintage for whites that the moment wasn’t seized thanks to safety first winemaking. 2020-21 Nov 2016 Previously Nov 2015 *** pale robe. There is a aroma of nice squeezy white fruit such as peach, cooked fruits, a note of banana, on the nose, backed by flowers and licorice. The palate rolls with beau fruit, a little grip. It doesn’t grab the attention, though, and is low-key now. Not very profound. 13°. 55% Gren bl, 20% Clair, 10% Bourb, 10% Rouss, 5% Picpoul. 45,000 b. €22.35 at the cellars. Bottled Feb 2015. 2022-23 GB £175 12/b in bond or £19.96. Justerini & Brooks www.justerinis.com  Nov 2015

2011 ()

pale yellow, legs. The first aroma is pear, with an effect of baking, like a crumble topping. The bouquet is quite rich at heart, shows aniseed and a free note beyond that. The palate mixes up acidity and a little density of white fruit, fruit that tapers towards the finish. It isn’t all as one. The acidity is stern; the nose invites, the palate doesn’t fully deliver that promise. It lacks a centre of focus. From late 2013. 13.5°. 2020-21  Dec 2012

2010 ()

shiny, mild yellow; there is good “spark” in the bouquet, a zap of white jam fruit, airs of flan and aniseed, also greengage. The palate is “effective”, rather tight, very clean, but a bit low on soul. The white fruit is tight, not very expressive. Workmanlike wine. Decant it, also leave it until 2015. 13.5°. 2020-22 March 2012 Previously Feb 2012 *(*) the robe is pale indeed; there is a sense of S02 on the nose, which is lightly fruited, shows pear-pineapple, white raisin. The palate is compact, unrevealing, plain. It is rather flat, and is short on interest. 14°. I would prefer to try another bottle. 2016. Feb 2012

2009 ()

pale yellow; light pear aroma along with slightly fatter airs of white fruit jam, bonbon or candy. A gentle start. The palate starts on tight, nutty elements, expands into broader shores after half way. It moves towards salt and spice on rhe finish. It is showing well now. It grips on a nutty, firm ending. 13.5°. 2021-22 March 2012

2008

yellow robe. Notably waxy, airs that lean towards Riesling, with quince, cooked lemon on the bouquet. The palate is stylish, rests on dried fruits with apricot, roast nuts flavours. This is going well, is en finesse. It is softly textured, with late freshness. It has bounded on with the extra time, and does the cool vintage proud, a classic case of buy the whites in the lesser red wine years – 2008, 2002, 2014, 1991. 2025-27 Oct 2017 Previously Nov 2009 *** pale, flinty colour. Gentle, harmonious nose – wisps of honey, white fruits, an elegant ensemble here. This is easy drinking for the aperitif, nice and graceful. Is not very imposing, but there is good, quiet flow along the palate, and a refined finish. Agreeable 2008. 2014-15 Nov 2009 Previously March 2009 **(*) pale robe; fresh, bonbon sweets, lime nose – smoky white fruits in it. The palate is direct, nutty and buzzy – it has live acidity, and will do as an aperitif wine. Has decent length, more than expected from the attack's nature. The flavour is pear in style. To 2014. Bottled one month ago. March 2009

2007 ()

lime, citrus zest, orange peel, banana aromas – there is intrinsic power here. The wine's volume puts demands on the drinker, and it is a touch flabby. The flavour mixes flan, apricot and vanilla – dried fruits are here. It is a full wine but needs more zip. 2016-17 Feb 2009 Previously Jan 2008 **(*) (pre-bottle) pale robe, as usual when young. The nose renders pear, white pepper, mandarin – has some richness. Live start to the palate, then some refined content. Is simple at this stage, but will be elegant and a little floral in time. Has good, three-quarter weight poise. 2012-14. Jan 2008

2006 ()

very pale yellow; bright, fresh nose with citrus, light honey a few pear airs – it continues well, is good and open. The palate fruit is nice and clear, has life in it, and extends with a measured richness, so the end is rounded. It moves freely through the palate – a wine for the aperitif young, but also can develop well in its second stage of life. 2017-19 Jan 2008 Previously June 2007 *** mild yellow colour; buttery, gracious aroma, with a little bonbon – but overall, it is pretty clear-cut. The palate starts on a hazelnut note, with light flan and late apricot/peach in the flavour that has a small note of sweetness – the richness is subdued. It holds subtle appeal now, and will be more imposing with age – which it certainly can do. 2017-18 “The 2006 had good acidities, were always clear and well-balanced,” Pierre Abeille. June 2007

2005 ()

bright, young robe; the nose is tight, mixes spring flowers, iodine, has light honey and beeswax airs. The palate is still stiff, has the bone to live; for now, it needs decanting. The finish is firm and marked by aniseed. A good wine for food – with some cold mussels, it extends and opens, they bring out cool white fruits. 2020-21  Nov 2009  Previously Nov 2006 *** pale robe; round, nicely ripe fruit aroma with a little tang and fresh edging, suggests Bourboulenc. Quite fresh start to palate, this has body and ripe, quite buttery matter. The immediate rich hit is a Grenache Blanc characteristic, some nutty hints at the end. An easy drinking wine, doesn’t have the core richness for the longer term. 2010-11 Nov 2006

2004

good, sturdy yellow robe. The bouquet gives an oily, cooked pear-apricot aroma with a dash of vanilla, white raisin. There is some licorice and aniseed in the fresh zone, also some damp wool from the more evolved zone. Its fullness is attractive, and it is still alert. This is well fruited, holds a cordial gras richness, a shapely fat, at its centre. The finale is round, with wee tingle. This is enjoyable, going well now. The close is precise, firm and fresh. Stylish wine. 13.5°. 2021-23  Oct 2013 Previously Nov 2006 ** has a live bouquet that is direct, salty, straight as a dye. The palate is round on the attack, but isn’t settled. The length is fair, the finish crisp and subdued. It isn’t settled between bouquet and palate. Acidity evident, has some body within. Excess SO2. Try from mid-2007. 2012-14  Nov 2006

2002 ()

apply, zesty, citrus aromas. Terse, taut start, then regains some richness. Rather uneven wine. May 2003

2001 ()

sound yellow robe, legs, hint of gold. There is attractive freshness on the nose, backed by aromas of dried apricot and peach, aniseed. The palate gives white jam-like stone fruit, grips tight. It is not a great moment now – this is in transition, so is just a bit narrow. It is nicely textured, fine wine. “It was more on exotic fruits such as passion fruit, and now it runs more on wax tastes,” Pierre Fabre. From spring 2011. 2019-20  Nov 2009  Previously June 2007 *** gold, apricot, tints of pineapple in the robe; has a solid, square bouquet, like a red wine, with dried fruits, citronelle and lime tart, with some honey. The palate has a perfumato start, a good, full texture, and is ripe with brown sugar followed by almond tart in the flavour, and some grilled toast. A solid style of white Châteauneuf. 2015-16 “The bouquet reflects the silex, the rolled stones; we had very good acidity in 2001,” Christian Voeux, winemaker. June 2007

2000

pale robe; rich airs in the bouquet. The palate is fat, nicely modelled, runs along well. A bit reserved towards the finish. The length is fair. The flavour summons up quite delicate greengage fruit. Has extract, but also subtlety. “I find lime, linden in this,” Jean Abeille. Bottled April 2001. To 2009. Nov 2001

1998 ()

rather pale robe. The nose is soft, bears a light honeyed aroma, discreetly ripened white fruits, very soft spice apparent, a touch of vanilla. It has revved up yet, is on the sidelines. There’s a good filling of flavour on the attack, and the palate has a pleasing fullness. This emphasizes an easy, rather sweet bonbon-like content, white fruits with spicing. It has fair, rounded length, is just evolving away from its first freshness. It could gain depth as it evolves. 2017-19 Sept 2000, East Sussex

1996 ()

quite a firm yellow, more advanced than I had expected; the bouquet is live, vivacity and roundness present in it. The palate also gives salty touches, is alert, doing OK. Petrol style finish, towards Riesling. This is well sustained. 2011-14. Great with a 1.8 kg sea bass caught by Jean Abeille. Nov 2001

1992

gold-yellow mix on robe; salted, iron in the bouquet, with dried fruits and some citronelle. There are white fruits in the flavour – they are ripe and there is also good grip. Has very good length, with some brown sugar in the taste, but it is delivered with a fresh tone. The palate axis is around hazelnut and white raisin. “I find it ends with a taste of patisserie prepared with a syrup of grenadine,” Pierre Abeille. Drink an old white Châteauneuf like this with scambled eggs and black truffles, or pigeon with a creamed morille wild mushroom sauce, or even grilled partridge – why not? With such rich wines, you can explore. Remember that this comes from the vintage when the harvest was rain affected – they picked 8-9 September, with the devastating floods at Vaison-la-Romaine 21 September, 1992. 2017-18 June 2007