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Clairette around the world: 53 shining examples

Clairette is coming into its own as a varietal wine, and the fact that the grape thrives in hot and dry climates suggests that we’re likely to be seeing and tasting more of it in future.

If Grenache is the king of southern Rhône reds, then what is the region’s star white variety? Grenache Blanc may be the most widely planted, but I would argue the case for Clairette, or Clairette Blanche to use its full name. Clairette is usually found in blends, but I’ve been encountering pure Clairette increasingly frequently.

To get a clearer impression of the grape, I tasted as many wines as I could find that contain at least 80% Clairette. I was expecting to find 10, perhaps 20. I ended up with 70 (12 notes were published in Decanter’s November 2022 magazine, with an additional 41 for Decanter Premium).

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for a selection of Clairette wines to try from around the world

Tough and beautiful

It’s not an aromatic grape, but it nonetheless has a floral softness and a deeply Provençal character; it’s richly textured, with a full, luxurious consistency that’s balanced by deep-set, if gentle acidity. It also performs well in hot climates – which might explain why its star is in the ascendant, not just in France, but around the world.

Matt Walls’ picks: a taste of Clairette wines from around the world

The list below features all five sparkling wines, plus all wines that scored 93 points or above

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