Login | Subscribe
twitter

The Wines

95% Marsanne, 5% Roussanne, inc 1912 Marsanne on 0.55 ha Les Grandes Vignes (called Les Vignes des Prisonniers, planted 1918, mineral, tight wine), 1950s Marsanne on 0.45 ha at bottom of Les Bessards, (termed Le Sabot (the clog) big, round, oily wine), fermented, wild yeasts, raised 100% new 228-litre oak casks (2009) and from 2010 50-60% new, 40-50% 1-year 228-litre oak casks 8-10 months on lees, with a fortnightly lees stirring until 3 weeks before bottling, lees stirred, filtered, called Marquise de la Tourette until 2009, 2,300-10,000 b

2018

full yellow robe; the bouquet is a bundle of tropical fruits at the outset, lychee, mango, has a grapey backdrop, comes with a little line of freshness that keeps it on track. The palate holds round, enveloping content, the gras well measured and stylish. It continues with a good sense of purpose into a clear finale. It has frame, structure, and will become rather handsome over time. The oak fits in well, brings its own thrust for now. 15°. From 2022-23. 2037-39 Nov 2019  GB £280/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017 ()

yellow robe; the bouquet gives a peach stone and orange citrus aroma, comes with a buttery backdrop, a note of vanilla pod. It’s not properly open. The palate bears considered richness, carefully presented. It has a tangy, Marsanne-inspired stone fruit flavour, with touches of aniseed and infused herbal tea as it closes, with discreet grip and a note of power. The fruit could go a bit longer. 15°. From mid-2019, decanting essential. 2031-33 Dec 2018

2016

full yellow robe. The nose gives a swirl of grapiness, apricot skins, brioche, sponge cake airs, has a welcome glint of aniseed. The palate rolls with an easy richness, bears a flavour of dried fruits, peach, peanut. There is a touch of mango, exotic fruiting, and a mineral tone that develops towards the sign-off. It has plenty of glycerol fat to sustain it, and will be good with sweetbreads, wild mushroom risottos, cassoulet. It’s a stylish Hermitage blanc. 14°. 2030-32 Nov 2017

2015 ()

shiny yellow robe. The nose carries an aroma of sweet white raisin, a brioche and apricot infill. There are mild airs of greengage plum as well. The palate acts on its suave texture, all a-rolling down the road it goes. It is buttery, has a flavour of ripe nectarine, apricot, and develops a liquid honey aftertaste. Serve in a large glass, and pair with sauced, cream-butter dishes, Asian cuisine. The texture is a winning card here, and it has a lovely serenity. Decanting a good idea. 14°. 4,000 b. €56 at the cellars. 2027-29 Oct 2016 

2014 ()

yellow robe. The nose combines spring flowers with a quiet lemon aroma, a note of oak vanilla. The palate drinks well now, offering a rolling run of neat gras richness. The aftertaste is supple, sends a compote of white fruits flavour, with grip on the finish, the tang of Marsanne. Orderly white Hermitage, which is soft, just a little unmemorable in the New Wave style. 14.5°. 3,000 b. €51. 2024-26  Oct 2015 

2013

shiny yellow robe. Flan, custard, greengage aromas, a drift of lime – this is a well varied bouquet, has a little tannin implicit. The palate, likewise, is structured, has the shape of a red wine. Good density and length here. It builds up its richness as it ends, and there is a lot of glycerol to smack the lips on, with a citrus tang on the close. It is long, full, sustained, intricate and stylish. Drink this with lobster, foie gras. Decant it, too. It will close. Drink from 2020 or so after that close-down, but it is pretty darned good now as well. 2039-42  GB £220/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) shiny, mild yellow. White strawberry, cooked pear aroma, along with toasting, smoke from the oak, and a plentiful nut, hazelnut. The content on the palate has sound depth, after an attack that is polished, suave. The flavour resembles brioche bread, flan, with a pick-up in tang, a near orange zest. Its fruit proceeds discreetly. There is an oak-peanut leave-behind. This isn’t a big, full Hermitage: it is orderly and polished up, so serve in a big glass to coax out more subtle nuances. It is quietly OK, but tame beside the best and truest Hermitage blancs. From spring 2015. 13.5°. 2024-26  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) yellow, quite rich robe. Has a jam, marmalade air in a reserved nose which is hard to get into: there is a light saltiness, subdued white plum fruit such as Mirabelle, with flint and smoky airs. I expected more. The palate is compact, textured around a smoky gras, with oak taking up the main place on the finale. I find this dumb, yet they find it expressive – funny. It has style in its gras, and is clearly on a path of light elegance over power. It has just about enough stuffing to be a genuine Hermitage blanc. A fresh, gradual developer which needs coaxing out. Has a fine-tune end, a mixed bag of dried fruits and camomile tea. 13°. From 2015. Changes in approach are coming to bear here – “the Burgundian” model. 2027-29  Nov 2012

2010 ()

yellow robe, quite rich. Aromatic, attractive grace in the clean hazelnut aroma – it shows lime and lemon and a trace of white raisin, honey and ginger. The palate is smooth, compact, understated. The acidity if fine. Not that profound. There are light notes of raisin and nougat at the end, with a fresh touch of licorice. It is balanced, is subtle wine, but I find I am writing more about aromas than the palate, which shouldn’t be the case. I expected more obvious body. Wait until 2017, so it can show more. 14.5°. 2027-29  Nov 2012  Previously June 2011 ****(*) (casks) yellow robe; leesy, rich foundation to nose, which involves nut, cashews, white raisin, mild oak. “The crop was so small this year, just 17 hl or 2,300 bottles, because of an attack of oïdium, which the Marsanne is very subject to,” Jacques Grange. Rich but nicely textured palate, has movement in it, gains grip towards the finish, ending on a quite sweet and round, tasty and full ensemble. There is a line of tannin or spine in this. It is more fine than the 2009, more “accurate”. Belle acidity in evidence – the pH is around 3.4 or so. Rather a classic year that can live. It will make progress, and waiting will reward this elegant wine. 14.5°or so. 2030-32 June 2011

2009 ()

rich aspect, straw tints and legs down the glass in a full yellow. Interesting, varied nose – pear skin-peanut, melted butter, has a harmony, orderly nature, oily airs. The palate is digging into mineral zones, the oak absorbing. The mid-palate texture is rich before the tightening. This reaches for authentic Hermitage white gras, plus a stylish length and grip. You can be patient with this slow developer that has plenty of body and potential. There is good, true Marsanne tang on the aftertaste, a well-judged ripeness of crop. Dried apricot flavour on the end. From 2016 it will be doing well. I like the spice-bitter blend in its later stages. STGT wine, well made. All new oak this year – small, rich harvest. 14°. 2028-30 June 2011. Very small crop – 21 hl this year, or 2,800 b. Previously July 2010 ****(*) (casks) good, thorough yellow; obvious oak aroma, the bouquet is reduced, but intrinsically is wide and full, and beams out some fat. Broad start to the palate, then it lies low after half way, ends finely – shows quiet quality there. Good ripe fruit and gras richness here, a sunny child. The oak is prominent on the finish for now. There are nice chewy moments in this, has a shapely richness. From spring 2012. 2023-26 July 2010

2008 ()

prominent yellow robe; toasted, citrus airs – fennel and aniseed touches – mandarin, toast is the current lasting imprint. The palate runs freely – is an elegant, rather direct operator. Despite the oak, it has a fresh grace and a subtle depth. The second half of the palate is enclosed; there is touch of muscle in this, nice feel. A poised year, but there is weight here. From 2012. 12.5° Bottled June 2009. “I like its Burgundian style – live wine,” Jacques Grange. 2021-23 Nov 2009

2007

full yellow with minor gold traces; has a baked tart, brioche aroma – white raisin and nougat lie behind, also vanilla and liquid honey. The palate is ample, generous, full - bearing ripe fruit that has a mature, almost oxidative nature. It runs on its glycerol richness, with oak on either side. The oak renders the finish toasted, honeyed, its length well-set. Good, clear aftertaste. Reflects this good white Hermitage vintage faithfully. 2024-26 Dec 2008

2006

a full, quite bright yellow robe; toasting, spiced notes on the nose, with fruits such as honey, apricot and banana present. The palate has a three-quarter rich core, and shows richness late on: its length works thanks to the oiliness or glycerol in the ripeness of the crop. The flavour is dried fruits with raisin, with enough depth to provide banana and crème patisserie in the ensemble. Is good and elegant, with a little skip in its step, nicely fresh. Is good this year, and the Marquise has now performed for four years running. Has a nice, compact, Typical Marsanne finale. From 2010 is overall an approachable wine. 2026-28 Jan 2008

2005 ()

some yellow in the robe; plenty in the bouquet that holds a square shape just now – oak is on top, butter and wax below. Smooth, caressing flow of feathery appeal on the palate. Becomes nutted and more focused towards the finish, and ends clearly and well, with a nutted apricot taste. Still reserved, drink from 2010 on. 2019-22 “The mineral in this comes from the higher up site of Les Grandes Vignes,” Jacques Grange Dec 2006

2004

gentle yellow, legs down the glass. Has a subtle, reserved but fine nose that offers drifts of lime and citrus, candy, spice and brioche. The palate is fine fruited, has a lovely texture and pedigree, notable finesse, and a silken, bonny warm run of fruit. It ends on spice and white pepper. Air brings out more tangerine, Bergamot and also some reduction and earthy notes on the nose. The palate gains weight as it airs after 1 hour – it is wonderful with a local St Marcellin cheese and Picodon, both of which enrich it. 14°. A beaut. 2020-23 Nov 2010 Previously June 2008 ***(*) there is a little evolution on the robe – pockets of yellow, also glycerol down the glass. The bouquet has an appealing, rich interior, is nicely presented, has no excess cellar handling. The palate is led by some rich, nutted flavours – the texture is rounded and fleshy, enjoyable. The length is good. This is now moving into shape. 14°. To 2022-24 June 2008 Previously April 2006 **** yellow glints on robe. Straw, white fruits, some floral/honeysuckle tones on bouquet - is clear-cut, with depth. Refined and fully textured wine. Moves along well - is rounded and quite subtle. Still in a post-bottling, quiet state. Good length, promise of more here from 2009 on. Flavour is apricot-nuts, and texture very suave and pretty. 2023-25 April 2006

2003

well nuanced bouquet, flies along, is broad, too. Good mix of butter-hazelnut on palate, white stone fruit also present. Length sound, nutty finish. Plenty to come, full without excess. Stylish. 2008 on. 2019-22

2002

stewed white stone fruit bouquet, honeysuckle also, is open. Softer than earlier when held more spice/oak. Hazelnut-apricot character, some buttery richness. Some acetate tone in it, ends rather abruptly. Not integrated now, was more classy and elegant, in a dip. 2006-07 on. 2016-20 Dec 2004

2001 ()

gently fat, buttery, oaked aroma, elegant. Overt, persistent richness, oak edging. Mineral, toasted end then buttery aftertaste. Clean. Esp 2007-09 on. 2016-19

2000

yellow tones; nicely rich bouquet - stylish, very authentic, some apricot. Really lovely, delicious wine. Bang! Mixes white fruit/light cheese, nutty towards finish. Rich enough to live well. 2010-14

1999

ripe crop, broad bouquet in the making; rich, ripe flavour - butter/lime. Good fat on aftertaste, also decisive, lasts well. Still closed. From 2006-08. 2020-24

1998 ()

very discreet bouquet, hint of honey, butterscotch, some ripe crop. Light nut on palate, quite firm texture. Reserved. Should unfold well, staying on the elegance more than the power. 2011-16

1997

rounded, discreet bouquet, lightly roasted nuts, soft honey. Harmonious palate - the fat is nicely full, orderly. Bonbon presence also. At four years, is near end of first phase, will vary more with more time. 2010-14