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The Wines

75-100% Marsanne, 0-25% Roussanne (sometimes from Le Méal, av age 30 years), hand harvested, cool decantation, vat fermented, raised new 275-litre oak casks 14-20 months, lees stirred for first month, malo completed, 1,400 b

2016 ()

(casks) full, burnished yellow robe. The nose is full of tropical pulses – mango, pineapple chunks, very ripe white peach fruit, orange zest, a top level of toasting. The palate is rich, immediately gourmand, is thickly textured with a good length of delivery that ends in an oaked burst of clarity. This is rich, and deserves pairing with sauced dishes, Osso Bucco, lobster Thermidor, Szechuan Chinese cuisine. It’s a striking, generous Hermitage blanc with bags of content to handle its oak. 13.5°. From spring 2019. 2029-32 Nov 2017

2015 ()

(cask) full, deep yellow. Guava and apricot mingle on a forward bouquet, one that glistens with ripeness. There is a deft note of saltiness. The palate commences with a rich ball of gras, has really enjoyable plumpness, spreads itself widely with a sure hand. This is a true, STGT Hermitage blanc from a sunny year: it gives a flavour of dried fruits, and some tannic tightness towards the finish, ends with a liquid honey flourish, white flowers also. From 2018, and decanting helpful. 100% Marsanne. 2027-29 Oct 2016

2013 ()

(casks) yellow robe, legs. Gives a peanut, almond paste first air, a kind glint of lime freshness and a hint of spice, a note of pineapple from the oak. It starts on an apricot, dried fruits flavouring, has a low-key freshness and is grounded along the palate. It ends cleanly, competently. A good middle range Hermitage blanc, no frills; it doesn’t quite have the depth of the leaders. Has a jam fruit, jelly, peach style finish. 100% early 1980s Marsanne this year. €42 at the cellars. 2028-30  Jan 2015

2011

(casks, bottling late 2012) yellow robe, some green. The bouquet gives a steady wave of oak and a pineapple-mango fruit as a consequence of that, a ripe Marsanne and Roussanne crop, pineapple often an association of very ripe Roussanne. There are light notes of pepper, also greengage plum fruit, the last-named a relief, a more delicate note. The palate is fleshy, the second half pinned around toast, oak and guava style exotic fruit. The flavour assembles oil, hazelnut and smoky tea. From mid-2015. 2024-26. 34 hl/ha this year. Nov 2012

2010

(casks) soft yellow, legs down the glass. Salty air, as if Roussanne present, and varnish elements feature on the nose, has a fresh overtone, and a nutty, dried white fruits grip – the nose is inviting, has good style. There is an agreeable mix of squeezy fruit and tang on the attack, lengthens gracefully, stylishly, a very steady continuation. Classy, not overdone, a true 2010. bonny vivacity and freshness, I give it marks for finesse. There is a lot of true Marsanne access, no masking of its juice, and it shows pineapple on the exit, a clear moment. From late 2013. 2026-28 Nov 2011

2006 ()

largely yellow robe; wild, somewhat sulphurous nose – it is hard to penetrate, citrus airs lie within. The palate is mildly fruited, gives soft peach, honey tones that merge into a later nutty tint, along with dryness from its oak. Mid-range, not very ambitious white Hermitage (tasted blind). Tightens on the finish. 2019-21 Dec 2007

2004 ()

(casks) overt, full yellow; the nose is round and ample – white fruits, crème patisserie and melted butter mixed into the flavour, plus toast from its oak. The palate flavour is good and tight-knit, but as it proceeds becomes a little one-dimensional. Age will bring some needed variety. There is a touch of end burn or bitterness, the length oak-supported. Oak on top of vineyard here. Get it into the bottle, rapido, please! From 2010. 2019-21 April 2006