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The Wines

70% 1960s Marsanne, 30% 1990s Roussanne, from kaolin, white clay-limestone soils at Larnage, cool decantation, co-fermented at 15-16°C, raised 20-35% new 228-litre oak casks, 35-50% 1-year 228-litre oak casks, 30% steel vat on fine lees 10 months, malo completed, filtered, “kaolin brings its freshness; drink as aperitif, with white meats, cheese such a Comté Mont d’Or”, organic wine, 10-15,000 b

2018 ()

refined yellow robe; the nose is discreetly stylish, on spearmint, roast nuts, peach stone, a hint of rose hip. The palate works well via its silken texture, holds elegant content with a delicate squeeze of richness along its trail. The finish clusters white fruits with a calm sign-off, neat grip, though there is a slight sense of drift. There is a note of tannin on the aftertaste, which will be well catered for by food. 13.5°. From spring 2020, can be decanted. 2028-30 Nov 2019  GB £75/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181


steady yellow robe; the bouquet has a calm air led by lime, roasted nuts, peach fruit with a hint of spice. The palate is elegant, its richness serene and well displayed: there’s a citrus, lime fruit presence with salty dabs and a finish that brings in honey, infused herbal tea. This carries good detail, is well founded, nothing overdone. The finish is tight, lightly oaked, well done. I reckon the Roussanne here has brought commendable elegance. 14°. 70% Mars, 30% Rouss. 2025-26 Dec 2018


shiny yellow robe. Its oaking brings a toasting, roasted nuts, even grilled aspect to the nose, a wave of exotic fruits, so it’s still in the cellar there. The palate has a run of richness and ease of content, has a supple feel to it, but misses the odd beat or two, until a dart of grilling and grip, in with a peachy-grapey flavour, on the finish. Decanting, breathing, will help this, also drinking from spring 2018 so it can fuse further. The aftertaste is a little neutral. 13°. 2020-21 Nov 2017


bright yellow robe. The nose is grilled, well rounded, with a cooked lemon air to the forefront, a backing of peach and nuts-toffee from its oaking. The palate bears cool content, with precise freshness at its heart. This is elegant, shapely white Crozes, goes ping with its accuracy. There is a nutty, creamy, oaked finale. The Marsanne gives late grip, within a nicely rich context. This is interesting, and will be varied and nuanced over time. 13.5°. 15,000 b. 70% Mars, 30% Rouss. From 2018. 2023-25 Oct 2016  Previously **** (casks, malo completed, bottling May/June 2016) yellow robe. There is a grapey intensity on the nose, an air of pear skin, dried fruits, almost like Viognier, also violets. There is a good mix of white fruits in a coulis style, with aniseed and nut paste. The palate is rich, broad but well funnelled – white strawberry, apricot, ripe Mirabelle plum feature in the basket. The content is fat, has real depth. A table wine, up for Vieille France cuisine – it is a glycerol-based wine. 14°. “The Marsanne gives violets in the hot years,” Philippe Belle. 2023-24  Apr 2016


yellow robe. There is lots of life in the bouquet, led by apricot, vanilla, greengage and Mirabelle plums, a note of aniseed. A good saline thread runs through the palate, which mixes flan and its texture with dried fruits such as apricot. This drinks very well, has enough body for la table, such as chicken, salads. A very accurate, STGT wine with good length and grip, a true Marsanne sign-off. 13°. 2021-22 April 2016


fine yellow robe. The bouquet is alert, has a peach-citrus, fresh charge, also a note of cooked pear. The nose suggests this is an aperitif wine. The palate offers a rolling, restrained richness, moves into a more chewy finale, with a note of grip. It is fresh in style, by design. Light flavoured dishes, picnics for this. 13°. 20% new, 50% 1-year oak, 30% vat raising this year. 2018-19 GB £60/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Jan 2015 

2012 ()

2 bottles tasted. 1st bottle has taint, TCA. 2nd bottle: pale yellow. There is a good, saline feed into the bouquet, which renders it agreeably upright and provides a stylish clarity to introduce the wine. There is a hint of “high” fruit behind, a southern climes nudge. The palate carries a typical Marsanne cocktail of nut, honey, brioche baked bread with small fruit pockets – pear, banana. It ends on lime fruit, cooked citrus fruit, that mixes well its quiet gras and clear length. Decant. A table wine, not solo drinking. 13°. 10,000 b. 2019-20  Nov 2013

2011 ()

pale, attractive yellow. Has a fresh, bonny aroma that offers variety – honeysuckle  flowers, tangerine, citrus, pineapple, vanilla, linden (tilleul), light cooked pear. This is very classic white Crozes, with its flan style gras, soft white jam and a late show of hazelnut. Tenderly directed, stylish wine – it is good now – off we go. Suited to the aperitif, also cold chicken, for instance. Has a fine iodine tang, a tea infusion on the aftertaste. STGT wine of good precision, lowish acidity. 13°. 2016-17  Nov 2012

2010 ()

rich-looking mid-yellow colour that is bright, has legs down the glass. Notably salty, restrained nose, with an undertow of mild nut, plus pear. The bouquet floats nicely, is nice and varied. The palate is elegant, with the emphasis on front palate roundness, followed by a Marsanne tang – a very correct closure as that mineral creeps into it, closes the gate clearly. Holds polished, stylish fruit. It reminds me of a 2004. It is not that deep on the second half, but is appealing, and can do well as an aperitif. 13°. 2015-16 Nov 2011

2009 ()

(vat, pre-bottling) even yellow robe; flan-meringue front aroma, custard, hazelnut, has a 2009 ripeness and invitation. A little acidity perks up the palate, and leavens its currently tight content. This has subtle qualities, classy fruit, and is typical as well. Some salty late moments, a wine that can make gradual progress. To 2014. July 2010


modest yellow; acetate, high tone, candy nature to the nose, pear drop airs – it is wide, but doesn`t bring breezy summer days to mind – is more “industrial”. Has a Marsanne snap at its heart, rather light matter around its spine – the thread of the bitter. It proceeds quietly, drinks with some ease now. It is reduced, so decant. Helped by a fresh aftertaste. 13°. To 2013. Dec 2009

2006 ()

light yellow robe; the nose is rather sharp early on, while its oak serves to narrow it down; beyond that there is perhaps honey and baked apple, but it is not an obvious aroma. The palate is relatively richer than the nose – it has a hazelnut, nougat flavour, and is soft to the end. The nose needs to settle – the palate is superior now. A slightly limited wine, best suited to food – such as roast chicken, with herbs. 13°. To 2011. Jan 2008


yellow colour; oak is first impact of the nose – is nutty and quite refined beyond the oak. Vanilla, a bit of pineapple and spice on the palate. The oak is present, but not Over the Top. Quietly rich, this is elegant, and I sense older vines’ fruit that has been correctly ripened. A touch less oak would help – this has been raised 10% since 2003, note. Has some potential Leave till 2008. 2011-13 Dec 2006

2004 ()

pungent top note to some ripe fruit, the bouquet has a little citron below, a bit of spice, dried fruits, a hint of oak. Gentle, hazelnut start to palate, this is stylish in an understated way, with correct acidity to keep it clear. Lacks a little depth but I like its length. Licorice finale, then a rather burnt aftertaste that lowers its rating. To 2010-11. June 2006

2003 ()

fragrant honey, dried fruits aroma, is clean cut. Flavour is honey, with some flan; the oak is largely absorbed now. Hazelnut lurking within the taste, finishes very clean, some lingering oak there that goes very well with smoked haddock dish served at the excellent restaurant The West House, Biddenden, Kent. To 2009-10 May 2006 Previously Dec 2005 *** oily, waxy bouquet. Good Marsanne nuttiness on attack, quite full, wide and prolonged. Honeyed finale. Decent structure from its Larnage source, which helps. Can develop a second phase. 2010-11 Dec 2005