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The Wines

30% Grenache blanc (1950s and older), 10-15% Roussanne, 10-20% Viognier (both 1990-95), 10% Marsanne (1990-95), 10-20% Clairette, 10% Picpoul, 0-10% Bourboulenc, some Ugni blanc (1950s and older) from galet stone covered sandy, red clay soils, cool maceration, Roussanne & Viognier new oak fermented with lees stirred, rest vat fermented 20-25 days at 18°C, all vat raised 3-4 months, bottled end January, malo blocked, fined, filtered, organic wine, 16-20,000 b

2017

steady yellow. A peach, grapey aroma leads the nose, ahead of a weighted core, a bouquet based on stewed white fruits, compote, notes of tangerine welcome for providing a little zip. It’s a muscular start. The palate is filled, sturdy, replete, based on peach, pear with floral touches. It’s just getting going, is a big wine, a full serving for mushroom or squid risottos, paella, Mediterranean cuisine, also Szechuan dishes. There is a drift of exotic fruits, lychees, mango just on the finish. This is assertive, freighted Lirac blanc for la table. Decant it. 14.5°. 16,000 b. 30% Gren bl, 20% Vio, 10% Clair, 10% Rouss, 10% Mars, 10% Picpoul, 10% Bourb. b 2026-28 Sept 2018

2016

solid yellow colour. There’s a roll call of jungle fruits, the Amazon basin, on the nose – pineapple, mango, guava jelly, along with grapefruit freshness. It has a melted butter tone as well. This is in slight shutdown now, transition. It holds weighted content, a flavour of aniseed and peach with a note of banana, sitting firmly in the glass. It continues well, rustles up a flash or two of spearmint freshness. This is good, gutsy Lirac blanc that will live well; it can be left until late 2019, and decanting now is a good move. It ends securely, with good filling there, and the aftertaste brings in nuts, camomile. 14°. 2028-29 Oct 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe. The nose has a high fruit air, shows reduction, is centred on cooked white stone fruits, apricot. The reduction recedes after a few minutes. The palate has a tasty offering of plump white fruits with a little tang to provide grip. There is glow on the aftertaste. It drinks fine now, is quietly stylish and persistent. Light dishes suited. 14°. 2019-20  Feb 2016 

2014 ()

pale yellow. Has an airborne nose that leads on pear and flowers, has a citrus-lime note, shows a nutty aroma also. This is purposeful on the palate, grips on the attack, has fleshy white fruit content backed by fine late acidity.This is still steely, not unfurled. It has relative delicacy on the outer, quiet power on the inner. 14°. 2021-22 £149 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk Nov 2015 Previously Apr 2015 *** pale yellow robe. Quiet pear, white fruits jam air in a tender nose, an secondary air of aniseed, white peach also. This gives supple, immediate drinking; it accentuates ease and roundness. Fine acidity ends it. The length is gentle. This is floral and tender, and well away from the simmering power of these whites of the past. It marks a definite change in approach. 14°. 2018-19  Apr 2015

2013

pale robe; the nose is broad – it is juicy, has pear, nut airs with some smoke. The palate is still tight, has enough content and is built to evolve and last well. There is implicit power in it, but it is very well presented, very good. The finale is fresh. It will live, perhaps like the 2001. A tiny floral note on the exit works well. 14°. £144 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk 2022-23 Nov 2014

2012

flinty yellow colour. Soft, mild pear aroma that has a flan, white fruit aroma – this shows Viognier, white strawberry, lime marmalade, some flan with redcurrant touches. The palate is well bundled together, its central flavour quince and apricot, jam-like, shows dried fruits grip on the finish. Good heart here. Fresh wine, best with steamed fish, cold meats. Definite local hum on the aftertaste, with a display of fennel and aniseed there. Attractive, complete wine with lots of bonny fruit that can go on. 14°. €15. 30% Gren bl, 20% Clair, 10% each Vio, Rouss, Mars, Picpoul, 10% Bourb/Ugni bl this year. Very good. £130 12 b in bond H2Vin GB www.h2vin.co.uk To 2017-18  May 2013

2011 ()

pale yellow, flinty colour. Has a fresh, up-front nose, offers vanilla, licorice, a mix of grapefruit and apricot, some essential oils, verbena. The attack is shapely, delivers fleshy gras richness, has lots of give in it. Its texture suits cold meats, cheeses such as Jarlsberg from Norway. STGT, joli wine, a proper Southern Rhône white,  one with a mixed palette of both aroma and flavour. 14°. To 2017  May 2013  Previously Feb 2012 *** pale, shiny yellow; has a full bouquet, plenty of immediate depth and appeal, a pretty ripeness, notes of flan. The palate shows early fat, has a suave roll of white fruit, a flavour of dried skins. Has a lovely, fine finish. w.o.w. wine. €14.50 at the cellar. Bottled 1 week ago. “I like its aromas, its fruit and floral combination – there are a lot of choice for this – aperitif or foods,” Christophe Delorme. 14°. 2018-19 Feb 2012

2010

mid-depth yellow; buttery-pear, rather musky air, with a citronelle/tangerine tang, a good combination. Has a well-weighted palate, nice substance and show of spiced white fruits. Delivers a late tannin grip, has charge there. Food more than the aperitif. Decant it. 14°. 2019-20 Oct 2011

2008 ()

low key yellow robe; high tone, pear fruit mix on the nose – it is marked by its Viognier, even only 15% of it, and a little power is evident. The palate is a wholesome, also elegant affair, and comes with very good cohesion, is all together. It is slightly gummy at the end, but comes across well. A pretty wine that has a nuanced, brioche and pear aftertaste. 14°. To 2014. March 2009

2007 ()

good, round bouquet of style and poise – some almond paste alongside pear, has a little cool note. The palate is good and supple, has an easy, fleshy texture, with a flavour of crème patisserie, a little vanilla and white raisin. Bonny, textured wine which has a sweet late note. “I would drink this with shellfish or with desserts,” Christophe Delorme. 2012-13 June 2008

2006 ()

yellow robe; hazelnut, pear combo on the nose, which is wide and solid, has plenty of latent power, the flan aroma at its heart comes with spice. Has a hazelnut, tight flavour with spice trimmings that lift it. Is wide but refined through the palate, and is even like a red wine in shape late on. Holds up well through the palate, and the flavour late on mixes pear, dried fruits such as apricot. 2011-13 Oct 2007, Paris

2005 ()

light yellow robe; prominent, broad nose – buttery, bonbon sweets, hints of dried apricot, flan present. Imposing palate – nutted, dried fruits, raisin tastes; has a chewy, round, full finale, plenty of richness there, the length is good. Just keeps its power under control. 14.5°. To 2012. Nov 2007

2003 No Rating

yellow robe; mango-lychee, broad and very exotic fruit aroma. The palate is more inset and rather oxidative, not clear. There is some sweetness in this which is not quite right. June 2008

2001

just to show what good southern Rhône whites can do, with the dip, then the rebound, this is now up to four stars (close to that in its first couple of years). Full yellow, healthy colour (again, wines can become dark, then lighten again). Quince paté or jam aroma which is broad, just a little “high” and reductive if one is being technical, has an air of fresh banana as well. The palate is a mix of glazed fruit flavours, cooked pear, smokiness and a little tannic grip. This is ace with Stilton blue cheese – everything fresh and clear. It moves really well. It has the body of a southern wine, but age has brought finesse, clarity, style. It has fine length, a real steady extension into a comfortable, satisfying finish. It is great now, with no oxidation, and the merit of mature complexity and finesse on board. 14°. To 2016  Dec 2010, East Sussex Previously April 2010 **** mild gold robe. Mature, rounded aroma that is really jam-like. There is jelly reminiscent of white fruits such as quince and pear, with spice in them. Salty outer to the palate – this has a notably fresh appeal, also a clear-cut finish. Shows a line of tannin late on. Good depth and content here. Ends on aniseed, and shows a “meaty” late fullness. Great with grilled lobster. Day 2 and the N Rhône varieties emerge more, bearing hazelnut and a steady firmness. Still in v good shape. Has rebounded. To 2014 Apr 2010 Previously June 2008 *** mid+ yellow. Has an agrume, citrus-lime and a little honey in the nose – the air moves it to papaya and lychee. The palate lies between the richness of maturity and the dry of ageing wine. Is tight at the finish, where there is a vanilla pod taste. This grips on the palate, and still one can find oak on the aftertaste. 2009-10 June 2008

1997 ()

the bouquet shows a fat air, comes in a Roussanne style, with a little firm side, and a note of apple. This has lots of flavour, really surges. The length is pretty good. This holds really intense white fruit, and can age. 2007-09 Oct 1998

1996 ()

sappy fruit air, is pungent in style, shows a little advance. This is big, has a lot of volume on the palate – it is fat, but cherre is a nice chewy frame around it, a flavour of apricot. Very dense. “We change our varieties from 1995 onwards in each year – we now have more Viognier and Roussanne, less Grenache blanc and Clairette. Now we are on Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne,” Christophe Delorme. 2002-03  Oct 1998