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The Wines

95-97% Marsanne, 3-5% Roussanne, from Les Murets, plus Rocoules (mostly this when no Ex-voto), Beaume, Les Diognières, Maison Blanche, steel vat vinified at 16-18°C, then, then raised 1-year oak (ex Condrieu casks) 24 months or more, malo completed, 20,000-25,000 b

2019 ()

(bottling next week) shiny quite full yellow; the nose is elegant, gives a full, stylish, still subdued aroma, with a buttery, oaked presence, dried fruits on board. I’s a calm, assured start. The palate is smooth, elegant, bears appealing gras, a fluid tone to it, and a juicy finale. Yum yum Hermitage blanc here. It carries lots of appeal, in the modern, sleek manner. Its depth and balance are sure, and its outer coating lissom. 14.5°. From 2023. 2042-44 June 2021


bold yellow robe; the nose comes with steady depth, a peach-fennel note up front, with brioche, and a little butteriness in behind. There’s more to be expressed. The palate works immediately on its suave, rolling texture, sits well at the mid-point, and keeps going well into a savoury, lip smacking finale. Threads of carbonic gas are discernable. It’s a genuine Hermitage blanc, up for butter-based dishes, sauces. Orange and apricot feature towards the close, and the finish has enough clarity to invite a second glass. 14°. From 2023-24, decant it. 2041-43 March 2021

2017 ()

yellow robe; oak, elderflower, infused herbal tea, discreet ginger airs lead the bouquet, which has a little virile strength. The palate holds firm richness, a fat siding, with honeyed late moments. There is a sense of power that is under restraint, just about OK. It’s still in thrall to its oak raising and is subdued today. It’s not high on charm, is a grounded, slightly cussed Hermitage blanc. Decant it. From 2022-23. 2037-39 Dec 2019


firm yellow; the bouquet has inner richness, clarity around it to the extent of some citrus nudges encircling a peach centre. The palate travels with good purpose, gives nutty, almond flavours with plentiful Marsanne tang-ginger notes. This is much aided by the vintage freshness, hence holds a good, firm spine. The finish is on the up, goes for it, engages well. This has character and drive, is a good do. It’s getting there all the time with the oak gradually backing off. 13.5°. From 2022. 2038-40 Dec 2019


yellow colour; the nose is moving well into shape, a concerted aroma with all together aniseed, white plums, apricot, ginger. The attack has a little delicacy and freshness, and the palate streams along well, with fine gras and Marsanne nutty moments, dried fruits, apricot, pear present in the flavours. Oak-toffee emerges on the end. This is balanced, and can live well. It will be great around 2026-28. 2038-40 March 2019 Previously Nov 2017 **** shiny yellow. The nose starts on elderberry, with a tang of peach stone, smoky tobacco, has a fine presence. The palate runs with smooth, continuous content, has a nutty, oily manner, its packing close-knit, seamless. The finish brings in a cooked lemon, almond take, is orderly. There is late freshness to keep it on the move. The balance is good, so it can evolve well. It will shortly close down, so leave until 2020-21. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2014 ()

robe has a golden, deep yellow hue. The nose is turning towards glazed fruits, butterscotch, grapey, white raisins, has a brioche baked bread presence. Its fruit is only quietly stated, guava, a touch of the tropics. The palate is rich, tight, in transition, is at a chunky stage, a grounded wine with punch along the second half. I would put this aside until 2020 now, so it can settle and open more. Decanting advised for this sturdy wine. Drink with sauced dishes. The finish is typical Marsanne with a ginger, hazelnut, pebbly tone there. There was no Ex-voto blanc this year, so its contribution is here. 2030-31 Nov 2017


yellow robe; there is good style in the nose, apricot-ginger with a coasting elder flower aroma, discreet spots of oaking, also cooked lemon. There is a good variety of prompts. This is Hermitage blanc on the elegance trail, with fine juice and oaking in tandem; it has inner muscle, intensity, leading to a dried fruits finale. The balance is good. This will gradually reveal more, so take your time with it: drink from 2019. 13.5°. 13,000 b. 95% Mars, 5% Rouss. 2027-29 June 2017

2012 ()

full yellow colour. The bouquet captures elegance, a joli, plump Marsanne, soft cooked lemon, light lime marmalade, spice and ginger also. This is harmonious, holds squeezy gras richness, is good and rounded. It grips a little on the finish, with quiet assurance there. It lacks a little inner punch. It drinks OK now. 13.5°. 2024-26  Oct 2015


full yellow robe with a rich aspect. This has a good, broad nose with still unrealised potential, spice, ginger stem, orange marmalade present, and almost a note of verbena tea. The palate has a sunswept, fat middle, and while it is evolving, the richness is well set; it lengthens like a red wine, ends firmly on notes of dried fruits, infused tea, peach and camomile. This is good, punchy Hermitage for a large glass and sauced, cream-butter based dishes. Have no fear: it will be up to them. There is true Marsane tang on the finish. 13.5°. 2026-28  Oct 2015


(bottled six weeks ago) ripe yellow. Cooked lemon, smoky air with a rich undernote. It shows wee tropical fruit, and a collection of sultana, white raisin, tobacco, with oak notes. The palate is based on measured gras that is attractive and sustained. It runs directly for now, and has very tight filling either side of its spine. It is close-knit and persistent. It has good acidity, more than the 2009. There are small pockets of fresh, powdery grain on the long aftertaste. Long life in prospect – to 2036, for instance. 13.5°. “It is more serious than the 2009 with its generosity but restraint also – a Protestant wine,” Philippe Guigal. 2035-37  May 2013


fine yellow. Smoky, ginger, peach air, pipe tobacco. There is a gliding gras on the attack, which is sultry and inviting on its texture. The richness continues with no bumps, is a bonny, buxom wine. There is cut, clarity on the finish. A wholesome, fine terroir, STGT wine. Has a very good finish of restraint, a minor grain powder. 13.8°. 2030-32  “It is a rich, solar year, offering immediate pleasure. It mixes spice and oak, is a good, genuine Hermitage blanc. It ends freshly. Leave until it is 15 years’ old and drink with a classic dish or drink now with a cassoulette of frogs legs, some garlic or spiced Asiatic dishes, a little curry,” Philippe Guigal. May 2013  Previously July 2010 ***(*) cask 1 *** (oak, from Les Diognières) yellow robe, still cloudy after a very slow fermentation. The nose shows lime-caramel, comes with a sympa freedom, good spice. The palate is rich and fine, has good length and roundness. Lacks mystery, but is good and regular. 16 years. Cask 2 **** (oak, from Les Pierrelles) wide shoulders bouquet – smoky and potentially deep. The palate has a thread of wire and acidity through it close-knit matter. Flavour is white fruits, hazelnut, the length good, also its late grip. 18-20 years. “This is more dynamic than the Diognières,” Philippe Guigal. 2027-30 July 2010

2008 ()

yellow-tinted robe; oak is gradually working its way out of the bouquet, and as a consequence it has a creamy, buttery depth, and a smoky note in its apricot and white plum, light white raisin air. There is an underlay of elegance. This is still a cellar wine on the palate: it has a taste of caramel, also a creamy, smoked fish aspect even at the end! The fruit is a little lost inside. One cannot drink this now, and that tallies with its tasting six months ago. It presents a bit of a race between sound but not very deep matter and its oaking. There is a discreetly rounded richness on the finish. 13.5°. From 2017. 2026-28  Nov 2013, London Previously May 2013 **** rich aspect, quite a full yellow. Vanilla, beeswax, hazelnut-ginger airs here – they lead over notions of outright fruit – and also shows petrol, white raisin. There is a touch of evolution on the nose. The palate leads with a flavour of flan, is ripe and buttery with a constant nutty tang, dried apricots. The finish is attractively sustained, the agreeable juice lingering on the aftertaste. Has good grip. A Hermitage of restraint which will age well. The finish is precise and sculpted. 97% Mars, 3% Rouss this year. There was no Ex-voto in 2008, so its crop is present here. “After bottling, it was less on wax and more on citrus, which it has lost now. Before it had a taste of orange jam. It is just entering its shut-down, intermediate stage,” Philippe Guigal. 13.5°. 2028-30  May 2013

2007 ()

yellow robe; citrus, lime, attractive nose, light caramel influence – poised, a bit closed. The palate has grip and a fine line of fruit, is sealed up, but the matter is fine. It is sinewed for now. Ends on oak and honey. Decant this. It ticks over on the finish, the aftertaste is oaked. From mid-2011. 2025-27 Bottled Feb 2010. July 2010


full yellow robe. White raisin, smoky and spiced nose with brown sugar and a comfortable layer of aroma, even Comté cheese. The palate has a mix of richness and mineral clarity, and there is a lovely liberty on the end palate, with wild white strawberries in the flavour there. A waiting wine – decant this. A varied and interesting wine. From 2011. 2022-24 Dec 2008

2004 ()

quite a full yellow; soft, buttery, marked raisin aroma, with white fruit in a nicely rich, tangy nose. Restrained palate – has a careful start now, is young and not yet out and about. Has agreeable late three-quarter richness, although it proceeds directly now. Is marked by late mineral. Esp 2011 onwards. 2024-26 Jan 2008


copious, exotic fruits bouquet, very ripe with sherry touches. Fat texture, a food wine. Palate is stylish, is more reserved and enclosed than the bouquet. Clean, tangy, toasted finish. 2017-21 April 2006


stylish, fair weight aroma, limes; buttery start, quite rich, middle holds up, decent length. Toasted end. Sound. 2015-17

1999 ()

oily, full, butterscotch/oak aroma; toasted fruits, spicy, rather low-key, was more obvioulsy rich. Clean, subdued finish. Two phases here: 2005-08 and 2011-13. Very good with Chinese food. 2014-19 (Grippat vines/purchased wine)

1998 ()

greengages, beeswax, acacia on good, interesting bouquet; very refined flavour, great length, reserved still. Better around 2005-06 with oak absorbed. Nice kick at end, 14° wine. 2011-16 (made by Grippat, bottled by Guigal)

1997 ()

quite true, stylish bouquet, has a gentle tone; has the House richness, but quietly, and is delicate, refined on the palate. Some chewiness, plus oak on end. Has potential. 2011-16