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The Wines

100% 1982-85 Marsanne, steel vat fermented, then raised 15-20 year 228-litre casks 6-8 months, malo completed in oak, 1,000 b

2018 ()

(cask) bright yellow robe; the bouquet is reserved, with notes of white flowers, apricot, stem ginger, a classic Marsanne influence, therefore. The palate is tightly drawn together, holds good, solid gras, with assertion, darkness, towards the finish, notes of firm oak there. It will evolve to its benefit, has freshness, and can gradually fill out further. It has a good traditional make-up, is rather cussed currently. From 2022. 2034-36 Nov 2019

2017 ()

I then tried a third bottle with Nicolas, and the Mountie finally got his man: pale yellow. Has a gentle bouquet, peach and pear fruit the lead aroma, ripe apricot juice. It’s rounded, and has quietly sustained authority. The palate holds a bundle of stewed white fruits compote with a note of tannin, and assertion after half way. It ends with some Marsanne grip, ginger-honey, that controls it well. There is nice ease in it, and there is sun in its gras, the length sound. It can amplify further. “We harvest early to retain the acidity,” Nicolas Fayolle. 2034-36 Dec 2018 Previously Dec 2018 ** (two bottles, not fresh) rather full yellow robe. The nose is undetermined as yet, shows cooked pear, a note of fennel, celery, isn’t very clear. The palate has a dried fruits flavour, some gras richness, may have cork in it, is very low-key, lacking freshness. Bottle 2: quite full yellow; the nose is low-key, on peach fruit, roast nuts. It’s a bit flat. The palate is also rather flat. Its texture is smooth, there is richness, but the wine lacks lift, is going to be oxidative quite soon. There’s a note of orange marmalade on the aftertaste, where there is a sense of drift. 13°. 2028-29 Dec 2018

2013 ()

pale yellow. Has a nutty, assertive nose that isn’t 100% clean. This is a bit thin as it stands, has a white fruits flavour but is narrow towards the finish. This would live until 2023 if the bottle were a correct one. 13°. Nicolas is in no hurry to open a second bottle! You can't win them all, thus. Dec 2015

2010 ()

pale yellow. This has a reserved nose of some potential, gives a typical Marsanne nougat-almond aroma, notes of licorice and fennel. The palate starts with fruits such as lime, nectarine-apricot; it is grippy, nutty, develops the Marsanne tang as it goes. It holds appealing central richness, stewed fruits there, before a touch of tannin, grip, on the finish. “It is very gras, I find lychee fruit in it,” Nicolas Fayolle. €22 at the cellars. 13°. Bottled May 2011. 2025-27  Dec 2013

2006 ()

pale yellow; smoky, gunflint aroma – baked fruit such as pear in it. The palate has a nutty, slightly high tone nature, and is rather malic, especially late on. Could be clearer. Now to 2014. Dec 2008

2005 ()

quite a a pale yellow; the bouquet is willing – delivers honeycomb, honeysuckle flowers, and the fruit present is a little on the jam side. There is a low-key start to the palate, which bears some richness, then it gains direction, and ends with a notably nutted, white raisin couch. A subtle wine of local feel, STGT wine. From 2009 it will be becoming interesting. 2020-22 Dec 2007

2004 ()

fragrant, honey-lime nose with a nutty underlay. The palate shows a bit of banana, with baked apple in the flavour. There is good grip late on. It is clearer and more refined than many of their previous vintages of this, and ends with a good touch of freshness. It is calm more than overtly full, and I like this scented, gentle hazelnut and peach aftertaste. 2017-19 Dec 2006

2002 ()

dried skins, minted nose, some potential. Decent body, quite interesting. Light nut, also heat on end. Still quite tight. 2010-11

2001

ripe, lush, sweet style nose; sappy, almost overripe taste, fair richness, bit old-fashioned, could have more cut.