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The Wines

from La Gardine, plus Les Combes Masques, 20-45% Grenache blanc (av age 40 years), 20-25% Clairette, 20-50% Roussanne, 10% Bourboulenc, cool decantation, fermented, raised 70-80% steel vat, 20-30% new-1-year 225-litre oak casks (Roussanne) 10-11 months, malo blocked, 10-17,000 b


(vat/casks) full, prominent yellow robe; the nose has an open air led by mandarin, orange fruit, apricot, spearmint, with white raisin that indicates the ripeness of the harvest. The palate sits well with a comfortable gras richness, extends with some spearmint freshness. It is well supplied with layered content, and has some dash in its delivery. It’s definitely one for la table, can pair with Asiatic cuisine, soft cheese. 14°. 2031-33 Oct 2019

2016 ()

flinty, pale yellow robe. A pear, pear drop sweets aroma leads the nose, has a lime-mandarin undertone, suggests white flowers, a touch of spice, a hint of aniseed. It is a bouquet of variety and subtlety. This is “delicate” Châteauneuf white, all in an airborne refinement, with citrus influences to the fore. It stops a little suddenly. The nose is persuasive, fine, but the palate is on the light side, twixt north and south in origin., on the aperitif trail. It can rustle up more integration, and perhaps more gras if left for a second stage around mid-2019. Marks for refinement, poise. Day 2: quiet, in its shell, fine if a bit light. 14°. 2023-24 Sept 2017

2014 ()

healthy yellow robe. The nose is pretty full and wide, centres on peach, ripe white plum, apricot, has light oaking. The palate is smoothly textured with a steady run of fleshy content. Has the gras to accompany richly flavoured dishes. It is in a quiet phase just now, so wait until spring to mid-2016 or decant it if drinking now. It is an elegant wine, with style, and a dainty, precise acidity. 13.5°. 10,000 b. €31. 50% Rouss, 20% Clair, 20% Gren bl, 10% Bourb. 70% steel, 30% oak. Bottled July 2015. 2022-23  Oct 2015


fine yellow robe. The nose is subdued: a suave pear aroma is detectable, low-key toasting and greengage plum fruit. There is a light floral, acacia-style addition to aid its charm. This is shapely, a thread of fine acidity a defining theme through it. The length is precise, good. It is in a quiet phase, transition, just now. Decant it, thus. It is balanced, just not very evident. There is a minor late glow, and a touch of aniseed in a clear finale. It is elegant, quiet wine that flows easily and clearly. I rate it as a wine that can expand and show more from mid-2016; there is a stealthy depth late on, for instance. Day 2: the finale is delicate. 13.5°. 2023-25  Feb 2015 Previously Oct 2014 ****(*) yellow robe. Refined mandarin-citrus aroma. Palate is opulent, comes with gras richness, which is balanced by the zest of the fruit. Long, lingering finish on the fruit. Quite the complete package. Delicious now. Needs food (John Dory, scallops). 14°. 50% Rouss, 20% Gren blanc, 20% Clairette, 10% Bourboulenc.   2024-26  JL Oct 2014


yellow-tinted robe. Subdued, not quite sullen bouquet here – it has definite depth, so has the potential to unlock. There is density in its white fruits aroma. A good ripple of gras, southern flavour covers the palate well, with oil of linden, wax present, then more spice and ginger, more provocation. A good Châteauneuf-du-Pape for la table – decant it and serve in a large glass, it is varied, has a compact heart and more glycerol than many 2012s. Good with cheese, white meats, mushroom dishes. 14°. 2026-27  Oct 2013


pale yellow; has a good, elegant nose – there exists harmony between fruit and flowers, and it has an airborne style, with notes of mint. The palate starts well, runs on a solid base with a sympa oily texture. There are local STGT garrigue touches at the end. An authentic child of terroir with a firm final grip. Interesting, true Châteauneuf blanc that is threaded with tangy apricot and quince fruit, a little carbonic gas apparent. Has good body and carry, a smatter of late oak, and despite being higher degree than usual is a really good glass filler. Drinks well now. 14.5°. 2021-23 Dec 2012


clear yellow colour; has a sleek aroma – dried fruits, nuts, lime and citrus touches, mandarin, with honey and light drifts of spice. This drinkable, tasty and clear; its flavour spreads across the palate, and its picks up a saline clarity as it goes. Good white Châteauneuf for getting on with now – can serve as an aperitif or suit steamed fish, ot hors d`oeuvres, for instance. Fine acidity keeps it lengthening well, with good cut. A really good aperitif. 14°. 2018-19 Feb 2012

2009 ()

yellow colour, tiny apricot tint. Its broad, curved aroma is led by pineapple and mango, is ripe and big – a southern wine, no doubt, with further fruit such as peach, cooked pear, candy as well. The palate has a very fat, creamy texture which rules the roost. A plump, rather static wine that is young, without mystery or spice in it. Ends on nutty, firm notes. Decant this, which can also be left until mid-2013. I find it largely led by its Roussanne and Grenache blanc, 70% of it this year, more than Roussanne than usual. 2021-23. Has thickened up in the last 14 months, like several 2009 whites. Food better than aperitif now. Dec 2011 Previously Oct 2010 **** flinty yellow; fresh, candied nose, mix of honey and bonbon sweets, gets on with matters. Has citronelle and wax across it, is a very handy start. Supple white fruits debut on the palate, runs on a white jam flavour, is sweeter than the nose would indicate. Has pretty fine length, good balance. Peach and vanilla aftertaste. Good now, OK for the aperitif. A well-handled, fresh wine. 14°. 2017-18 Oct 2010


clear, shiny pale yellow. Very harmonious, clear bouquet – it is round, agreeable, offers peach, lime, light custard or flan air. There is a really good ensemble of fruit and weight of content on the palate – this is an adorable wine, has bundles of appeal – great balance, harmony, is very good, a w.o.w. wine. Can do aperitif or food – a roast Bresse chicken with a drop of garlic would be a rocker. Attractive pepper on the aftertaste. 2019. A storming 2008 white Châteauneuf. Dec 2009 17,000 b this year – just one white made, was 45-50% Roussanne, the rest a mix of Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, 30% new oak, 70% steel vat, bottled in April 2009. Dec 2009

2007 ()

pretty, pale yellow; light oak toasting on the nose, shows fresh, restrained lime fruit, an air of honeysuckle also. Elegant, agreeable drinking, a wine with length, clarity, is well-balanced. It opens with air – pineapple on the nose, more oak towards the finish, then a full finish. 14°. To 2018. Good with a late night omelette aux fines herbes, baguette bread and a few chips. Saved my day, indeed. March 2011 Previously Nov 2008 ***(*) full yellow, legs down the glass. Rich style bouquet – butterscotch, oak, liquid honey, but has an agreeable airy space at the top, with some freshness involved as well, along with spice and toasting and grilling from the oak. It is a wide, textured wine on the palate – it runs fully, smoothly. It is very primary, not nuanced now – it ends on some heat, and is enclosed now. The oak serves more as a clamp on its expression rather than a flavour infusion. It has acidity to keep it moving, but the finish comes up trumps, with dried fruits and a pockets of richness. Good length, interesting potential. Good with grilled scallops with a light cream sauce – its acidity helps it with that. 2019-20 Nov 2008

2006 ()

this needs patience: mild yellow colour; the nose is subdued – shows baked white fruit eg apricot tart, a little flan and vanilla pod, barley sugar. Day 2 – the nose is dumb. There is rather classy oak fed into this compact white fruit on the palate. The oak arrives in advance on the finish. This is all in a low register today; the texture has a good, tight fit and the balance is sound – good portents. There is a curve late on, since the wine is not at all fiery or angular, and some citronelle peeks out there. Comes very much in a mature fruit, baked style, with raisin tart in the taste. Day 2 gives more prominent oak, with grip and bite; Day 3 – some poise on the palate, a quality core. To be on the safe side, drink from spring 2009 – more open, less oak. 14°. 2016-18 July 2008

2005 ()

pale colour; agreeably soft and squeezy fruit aroma with a fresh top note showing as a salty-citrus combo. Becomes more buttery with air, but retains its dried fruits tang. There is a honeyed thread through the palate, has a tight structure and some latent muscle in it. Is still compact and young, and reveals the power of the year. With a stony and a bit spirity tone near the end, its alcohol lies just outside it. Great with food – rolls well with chicken and also very good with egg curry and mango chutney. Has both some flair and finesse. 14° 2014-16 Feb 2007