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The Wines

98-100% Marsanne (1980), 0-2% Roussanne from Dardouille, Montagnon so half granite, half clay soils, steel vat fermented at 18°C, steel vat raised 6 months, lees stirred, malo blocked, (until late 2000s was vat raising 8 months, malo completed, 5,000 b) 9,000 b

2018

fine yellow colour; the bouquet has weight, grilling, a pretty sturdy presence. There’s a note of petrol, flan, melon, with apricot in the second tier. The palate serves a steady richness which continues well, carries nutty, dried pear flavours, and a tinkle of freshness on the second half. Its well defined, well poised, ends with calm freshness, grapey grip, dabs of oak. 13.5°. 2028-29 Nov 2019

2016

yellow colour, a bright robe. Has an aroma that resembles tangerine, mandarin segments, elderberry also. It’s rather a big bouquet, doesn’t hold back, gives hints of licorice. The palate continues a pretty gung ho theme, is juicy and generous, flows well, with touches of toffee late on. There’s a touch of banana and mango in the flavour. This pleases on its texture, its suave feel, and runs with live delivery into a tangy, citrus close. Great with soft cheese. It’s a classic St Jo blanc, offers lots of jaunty appeal. 13.5°. 2027-29 Feb 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe. Elder flower, salty, greengage plum airs mix on the nose. The palate is a fluid affair, with a roll of cosy white fruit gras, comes with a trim finale, lemon there. It drinks kindly now, and can serve for the aperitif, or with fish such as plaice or cod, very good with them. The aftertaste brings in some ginger, grip. 13°. 9,000 b. 100% Marsanne. 2021-22 Oct 2016

2012 ()

shiny yellow robe with a ripe aspect. The bouquet has a fat centre, gives an air of buttery cooked pear-peach, lime essence. The front end of the palate is rich, overdone, before the close offers nutty grip, a firmer shape. A wine for la table – fowl, cheese. Quite a powerful, pushy wine whose length is sustained. Decant it. From mid-2014. 13.5°. 38 hl/ha. To 2019  Nov 2013

2011 ()

pale yellow, green tints. The nose is elegant, stylish – shows flowers of spring, acacia, plum and quince. The palate takes on well from the nose: there is a good, fine harmony here – this is appealing wine. It drinks easily solo, but has enough foundation for nouvelle cuisine, clear flavours, cold turkey, chicken, salads, shrimps. The length is sound. This is nearly ready. To 2018.  Nov 2012  Previously Feb 2012 *** bottled one week ago; shiny, light yellow. The nose is understandably reserved, shows vanilla-spice, light honey, white plums such as myrtille, has an engaging tenderness, a hint of apricot jam. There is an agreeable spot of plumpness on the palate, with a white jam drift in towards the finish. Cosy fruit, supple wine, nice style. Honey and dried fruits feature on the aftertaste. 13.5°. To 2018 Feb 2012

2010

green tinted pale yellow. Has a soft, wavy air, light banana aroma and even lighter air of nuts, butter – this is a round bouquet which has some scale and can evolve. Likewise, the palate starts softly with good, fleshy content present – it is rich and elegant. It lengthens stealthily, is not showy, but has genuine content and depth. There are light saline moments on the aftertaste. Very fine, a wine of subtle qualities. Harmony is the word. There is discreet late grip, a feathery touch. 14°. 2019-20 Nov 2011

2009

yellow, green spots. Baked fruits air with a firm underlay, honey is present – it is all quite elegant and thorough at the same time, with fennel and lime combined – a good start. The palate has a candy, hazelnut flavour, and enough freshness to drink on its own – it is accessible now. Finishes clearly, has a tidy exit. 14° - reflects the August heat. 2015-16 July 2010

2008

(cask) respectable wine – pale yellow; some depth in the bouquet and the palate, light honey airs. The lees are evident, not very easy to taste. Dec 2008

2007

pale robe; honey, buttery aroma. The palate has a rich, steady start – it shows good body until a more Marsanne hazelnut closure. This goes for an open, gourmand style – it is nearly 14° - and has a honeyed finish. Some late heat. Good with charcuterie, Asian spice dishes. Bottled May 2008. To 2013. Dec 2008

2006

mild yellow colour; has a nice, buttery, round and open bouquet with a little peach, nut and honey on display – is an elegant ensemble. The palate continues in the same vein, with a good run of white fruits and some light hazelnut edging – is all very harmonious. It's a pleasure to drink, is w.o.w. wine. Good length, nice and clear finale, late burst of white jam. Good drop, this. 13.5° 2012-13 Dec 2007

2005 ()

quite a yellow robe; grapefruit, prominent, live fruits aroma, some butter, with pineapple edging. Reserved at first on palate; Softens out through the palate, rolls nicely, with a raisin-nut Marsanne finish. Can live and evolve. To 2011. Dec 2006 Previously Dec 2005 *** (tank) big, filled up bouquet, pear, fennel primary aromas. Pretty richness, fleshy wine with some edging of restraint. Good Marsanne richness this year. 13.6? - a ripe vintage. December 2005

2004 ()

yellow present in robe. Quiet, buttery nose with a fresh tang, has a hazelnut afterburn, pretty. Attractive fruit kick-off, settles and extends well. Approachable and bonny now. Full, without being forced there. Buttery, marmalade aftertaste. June 2006 Previously Dec 2005 ***(*) bouquet mixes exotic, lemony tart aromas, with an agreeable slice of freshness. Quite rich start, with nice fat, then tightens a little. Gourmand up in the front, but can live. A little salty tang on the finish, also fennel. Pretty good, will work well with food. Bottled June 2005. Dec 2005 Previously (casks sample) *** bonbon sweets, nut combo on nose, some width to it. Rounded flavour, with signs of richness. Good length, this has some potential to go further. March 2005

2003

solid bouquet, exotic fruits. Good richness at its core, firmly put together. Good length.

2002

slight bonbon, touch mineral nose; white fruit, some grip. Flan flavour, too. Flowery end, decent.

2001 ()

charming, quite frank almond bouquet. Rounded white fruit, with sinew. Good quiet core, end apricot. Is expressive. Solid quality.

1998

hazelnut-floral bouquet, Comté cheese. Attractively mineral on palate, there is age showing through, the palate is a bit tough. Needs to wake up, but the there is some richness and the end is buttery, so has more life in it. To 2010? Dec 2005

1997

spiced, almost Sauvignon nose. Quiet richness, spiced again at the edges, good length.

1990 ()

yellow present in the robe. Spice, dried fruits, nut aroma with an elegant flow - not like a hot year in style. Honeyed flavour, runs well beyond the attack, has good grip on a toasty finale, with hazelnut present. In good shape still. Dec 2005

1983

(100% Marsanne then 30 years old) pretty light gold. Apricot, pastry/tart aroma. Nicely soaked stone fruit near the skins - nicely rich. Violet almost, light honeyed end, mango too. Nice finish - warm, correct, just a touch dry.