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The Wines

100% Roussanne (mix of late 1970s/late 1980s), from loess soils on 0.4 hectare at Maison Blanche, and 0.3 hectare at Beaumes, 2 day decantation, 50% new, 50% 1-year 228-litre oak cask fermented at 18-20°C, lees stirred, raised 10-11 months, malo completed, filtered, 1,400-3,700 b

2018 ()

(cask) ample yellow colour, gold undertones. The bouquet is a Big Affair: it is redolent of Hermitage of yore with its unbridled richness, stoking up the rays of the Mighty Hill. It has a white raisin, salting, custard, buttery foundation. The palate achieves richness and movement, is well packed, lined with guava, mango style fruits and firm content. It is thorough and long, and will benefit from patience. The finish is well set, not on power or anything untoward. It takes the glycerol-based approach of traditional Hermitage, and will be marvel à table, on the sauced, Escoffier, Vieille France trail. From 2022-23, decant it. 2040-42 Nov 2019

2017

(casks) yellow robe with a little depth. The nose is oak-grilled, has a quince, grapey fruit aroma, with a vanilla sideline from its oak, is reserved. The palate bears a steady richness, the flavour on nuts, notes of white peach, apricot. The finish is discreet, shows grip, is measured, on a little power. It builds strength as it travels. This is a restrained Hermitage blanc, suited to steamed dishes, fish, cheese that isn’t strong, poultry. From 2020. 2034-36 Dec 2018

2016

(casks) shiny, full and glistening yellow colour. The bouquet presents a ripe Marsanne front, orange marmalade with stem ginger, white tobacco, a smoky touch from its oak. There is a stylish inner richness. The palate bears attractive richness which is neat and continuous. There are dashes of freshness along the palate, a tangy grip from the Marsanne that lies beyond its gras. It’s not yet right out on parade, and will benefit from decanting if drunk now. It’s an understated, interesting wine that you have to think about. 13.5°. From mid-2018. 2029-31 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) shiny yellow robe, a bit Vin Nature with a slight cloudiness. The bouquet is closed, has a ripe peach, grapey interior, apricot juice, papaya and cooked lemon also present. The palate is sturdy and richly intense on the attack, with a light note of carbonic gas, carries on in a thorough manner to its firm, prolonged finish, where oaking and its toffee show through. This is proper grounded, authentic white Hermitage, an STGT wine for lovers of white Rhône and their completeness. You can really get your teeth into this, way to go! It’s still charging as it finishes. Decanting a must. 2032-35  Oct 2016

2014

(casks) pretty full yellow robe. The nose is wide, and leads on a cooked lime air, a typical Marsanne hazelnut, almond second aroma. There are little nuances present, such as tobacco, honey, apricot juice. The platform is set for an interesting wine. The palate bears sinewed, peppered white fruits, has a red wine profile with its build into a firm, slightly tannic, notably salty finish. This is from noble terroir, perhaps loess soils. I like its intricacy, and on the palate the saltiness reminds me of Roussanne (tasted blind). 14°. 2,000 b. €26.50. From 2017. 2026-28  Oct 2015

2013

shiny, good yellow robe. Rather sturdy nose here – it is oaked and gives a hint of caramel, toffee, white raisin present, a note of alcohol degree. Young wine, hardly shifted yet. It works very much on a good, copious content and rich texturing, so is classic white Hermitage. STGT. There is plenty to tuck into and to consider here. It closes freshly. It will develop well, is pretty muscular wine. Take your time with this. It may close at around five years old. Decant it. 13.5°. Only 1,400 b. €26 export. 2033-35  Jan 2015

2012

yellow colour. Stewed fruits, generous compote of fruit air, pear and banana prominent, also brioche. The bouquet has a fat, plump style, soaked fruits abundance. The palate is copious, but has a quiet thread of acidity giving it direction. It has small pockets of cooked citrus fruits, with grip in its late fat. It is a little bit obvious, but a large glass and a lobster or fennel-seasoned daurade would sort that out. There are light salt touches on the aftertaste. From late 2015. 13.5°. £25 Vineyards Direct GB. 2026-28  Nov 2013

2011

full yellow, gold tints, many legs down the robe. The nose is open, gives peach and apricot fruit, orange marmalade, white flowers – it has airborne qualities. The palate is nicely together, betwixt youth and its second stage. It holds sound gras and glycerol, fine acidity, ends with grip and tension. I would come back to it in 2017 after two more winters, and recommend decanting, which helped this bottle well. Serve in a large glass. A fillet of cold mackerel brings a meridional note to it, a blend of herbs and richness. “It is very straight down the line; I would eat fish such as sea bass or St Pierre with it,” Philippe Jaboulet. 13.5°. 2028-30  Jan 2015

2010

(casks) wee bit cloudy hue to a steady yellow. Candy, a bit of cardboard, varnish and cooked pear in a mixed aroma; there is an underpinning of hazelnut and nougat, the marzipan Calissons of Aix. The bouquet is broad, open. Has vibrant early fruit, apricot and white strawberry. Its exuberance comes with a fine texture, and there is a secure, not quite firm, lining of tannin. Its content is directed within limits, is not loose. It finishes on a point of lime, an acidity that is not yet fused. Quite a lot going on here. Fine style wine, a bit sweet, its acidity needs time, while there is a note of bitter as it closes. From late 2013. 2026-27 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(casks) full, big yellow colour; apricot, brown sugar air, barley sugar, vanilla, light white pepper – has the ability to be full and classy. The palate mixes richness and sinew – there is a tannic note after half way as it tightens and straightens. Good potential. It is persistent in the closing stages. Has a finely done 2009 richness. From 2013. 2025-28 July 2010

2008 ()

light gold, in fact more full yellow than gold in the robe. The nose is orderly, poised - subdued but promising, has reserves; there are drifts of honey, and a free mineral air from its vintage. The palate is classy, has a nice plump middle; it is gradually unfurling, also absorbing its oak and settling into a clear stretch. Not at all a big Hermitage blanc, but has freedom, is well made and is a great companion for a wonderful Scallop, Coquille St Jacques in a juice of shellfish and celery, the last-named a fabulous touch, served at Mangevins, Tain. I am impressed by its style, and am glad that it has moved on past its first sherry-style stuffing. 2025-27  Nov 2011  Previously Dec 2009 ** big yellow robe, some apricot. Bulky nose here – it is wide across the shoulder, nutty, also there is some cardboard dryness, acetate. It is a bit spirity, sherry-pear, also honey in it. The palate is enclosed, not expressive. It is a grounded wine, shows a baked, oak and vanilla nature towards the finish, with sherry notes. What is going on, indeed qué pasa? All this sherry. Very full-on, flirts with excess, and thus the pleasure factor is diminished. Decant this. From spring 2011. 2020-22 Dec 2009

2007 ()

2 casks tasted: (1-year oak) ***(*) mid yellow colour; lime marmalade, plus vanilla from the oak – a gracious aroma. The palate has a supple start, mixing lightly toasted hazelnut with honey in the taste – it extends on to a buttery moment prior to a clear cut finish. A very good combo of richness and clarity here. The malo has not yet completed. 2019-21. Cask 2 (new oak) *** reserved but filled aroma with some orange peel and white fruit jam. The palate is an all together wine, homogenous and richer and denser than the first cask. Has a hazelnut, fruit tart ensemble. The length is OK, and it ends freshly. Elegant wine with sound matter and stuffing. 2022-24 June 2008

2006 ()

pretty, lateral layer of toast and oaking on the nose, with candy and white fruit behind. The palate has some richness in the attack – some breadth here. This is quite potent, and is just about kept under wraps. 14° on the label. Has a beefy style end. There is fair finesse in it. 2020-22. “It has good freshness, and will be good in 2011-12 – leave it until then,” Philippe Jaboulet. June 2008 Previously Dec 2007 ***(*) marked yellow robe; Has a round, quite rich nose led by exotic fruits, with dense packing that includes peach, some flowers and almond. The palate tightens as it goes; there is orange or tangerine in the flavour, the length is sound. This kicks along with some purpose – there is acidity at heart to move it. Late burst of hazelnut and spice. Pretty good typicité and richness: this can offer a lot as it ages. 2022-24 Dec 2007