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The Wines

90% Clairette blanche with 5% Grenache blanc mixed in vineyard (early 1950s) from 4 hectares on clay-limestone, alluvial, gravel terraces from the slopes of Gigondas, with since 2019 5% Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier (2013) from 0.7 ha on N facing clay soils at 350 metres, 33% each new (half 228-litre, half 500-litre) & 1-2 year 228-litre oak cask fermented, raised on fine lees 6 months until June, malo blocked, filtered, bottled July, 12-18,000 b

2019

(casks, bottling July 2020) yellow; the bouquet is sizeable, has a rich centre, crushed white fruits, very Clairette-aniseed, pastis, young oak. The palate reflects the sun of the year, with a fuelled run of white fruits, apricot, ends firmly, notes of dried fruits. This has southern strength. More interesting on a second stage, best to leave three to four years – it certainly has the acidity for that. “Ferments ended towards Christmas, so the evolution is behind this year; it’s very fresh for a 2019,” Jean-Marie Amadieu. Harvested 20 Sept. 2030-32 Feb 2020

2018 ()

firm yellow; glazed fruits, brioche aroma, a note of petrol, is robust, tightly coiled still. The palate suggests a firm couch, is a little dumb, has a buttery moment near the finish. This is Clairette at its stubborn, grounded nature, but low on demonstration. The texture is suave, refined, the flavour towards peach. Decant. 13°. Bottled June 2019. From 2022. 2031-32 Feb 2020

2017

Bottle 1: cork. Bottle 2: low-key evolution on the yellow robe; the nose is wide, sustained, compact. Roast nuts, crushed grape, baked bread. The palate is interesting, just coming along, fine freshness, and detail into a steady, calm close. There are petrol, quince notes, indicating its helpful freshness, with touches of rose petal. This is good, really carries potential. “The Clairette doesn’t fear drought, handles it well, as it did this year,” Jean-Marie Amadieu. 13°. Bottled Feb 2018. 2028-30 Feb 2020

2016 ()

this could reach **** - yellow robe, accentuated depth. Buttery, butterscotch aroma, brioche baked bread. The palate bears a straight down the line, spearmint style freshness, is still holding back, has Northern overtones. The finish is grippy, nutty. Very much table wine, for Comté, Emmental cheese, needs careful matching. It carries the signature aniseed touches of the Clairette. Quiet complexity. 12.3°. From 2022. 2032-34 Feb 2019

2015 ()

firm yellow; nutty, evolving nose, going through a phase of change. Has an oily air, with a nutty, hint of oxidation, melted butter. The palate also picks up on the slight oxidation on the attack, but has vigorous content, assertive flavours of honey, roast nuts. There is glycerol on the end which is its green light for the future. This grows on me, even if it isn’t all as one, what with a dip in the middle, and the tang on the aftertaste, a little bitter from the limestone. It’s well worth studying, and trying to understand. 13°5 – the last year when harvested at this, from 2016 earlier, towards 12.5° or so. 2028-30 Feb 2020

2014 ()

gold tints in the yellow robe. The nose shows damp wool, sultry compote of white fruits, fungal notes, very much of the soil more than the sun. The palate bears inner strength, isn’t fully declared, has peach- white raisin flavours, is silken of texture, and ends neatly. The aftertaste has a spearmint note. Decanting essential. It is very comfortable in its skin, is very poised. Poulet de Bresse with morilles beckons for it. 2029-31 Feb 2020 Previously Dec 2015 **** yellow robe. The first aroma is toasted, but is also a very typical Clairette bouquet in being a little stubborn. There are apricot-flan airs, light pear, Zan licorice. It doesn’t open and express openly, but builds as it airs. The palate is another game: it holds much joli gras richness with fine freshness and detail in its offer. The gras is appealing, and it has a very natural smooth texture, the caress of old vines. A major, nuanced Côtes du Rhône blanc with plenty of road ahead. Absolutely excellent. VALUE. 13°. 2027-29  Dec 2015 Previously Jun 2015 **** pale yellow. Pear prime aroma, a gentle setting, also apricot, a note of salty tang and oak. This drinks well, with an early burst of dried fruits flavour and further tang. It picks up a small note of gras on the finish, where oak-vanilla also features. Can run on with time. 13°. From 2016. 2020-21  Jun 2015

2013

full yellow; butter-caramel aroma, a little static, is weighty, a low-key petrol. The palate reflects that strength, has notes of citrus late on, is a bit hither and thither, veers towards dryness on the finish, with some spice such as cardoman. Dish of pork good with this. This is moving into its final phase. 13°2. 2024-25 Feb 2020

2012 ()

bright, pale yellow. Nutty first air, peanut a strong influence, with toasting, finely cut Melba toast. Toasted oak lies with aromatic plum white fruit, a light white peach flavour. Subtle, interesting wine that will reward those who delve and ponder on it. It ends with a calm extra squeeze of grip, fine toast. Polished, well done, and will bear a less toasting from late 2014. Last bottle in May - post bottling syndrome?? 13°. “Drink with sea bream, goat cheese,” P Amadieu. €4.65 ex cellars is BIG VALUE. 2018-19. GB: Paul Kurs and Co; USA: Jerome Selection/Fruit of the Vines  Oct 2013 Previously May 2013 * pale yellow. Toasted traverse across the nose, “high” fruit under it, damp wool, fireside airs, smoked mackerel, all a bit strange. The palate debut is oaked, is a soft texture wine, bears low-key plum white fruit, apricot. The oak is tired here, and the wine seems “painted by numbers”. 13.5°. To 2015  May 2013

2011 ()

pale robe, legs. Lime, followed by a very toasted air, a bucket load of vanilla. The palate has oak spicing, an orange marmalade flavour; its gras sits in it well. Oak then takes over, and dries it just too much. The texture on the aftertaste is gummy, quite rich, so this could be OK in time. Very strong oak emerges with air. Try from mid-2013. Decant. To 2017  Oct 2012