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The Wines

Marsanne (1920s & 1960) trained on stakes from Les Greffieux where it touches Les Bessards, decomposed granite, rocky soils, fermented, raised 0-10% new, 90% 1-7 year 228-litre oak casks 6-8 months, malo partly done, can do 2 bottlings, 600-700 b

2018

this is the second bottling, 21 June, 2019, one cask’s worth. The first bottling was 400 litres in March (reduced raising to keep freshness), and that is all sold: yellow robe. Has a peach, nutty aroma, a gentle fat at its centre – it’s more airborne than earth-bound. The palate has good style, attacks gracefully, is nice and fleshy, rich, with the development of spine-length. It’s authentic, holds a glycerol-furnished second half, and the aftertaste is nutty, nicely prolonged. “it’s all en finesse”, Bernard Faurie. 14.2°. 2039-41 Dec 2019

2017

fine, pale yellow robe. There is a neat air of cooked apples and citrus, peach, nuts, hawthorn blossom, wax. It hasn’t yet hit its stride, has a fresh thread, can amplify. The palate debut is grippy, in keeping with the nose, is on nerve and high wire more than evident fat. It’s structured, keeping Hermitage blanc, gains depth and power as it goes. It’s not an evident Hermitage blanc; it will get there, but leave until 2022 or so. The finish is clean, clear, with oak on the finish. Raised in one 2-year cask, the rest 4-7 years. The malo was blocked. “It’s well concentrated; I didn’t harvest too late in order to keep acidity, With such granite wine, there’s structure and with the whites, you have to be patient,” B Faurie. 2037-39 Dec 2018

2016

fine yellow robe. This has a dainty, elegant, very pure bouquet that shows cooked lemon, hazelnut, understated Marsanne, a curve of apricot. The palate has a compact, even tight start, holds close-knit white fruited content with a sense of late tannin, peach and pear ruling the flavour. This has good style and restraint. It is fresh, with a hum of strength, iron inside. It’s a slow burn wine. The finish is salted. Ideal with steamed fish. “It’s 14.5° - there was no rain, and I harvested before it eventually came. It’s was on gunflint earlier, is a mineral wine. These whites are solid wines that keep going well over the years,” Bernard Faurie. From 2019. 2033-36 Nov 2017

2015

bright yellow. Has a pear-apricot air, stewed pear and apricot, discreetly showing the vintage fat. The presence of aniseed-licorice reminds me of Clairette. This has a grippy, tangy attack, with the arrival of dried fruits, nectarine jam after, a grapey finale, hazelnut with cut. There’s quiet intensity here, and a tiny perlant touch that passes muster. “It’s a solar year – it was difficult to make white wine in 2015, and you should wait 10 years. It’s at the same time powerful, but has acidity,” Bernard Faurie. 13.5°. From 2023. 2036-39 Nov 2017 Previously Dec 2015 **** the three casks all tasted: 1) (used 228-litre cask, sugars completed) **** yellow robe. Salty, well rounded nose with cooked lime, pine, hazelnut present – the depth is good and there is a lingering air of oven roasted nuts. The palate presents stylish supple gras richness with trim freshness, delivered with steady, unbroken length (already, so young). There is a flavour of white fruits compote, stewed fruits, scented peach on the second half. “It is super good, has extremely good finesse,” Bernard Faurie. 19 years. 2) (used 228-litre cask, sugars completed) **** yellow colour. Pear, white flowers, apricot, a note of aniseed on the nose. There is a fresh tingle on the palate, with nuts and white peach flavours. This is more straight, direct than the first cask, will supply the wine with good vertebra. It builds a neat gras at the end. 20 years. 3) new 228-litre cask, 2 gm of sugars to be completed) **** shiny yellow. Elder berry, blackberry leaf, apricot juice airs in a pretty full nose, one with scope. This holds calm richness, its texture smooth. The new oak hasn’t come through yet, only showing on the finish. The flavour resembles apricot, white stone fruit, with an infused tea sign-off, a hint of oak there. “It may not be very ample, but I wanted to keep freshness,” Bernard Faurie. 19 years. 2033-35  Dec 2015

2014

fine yellow, glinting robe. Wax, cooked pear, nougat and honey, cooked lime, orange peel airs assemble on the nose. This is a typical Marsanne wine on the palate, with ginger and a snappy bitter note hovering; it fleshes out well after half way, grips tightly on the finish. It is upright, still demanding, carries freshness, ends with gras richness present. From mid-2018 – it needs time. An articulate, Protestant wine. “It will take 10 years to open,” Bernard Faurie. Bottled 9 April 2015. 14.3°. 2033-35  Dec 2015

2013

there were two bottlings of 2013; 520 bottles were bottled in April 2014, and this is one of them, with its malo not completed: shiny yellow robe. Wax, dried fruits, quince fruit shows in quite a direct, straight down the line bouquet, which has a reserved style. The palate opens on a nicely generous stage, the gras richness assured. It has a touch of sweetness, but there is elegance and a comforting clarity as it ends. This bottling has 2 gm of residual sugar, the second bottling had 3.5 gm. It has nice length, and a grainy, nutty sign-off, which is clear. It is more wiry than dense, and can live pretty well. 14.5° is high, but not apparent. 2027-30  Jan 2015

2012 ()

pale yellow; soft, white fruits aroma with a nudge of vanilla, hazelnut, apricot, flint – the aromas are all finely positioned. The palate delivers clear, expressive Marsanne with its orange peel, lime, apricot and flan notes. Has a note of steel from its acidity, ends crisply with a wee amount of roundness. Very young. From spring 2015 – it will carry a bit more weight then. 13.5°. Bottled August 2013. 2023-25  Dec 2013  Previously Nov 2012 **** (used 228-litre cask, on fine lees) pale yellow. Apricot, peach jam air, a light note of pineapple, light honey – shows a bit more richness than the 2011. The palate starts on dried fruits, is tight-knit and attractively wide, has a nutted couch, a slight note of lees. The gras continues securely, is not overdone, is flexible. Clear in shape. There are dust, grain notes at the end, which is compact. The texture is nice and savoury as it finishes. 2028-29  Nov 2012

2011 ()

mild yellow. Has a rosy-cheeked aroma, involves hazelnut, lime-lemon, a very precise and accurate air, a light note of flan and crushed stones. The palate is aromatic, fine, has a lovely order about it. There is a fresh stretch of pear and quince. This is a really precise granite, STGT wine – a grainy, smoked wine, reflecting its fourth generation Marsanne well – the base of the vineyard is the 1920s, with replacements since then. Cool, tight fruit, dried fruits, smoky apricot are all here. In style it is a million miles from the vogue wines of big, fat, overripe crop white Hermitage.  “It has a straight-line nature that I really find appealing,” Bernard Faurie. Fascinating. 2026-28  Nov 2012 Previously Nov 2011 a) ***(*) (3 year cask, sugars completed, malo not sure, 13.7°) pale yellow; round, shapely nose, drifts of pear fruit, verbena. Fine debut to the palate, good cohesion, ends on clear notes. A light touch wine, whose fruit is precise. Can do the aperitif, its fruit is evident, clear. A bit less body than 2010. “It has a lot of freshness, may lack a bit of acidity; I harvested in two gos this year,” B.Faurie. 12-14 years b) ***(*) (new cask, sugars done, malo not sure, 14°) flinty yellow; this goes will with its oak after 5 weeks, is the second picking. Light toffee, white raisin airs that travel across the glass. The palate is softer than the first cask, has a sound core, length, a nutty aftertaste. Good engine room wine, for its centre of gravity. 13-15 years. Nov 2011

2010

bright, pale yellow; waxen, peach aroma that is rather prominent now, shows hazelnut, is shaped like an arrow moving forward, has a strong Marsanne influence. The palate starts on a supple note before it shuts in, becomes mineral and more strict. It shows acidity at the end, needs leaving three years, is closed. There is gras at its centre, the taste reflecting nougat, bitter, almond. The length is OK. A take your time wine, pure in nature. There is a small gras revival at the end. It has the 2010 qualities in that it is more straight and lithe than fat. I reckon it could sing around 2019. 2026-27. Bottled April 2011: “It was more open when bottled – wait three to four years now,” B. Faurie. Nov 2011

2009

(blend from two casks, sugars finished) light yellow robe; fat aroma – you can sense the sun, warmth, a genuine ripeness, so no surprise that there is a sort of crème patisserie underlay, with dried fruits such as apricot and peach. The palate is also rich, with a decent line of hazelnut and the tang of the Marsanne running through it, providing spine. Good potential, good texture. “I think the granite gives it that line of direction. As it ages, it polishes out. On the Saint-Joseph white, I find gunflint early in its life,” B.F. 2019-20 Nov 2009

2008

attractive nose - beeswax, fresh almond, straw aroma with a salty tang. The palate holds a comfortable richness that shows through it, keeps going. It has less acidity than the Saint-Joseph, but drinks cleanly and discreetly. A wine of elegance more than power, has a line of nerve through it – a clear steel, maybe the granite effect. “I am worried by the lack of acidity. At first, I thought the palate wasn`t good, but it has come together, and its new oak is absorbing – this year the new percentage was about one-third,” Bernard Faurie. 12.6°. Esp 2011 through to 2016. Nov 2009

2007 ()

this can get to ***(*) in time: pale yellow; reticent nose for now – shows light honey, a touch of bonbon sweets. Hazelnut debut on the palate, typical Marsanne, with a gradual gain in weight through the palate. Tidy length on this. There is a spritely grip on the finish. From mid-2009. Decant for now. 2015-16 Dec 2008

2006

the nose has a soft style that is a bit hidden now: has some wax, white fruits and some honey and apricot – a pretty typical set of aromas. The palate has a similar waxen tone to it as the nose, with interior richness. It ends with a mix of nice quiet round richness and grip. It is tight in structure, and elegant in style. The length is OK. Can expand and flower more outwardly esp from 2010. 2017-18 Dec 2007

2005

has a steady, aromatic nose with white fruit such as peach and floral wisps. The palate is discreetly rich, sustained and flows well – it reaches out well. Notably fine and elegant, a wine of good acidity with an alert finish. It is a bit subdued now. Will drink well when it starts its second stage around 2010 onwards. 2016-18 Dec 2006

2003 ()

pretty, broad bouquet: honey, dried fruits. Warm, suave texture, orderly richness. Stylish wine, persists well. Length is very good. Has heat, fat and is harmonious. 2018-22

2002 ()

discreet, hawthorn, custard cream aroma. Three-quarter weight wine, weaves along, has some richness. Salty touches within, stylish, live finish. Good purity, faithful to the vintage, has lost its early oak 2005 on. 2012-14 Previously (cask) *** mid-weight, oaked nose, some floral tones; light white fruits/pineapple, oak influence is here. Fair.

1999

pretty, restrained, gentle bouquet; lightly spiced white fruits, understated like Bernard; nice length from the oak. Seems fresher than the 1998. Unusual taste of greengage, spice. I back it to show a lot more when eight years old or so.

1998 ()

vanilla from new oak, quince, light spice on bouquet; white fruit is upright, almost taut. Almond flavours on rather burnt finish. Understated, leave till 2003 for it to emerge. 2011-15

1997 ()

gentle aroma, flowers and some white fruit; tender year, nice dried fruits, fair amount of richness. Good length and style. From 2001. 2009-12

1995 ()

nut, lemon hints on bouquet; well-flavoured, depth and length good. Nice chewiness, well-channelled. Can live. 2010-15