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The Wines

95-97% Marsanne (1970s), 3-5% Roussanne from clay-limestone soils on Maison Blanche, 3 week oak cask fermentation, raised 60-80% new, 20-40% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 10-12 months, filtered, 1,800-3,000 b

2015

yellow robe with gold undertones. The bouquet is a sensaround affair, curvy and ripe, ample. Ripe nectarine glistens out of it, with a melted butter background. The palate bears a flan, custard style flavour, with dried fruits and Marsanne tang-grip to follow. The aftertaste brings in orange jam, a suave texture of cooked fruits. There is lots going on here, so serve in a large glass and pay attention to its comings and goings as you drink it. It has a slightly oxidative nature, but the glycerol will keep it in shape. 2024-25 Oct 2016

2014 ()

yellow robe. The bouquet is buttery, presents a rounded aroma led by apricot, tangerine, white peach also present. There is a hint of exotic fruit such as mango. The palate is smoothly textured, has secure richness, and grips quite tightly on the second half, ending with some kick. This can accompany sauced dishes, tuna. The aftertaste is salty, grippy. 14°. 1,800 b. 97% Mars, 3% Rouss. 80% new oak. €33. From mid-2016. 2026-28  Oct 2015

2012

shiny, quite rich, medium depth yellow colour. Oaky, buttery, cooked banana pushy and open aroma with a note of cooked orange, marmalade. The palate has a thick coating, leads on its texture. Hearty gras lies at its centre, with smudges of burn and tang from its casks. It lengthens well, has a kick. This is fat, and beyond the oak, traditional Hermitage blanc for la table – pork in mushrooms, sauced fish, Vieille France cuisine. There is a light tannic undertone on the finish. From mid-2015. Decant it. 13.5°. 70% new oak, 10 months raising, 2,000 b, €22.60 ex cellars this year. 2026-27  Nov 2013

2011

pear tints in its yellow colour. Has a round, open air – custard, crème patisserie, a fat centre with brioche and pastry here. The nose works on sweet appeal. The palate flirts with an oxidative style – there are notes of dried raisin cake, sponge cake,Dundeecake, with flavours of spice and orange marmalade, and a show of ginger towards the finish. Possibly in a quiet phase. Camomile tea and pineapple figure on the aftertaste. From 2015. 14°. 2025-27  Nov 2012

 

2010

quite a full yellow, suggests ripeness. The nose is fat in style, with buttery layers, a core of cooked fruit such as pear, exotic tropical fruits – this is a solid Hermitage blanc. The palate accentuates the richness of the year, is rolled into a textured, oily ball before emerging into a more direct, oak-hazelnut final furlong. It ends on that toasting lying on top of its richness. Authentic, local. Marsanne comes forward well here. The length is sound, good, vigorous. Friendly wine for Vieille France cuisine, scallops or St Jacques and sauced fish dishes. Tang-bitter on the aftertaste, as usual with Marsanne. From mid-2013. 14.5°. 2025-27 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(casks) full yellow, apricot touches. Vanilla, cooked white fruits nose, white raisin and spice here. The palate is reserved, and direct for now. The outer edges are oaked, and tannin prevails over its enmeshed richness within, it is all woven together. A slow burn wine, more on finesse and mystery than obvious fat appeal. Toasted aftertaste. It is somewhat mainstream. From late 2012. 2022-24 July 2010

2007

gold, apricot colour; has a bold bouquet – guava, exotic fruits with some damp wool from its mature fruit, also pineapple as per its oaking, the air of which lies within the nose. Some enforced winemaking has played a role in it. The palate is wide, grips and has a tannic late showing. This is a full, constructed white Hermitage - it has oak and bulk to the fore. Do not drink now – it will be more local and interesting if left until around 2013. The aftertaste reflects orange marmalade, honey and oak. Shows Marsanne grip towards the finish, plus vanilla from its oak. The oak is strong, I have to say, but there is plenty of content. 2023-24 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 **(*) (cask) apricot fruit in quite a rich bouquet. Three-quarter weight richness on the palate, then it straightens out, the length is OK here. Its richness is pretty, and will be OK providing there isn`t excess oak. This is a year of some finesse. 16-18 years. Jan 2008

2006

banana, flan aroma, the fruit being white peach, the whole infused with crème patisserie – this bouquet has a solid side. The palate starts discreetly, has a supple, poised richness, and proceeds well. Its oak is most noticeable on the finish, but there is richness and guts (15°) to handle that. Tightens and shuts down rather at the end. A pretty stylish wine: drink from 2011-12 for more open, free expression. 2021-23 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2007 **(*) quite a full yellow; the nose reflects exotic fruits, banana, white peach – some dried fruits like apricot here, too. The palate runs on a rather sweet, rich plane, with flan in the flavour. There is some late oak, so leave until mid-late 2009. Contains gras, and has good end grip. This is a ripe style of Hermitage, which works on its power and its rich, obvious extract. 2019-21 Dec 2007

2004 ()

straw/yellow robe. Pretty elegant nose - modern style with some exotic fruit, passion fruit-pineapple and oak. Restrained start on palate from its oaking, a brown sugar taste in middle, baked apple later on. Plain, down the line, lacks nuance. Oak very strong on finish, I find this commercial. Esp from 2009-10. 2019-21 April 2006

2003

gold, apricot hue to the robe; the bouquet swirls with oriental airs, white raisin and quince jam, flambé brown sugar, crème brulée – is immediately striking. Muscular, big wine here – it is 16°plus; there is big drive in it, is a wide-brimmed wine – burly, but not heavy. Food essential for it. Has late grip and grain, and despite its high degree, is a dry wine. Leaves a late vanilla pod legacy. Certainly interesting – this can tick along. 2020-24 Jan 2008

2001

taut bouquet, apricot, fair depth. Oak-marked flavour, some core matter inside. Oak helps its length, quite an easy wine. Not very expressive, maybe more from 2007. Rather dry finish. 2012-15

2000

nice fat, oily and broad aroma; fat, rich style of wine. Apricots and honey, rich texture, stylish wine that handles the wood well. Oak still present after four years. Has some grip. 2012-14

1999

some floral aromas; suave, above all refined palate, elegant. Nice quiet matter here. 2008-10

1998

oak fills the bouquet after two years, some matter there as well; bit less rich than the 1999, slightly upright. Tight texture. Wait six years. 2008-12