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The Wines

100% Marsanne from alluvial, old glacier soils on Les Murets (1940s-1950s), 1 day cool decantation after pressing, fermented, raised 50% 600-litre oak casks (30% new, 70% 1 year, slight drop in new oak since 2005), 50% vat 10-12 months, very soft lees stirring over 6 months, retention of high level of CO2 sought to counter oxidation, and allow low use of sulphites, first wine 1991, biodynamic wine, 7,000+ b

2016

(casks) shiny, full yellow robe. Elder flower and its floating style comes above a toasted, tangy Marsanne ginger-orange marmalade aroma on the wide nose, which also show grilling. There is plenty in it. The palate holds a lemony content, a good wheel of neat richness, with exotic fruit jelly such as guava in the late flavour. It goes long with a stealthy purpose, and finishes well, a good burst of spiced, rich tropical style fruits there. It delivers from deep within, is a truly handsome, complex wine. From 2019: I feel there is a lot more to come here. 2032-35 Nov 2017 Previously Apr 2017 ****(*) (cask) yellow robe with a pale rim. The nose is subdued, offers white plum with a drift of aniseed, a layer of salt, dried fruits such as apricot, and lime juice adding buzz. This is neatly put together, with a squeezy gras at its heart. It lengthens steadily, and brings a white flowers aspect as it ends. This holds low-key southern content, aided by the low yield. It shows the Marsanne in good style, restraint. Decant this. Only 10 ha/hl this year, tiny. From 2020 2035-38 Apr 2017 GB £597.08 per 6 b in bond, £203.24 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk 

2015

(cask) shiny yellow colour. The nose is closed in by oaking and its grilling, within lying a deep mass and jumble of apricot, lime, peach. Despite the mass, it has good, tight and defined limits. The palate also starts with an oak-grilled delivery, but is very full, a real child of the sun, from south facing slopes. This has brilliant Hermitage richness, a mighty and glorious fat at its centre. It’s in a different league. There is a note of carbonic gas along its path, note. The finish goes long, brings in infused tea, tilleul or linden, with brioche, a little salt. Complex and provocative white Hermitage. From spring 2018: decant, serve in a large glass, and any patient cellaring will be well rewarded. For only the finest ingredients à table. 2034-38 Oct 2016 Previously Apr 2016 **** (cask) pale yellow. Aniseed and licorice, fennel airs lead the nose, white peach, orange blossom, hawthorn. The palate attacks on carbonic gas, with an inner of white stone fruits. The gras is elegant, restrained. The palate is a little on the stretch. As it warms and airs, a flavour of pear and greengage plum comes through. This is dumb. From 2020. 2031-33 GB £523.95 per 6 b in bond, £178.58 per magnum in bond Mentzendorff London +44(0)207 840 3600 www.mentzendorff.co.uk Apr 2016

2013 ()

fine yellow. Has a ripe aroma led by white plum, Mirabelle, with lime, citrus leanings – the bouquet has an appealing precision. The palate is well-knit, a good wavy gras lying at its centre; it ends with a quiet note of salt, restraint. This will age consistently, and be graceful. Fine droplets of flavour appear on the finish, and it has a toasted, nut-hazelnut, liquid honey close. Decanting a must. From 2019-20. 2036-39 GB £396/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com GB £410/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Jan 2015

2011 ()

(vat/cask) full yellow colour. There is a greengage-quince duet on the nose, with oak-vanilla, a hazelnut and homey richness, glazed fruits, lemon tart notes. The palate has a square shape, but shows the charm of 2011; for now, the second half is reserved, understated. A precise example of Marsanne, with purity in its flavour and a slow grip on the finish, its tang in evidence there, with an earthy, grounded aspect – white truffle country. Obviously from good white Hermitage terroir to have this clarity and latent depth. From 2016. Decant this. 2029-32  Nov 2012

2010

(vat/cask) attractive yellow; lime-mandarin debut to the nose, a classy display of Marsanne fruit, has more tinkle than many more solar years. Broad, engaging on the palate, has a solid heart, tannin and structure. Its length is almost meaty, there is real depth on the finish, is grounded wine. The nose floats more than the palate. The finish delivers clear, mineral-flint notes. From 2016. 2034-37 July 2011

2009

consistent yellow robe; strong oak – high roasting - peach, butterscotch, crème brûlée air, pretty big bouquet for starters. The palate is robust, all filled in, a thorough composition wine with the shape and structure of a red wine. It is hardly showing definable fruit, may never do that: instead it will live on spice, preserves, nuts. In need of full flavours such as lobster, also curry, veal, tajine, but at the same time a wide range of flavours. It just avoids being too much – a magnum would be great. Decant this. From 2016. 2036-39 July 2011 Previously July 2010 ***** (casks) steady yellow; oily, pebbly, hazelnut aromas – braised nuts such as cashew, almond, has a tenacious grip, salty airs, some freedom. The palate is firm throughout, has a meaty, knit constitution – brioche baked bread flavours, ending on firm, tannic notes. All sealed up, wire and muscle together. Persists steadily on to an aniseed flourish on the finish, where there is good bite. Interesting, slow-burn wine, has some mystery about it. From late 2014. 2032-35 July 2010

2008

(cask, London, malo completed) bonny, crisp yellow colour; the bouquet has an apricot, smoky top air, with oak vanilla and still live acidity; there is a touch of white jam or bonbon sweets in it as well. The palate has a pretty, subtle mid-palate that lengthens discreetly on its oak for now. There is nice gras or richness in this, it is a very orderly wine. There is a clear, secure finale - a certain firmness, notably, and also density. Expect a slow, steady evolution. From 2012, but this will close down. 2029-31 April 2009

2007

full yellow, pale gold. The bouquet is ripe and broad, on the way to being imposing but delivered en finesse. The aroma is juicy, suggests guava, lime, dried pear, banana, pineapple – it is indeed a mixed affair. The palate is ample in its fruit, exotic fruit – there is bounty here. Very ripe Marsanne used from this hot soil, but it ends on a clear tang, with its structured, somewhat red wine definition. The second part of the palate is interesting, as the wine stabilises and becomes more grounded. It ends with a very typical Marsanne flourish – pretty clarity, a trace of bitter and a punchy style. From late 2009, but it may well close and revive around 2014. 2027-29 Dec 2008

2006 ()

fine, bright yellow; cooked, steamed or baked pear aroma, lime and honey also – a fine bouquet to start matters. On the palate this emerges as a big, beefy wine, has the structure of a red – solid shoulders, comes with tannin. Hazelnut influences in the flavour. Has its usual guts, but is quietening down now. Good balance, a good ensemble in the making. 14.5°. 2027-29 Dec 2009 Previously April 2009 **** steady yellow robe; has a big, prominent, forward nose that comes with honey wax, grilled almonds – is tight. Has a solid, full palate, with a definite firm lining along the edges – it shows tannin, is chunky, but has fruit, grip and underlying elegance. The length is good and shows some late heat. Chunky still, not yet a wine of nuance. 2025-27 April 2009 Previously Nov 2007 ****(*) bright, gold and apricot colour; has a fat, buttery nose with some space in it, and the scope for a charming future. Today it shows dried fruits, apricots, gunflint. The palate has some vivacity, and sets off with a nutted, white fruits, mobile taste. Its finesse resembles 2004, but I prefer the more complete roundness of 2004. Has a late sprinkle of salt and clarity. From 2009, is in a dip after its bottling, and carbonic gas is still evident. 2025-27 Nov 2007 Previously June 2007 (cask/vat) ****(*) full yellow colour; ripely styled nose – honey and apricot, with flan also. The palate starts richly, but without excess – a mark of the vintage. There is richness and butteriness on top of the oak now – this is a ripe charmer that gains interest through the palate, and ends with a typical Marsanne bitter-white pepper clarity. Good gras in this, yum. From 2009. 2027-29 June 2007

2005 ()

pale gold in the robe; the bouquet is wide but a bit unyielding – carries butterscotch and vanilla, with white raisins and pear. There is a rich tone to the palate, that is overtly full and dense, with a locked-up force and some taste of white raisins. A beefy wine, one that is directed towards a firm, almost tannic finish. There is a lot of matter here. Wait until 2012-13 – this is not for young drinking, so tight is its weave. Big wine, has gained dimension in the last six months. 2026-28 Nov 2007 Previously June 2007 **** apricot, orange airs and some vanilla in the bouquet, that has a round shape and will be a charmer. There is also a good, fresh top that bodes well for the future. Refined richness on the palate, holds a white stone fruit flavour that is just emerging. A bit withdrawn on the finish, where there is a mix of honey and Marsanne bitter. Correct length, a three-quarter weight wine. Wait with this – for more length and openness. Esp 2010-11 on. 2027-30 June 2007

2004

robe holds a little less yellow than the 2003 today; has a sappy, ripe nose with a lot of fat appeal, bears honey and early summer flowers. The palate is en finesse, and has a savoury, floating appeal. The length is good, and refined. Good balance, great harmony, a lot of finesse here. Can be drunk young for the moment. 2024-26 Nov 2007 Previously June 2007 ***** a bottle open since yesterday: exotic, pineapple fruit aroma, with plum and quince as well – the top is smoky and clear-cut. Has a rich, stroking start to the palate, which is really coated by a gentle touch; this carries great roundness and amplitude. Up come some jungle fruits, pineapple and vanilla late in the day, and it bears a typical Orée rich finish – it is often more fat and plump at the end than l`Ermite and Le Méal white. 2027-29 June 2007 Previously April 2006 ***** yellow robe. Pear/baked apple, furniture polish aromas, gentle floral backdrop, with spring flowers. Toasted attack, gives out pineapple, exotic fruit flavours, its oak lengthens it. Good balance, texture is notably elegant. Plenty of charm to come, this is very classy on the palate. Typical Marsanne bitter tinge towards finish. Esp 2011-12 on. 2023-26 April 2006 Previously Dec 2005 ***(*) full and persistent bouquet, lime marmalade, a little top spice. Round, ripe palate - certainly a ripe year with a full, chewy nature. Fruit is a little extreme, there is brown sugar and caramel towards the finish. Is a little hidden even though the ripe is very ripe. Finding its way still. 2020-23

2003

pretty, quite full yellow colour; has a solid, grounded nose with some evolution apparent, a bit of high tone (varnish) in there – is not especially defined just now, is toasted and a wee bit rustic. Holds an agrarian rather than chic appeal. The palate is a chunky do – has rich, ripe core, with some burnt tones in the taste late on. The finale is a bit taut, carrying white raisins and spice and some late heat. Finishes solidly. It's taking shape, and becoming more manly. 14.5°. 2020-22 Nov 2007 Previously Dec 2005 **** yellow glints. Suave, soft, reserved aroma with some spice and a lemon tang. Round, well-shaped palate with nice breadth. White stone fruits flavour, tightened by some Marsanne grip. End is rich, this has a good pedigree. The vintage renders it warm on the finish. 2021-24 Dec 2005 Previously (cask) **** butterscotch, replete bouquet, more to come. Stone fruit start, nutty flavour later. Sound, discreet length. Good Marsanne, has character and typicité. Marmalade, nuts on finish. Quite forward. 2007 on. 2019-23

2002

bouquet buttery, quite full, with early stage banana. Palate also buttery, pretty full. Dumb now, much more open around 2008. Hazelnut aftertaste, tightens at end, length good. Has the acidity to last well, and has body; it just needs to integrate. Good Marsanne display. 2019-23

2001

yellow; creamy, peach/apple pie bouquet. Very elegant, suave palate, great roundness. Notable for its soft oiliness; some end grip from the oak. 2017-20

2000

ripe, fat bouquet, opulent, broad and open; heat, cooked fruit, white fruit jam, caramel and crème brulée on the palate. Dried fruit skins also feature in the taste, and some end spice. It finishes more drily than it attacks. 2019-24

1999

custard tart style, buttered, with floral hints. Full and elegant, some floral aspects, grilled almonds. Sound length. Live, alert, long finish. 2019-23

1998

quite golden tone in the robe; marked overripeness, butterscotch on the nose. This is fat, rich wine, opulent, with burnt sugar, a bit OTT (over the top). Sizzled butter, some dried fruits on the end. 2016-20

1997

quite closed, reticent bouquet, a touch of mineral even though the year was hot. Burgeoning warmth on palate, the content is good but still carries an oak restraint on the edges. Good grip on finish. Esp 2007 on. 2020-23 Jereboam, March 2005 Previously ***** almost straw colour; rounded, buttery bouquet, with some reserve, has potential; lovely texture here, already soft but has good structure. Persistent and is both full and fine. Rounder than Méal, very discreet, lovely. 2017-22

1996

marked yellow; lot of oiliness, white fruit, fat bouquet. Plenty of depth on palate, the richness has an appealing soft edge. Warm and refined, has southern tendencies. 2015-20

1995

fabulously warm and rounded, on top form now, in this Jereboam format. Bouquet shows butter and light spice. The word "spherical" was made for this wine. Good balance and some acidity still ticking over. 2017-20 March 2005 Previously **** reserved nose, light custard, cool backdrop. Honey, stone fruit flavour, between youth/mid-age. Sinew, chewy end, tannin even, light oak. 2019-23

1993 ()

light gold colour; has a Riesling, brioche, vanilla pod nose – with air greengage comes through. Starts the palate as an older wine – has the white Rhône damp wool, and white fruit that is ripe towards decomposing, emits white truffles and an earthy tone. It still has a good, clear finish, with mineral cut, as it loses some of its content towards the finish. There is a bit of butterscotch in the aftertaste. Retains a rich, quite fat texture. Drink with simple, delicate foods. 2016-18 June 2007

1992 No Rating

bottle opened yesterday, note: gold robe; caramel, narrowing nose and when first opened, Riesling and petrol aromas came out. This becomes dry as the air gets to work; has a mushroom, apricot aftertaste. Not really in the game any more. Was possessed of quiet harmony when younger, and could still give a little if opened and drunk. June 2007

1991

restrained yellow; has a young nose – honey, toast combination, and more to come as it airs – there is some white truffle and an earthiness here. The palate starts tightly, and has a good, rich underlay – is nicely measured, as per this excellent white wine vintage. Is still young through the palate, the length is good, and there is a refined aniseed taste on the finish. Elegant wine, with good grip and structure, and that chewy texture late on. Beau Vin. Was apparently tasting oxidised around 2005, but re-emerged from mid-2006. 2021-23 June 2007 Previously ***** bright, rich robe; refined, classy nose, potential for variety; stylish wine, good depth and mix of flavours, sustained length. Oak on finish, which is clean and chewy. 2010-16