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The Wines

100% Marsanne (1950s-1980s) from clay-limestone & granite soils, cooled must, steel vat fermented at 18°C, raised 10-12 months, malo blocked, fined, filtered, 5-6,000 b

2016

pale yellow; has a cooked citrus, soft pear aroma, grapey notes: it’s an easy, open start. This drinks with soft and pleasant content, a flavour of compote of mixed white fruits, gathers a little grip at the end. It’s orderly, could be more inspiring, is correct. The late Marsanne tang has a bitter note in it. 14°. 5,000 b. Bottled Oct 2017. €13. 2023-24 Dec 2018

2014

pale yellow. The nose is fresh, has an aniseed, underripe pear aroma. Honey and nougat feature in the flavour, but I find SO2 here. It ends quite freshly. It is a bit skinny. 13°. Bottled Sept 2015. €11.50, 5,000 b. To 2018  Dec 2015

2013

yellow colour, some legs. This has a careful bouquet – there is an aniseed snap, licorice, with apricot, dried fruits, a tiny note of burn. The palate rolls gently along, carries fine acidity, and lift. It ends giving the desire to have another sip, is a w.o.w. wine, grand for the aperitif - refreshing and stylish. It is more the new school than the old in style. Touch of late glow comes through, a white raisin angle there. 13.5°. 5,000 b.  €7.50 export. 2018-19  Jan 2015

2012

shiny, pale yellow. the nose is “in between”, combines gras richness and freshness, but the fruit is subdued – it doesn’t fire out a clear signal, maybe a note of pomegranate here. There are austere moments on the palate, the fruit half cock on the attack. A small squeeze of richness appears towards the finish. This is undistinguished. The content is limited, the wine shuffles around. 13°5. €7 ex cellars. To 2018  Nov 2013

2010 ()

soft yellow; good style in a friendly bouquet, has a nice creamy-mineral mix, flan and hazelnut, dried apricot all well mixed up. The palate leads with typical Marsanne grip and grain on top of a secure mid-weight richness. It is all very as one, from start to finish. It drinks well now, with youthful tang and freedom. Can do well for the aperitif to set the taste buds going, helped by its vintage freshness – steamed fish would be great, but it really is just the job to start proceedings. w.o.w. wine, well suited to the restaurant trade. 14°. To 2016. Nov 2011

2008

pale yellow, pear tints. White jam, peach aroma, cooked green apple and hazelnut present. The palate is round and easy, rather than direct, as may have been expected for a 2008. Ends on abrief surge of mineral, keeps going. Very correct, but lacks inspiration. Soft, hazelnut, dried fig flavour on finish. 13°. €8.50. To 2014. Dec 2009

2007

pale, buttery yellow. Has a dried fruits, spice aroma with vanilla moments – there is a pretty true Marsanne/granite combination, and it is zesty. The palate has a buttery inlay, with a fresh outer casing. It ends roundly, and drinks well solo, but there is certainly enough content for food – vegetable pastas, courgettes, simple chicken dishes – nothing too full or complex. Sound, fresh length. 13°. w.o.w drinking, no pretension at all. To 2011-12. March 2009

2006

pale robe; lime, pear drop nose with quiet ripeness of its fruit behind. Is round and mixes flowers and honey for a pretty bouquet. The palate comes in a typical house style – some round, sweet-tinged fruit then a mineral, direct fruit that leads to a clear finish, where there is a bit of fennel and nougat. “We notice that 2006 has more richness than usual – that little sweet note is explained by that,” Jean-Louis Thiers. 2010-11 Dec 2007

2004

Nose is rather obscure, shows white fruits near the stone, some melted butter, is abit vacant. Dried fruit/hazelnut flavour with some chewiness at its core. Pulls up a bit short, doesn't last as long as one would like. This is low key, especially compared with previous two tastings. Hmm. 2009 June 2006 Previously April 2006 *** subdued nose, but promise lurks within - some mineral, white flowers and fruit, honey. Tightly drawn palate, is withdrawn right now- shows some white fruit but at a holding, upright stage now. Some power revealed later on, with typical Marsanne bitter hint. From 2007 is best for it. 2012-13. Previously Dec 2005 *** nutty, clear bouquet, likeable white fruits. Palate has bone, brisk definition, with style also. Clear fruit with a honey tickle at the end. Length good, good to drink now, is front-rank St-Péray. Aperitif or blanquettes of chicken, or fish such as red mullet - grilled or white wine sauce.

2003

yellow tints. Pungent, sappy nose which is pretty full also charming. Rounded, bonny texture with a silky feel - its richness is effortless, as if the grower hasn`t had to strain to achieve it. Good Marsanne tickle of bitter on end with some chew. Good local wine, STGT. To 2010-12 Dec 2004 Previously (vat) ** apple/bonbon nose; decent depth, solid, assertive wine. Chewy, some heat at end.

2002

soft, melted butter/spiced apricot nose; grainy texture, comes and goes, not very integrated. Some roundness.

2000

soft bouquet, iodine, salted tang; gentle flavour, more to it than first appears. Nice fresh length.

1999

light honey, salty tang and citrus notes on the bouquet. This has a good, genuine flavour, the finale bearing apricot and a light smokiness. I like the sinew, the grip, in this. It’s tight, quite upright, and will soften, show more flesh with air, and with a year more. The finish is clear-cut, expresses a touch of heat. It is very correct, the minerality of the southern zone of Saint-Péray – it has greater grip and style than a white Crozes, some affinity with a typical white St Jo, which would be a little more on the gras. 2009-10  Nov 2003