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The Wines

80% Marsanne (1980), 20% Roussanne (1980), varieties assembled at pressing, from 2011 decanted post pressing for 2 days at 10°C, cultured yeasts used, 50% steel vat, 50% 600-litre oak cask (33% new, 67% 1-4 years old) fermented, raised on lees 6-7 months, malo blocked (until 2011 was fermented, raised 80% 228 & 600-litre oak casks away from the lees (10% new, rest up to 10 years), 20% vat 7 months, malo blocked), stelcap closure since 2008, 15,000 b

2017 ()

shiny yellow robe; has a peachy, buttery nose, nectarine, greengage – an engaging bundle. The palate holds restrained gras richness, stands up well, is an en finesse wine, with a soft texture, a note of aniseed late on, with wee toasting, a touch of apricot. It’s tender, suited to hors d’oeuvres. Bottled April 2018. 2023-24 Dec 2018

2014

yellow robe. Liquid honey, apricot, very true bouquet, with vanilla and flan-custard present – this is authentic. The palate has a cosy roundness, a plump centre of apricot and ripe nectarine. This holds some sweet gras richness, is stylish and fine, more suited for la table than the aperitif. It has good, quiet grip. 13°. Bottled 22 April 2015. 2021-22 Oct 2015

2013 ()

steady, mild, pale yellow; soft apricot, salted aroma, a sea zest in it, with a small hazelnut backdrop, and a wee bit of butter and white plum. The palate unfurls agreeably: the texture is smooth, it bears a joli ball of gras richness, then straightens and becomes more pebbly and grainy. The aftertaste is clear – it gives an almost spearmint ping, shows dried fruits and a touch of honey there. There is a fresh thread through it. Gras and freshness are in a good partnership here. It isn’t given away at £21, but is a nice treat. Good with roast chicken or a luxurious aperitif. 13°. 2017-18  Oct 2014

2012

pale yellow; the nose amply reflects Marsanne, combines apricot and hazelnut, cooked apple. The palate is fine early on, has a grippy, nutty drift, is light n’easy, has attractive airborne notes. Uncomplicated. There is light gras present, gentle scenting, the finish discreet and peach-flavoured. 13°. To 2017  Nov 2013 Previously Nov 2012 **(*) (new 600-litre cask, harvested 18 September, sugars completed, 50% of the wine) medium yellow colour; floral, buttercup air that has some grace about it. The palate holds a soft gras richness at its centre. The length is OK. “An attractive year, but it lacks a bit of peps, is low acidity wine,” Maxime Graillot. To 2016. (steel vat, 50% of the wine) **(*) pale yellow. Reductive, bonbon sweet air. Medium weight palate, candy style. Fair length. Dried fruits in the flavour. The finish holds up – a good sign. To 2016. 4 Nov 2012

 

2011 ()

pale robe. Light pear and banana air, floats easily, light air of melted butter. Has a hazelnut, honey flavour, is light and easy wine, has a light nut grain in it. It drinks easily, but could be deeper. It is a bit dull; there are certainly more inspired white Crozes out there now. To 2016.  Bottled mid-April 2012. Nov 2012  Previously Nov 2011 *** (600-litre cask, sugars completed, malo not, bottling April 2012) pale yellow, green glints. There is a rich little curl on the nose, slight airs of richness via banana, flan, the fruit resembling lime, white plum. Good, outward start to the palate – it moves along, drinks easily, has drive. Not a complicated wine. Good early drinking, the aperitif suited. Not that deep, shows some salinity. 12.5°. To 2015 Nov 2011

2010 ()

level depth, pale yellow. Bonny nose that is going well now – hazelnut of the Marsanne, spring flowers, a tang of dried apricot. The palate starts softly, has a white jam interior. Just past its first youth, in a settling phase, is pliant and round. Has a sound harmony, a supple texture, ending on light nut and caramel, all light touch. 13°. To 2014. Nov 2011 Previously Nov 2010 ***(*) (new 600-litre cask) ****(*) bright yellow; rich foundation to the nose, nice and deep promise. The palate is rich, its gras is prominent, it is both well-rounded and lengthens well towards a clear finish. Promising. Will be OK solo, but food also thanks to the richness. (3 year 228-litre cask) ***(*) good yellow robe; fine nose – floral, light butter airs, slightly salty dried fruits. Good life on the palate – this is well-directed, ends freshly, has good nerve. I like the attractive gras on the attack – the final wine will be fine and easily drinkable. “It has good acidity, is better than 2009, which is a bit powerful,” Alain Graillot. Due for bottling April 2011. 2015-16. Nov 2010

2009

light gold, full yellow; hazelnut, banana, cooked pear airs – the bouquet reflects ripe fruit, is well founded. The palate starts on a bonbon note, the taste resembling dried white fruits. A little more zip would help. Tasted a few times at different moments, just not quite light the fire. Shade dumb for now. Can be decanted. Length is good. 13°. To 2014 July 2010

2008

pale robe; soft, peach jam aroma, gentle honey present, along with a little Marsanne hazelnut – it is brisk overall. The palate lives a little on its acidity, with a quiet round siding to it. Likeable wine, ideal for the aperitif. 2011-12. Sept 2009. The first year of stelcap. Previously March 2009 *** (4-year cask) the bouquet has a grippy, firm air, shows baked fruits. The palate has sound body with a late burst of fresh acidity, and decent matter. This can drink well. To 2014. March 2009 “It is not very complex, but will drink easily,” A.Graillot

2007 ()

(3-year cask) subdued nose – reveals some white fruit, apricot, lime in a low profile manner. The palate kicks off and gets going well – tastes good now. Closes with a firm, safe and sound end, and a little heat. 2013-14. “We were rich in sugars, around 14° natural level, but with acidity as well,” Alain Graillot. 10,000 bottles this year. Jan 2008

2006 ()

lemon yellow, not very dark robe; baked tart, apple hint, cooked pear mingle on the bouquet. The palate has a ready and willing fruit delivery – the fruit is ripe, but there is good acidity running through it. Halts a little towards the finish. Genuine wine. “It is rich, with vivacity, and can serve as an aperitif, but also is very good with food such as simple grilled fish,” Alain Graillot. 2012-13 Jan 2008

2005 ()

(cask) refined, promising aroma. Good richness, a comfortable style to it, this has some weight, will be agreeable. 12.7°. 2012-13. December 2005, Crozes

2004 ()

lime, honey, pear aromas, are clear cut and open. Good grain in the wine, through depth. Rounded, honeyed flavour. Full, without excess. Length is good, very savoury and appealing. Hazelnut, typical Marsanne finish, balanced and bonny. Good with smoked salmon. Much liked by the HK Wine Society. January 2006, Hong Kong Previously ***(*) ripe fruit with tropical tones, pineapple for example. Exuberant and full, even a little truffle. Very rich, handsome palate, without being too gourmand. Food wine, not aperitif. Honey/apricots flavour, has the fat that goes beyond the Marsanne bitterness. Salty touch on finish, which is nice and decisive. Great with grilled fish or a truffle risotto. 2008-09 "Just the sort of wine we like - made itself all on its own, good balance, 13°" A.G. December 2005, Crozes Previously (pre-bottle) *** medium-weight bouquet. Pretty richness on palate, is fresh and length is attractive. Charming, some depth here.

2002 ()

Quite zesty, floral, light aroma. Facile white fruit, some roundness, nutted finish.

2001

warm, quite rounded aroma, bonbon sweets; palate sweet/round texture. Plums, white stone fruit, a little short. Some nuts on end.

2000

bonbon, tropical fruit aroma from ripe grapes; gentle wine, nice flesh, bit of freshness on the end. Early wine, easy to like.