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The Wines

100% Marsanne mainly from Saint-Désirat, Vion, Sécheras, Charnas, Tournon, Mauves, Guilherand, has descended from 70% own crop to 5% own crop, risen from 30% to 95% purchased crop, mixed soils along the St-Joseph appellation, and mixed altitudes, cool decantation, fermented, raised 90% steel vat, 10% 2-year 228-litre oak casks 10 months, malo blocked, has risen from 4,500-5,000 to 12,000 b

2018 ()

pale yellow; there’s a reserved nose here, cussed, hardly stirred out of its den. It’s lined with a couch of close-knit white fruits that have vintage thickness, firmness. The palate is buttery, bears firm, mid-weight content. It may be hidden, but is dull. Decant it. Workmanlike, functional St Jo blanc, not wrong but . . . 14°, which is part of the problem, too. Production has more than doubled, and outside crop rocketed up - and it shows. 2026-27 Dec 2019

2017 ()

quite a full yellow robe; the nose is on the fat side, on honey and apricot, oak toasting, ginger. The palate is softly textured, with a flavour that rustles up soap suds from somewhere, with white plum, pointed spearmint notes towards the finish. It’s not fully settled today, isn’t right on cue. There is an enjoyable mid-palate, which augurs well. Leave until mid-2019. It’s rather streamlined in style, by design. It ends freshly, skims a little. It will please younger drinkers who want something reasonably light after work. 13.5°. 2025-26 Feb 2019

2016

yellow robe with a bright hue. The nose is calm, well set, based on stewed white fruits [compote], notes of white peach; it is joli, has a gentle, assured quality. The palate skims along, is more fleeting than the nose would suggest, is a neat and easy to appreciate orb with white fruits, peach near the stone flavouring. This has been toned down into New Wave wine when compared with previous more food friendly and longer lived vintages. It drinks easily, even if it drifts on the aftertaste, vaporises late on. It’s made for a metropolitan audience who don’t cook. 13°. 2021-22 Jan 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe. Apricot-vanilla with a nudge of pineapple set up the nose, a light hazelnut presence. The palate starts on carbonic gas, holds tight, fine content, plum fruits, peach stone. The close is grippy, with the tang of the Marsanne. This is Regular Guy wine with a little inner muscle. It drifts a touch late on. Decant it. 13.5°. Bottled June 2016. From spring 2017. 2023-24 Oct 2016

2014

yellow robe. The bouquet is bright, wide, mixed – there are airs of ginger, honey, nougat, a definite smokiness. The palate gives a supple gras with a trim finish, a little extra crunch and grip there. The flavour brings in apricot, white peach, with a note of liquid honey on the aftertaste. It is fresh, and reveals a fine acidity, as it closes nice and neatly. 13.5°. 2020-21  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

yellow robe, many legs visible. Cooked pear, almond and aniseed airs feature in a curvy bouquet, a touch of vanilla pod. The nose will vary nicely as it evolves. The palate presents a fine roll of flavour centred on almond, with liquid honey, for now. It will show more if decanted. It gathers in some tannic grip as it ends. 13.5°. From late 2015. 2022-23  Jan 2015 

2012 ()

shiny, pale yellow. A lemon, lemon curd aroma mixes in with white plum, greengage well, and shows a Marsanne tang. The palate sequels well from the nose – there is a serene gras richness here, and it ends on a comfortable fat, roundly. It has the texture and glycerol for stronger flavours, mushroom dishes, cardoons, artichoke. This is stylish, subtly full. 13.5°. To 2019  Nov 2013

2011 ()

glinting, medium depth yellow. Has a classic white Saint-Joseph air, mixes honey and honeycomb, a light note of melted butter, hazelnut, and is round. It is full enough to promise well for the future. There is a note of licorice and spearmint to add breeze. The palate starts on hazelnut, comes and goes as it travels, is not yet in one zone. Beyond the hazelnut come dried fruits such as apricot and fig. It has good cut on the finish. Interesting wine, not a patsy. Marks for character, is a little wild. The finish involves honeycomb and nougat.  13.5°. To 2019.  Nov 2012

2010

pale yellow; honey, apricot, very typical Marsanne nose that invites well. Has a hint of mandarin and citrus. The palate shows good subtlety, class. The acidity is fine and the content still upright; “stylish” is the key word. It lengthens well, shows poise and clarity, is fine. There are honey notes on the aftertaste. It all done in a delicate register. 13.5°. 2020-21 Feb 2012

2009 ()

flint yellow; reductive first air, but fine fruit in the bouquet – has a gentle breeze about it, but can develop greater variety. OK for the aperitif. Stylish, easy drinking on the palate – has a light, but aromatic Marsanne flavour. A wee bit on the light side, it drifts at the end, which holds it back in quality. Could have more stuffing. 13.5°. To 2015. July 2010

2007

yellow robe; butter-banana, vanilla aroma. The palate is firm – it is mildly fruited, lying low today – the second day of low pressure. There is taste of honey and some flan in this, but it needs a winter to clarify and express itself more openly. There is fair body for the future. There is some of the typical bitter tang and also spice from the Marsanne. 13.5°. 2013-14 Dec 2008

2006

mild yellow colour; the nose shows nougat and some aniseed, with a honey surround: it is gracious, and after two hours opens up a lot, bringing out exotic fruit aromas. There is a banana, even lychee start to the palate. This is cleanly made, and has a nice late cool tone, ending openly and clearly. It is very much a wine of elegant appeal, and good length, with a hazelnut aftertaste. Can serve as an aperitif wine, but can also evolve to a second stage. Is a wee bit short. 13.5°. 2013-14 Jan 2008

2001 ()

mineral/floral mix on nose; pretty, pebbly fruit, floral touches, lasts well. 2009-10