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The Wines

95-98% Marsanne, 2-5% Roussanne, steel vat fermented at 16-18°C, raised 70% vat, 30% 2-3 year oak 12 months on its fine lees, malo part blocked, “drink with fish, white meats in sauce”

2018

yellow robe; dried fruits, apricot, vanilla pod show on the nose. It’s a restrained start. The palate offers gently live white fruits, has been made safely, with a cluster of freshness on the second half, infused herbal tea and spearmint mingling on the aftertaste. I’d like it to spread its wings more, show more character that one would receive from a domaine wine. 13°. 2022-23 Nov 2019

2017

rather robust yellow robe; a buttery, creamy aroma leads the nose, hints of Marsanne cut, ginger beyond, roast nuts. The palate is compressed, not showing a lot. There’s a soft texture with gras that holds up, and the texture is deep enough for la table. It’s just dumb, so decant it; it will be better from mid-2019. The aftertaste resembles a nut paste. Country wine for risottos, fish pie, for example. 13°. 2023-24 Dec 2018

2016

sturdy yellow robe, legs visible. Quince and citrus notes combine with infused tea, a sweet camomile and toasted-oak influence on the nose. It’s a broad start, sound depth. The palate is rich on the attack, right away, has a core of fleshy content, with a little freedom along its sides. It finishes on a spearmint, Marsanne grippy note. It doesn’t quite flow as an ensemble, lacks a little brio, is a wee bit oxidative in style. It is best suited to la table, dishes that involve some spice or sauce. Decanting may aid it. 12.5°. 2019-20 Nov 2017

2015

fine yellow robe. The nose gives an air of apricot, some vanilla-flan, a note of honey. It has a simple depth. The palate bears carbonic gas on the attack, with a perlant note from that, half way to spritz. The flavour centres on “high” white fruits with a nutty, cooked lemon take before the finish, which is rounded, and shows some gras. 13°. To 2020 Oct 2016

2012 ()

agreeable pale yellow; pear-pomegranate first air, a note of beeswax behind, cooked apples. The palate has a nicely chunky content, a thorough, grounded aspect, so is a wine that favours food over the aperitif. Up to white meats, larger flavours. Has a white raisin note on the end. Good heart, sound width here. It persists well. 13°. To 2019. Previously Nov 2012 *** (vat/casks) decent yellow; bonbon sweets-candy, floating air. There is an easy, mid-weight roll along the palate. Aromatic more than powerful, floats well. 2017-18  Nov 2012

2011 ()

pale yellow; snappy aroma, with a semblance of granite dust, along with dried apricot, pear skin airs. There is authentic spine to this, grip – it is grainy, nutty, with Marsanne content either side of that. It ends with a clear-cut tang and a honeycomb-hazelnut note. This shows its terroir, and Marsanne in its stride. It is a dry-textured wine that is natural, but genuine, a sort of country lass. Has an STGT leaning. To 2017.  Nov 2012

2009 ()

yellow robe. Soft, mild aroma of melted butter, caramel airs, cooked banana. The palate grips early on – this starts tightly, but it feels to lack comfortable gras. A little late richness shows up, but this lacks conviction. It ends on some Marsanne grip. The taste is tame, dull, lacks real character. The Cave haven't cracked white St Jo for a while now, and this has not been helped by the addition of a new, superior wine called the Terre d'Ivoire taking the best fruit. 13°. To 2013. Nov 2010

2008

marked yellow robe, as if later picked. Has a bonbon, wax-honey aroma, also butterscotch and lime – it gives a ripe impression, though the top air is fresh. The palate is also ripe, not oxidative, but comes in that fully made vein, ending firmly. A rather chunky, solid wine. It ends on tangerine and nougat flavours. Decant this. They advise raclette, white meats, fish with this. 13°. 2013-14 Nov 2009

2007

2 bottles tasted, the first in to gold zones on the robe, full of acidity and unyielding oak. 2nd bottle: honey, soft vanilla nose,a little airy, but sympa enough. The palate leads with a mild hazelnut flavour, tightens, and keeps going in a low-key register. A spot of honey appears on the aftertaste. Quiet wine, to drink early, lacks a little character. To 2011. Dec 2008

2006

(vat/cask) some yellow in the robe; has a neat, butterscotch, baked apple nose with some greengage-lime present; the oak lends some spice. There is a rather nice fresh top note. The palate is softly set, has a nice comfortable texture, with some squeezy fruit, and a little late heat and spice. Holds a quiet, sound length: a direct wine, with some filling in it. 2014-15 June 2007

2004

crisp, direct nose, led by white fruits. This comes in a fresh style, is direct in shape, but there is a couch of matter in the palate. Get on and drink wine, few frills. To 2009. Dec 2006 Previously June 2006 *** bonny, well-shaped bouquet of simmered butter. Wine with a thread of nerve through it, is fresh and the fruit is lithe. Length OK. No extras here - what you see is what you get. Touch of hazelnut/flan on aftertaste. To 2009. June 2006

2003

floral, white plum, greengage tones in a discreet bouquet. Chewy start to palate, mix of white fruits with some spice, some final freshness, also exotic fruits late on. Finish is prickly, heated; this wine is not very well-knit. To 2007. Dec 2004

2002 ()

assertive peach/dried fruits bouquet, fair width. Sound core to it, nicely chewy wine. Length OK, has a touch of discreet oak. Quite fresh.

2001

sappy, evolving nose, salty side; tasty, peaches, saltiness again, decent character on palate, slightly bitter on finish.