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The Wines

95-100% old and low-yielding Marsanne, 0-5% Roussanne, fermented, raised 67%-100% new, 1-year 400-litre oak casks, 0-33% vat on its lees for 8 months (10 months shorter raising than in mid-2000s), “drink with fish, poultry, white meats in sauce”, 30,000 b

2018 ()

marked yellow colour; the bouquet is well rounded, promising, has refinement and enough depth to stand up for Hermitage. There’s a nutty, almost grilled aspect, and some Southern oiliness. The palate comes along with rolling gras, its suave texture pleasing. It’s a glycerol-based white suited to la table, pockets of freshness present, carbonic gas noted on the bright late stages, with some oak-caramel on the sign-off. From 2021, decant it. 14.5°. 2037-39 Nov 2019

2017 ()

regular yellow robe, shiny; the nose is settling in, shows ripe peach fruit with spicing, notes of apricot, some Marsanne tang, a note of oak. The palate bears sound filling, which sustains steadily along the palate, the flavour on floral, peach-plum fruit, a splodge of apricot as well. The length is secure. It’s a correct Hermitage blanc, probably value for money, and its consistent delivery along the palate is its ace card. The aftertaste has a cool, clear side to it, a little oak there. From mid-2029. 13°5. 2030-32 Dec 2018

2016 ()

full, gleaming yellow robe. The nose is evolving, shows white raisin, grilling, subdued vanilla, crumble for apple pie, roast nuts. It’s in transition, is tangy. The palate bears the likeable freshness of the year that helps its length; it centres on nuts, pastry flavours, has a gentle, calm finish. 2031-33 Dec 2018

2015

fine yellow robe. An elder flower cordial, cooked peach aroma leads the nose, with a hint of Marsanne nuttiness, tangy assertion. The palate bears fine gras with a roll of hazelnut, light peach-apricot flavour. It’s clearly defined, lacks the full depth of the leaders this year. A pleasant white Hermitage that won’t scare drinkers who don’t know white Rhônes. The finish is softly rounded. 14°. 2024-25 Oct 2016

2012

yellow colour with some depth of apricot. Joli, gently spiced-seasoned dried apricot and vanilla aroma; flan under notes help its foundation. There are orange-tangerine touches that add lift, rendering it stylish as a whole. The palate has a nicely gras debut, carries the stylishness of the nose into play. A tweak of acidity presents a tang, and a light, honey-nutty moment at the end. Safe and sound, attractive Hermitage white. It isn’t trying to overplay its hand, is in the game now. Some may want more real impact, body, but this works well as it is, since it accumulates its worth by a series of dabs and nudges, more than via one big blast. It has a smoked, licorice, citrus style finale. Good wine for restaurants. 13.5°. From mid-2014. 2023-25  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 *** (casks) fine yellow. There is a little variety and nuance in the nose, pear and flowers feature. Simple, gentle run along the palate, which is softly fruited. The length is correct. Has a floating nature, isn’t profound at this stage. May lack core… 2024-25  Nov 2012

2011

shiny, medium depth yellow. Gentle, calm aroma, some polish and class in it. There is a lucid air of greengage, backed by pear. Licorice and lime-lemon also feature. This is an elegant Hermitage blanc, not in the overripe, exaggerated style, so it allows minerality and flint-ash notes to be present. The Marsanne squeezes and tightens on the finish. It is a pity that it lacks true depth – with that, it would be a 4 star wine, and more true to its ancient origins. There is a float of lavender and tilleul (linden) on the aftertaste, good. Decant this. From 2014. Bottled early August 2012. 2023-25  Nov 2012

2010

oily yellow robe, legs. Peach jam, plum fruit first aroma, while fennel adds snap; there is also an orange marmalade feature, citrus influences. The core of the bouquet is ripe, oily, and shows some pineapple. The palate is on a tobacco, smoky, strong hazelnut-nougat run. This is very much for a Hermitage blanc fro la table, and for keeping. It flirts with oxidative notes, is a grounded, nutty wine, not in a floral category. The end is flinty, gunflint mixed into a taste of sizzled butter, glazed fruits. It is suited to VieilleFrancecuisine – pork in sauce, mushrooms, the use of butter and cream. The aftertaste is good and crunchy, a firm and compact sign-off. 14°. 2028-29  Nov 2012

2009

fine yellow, legs; there is a good, steady couch on the nose – shows pear fruit that is cooked in style, and an ample but not overbearing hazelnut, has a long trail. There is an implication of flan, and the bouquet is not far off being on the mark. Nicely ordered fat on the start of the palate, with a gain in direction and tannin after. It ends on firm, secure content laced with lavender, herbs, and a lean towards fennel. The gras content is good at half way, where the Marsanne bitter note starts to show through. Good, true Hermitage blanc. It may close. Has come on properly in the past year. 14°. 2022-24 Nov 2011 Previously Nov 2010 **(*) (vat/cask) fine yellow colour, legs down glass. The nose is reserved under the influence of today`s rain. It is slightly salty, then shows a backdrop of nut or hazelnut, floral and wax influences. The palate is at an indeterminate stage: it is not expressing particular depth or flavour definition – there are mildly nutty moments on the palate, but it isn't arresting. Has a nut, Rich Tea biscuit aftertaste. Lowish acidity wine. Wait till spring 2012. A low-key white Hermitage – I expect more fat, local ripeness, this is rather flat as can be the case with some very ripe 2009s. 14°. 2021-24 Nov 2010

2008 ()

ripe yellow; butter-butterscotch airs in a cautious bouquet that mixes oak and greengage, dried fruits in behind. A combination of fine style and consistent depth, but it is not really compact and that is due to the uneven ripening of the crop. The palate has an upright shape, with a discreet inlay of gras richness. Young wine, making its way, it needs patience, but will gain weight and expression. It ends on a tang, near bitter influences, but this is not a problem – a) it will soften and b) it will be fine with food. This has well-directed acidity, drink from 2014, and it will be very good at the 8 to 14 year mark, 2016-22. Time will develop its richness. 14°. 2025-27 Nov 2010

2007

full, bright yellow; has a calm, measured bouquet – honey and butter with a spice topping. The palate has an early Marsanne show of grip, a wee point of bitter, before a smooth run of gras and texture, with the leading note being hazelnut. Heat and alcohol mingle late on. This is till very much setting out on its journey. The flavour narrows a bit for now, but there is promise here. From mid-2011. 2019-21 March 2009

2004 ()

bouquet is warm, expressive apricot, very Marsanne character, with a little flan/honeysuckle also. Delightful - nicely on its toes today. Tasty, wholesome attack, broad and honeyed. Bags of flavour, with interesting iodine, restraint from the acidity. Good length. Very clear, fresh end, with some oaking reining it back. Drinks fine now, and also from 2009 on, I suspect after a pause. 2019-21. Apr 2006

2002

apricot, honey, light spice bouquet, can develop. Restrained but stylish flesh. Some core richness with a tangy border. Agreeable texture. Good balance, length. Persists well, has pretty warmth. Good. 2007 on. 2017-21

2001

elegant bouquet with potential to show more, restrained oily aroma, in a dumb phase now. Tidy, clean palate, a nice weaving of fruit and oak. Firms up soundly towards end, reveals a nut/marzipan aftertaste. Leave till 2008 - this can show well. 2017-19 March 2005 Previously *** grainy, fruit skins, light spice aroma, brioche bread. Fair weight, but dumb. Some largesse at end - dried fruits/mineral. Tight-knit nuttiness on second half. Should evolve slowly, a wine of sinew more than flesh. 2017-20

2000

creamy/buttery, white fruits, some spice on broad nose; fairly rich, oak couch last part. Apricot/peach towards warm finish. Can flourish elegantly. 2007 on. 2015-17