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The Wines

Marsanne from Les Greffieux, bought in 1983-84 from Madamemoiselle Chierpe, re-planted 1990, can be plus a little Marsanne from Les Rocoules, fermented, raised 5-10 year 228-litre oak casks 14 months, from 2007 20-25% new oak used, only sold in France, not enough for export, 900-1,800 b

2018 ()

(Les Greffieux, used 228-litre cask, malo completed) full yellow; has a grilling, toasted aroma, cooked citrus in the air, white plum, white peach – it has style. The palate tastes well, carries good appeal, with balance and steady length, not a false step. This is kind, joli, appealing Hermitage, carries detail, persists, tick tock. It’s classic, traditional Hermitage. From 2024, decanting advised. 2040-43 Nov 2018

2017 ()

(steel tank, bottling spring 2019) full yellow robe, shine from within; quince fruit, citrus marmalade, nutshells airs – this is a sturdy bouquet not yet out and about, has reserves of depth, sizzled butter also. The palate is engaging, gourmand, wholesome, with silky textures in play, continues, glides along, is nutty with white plum and some jam style white strawberry near the close. This is genuine, traditional Hermitage blanc. “It has a lot of elegance, gras richness,” Marc Sorrel. 14.5°. 2038-40 Nov 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ****(*) (228-litre cask) full yellow. The nose is classic – ginger, nougat, grapiness, dried fruits such as apricot, smoky and tangy. The palate holds beau, joli gras, extends surely, has heart, extols fine richness, has a peach flavour. This is fine, full and elegant, an STGT white Hermitage. 2034-36 Nov 2017

2016

(used cask) rich yellow robe. The tropics are in the glass – mango, for instance, on the broad nose, with honey, a backdrop of hazel, vanilla. The palate delivers instant gras richness, a thick coating, beats a firm path to its sturdy finish. There’s real ground force here. The flavour has the tang of the Marsanne towards the finish, dried fruits, guava jam and jelly. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, has a red wine structure. Suited to Vieille France dishes such as sweetbreads. “It was picked on over-ripeness on 20 September, since the yield was a very low 20 hl/ha, half the usual, so there were 600 b instead of 1,500 b. It resembles 2003 [I agree, and is an original, unusual wine,” Marc Sorrel. 14.5°. From 2022. 2036-38 Nov 2017

2015

(cask) shiny yellow robe, with green tints – it’s attractive. Dried fruits, honey, honeysuckle, peach show well in the nose, with a hint of apricot. The palate bears solid gras, flows coolly, freshness a theme. The finale is nuggety, has little spot of tannin, with salted touches, waxen notes. The balance is good.  Good structure, firm close here. 2032-34 Apr 2016 Previously Dec 2015 **** (used 228-litre oak cask, sugars and malo completed) shiny, quite bold yellow robe. The nose has a good spring in its step, offers an aroma of peach fruit jelly, a note of lime and hazelnut. It breathes freshly, with some salt. The palate starts elegantly, is notably fresh, and runs with precise detail, is all very clear-cut. This is northern in style, has a Burgundian profile, will gain flesh. The finish is nutty, grippy. There are good bare bones for the future here. 13.5°. 1,200 b. From 2018. 2030-32 Dec 2015

2014

(vat, bottling in two weeks) fine yellow robe. Orange marmalade, cooked lime, ginger and toasting show in a varied bouquet. The palate grips on the debut, has a flavour of dried fruits, low-key gras, a supple spot of roundness at the end. This has direct lines, freshness. 14°. 2031-33 Apr 2016 Previously Dec 2015 **** (tank, bottling spring 2016) shiny yellow colour. Greengage, beeswax, mango aromas show on the nose, along with a concentrated apricot juice – the bouquet has a good frontage and is nicely fresh. The palate sets off well, glides with joli gras. The texture is smooth until some late grain and Marsanne grip. It is compact and elegant, beau and true. The finish is fine. 14°. 900 b. From mid-2017. 2030-32  £234 6 bots i/bond Lay & Wheeler +44(0)1473 313 300 www.laywheeler.co.uk Dec 2015

2013

(cask, bottling April 2015) shiny yellow. Light pineapple, vanilla-toast aroma, with dried fruits, apricot, beeswax also present: overall, the nose is reserved. The palate gives a clear run of white fruit jam, the flavours similar to apricot and tangerine. This is rather stylish, closed but promising. Gras richness, smooth juice peek out as it ends. “It will be very good in 4 to 5 years,” Marc Sorrel. Only 900 b this year. From 2017-18. 2031-33 GB £426/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  Jan 2015

2012

(used 228-litre oak cask) rich yellow robe. Peach, wax aroma, peach jam, gentle flowers, infused tea. The palate starts on gras richness, its outer texture smooth. The palate has a nutty centre, gives a sense of cooked lemon, takes its time to show, ends a little more tightly, with clearer direction. There is a glow on the finish. Good balance, unforced wine, has fine late acidity. The finish is more noble than that of the Crozes white, where the class of the terroir shows. Drink with sauced fish, for instance. From mid-2015. 2024-27 Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 **** (cask) sound yellow. Solid depth and width in the nose, which is quite profound on a hazelnut lead, orange secondary air. The palate has sound foundation, then shows joli gras richness after half way. I’d like to drink this now. “It is very gras, supple, elegant,” Marc Sorrel. 12.9°. 14-16 years  Nov 2012

2011

medium depth yellow colour. Has a smoky, aniseed and licorice, roast chestnut aroma, one with airborne notes. The palate works on a fine acidity, is fresh, leaves a trail of clear nut, peach. It isn’t yet fully ensemble, is a bit strict. It could hold more stuffing late on. Risk of over-production this year, perhaps. 1,500 b this year. “It resembles 2000 which had a large crop, was generous,” Marc Sorrel. From mid-2015. 13°. 2025-26  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 ***(*) (228-litre cask, bottling April 2013) medium yellow robe. The nose has a lime marmalade richness, ginger and spice, walnut trimming, and is given extra depth by a lemon jam or lemon curd note, light Bergamot. The palate holds good core gras, extends on a nutty run, is in thrall to the low pressure today. It ends nice and clearly, has medium+ depth. Sound length, comfortable late grip. Refined, not especially robust, lacks a little depth. From mid-2014. 2023-24  Nov 2012

2010 ()

(casks, bottling in Jan 2012) full yellow robe; has an aroma of peach fruit, is waxy, with summer flowers, a floating richness. The palate is all about finesse – the texture is very suave, and it runs, is silken. It has less bite than the Lrnage Crozes Marsanne, is very caressing, fine and continuous. Lovely balance. “It is open, already tastes well, has changed since September 2011 when it was closed,” Marc Sorrel. 12.8°. 2024-26 Nov 2011 Previously Nov 2010 ****(*) (used cask, sugars finished, malo not) full yellow with lime glints; lovely richness on the pretty, graceful and varied nose – white raisin, lime and lemon present. Well-sustained on the palate, comes with tannic sides, a good enclosure all around it, its length nice and steady, calm. Has fine grip. Beau and fine Vin with lovely fruit potential: it moves along well. From 2014-15. 2026-28 Nov 2010

2009

(cask, to be bottled March 2011) yellow, quite full robe. Airs of varnish and wax, dried fruits, cooked pear on the bouquet. Starts cautiously, but this is rich, comes with a note of hazelnut. Shows a lees influence. “It has had 1 racking already, and the second will be done in 10 days,” Marc Sorrel. Finely muscular, well-built wine of good length. 2023-25 Nov 2010

2008 ()

yellow robe with green tints. Pear, hazelnut, barley sugar aromas – these are light. The palate grips early, has fair depth of matter, but lacks second half carry and weight, shows acidity at the end. Its lightness steers it towards solo drinking – unusual for white Hermitage – but can go with lightly flavoured foods. From spring 2012. “White meats without a lot of sauce will suit this,” M.Sorrel. 12.8°. Lost 40% of the crop on this. Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 **(*) (4 year cask, sugars finished, malo not, on its fine lees) mild yellow; has a nutty, almond, nougat nose. The palate holds interesting fruit – nice and direct, but with a measured stuffing around it. Has good, clear lines. Aromatic, and sympa on the palate – the fruit comes through clearly. 13.5°. 2017-19 Dec 2008

2007

pale yellow. Agreeable nose – here come flan, honey, hazelnut – it is very typical, and has a breeze of honeysuckle with it, also baked apple – this bouquet is good and inviting, with appealing depth and richness. The palate is forceful – there is just a bit of fire here, but it finds its stride, and runs on with fat present. Has a petrol style finish. From spring 2011 or so. 14°. 2023-25 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) (cask) even yellow colour. Buttery nose, custard, flan and banana – this has nice, harmonious richness. The palate gives true access to the Marsanne, with its dried fruits and raisiny flavour. There is a bit of late burn – this is a wine of some body. The end flavour is an interesting honey. The finish needs leaving for two years to calm down, so drink from 2011. “It was a flattering wine from the start, as a young wine – more than the previous years. It is ripe – nearly 14°,” M.Sorrel. To be bottled March 2009. 2020-22 Dec 2008

2006 ()

(cask) full yellow colour, has a rich appearance. The bouquet shows a top note of marmalade, with substance below: this aroma is tight, but there is quite a lot here. The palate is round in shape, and has a coating of richness. Is a little dumb now, but there is good matter. A touch of end bitter comes through, but this is a round and nicely thorough wine, with outcrops of acidity and life. It is restrained but will be more out and about in the spring of 2009. Sound length, with a peppery end. 14°. 2017-19. To be bottled March 2008. Nov 2007

2005 ()

(cask) marked yellow robe; butterscotch, rich aroma, baked fruit tart. Broad, elegant feel with rich wrapping on the palate. Nicely directed finale, not at all heavy, floats well. Dried fruits, tangy finish. There is clearly more acidity in the 2005 than the 2003, which shows jam flavours, and it’s a bit more beefy, but well presented. This cask 14.3°. 2022-26 April 2006

2004 ()

varnish, oil aroma, homey also - elegant in shape. Belle finesse here - nutty, dried fruits, refined tone. Good, rich, quiet finale. Notable for its elegance. 2019-22 April 2006

2002

(cask) boiled sweet/pear drop bouquet. Forward wine - honey/stone fruit mix, decent richness. 2010-12

2001 ()

quite elegant, streamlined almond/honeycomb nose. Restrained flavour, bit light, some length. Touch short, may do a little more with time. 2009-11

2000

(cask) touch yellow; pretty bouquet, white fruits, floral, medium weight. Warm palate, then stops, is rather closed. Elegant style. Touch of oak. Quite sound. 2013-17

1999

(vat, pre-bottle) generous, still reserved nose, touch of citrus, cheese. Very sound, unflashy. Palate is weighty, lot of fat at the end, good width of flavour. Bit reserved, will become delicious with this richness breaking out. 2014-19