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The Wines

70-90% Marsanne, 10-30% Roussanne (av age 25 yrs, before 2009 was 90% Marsanne), 30-40% new, 1-2 year 400-litre French/US oak casks, 60-70% steel vat fermented, assembled after 2 months, then raised 10 months, lees stirred first 5 months, malo blocked, “drink as aperitif, or seafood, vegetable dishes, cheese”

2018 ()

level yellow robe; the nose floats up on a wave of tropical fruits, guava jelly, crabapple, a hint of roasted nuts, is sky rather than land-borne. It’s an elegant start. The palate bears a trim set of white fruits, detail in the fruit, fine acidity present. There is a good mid-palate depth, and it drinks well as an aperitif, with an orderly, rounded sign-off. It’s gentle and pleasing, is w.o.w. wine. 13.5°. 2022-23 Nov 2019

2017 ()

shiny yellow robe; the nose is precise, with a lurking minerality, clear-cut white fruits and a hint of spring flowers, licorice. The palate is enjoyable, drinks well now, with 2017 St Péray softness and ease,  has a delicate freshness. The flavour resembles a compote of stewed white fruits, is peachy. It ends roundly, well. 13°. To 2022 Dec 2018

2016 ()

fine yellow robe. The nose has a rounded style, a soft, rather floral expression of stewed white fruits, peach and spice, brioche bread. It sets up a wine more for la table than solo drinking. The palate tunes into that register, via a suave feel and smooth content that rolls along well, presenting some Marsanne tang as it finishes, on a more firm note there. There is a citrus thread through it, and some of the St-Péray mineral in its cool close. It’s a sound example of St-P. 12.5°. 2020-21 Nov 2017

2015 ()

pale yellow. There is a soft air of pear, a note of licorice, aniseed. It’s a clearly defined nose. The palate gives a low-key run of peach fruit with a quiet, near neutral close, perhaps a little nuttiness there. This is really light in the context of the vintage. 13.5°. To 2019 Oct 2016

2014

pale yellow; the nose is light, puts forward a Marsanne-led aroma of nougat, honey, a little apricot and a salted presence. The palate is also salty, tingling, has attractive gras in a quiet register; it is flanked by some breezy content, making the wine crisp overall. It drinks as an aperitif, also up for fish, seafood. 13.5°. 95% Mars, 5% Rouss. 2019-20  Oct 2015

2013

shiny yellow robe. There is a slightly “high” quality to the fruit, a damp wool note, white plum, custard. The palate has medium weight, is rolled in on itself. Decanting will help since it shows reduction. Has a traditional style. It finishes on light honey, brioche baked bread. Suited to foods over the aperitif - cheese, white meats. 13°.  2018-19  Jan 2015

2012

pale, shiny yellow. Closed, rather mineral influenced aroma, lime and lemon grass, along with aniseed, in it. The palate is compact, presents a ball of stewed white fruits that take on a Marsanne tang, more hazelnut, as it ends. It is subdued just now, was bottled July 2013, will move on. The exit is lucid, without a lot of fruit, isn’t yet humming its true tune. Decant this, and don’t serve it too chilled. It has the snap of Saint-Péray, the Saint-Péray without make-up and oak-vanilla, late harvesting cosmetics. The acidity is good and precise. From mid-2014. 13°. Nov 2013

2011 ()

light creamy colour. Butter-honey-hazelnut trio on the nose, a touch of lime in a gently appealing setting, shows a bit of damp wool. The fruit air is “high”. The palate moves smoothly, with a little richness at the start, then there is slight tightening. The end is rather insipid. It shows a little reduction. Can be decanted. To 2016.  Nov 2012

2009 ()

fair depth in the yellow robe; slightly creamy air, apricot and banana here, but it is not really open today, lime and lemon grass season it as well. Grainy, pebbly notes on the attack – Marsanne from the granite influence. Has a supple, billowing texture and ends on a tangy caramel, cooked tart note. It has a “fat” rather than free mid-palate that renders it rather static. The length is OK. A low acidity wine, get on and drink this. Cold buffets, or fish, vegetable dishes. Decant it, too, to shift it along. 13°. 2014-15 Nov 2010

2008 ()

mild yellow with green tints. Has a butter seasoned with lime aroma – the top air is salty, and there is brioche-spice, baked fruit tart present. The palate has mineral coursing through it, but it picks up gras on the way, until a clear, salty, calm finale and aftertaste. Good aperitif wine that is a bit light. Creamy cheese good with this. They advise fruit-based desserts. 13°. 2012-13 Nov 2009

2007

mild yellow, pretty clear robe; has a rather technical, functional, “spotless winemaking” nose - apple, baked apple, a little spice. The palate is a low-key affair – subdued raisin in the taste, dried fruits also; there is some late grip as the Marsanne tightens it. It is in a dip now, but is not a wine of very secure depth. 12°. To 2011. March 2009

2006

(vat) has an open, oily aroma with spice, citronelle and pear present – reflects its low temperature fermentation. This bouquet is big and assertive rather than elegant. The palate has an oily feel, with a little saltiness on the finish. Is rather dumb now, also too modern-techno for me. I detect sulphur late on in this sample. From autumn/fall 2008 for more roundness and comfort, the length is fair. To 2012. June 2007

2005

(vat) gold glints in the robe; ripe crop, juniper aroma with some spirit evident and of course some oak. Palate is just like gin – has a streaky alcoholic thread through it. Dries and vacates at the end. There is a rasping flavour, and some might say it’s ‘rich’, but it’s uncomfortable to drink now. “Waiter – I asked for wine, you gave me sherry.” Why? When? Nov 2006

2004

dumb bouquet, shows a little honey and exotic fruit. Interesting bundle of flavour on palate, with the mineral theme uppermost. Good length, nicely rounded on the finish, though its frame holds up throughout. Still young, can express more by early 2007. There is more width to come. June 2006

2002 ()

salty, white fruits aroma, vigorous and broad. Charming apricot, white fruits flavour, elegant also. Good length. Lovely aperitif wine, also suited to refined, subtle foods. Delightful. To 2008-09. Nov 2004. Previously *** reserved, but sound, spice-tinged nose; fair content, closed but shows potential, clear white fruit, fair length. Esp 2006-08.

2001 ()

fairly creamy/honey, quite broad aroma; easy, buttery palate, plump wine, quince/almonds now. Has loosened, is a touch obvious.

2000 ()

pineapple/toast/oak nose; the oak is apart from the wine's matter on the palate, and it's a bit raw inside the oak.