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The Wines

90-100% 1950s Marsanne, 0-10% 1970s Roussanne from from clay-sandy granite, loess slope soils at Crozes-Hermitage, crop cooled, fermented, raised 80-90% steel vat, 10-20% oak (half new, half 1-2 years) 8-11 months on lees, malo completed, filtered, 3-7,000 b

2018

glistening yellow robe; the bouquet is broad, filled, carries ripe apricot with a cooked lemon sideline, a note of Marsanne ginger tang, oak. The palate takes a good, traditional route, is deep enough for la table, sauced dishes, has enjoyably full, cards on the table gras, white raisin in the flavour, nutty notes late on, Marsanne tang rendering the finish on spearmint. It’s up to couscous, veal with rosemary, Jarlsberg, Comté cheese. It’s authentic, has good, well extended length. 14.5°. 100% Marsanne. €22.50. 2026-27 Nov 2019  GB £82/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017

steady, rather firm yellow robe. The nose has a cooked citrus, orange marmalade aroma with roast nuts, oaking. It’s not at a stage of serenity yet. The palate gives a true picture of the Marsanne, bears a sound level of gras richness, develops ginger style tang towards a relatively cool finish. Its nerve is good, and it suggests it comes from granite or loess soils, rather than the plain of Crozes [tasted blind]. There is a spearmint, near aniseed supply on the aftertaste. I give it marks for character. 14°. 100% Marsanne. 2024-25 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2018 ***(*) yellow robe; the nose is a bit spirity, shows white fruits, honey, wax, cooked banana – it has scale. The palate reflects the nose, is full, holds fleshy content, runs smoothly until some grain tannin on the close. This is sun-filled wine, its balance in thrall to that. Food – sauced dishes notably – a must. 14°. Bottled end Aug 2018. 2025-26 London, Nov 2018

2016

bright yellow; the nose is racy, lime and mandarin fruit to the fore, salt and ginger clarity above. There’s a note of white fruit jam below. It’s a clear, crisp start. This drinks well, a mix of white plum-greengage with vanilla from oak. The gras is stylish, tasty, nice and neat in its plumpness. It finishes on some saline grip. This is delightful white Crozes that has pedigree, speaks of its more cool terroir than the southern zone of Crozes, is bright, STGT wine. The balance is good, the length fresh, has good verve. 13°. To 2022 Feb 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe, some green tints. The nose is spritely, leads on ginger snap, cooked orange, roasted nuts, is discreetly wide, carries oak. The palate sequels well, holds a cosy, well established gras with nicely wavy delivery. There is some late munching to do, a fine-ness on the finish which brings in orange blossom, refined white fruits. This drinks well now, even with oak on the finale. To 2020 Oct 2016

2013

yellow robe. The bouquet is rather assertive – it gives airs of dried fruits, a note of spice, roasted almonds and a low-key cooked lemon. The palate has definite depth, and that carries a tannic note with it – this sets the agenda on the finish, which is grippy. It requires food, and is a bit on the firm side. It has structure, can evolve, but the phenolic influence is a bit strong. From 2016. 13.2°. Only 3,000 b this year. 100% Marsanne. Bottled Sept 2014. 2021-23  Jan 2015

2012

even yellow colour. There is a nutty casing around the nose, white stone fruit such as peach, with a slight vanilla interior – there is life in the bouquet, maybe carbonic gas. The palate gras is enjoyable – this has a silken richness. It is suited to table drinking – it would be ace with fish such as daurade or sea bass in fennel, pastas. Fine acidity keeps it fresh. A genuine Crozes blanc, classy, with good grip. There are brioche, tangerine notes, honeycomb on the finish. 13.5°. 100% Marsanne. To 2019  Nov 2013

2011

pale yellow, wee green in a bright robe. Apricot jam, cooked white fruits air, along with honey and pineapple chunks, cooked banana, hazelnut – the bouquet is reserved. The palate starts on a grippy, enclosed trail. Decant this to free it up. It lives a little on its wax, acetate now. It is wide enough, just a bit austere. From mid-2013. 13.5°.  2017-18  Nov 2012

2010 ()

½ bottle: pale yellow. The nose is softly fruited, shows aniseed and a cosy apricot and peach fruit. The palate is nicely round, the fruit shapely and the length sure, comes with good late freshness. As a half bottle, it is now harmonious, young, just implies a wee second stage, above all in its texture. It is mellowing with grace. Great with lots of flavours – a trout carpaccio, and with red mullet (rouget) the freshness is heightened, gives a real clack on the finish. 14°. 2015-16  Nov 2013 Previously Nov 2011 ***(*) pale, but bright yellow; has a nutty, mobile air, airs of toast, dried white fruits or the skin of such fruits present. It is a little pointed, in on itself. The palate moves off with Marsanne tang and some alacrity. There is sound, even live acidity at its heart, so keeps moving, going. Its tangy nature is suited to foods, and its cut is useful for richer dishes. This ends freshly. Its content is rather wiry, I find, and it lacks a little grounding. May do better after another cold winter – marked on that presumption. From mid-late 2012. 14°. 2016-17 Nov 2011

2009 ()

½ bottle: slight thickening of its yellow robe; the nose is at the start of its second stage, so with that and the warm vintage, it is now round and creamy, flan and butter airs foremost. The palate is nice and oily, food friendly, suavely textured, has gentle length. No loose edges. Honey comes through on the finish as it breathes, and accompanies a terrine of pintade (guinea fowl) – an excellent combination, which amplifies its finale and allows it to breeze along. To 2015.  Drunk at La Table de Nath, Tain, good value (see Eat and Stay) Nov 2011  Previously July 2010 *** (vat/oak) pale yellow. Iodine, saline first nose that is cool and clear, has lime and greengage depth in it. Tight-knit palate, woven in on itself. Flavouring of nougat, almond. Decant this – can serve for aperitif, will be more open from late 2010. To 2014. July 2010

2008

clear, pale yellow, promises well for the wine. Breezy, lightly nutty aroma with a nice drop of honeycomb. It runs well into the palate, where the fruit is fresh and clean. Very drinkable, pure wine, a great aperitif, w.o.w. wine. Good late acidity, suited also to light foods, salads. 13°. To 2013. Dec 2009

2007 ()

pale robe; honeyed, light apricot fruit aroma. The palate is graceful – this has a bonny, clean-fruited mid-palate, and ends roundly and harmoniously. Great wine for the aperitif, and with lightly flavoured foods. 13° - never demanding levels here. To 2012. €10.50 this year. Dec 2008

2006 ()

pale robe; the bouquet has a light pear-nut combo, a mildly scented affair, with some wax and bonbon sweets. This is a brisk-toned wine, with the richness later, after an early kick from some live acidity. Dried fruits and some honey show in the taste. Can do the aperitif or light foods. There is some heat towards the finish, and a nice bit of oiliness in the texture. 13°. 2010-11 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2007 *** honeyed, spiced aroma; early richness on the palate, which is suave and typical. There is a firm, slightly toasted finish. Typical Marsanne bitter notes here; the richness is secure, and this is getting interesting. Late dash of honey and apricot. Good value at €9. To 2013 Dec 2007

2005

lime/yellow combo in the robe; tender, honeycomb, baked fruit aroma that is refined. Pretty and harmonious palate with a gentle flow. wow wine – what one wants. The length is very good, and there is a floral, charming finish. Right on the button, great drinking now. It is also STGT – reflects its place and is not forced. 2010-11 Dec 2006

2004 ()

mild butter, citrus aroma, is pretty ripe. Subtly oily texture, flavour of flan, becomes chewy and nutty. Good, harmonious style, its refinement will work well with gentle foods, even though it could stretch to being the aperitif. Pretty blend of ripeness and life, length helped by its acidity. STGT wine. 2010-11 September 2005

2003 ()

honey, white fruits bouquet. Good weight and density on palate, is refined as it rolls along. Nutty, quietly rich finale, dried fruits present. 2012. March 2005

2002

light, soft butter, white fruit bouquet. Small amount of gras, quite sweet, fruit then spice. Sound finish. Enjoyable early wine.

2001

slight bonbon, nuts/honey aroma. Pretty full palate, firm-bodied, solid end. Licorice/violet mix present. Has improved and shaken off some burnt touches. 2009-10