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The Wines

90-100% Marsanne, 0-10% Roussanne, cold 24 hr decantation after whole bunch pressing, since 2006 90% vat fermented at 18°C, raised, raised 9-10 months, (2006-2011 possible to have 10-15% 3 year old 600-litre oak casks used, “the oak is to add a little complexity and a touch of richness”), malo partly blocked, 40,000 b

2014 ()

½ bottle: bright yellow robe, green tints. The nose is sprightly, has a top air of zesty lime, with a little apricot and salt below, a tail end of hazelnut. It has a ping of accuracy and an appealing variety. The palate is lively – this is w.o.w. wine, drinks with great freedom, really goes along well. It is quite a delicate touch wine, so the aperitif is on the agenda. Dried fruits feature in a mobile finish. Its freshness is well tuned. It isn’t as big or full as 2013, is more fine, airborne. 13.5°. 2020-21  Oct 2015

2013

2 bottles tasted, 1st bottle: yellow colour; damp wool, SO2 aroma, a flinty, citrus style. The palate is clipped, narrow. Unconvincing. Bottle 2 is better: shiny yellow. Honeycomb, hazelnut aroma, a note of melted butter. The palate holds cool fruit, runs smoothly, takes on a small knot of ginger, the tangy cooked orange of the Marsanne. A competent Crozes, more for food than the aperitif.  €13.75 at the cellars. 2019-20  Jan 2015

2012 ()

mild yellow, wee green tints. The nose is subdued, but one can sense potential style here, a fine air of white plum, with toasting and aniseed-licorice. It has a slightly raw aspect. The palate never quite takes off; its gras is medium-weight, which is the main impression. The attack is a shade burnt, the tang overdone. Try from late 2014. Decant this. 13°. 100% Marsanne. To 2019 Nov 2013

2011

steady yellow. Broad, expansive nose that offers goof white fruit jam filling, with touches of vanilla and white raisin, also hazelnut. The palate is broad in shape, is solid, well-founded wine suited to food rather than the aperitif. It ends on a little tension, a nutty grip, which means it can accompany pork, Asiatic dishes, quite sweetly spiced foods. Genune Crozes; it tones down on the finish. 13°. 2017-18  Nov 2012

2010 ()

level, low-key yellow; authentic Marsanne tang on the nose, along with honey and apricot, is a shade dusty. Tight palate, but it will express itself in 6 to 9 months; has a firm centre, will widen with age. Has sensible length, decent stuffing. Decant to get more from this, is not an “easy” wine for those not used to white Rhônes. It is almost worth waiting until mid-2012. Food more than aperitif; chicken dishes, pastas. 13°. 2018-19 June 2011

2009 ()

1/2 bottle: healthy yellow; nicely expansive nose that bears lots of appeal; there is honey in that richness. The palate is also well-founded, exudes gras, and finishes with an orderly display. The gras is striking – it is a really purposeful richness, not at all cloying. Has lots of food possibilities – such as Mussels, Moules farcies à la Provençale, and a tajine of chicken au citron (lemon). Beyond the gras a steady wave of mineral comes through, and the tajine increases the closing minerality – that is a great effect. Good, above average white Crozes, drunk at Le Sud restaurant in the Hotel Mercure in Tain, across the road from Chapoutier. 13°. 2018-19 Dec 2011 Previously June 2011 ***(*) deeper robe than the 2010, a ripe yellow. Candy, baked pear aroma that is moving towards its second stage, is in transition already; it is solid, shows its ripeness via a brown sugar aroma, also tangerine to life it. The palate is all wrapped up, but the wine is a shade dour for now, has not really come out to deliver openly. It is lying low, but contains plenty of gras richness. White raisin, rich aftertaste. Careful food matching – fish in sauce, goat cheese, for example. 13°. I suggest double decanting – it shows a lot of matter even after decanting. Good value at £11.46 from www.slurp.co.uk 13°. 2018-20 June 2011

2007

pale yellow; has a honey-apricot, almond aroma, with lime and citronelle in it. The palate flows freely, lacks depth and slips along easily; the Marsanne touches the sides, invests a little nutty richness. Finishes cleanly but a bit short. Pleasant – not more than that. Light foods with this. 13°. 2010-11 Jan 2008

2006

touch of yellow in the colour; lightly scented bouquet – candy, baked tart of white fruits in the aroma. Is a mid-weight wine, although the content is secure, and has a thread of Marsanne hazelnut through it, which continues well. Is a wee bit rustic, but correct and representative. Ends OK, even though there is some burn in the mild richness. 2009-11 Jan 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ** some yellow present in the robe; lime zest in a tangy, salty bouquet which holds pineapple and banana, too. Good early strike of nutty fruit on the palate, an apricot flavour – this, like the nose, is zesty. There is a quiet glance of richness within. Works well, can be an aperitif as well as food. Has a clean finale, where it shows hazelnut, some white raisin and spice. 13°. To 2012. Nov 2007

2005 ()

traces of yellow in the robe; elegant, light touch bouquet, with wisps of lime and white flowers. Peach and a little nut are the first flavour sensations. Then it dips in mid-palate, and returns for a little drief fruit finale. Quite a clear, brisk finish. Sound wine, for food or aperitif. To 2009. Dec 2006

2004 ()

direct white fruit aroma, boiled sweets, sizzled lemon. Quite a rounded, almost fat start, shows good breadth. Some end grip, the length is sound, with some honey there. Very respectable. To 2009 Dec 2005

2003

banana, apricot, light honey - a simple pleasure bouquet. Quiet harmony on palate, round with stone fruits. Length is fair, but I feel the wine is tucked up by low pressure front today. Can lengthen with time. 2009-11 Dec 2005

2002

fresh, light nose; bit stretched, some peach flavour, bit burnt at end.

2001

broad, gentle white fruit nose; Rather silky white fruit in palate, good style, nice pebbly end. Charm, length good. 2010-11