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The Wines

100% 1975-80 Marsanne from clay-limestone soils at Mercurol, vat-fermented at 15-16°C, then raised 85-100% large barrels & 1-6 year 550-litre oak casks, 0-15% steel vat 8-10 months (until 2004 was 10-12 months), malo completed, filtered, 12-15,000 b

2018

slightly opaque yellow colour; the bouquet sits quietly, has a latent Marsanne tang, a knot of ginger, with a white plum jam air, a note of melted butter. It’s a mature over overtly fresh start. The palate also gives the tang, with apricot flavours, a nutty hint. It’s traditional Crozes blanc in style, is a mainstream wine, suited to chicken dishes, pork also. It’s a little dour, could be more fun; I think it’s influenced by the use of cultured yeasts. 13.5°. 100% Marsanne. €13. 2027-29 Nov 2019

2017

yellow robe with a pear skin tint. The bouquet is salty, discreet, tucks away a little pear fruit and a touch of apricot, some toasting. It’s a careful opening. The palate has a nutty flavour, a honeyed ending, doesn’t capture the imagination, is rather dour. Decanting may help, but it’s a static sort of wine, for la table than the aperitif. One tactic for the patient with a cellar is to come back to it in 2021. 13.5°. 100% Marsanne. 2025-26 Dec 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe. Elder flower and aniseed mingle on the bouquet, a peach stone bite to go with them. The attack is lively, with Marsanne running a spritely race, ginger and apricot free wheeling along. This is authentic, STGT Crozes blanc, absolutely for la table, sauced dishes. It ends on honey, and smokiness, a cigarette ash-like snap. 13.5°. 2020-21 Oct 2016

2014 ()

yellow colour; the nose has a ripely fruited, into mango, exotic fruits quality about it, some Marsanne tang. The palate is close-knit, bears good depth of gras, and finishes in a smoky, saloon room manner. There is a flavour of guava jelly, white peach. This has the weight and texture to accompany Asian cuisine, soft cheeses. 13.5°. 12,000 b. €9.50. 2020-21  Oct 2015

2013 ()

yellow robe, with shine. Has an elegant, rounded bouquet, gives a subtle air of vanilla, toasting from oak, and white strawberry, cooked lemon. The palate is well tuned, also: it holds smooth gras with an appealing texture. It is very consecutive along the palate, all smooth. A shapely, well made Crozes blanc. Drink it with fish such as halibut, sea bass.  The finish is precise, shows a touch of burn there for now. The oak is absorbing nicely. 13.5°. 13,000 b. €6.50 export. 2023-24  Jan 2015

2011 ()

medium depth yellow. Clear, soft airs of oak feature in its cooked peach, guava-mandarin fruit and vanilla-toffee bouquet setting – the nose has a sturdy nature, but that isn’t obvious. The palate is also grounded – it is firmly done, has a nut flavour at its heart, and never relinquishes its grip. There is a note of late honeycomb, aniseed as well. Interesting, local, traditional and slightly stubborn wine. The bitter of the Marsanne prevails at the end. Decant this. From spring 2013. 2019-20  Nov 2012

2010

yellow colour, a bit transparent. Flan, hazelnut, refined airs with some chalky-salty influence, is very Marsanne. After two hours, it becomes funky and reductive. The palate has a rich debut, is textured and the shape is round all through. Could be decanted to open it up – it is reserved, almost tannic in the late stages, despite its fat. It is precise, even given its textured overlay. Fattish wine with some mineral, it is long and ends freshly and simply. Good balance, too. Can be drunk solo, or with foods, hors d`oeuvres and other varied flavours. 13.5°. 2018-19 Nov 2011

2007 ()

rich yellow; the bouquet is a solid do – banana, baked fruits, is about la table not le zinc – drink this sitting down with food rather than standing in a bar. It shows oak, pineapple, is tight for the present. On the palate, it is broad, manly wine – with its oak implicit in its nature and some late power, it is best to drink from late 2009. A solid style of white Crozes, but it has freedom on the palate, and runs on well. Banana, exotic fruits, oak on the aftertaste. 14°. 2015-16 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** (6 year oak cask) yellow with some gold in the robe; the nose shows banana and brown sugar. The palate works around pear, candy, brown sugar. The length is OK. Another sample from the large oak fermenting vat: more nutty nose in the Marsanne style. Brisk palate, with the oak simmering away. Some roundness here, but a bit short. 5-6 years. Jan 2008

2006

some mark of yellow in the robe; stinky, reductive nose – butter on the turn; frees up pear and honey aromas with airing. More of the apricot, brown sugar formula on the palate. A wine of decent length, some richness, that needs food. Is coming together. Ends on oak and grainy texture, and some spice. 2012-14 Jan 2008

2004 ()

(half bottle) yellow robe; ripe, exotic fruits aroma. A fat, wide, buttery wine of low acidity. Is rounded, but lacks cut. Drink to late 2007 or by summer 2008. Dec 2006

2003 ()

mixed, honey-apricot bouquet with depth. Broad palate, rich with a peach-apricot flavour. Drinks well now. March 2005

2001

mid depth yellow; overt, quite sunny nose, comes with airs of smoky stone fruit, very light hazelnut. The palate is warm, has richness, gras, its white fruit marked by oak at the finish, which dries it a bit. The length is OK, but is propped up by the cellar work. It is clean, drinks now, is in the style of a wine requiring food. The oak should subside. 2009-10  Nov 2003

1999

oily, touch exotic nose, quite fat white fruit aroma; rich style on palate, has dried fruits, is open and pleasant