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The Wines

100% Marsanne from Diognières, all domaine crop, 1 day cool decantation after pressing, 75% steel vat (higher % since late 2010s), 25% 1-2 year 600-litre oak cask fermented at 18-20°C, raised 1-year 600-litre oak casks 8 months (reduced from up to 13 months since mid-2010s), malo blocked, though can be completed, biodynamic crop used, biodynamic wine, 1,800 b

2018 ()

yellow robe. Dried fruits, with a sunny depth, buttery features, brioche bread, apricot, cooked lime, takes a Marsanne trail. The palate is close-knit, on ginger, apricot, roast nuts, has fine freshness, ends with a little spearmint, infused tea. It’s a medium weight, low-key Hermitage, a little plain, leans towards ease of approach over foundation. Decant it. 13.5°. From mid-2020. 2034-36 Dec 2019  GB £182/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017

(casks) firm yellow robe; has a curvy, neatly ripe aroma - apricot and spearmint, cooked lemon, an agreeable seashore tickle underneath. The palate is immediate in style, not a Hermitage blanc that demands cellaring and waiting. It’s fleshy, sponge-like, with white fruits, nuts in the flavour, and some discreet grip on the close. The mid-palate is tasty, really enjoyable, with a tuneful fineness in its delivery. This reflects good terroir in its ease and detail, a step up from wines such as St Joseph blanc. It can lengthen further with more age, seasoning. Rock solid quality, and not one of the most expensive Hermitage blancs, either. From spring 2020. 2033-35 Feb 2019

2016 ()

(casks, bottling March 2018) yellow robe. Fine, pared back nose, out of reach peach fruit, light oak toast and floral airs. Quiet, restrained palate, with small gras, shows more Burgundy than Rhône for me. Has a mineral lining to late stages, cut. Smoky white fruits flavour. “When will it expand?” is the question. It is indeed all about the current buzz word “tension”. Needs more body for me. Malo completed this year. From 2020. 2030-31 Nov 2017

2015 ()

fine yellow robe, legs visible. Elder flower cordial, spearmint, greengage plum airs lead the nose, with apricot, almond nuts. This is finely fruited, quiet after its bottling two weeks ago. The content is suave, fine. The flavour runs with peach, light apricot and nougat on the finish. There is gras here, but it’s low profile. There are discreet white flower, floral notes on the palate. It is subdued now. 13.5°. From spring 2018. 2028-30 Oct 2016 GB Fine & Rare Wines £356 12 b i/b www.frw.co.uk customerservice@frw.co.uk +44(0)207 089 7400

2014 ()

pale yellow. Has an attractive, floating aroma of apricot and peach, spring flowers. The palate, like the nose, is stylish, easy to drink, has a smooth texture. This is extremely rounded and easy to appreciate, nectarine and peach at its heart. The finish brings an apricot juice presence. The texture plays an important role here, renders it charming. The acidity is very pretty. Has a lightly saline, quiet close. 13.5°. 2024-25  Oct 2015

2013

shiny yellow. The bouquet is balanced, combines lime, a note of glazed fruits, a hint of poached pear and pineapple. This is a stylish start. The palate is harmonious, every part in neat working order – it holds glycerol, freshness, length, potential, and ends with a certain delicacy. It expresses 2013 very well. It has enjoyable length – it really ticks over on the aftertaste. A freer, more early Hermitage blanc than most. Tidy richness shows on the close. 14°. From 2016. 2033-35  Jan 2015

2011

big, full yellow. Broad, oily, ripely fruited nose; it combines lime and lemon, mandarin and vanilla dabs show through, has an air of liquid honey at its heart. There is something of an exotic fruits fest here – it gives a sustained flourish of white fruit, apricot, has a jam and rich nature. It is smooth-polished in style, but is rather tame, could have more filling. There is enough drive to evolve in a balanced way, and it ends on oak-toast, ripe apricot and honey. Bit low on authority. From 2015. 13.5°. 2023-25 Nov 2012

2009

(casks) rich, bordering golden colour, legs down the glass. Baked fruits, fruit tart aroma, has a tangy air of apricot, white strawberries, hazelnut also. Swirling fruit and content on the palate, which moves along steadily, offers firm late grip. Its richness is accompanied by firm sides, leading to a nutty, vaguely tannic closure. Not a real stand-out 2009, lacks the extra depth and push that would make it so. From mid-2012. 2023-26 July 2010

2008 ()

ripe yellow robe; rampant aroma – sugar, confectionary, liquid honey – is a real operator, no holding back; there is a syrup of pear, apricot and tangerine in the air. Exotic fruits lie in a charged palate, has a vanilla, white raisin, full-on flavour and style, only kept back by some late grip and light, pebbly reserve. A big scale wine . . food only, no aperitif. A mega glycerol production – that will keep it going over time – but I find its style exaggerated. 2021-22 Dec 2009

2007

ample yellow robe; the bouquet exudes peach, vanilla and spice – this is a big affair. There is a touch of high tone along the sides that serves to fence it in. The palate bears a measured richness, and is stylish. The flavours cover white raisin, fig and flan. It is solid enough, with a genuine Marsanne imprint, and ends on the taste of orange marmalade, with likeable end gras. Good length. 2022-24 Dec 2008

2006 ()

yellow robe; there is a crème brûlée, rich tone to the nose, along with vanilla and flan. The palate has an orange marmalade strike, and comes over richly, abundantly, and proceeds well – it is rich and continuous. It ends tidily, with some quiet closing down towards a little Marsanne bitter tang. Good, reliable, sturdy white Hermitage. The finish is toasted by the oak. If you drink it young, drink it immediately, before the oak gets on top. From 2010 would also help its fusion. 2021-22 Dec 2007

1998 ()

very ripe, warm nose; quite fat, bit gluey, slight oxidised notes, stone fruit/nut end. Can tick along quietly. 2014-17