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The Wines

70-80% Marsanne, 20-30% Roussanne, av age 35 yrs from limestone & granite soils, fermented, raised new-4 year 600-litre oak casks & 11-12 hl large barrel 10 months (until mid-2010s raised 20-80% vat, 20-80% new-4 year 228-litre & 600-litre oak casks 8-9 months (before 2006 was 35% oak, 228-litre oak casks, 65% vat), malo completed, 3,500-called Les Pins since 2006 with the Domaine Darona crop present, 12-13,000 b

2018

bright yellow robe; the nose has varied prompts, infused herbal tea, white peach, a note of honey. It carries some of the vintage weight. The palate is doughty, firm on the attack, its fullness extending all through. It’s very much on a trail to la table, has the depth for lobster, full flavoured fish such as sea bass. There is a note of apricot in the flavour late on, the aftertaste a lip smack affair. It gives plenty, so serve in a large glass. 13.5°. 2026-27 Nov 2019

2017 ()

fine yellow robe; the bouquet is elegant, gives a gentle air of lemon, peach fruit, a note of aniseed. This drinks well, is soft enough for the aperitif, the fruit pure and the weight discreet. There’s some Marsanne grip-tang on the controlled close. It’s a self contained, finely detailed, w.o.w. Saint-Péray, indicative of the improved wine making here these days. 13.5°. 2024-25 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ***(*) (600-litre cask, Roussanne, sugars under 2 gm left, malo not yet, bottling end Jul/end Aug 2018) fine yellow; toasted nose, freshness right there, ginger and cooked lemon. The attack is fine, and it holds soft gras, has a squeezy middle, extends serenely, has a belle roundness on the finish. This has foundation, and the aftertaste blends saltiness and dried fruits. 2024-26 Nov 2017

2016 ()

yellow robe. Honey-ginger aroma, nice and instant, notes of dried apricot – it’s a lucid bouquet. The palate comes with charming gras, a neat, fresh line through it. It has quiet grip, is an en finesse wine, with balance. The flavour is on white fruits, nectarine, the finale rounded. It’s a bit hidden, is floral, graceful. 13.5°. 2021-22 Nov 2017

2015 ()

shiny yellow robe. The nose gives a fat aroma of flan, apricot, has a ripe fruit presence, with some of the sun’s rays in its slightly baked nature. Oak rides alongside. It’s a big start, demanding of patience. The palate is also on a large scale, is properly structured, holds abundant richness and a real wheel of gras towards the finish. There are salty late notes in with apricot, ginger fabric. This is really well presented wine for la bonne table, with sunshine length. It ends with great purity. 14.5°. 13,000 b. 2023-25  Oct 2016

2014 ()

a magnum: fine yellow. The nose is quietly stylish, bears promise. Apricot, honey and ginger show the Marsanne truly. Peach fruit comes forward on the palate which holds subtle gras, with smoke and tobacco on the aftertaste. It  is a touch New Wave in style, but elegant, has an inherent saltiness. There is a touch of oak on the aftertaste. It is very good with steamed scallops. 2020-21 Apr 2016 Previously Oct 2015 *** yellow robe, green tints. The nose has a cooled lemon aroma, a note of oak-vanilla, is breezy, still upright. The palate is zippy, runs freshly, takes on a little gras towards the salted finish. Clear drinking here, no messing around. 13.5°. 12,000 b. 70% Mars, 30% Rouss. 2020-21 GB £73/6 b in bond Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013 ()

yellow robe, with a pale top. There is a lime fruit clarity on nose, which has a light fruit air, also a touch of spice. The palate is rather brief, has a little spot of gras richness, but fails to really lengthen. The finish is timid. In the new school of “light” white Rhônes, lacks true local depth. 13.5°. 11,800 b. €13.50 export. To 2018  Jan 2015

2012

shiny yellow robe, wee green touches. The bouquet is cosy – shows supple, fluid white fruits, peach fruit, and also has a near-floral delicacy about it. This serves for a bonny aperitif, though there is a little sweetness on the finish that suggests the table and dishes more. The flavour centres on white fruits. It tapers a little on the end, perhaps due to recent bottling. The exit is mild, low-key. A wine in the here and now. 13.5°. To 2018  Nov 2013

2011

clear, pale yellow. Vanilla-hazelnut, elegant air with greengage fruit inside, a touch of lime marmalade – a pretty classy debut. The palate opens on an attractive lime-mandarin combination, takes on greater depth from a honeyed gras richness. Stylish wine, has good poise and a second stage of evolution is definitely on the agenda. A wine for la table – great with steamed fish, noodle dishes. Has a pretty, round finish – it completes its route well. 13.5°. 2020-21  Nov 2012

2010

yellow robe. The nose reflects 2010 well – it has an elegant richness, a true northern Rhône depth. There are fruits such as apricot, peach stone. Air brings out Marsanne hazelnut. The palate presents texture and freshness together, is smooth and appealing. This is broad and well filled. There is nice late crunch, a little of the red wine in it. The length is solid and good, as is the balance. Ideal table wine that offers rolling waves of white fruit and late stage salty touches, true St-Péray in that way. 13.5°. 2023-24  Sept 2015, London Previously March 2011 ***(*) (600-litre, 85% Marsanne, 15% Roussanne, sugars ending, malo starting) *** pale; the nose has fine direction, interesting qualities. Good tension on the palate with a steady block of fruit within, nutty flavouring. Ends on fresh length. (steel vat from Amour de Dieu) ***(*) pale yellow, green glints. Bonbon sweets, light butter air. Even richness on the palate, sound length, good balance. 2020-21. March 2011

2009

pale robe; oak-toast, smoky front air, clear dried fruits behind, but the nose is lying low today. The palate holds good matter, extends steadily. Oak is prominent here – the palate has plenty of it. Touch of late glow from its degree. Has discreet gras, feels constructed within, ends clearly. This will age. From spring 2012. “The crop was very small – only 3,500 bottles this year, so it was all oak handled, 20% of the oak new. I also extended my raising from the spring to September to help round out my whites in 2009. It is better now than it was in September 2010, and will keep improving,” Fabrice Gripa. 2019-21 March 2011

2008 ()

soft yellow robe; bright nose – a mix of honey and lime, with hazelnut, and a light crème patisserie effect that adds amplitude. The palate shows restrained early gras or richness, gradually lengthens, and the second half is very elegant. The aftertaste is fine, and combines honey, dried fruits, vanilla. Good aperitif wine. To 2015. Bottled July 2009. “I prefer our 2008 Saint-Péray to the 2007 – it is balanced and fine, and is exactly what I want to make,” Fabrice Gripa. Dec 2009

2007 ()

glinting pale yellow; there is a combination of pear and pineapple on the bouquet, and a rustle of flowers in the air. The debut flavour is peach, peach near the stone. The mid to late palate is markedly full of white fruit, honey and hazelnut flavour. It takes on a local feel late on. Its length is full, and this is best suited to food. It can settle down by mid-2009, and round out its finish more. 2015-16. 13°. Bottled July 2008. Dec 2008

2006 ()

pale yellow/flint colour, some legs down the glass. Salty top note to an apricot-peach fruit aroma – is wide and tangy and rather buzzy. The palate is enhanced by a great texture, a real cosy, supple feel. The flavour is led by dried fruits with a tang of hazelnut, and there is an impressive broadening after half way. This ends on a persistent, clear note. Can act as aperitif, but also great with grilled fish, for instance – a real summer pleaser, but one that can evolve given its balance. 2014-15 May 2008 Previously Jan 2008 *** 1st bottle corked; 2nd bottle: pale yellow. Has a clean, free-flowing bouquet, moderated and calm – is led by white fruits, with a little tangy wax, and is stylish. This has a good, quiet statement of local flavour, is an STGT wine. There is a deft roll of fruit, with once more a rather waxen tone to the wine. Is perfectly agreeable, and works well for the aperitif, with a good mix of understated richness and a little lithe, saline presence. Will show more charm, more ease in 2009. 13°. 2013-14 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2007 *** compact bouquet – aniseed, white fruit – with potential. The flavour mixes sweetness with some orange bitter. Is rich on the mid to late palate, and finishes on oak and nut tones. Is primary now – wait for an ensemble in 2009. 2016-17 Dec 2007

2005

even sided yellow; interesting combination on the broad, willing bouquet: there are cool glints in the flan, honey-toffee underlay, suggesting lime and dried fruits, with wisps of apricot. Has a fat, very smoothly textured palate, with deft grip on the finish. Hazelnut and apricot mix in the flavour, and the finish is marked by some Marsanne control, a wee, agreeable bitter note. Lengthens and sustains well. A great companion for a blue Auvergne cheese, the Saint Agur, or baked salmon. Joli Vin, really good. Ship it in. 2012-13 April 2008 Previously March 2007 ***(*) nutty, peach skin and melted butter in a pretty, quite refined bouquet, also has a biscuity angle. The palate is elegant, has a flan flavour with a thread of mineral, apricot and nut mix beyond. Clear and round finale. This is a banker bet for value and quality. Can be aperitif, but also good with food, including mild cheeses. 2013-15 March 2007 Previously Nov 2006 *** yellow robe; exotic, oak-banana-vanilla nose, with melted butter – is quite open now. Chunky style at start of palate – the oak renders it upright. Comes in a mineral, fresh form. Hasn’t yet established its length. Rather raw now – drink from late 2007. Touch of end alcohol, but I can detect promise here. Ends with a quick raisin taste. 2014-16

2004 ()

steady yellow, still young glints there; buttery, melted brown sugar, mild aroma that is at a “sensible”, not showy moment. Honey, hazelnut flavour that comes with a marked Marsanne tang, a late bout of flair in it. Has lovely, gentle balance, really appealing. Is calm, measured now, drinks very happily. Its mineral content does extremely well with fishcakes and their richness, the fish a mix of smoked haddock, cod, poached salmon. Beau vin, good now. 2014-15 Sept 2009 Previously June 2006 **** creamy, white fruits bouquet, with some fennel and nut, is ripe and very typical. Oak-trimmed attack, this very harmonious and well-balanced. Very clear, precise flavours, springy, get up and go wine, the imprint of the white fruit on the finish is great, and the hazelnut aftertaste very local. Aperitif works well, but rich enough for clean flavoured food. Elegant, STGT wine. June 2006

2003

salty, iodine, spice-lime bouquet that is vigorous and wide. Delicious taste of crème patisserie, custard, and shows good grip, too. Lovely now. Is well-balanced and the flavour of well-ripened white fruits ends quietly and warmly. 2009-10 Nov 2005 Previously Dec 2004 *** calm bouquet. Buttery, round flavours, still young with pretty juice within. Expressive, bonny wine. Grips well on finish. Previously Sept 2004 *** full, lemon marmalade bouquet, some floral and stone fruit here. Compact, rich start, has a lot of stuffing. A wine of climate more than terroir, is compact and ends nicely rounded. Flavour is custard, flan. 2010-11

2002

funky, salty, dried greengage fruit nose. Nicely chewy, mid-weight palate, light honey, and broadens towards the finish. Has some body, agreeable wine.

2001 ()

rounded nose, some kick; gentle weight, white fruits with touch of nut, firmness. Good length.

2000 ()

creamy, mild fruit bouquet; harmonious, gentle width, tightens very typically at end. Very sound.

1990

90% Marsanne, 10% Roussanne: golden colour. Honey-dried apricot mix on nose. The typical mineral grip shines through on the palate, where there are complex, fungal areas along with the apricot flavour. After three hours still very solid, with a move towards moelleux. Excellent with truffled scrambled eggs or turbot in a cream sauce. Its mineral here is absorbed by a good Portuguese sardine. "This has been in a hole for 10 years, very dead. I expect it to go towards gunflint as it ages, it was very low in acidity at the start, but is now becoming mineral," Fabrice Gripa. April 2006