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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

2017 ()

yellow robe; the bouquet has a peanut, peach jam, lemon curd aroma, comes in a neat ball, can certainly deliver more. The palate holds compressed richness, the texture smooth and firm throughout, is more on nuts, butter and brioche bread than overt fruit. It may be going through a withdrawn phase. The richness has a certain elegance. From late-2019, decanting a must. 2032-34 Dec 2018

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. 2032-34 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. 2033-35 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. 2030-32  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