Maison Ventenac

Deep and inviting nose, with a touch of the herbal and earthy that you might expect from Cab Franc. More red pepper than green though. Medium-bodied, juicy and deep in fruit, very fine though fairly lush tannins and a silky whisp of a finish. Feline and pure.

Domaine Fournier Longchamps

Little touch of spicy oak here is a little bit more noticeable than on the other cuvées, but it just adds a little spark of spice and it works well. Precise, focused, fairly light in style but with a little weight on the mid-palate helping it work with food and satisfy in general. Medium length finish. Doesn't quite have the confidence and charisma of the Chamboureau, but is very good.

Olivier et Lafond

Full, sweetly fruited, rounded, more concentrated and generous than their standard Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with more length of fruit. Damson, touch of garrigue herbs and sage. Nice sense of purity and freshness. Tannins are soft, malleable, and just ample enough to bring freshness. Convincing.

Domaine des Tours

Current vintage ex-domaine in late 2018. Taking on a uniform pale, copper-gold colour. Linden, subtle pear skin scent. Full-bodied, with some internal sweetness of fruit and honey flavour, ending dry, mineral, with some aniseed. Fairly long, very well-balanced with a firm acid line. Really interesting wine, classic Rhône Clairette, more one to intrigue than one to love. Absurdly good value at less than £15.

Château des Tours

Very pale colour. Pure English strawberry and sage. Medium- to full-bodied, vibrant pinpoint acidity. Very herbal in style: rosemary, thyme. Dry finish, herbal and resinous, very savoury, not long. Very drinkable, with a slight mineral seam.

Jean-Luc Colombo

Medium gold colour, quite deeply coloured. Vanilla, peach, apricot and cashew aromas, the fruit is ripe and the oak gives interest and spice. Full-bodied, rich, flowing, but with balanced acidity and good depth of fruit. Touch of flat peach and cream soda on the finish. The acidity is the thing that keeps it vital and drinkable. ‘Naughty but nice’ as the cream cake adverts used to say.