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The Wines

85-95% Marsanne, 5-15% Roussanne from 1928, 1930s, early 1950s on Rocoules, fermented, raised 4-5 year 228-litre oak casks 16-18 months, from 2007 20-25% new oak used, 900-2,600 b


(used 228-litre cask, malo completed) glowing, full yellow. The nose is broad, prolonged with elegance centre stage; it doesn’t breathe power, has hidden depths, pork grilling airs. Variety will come along, the nose intricate within its splendour. The palate is stylish, presents fluid gras with suave texture, silken above all. It holds a really neat nugget of compote of white fruit gras richness at its centre. The palate is close-knit, tightly woven. It will declare its inner strength gradually, not excessively. There is a touch of late glow. There were five casks this year. Harvested 4 September, 2018. 15.2°. 2043-46 Nov 2018


(steel tank, bottling spring 2019) thick, deep yellow, a gleaming robe; Has a sweet n’plump aroma, plum and exotic fruit such as guava jelly airs. The nose lies low, carries much potential, extends long, really keeps going, has a smouldering intensity. This is like red wine on the palate – it has the structure, is eighteenth century Hermitage blanc for the very long haul. There’s bounty in the glass, with nuttiness, apricot, greengage in the flavour. It is thorough all along the palate, with Marsanne at its heart, giving it notes of mineral, dorsal column, while the 8% Roussanne adds flattery. This is remarkable, since there is precision in the late stages also, and an aromatic aftertaste. 14.3°. Harvested 3 September 2017. Decanting advised. From 2023-24 to allow it time to get going, do not drink around 2020. “Be patient with this – it will live for 30+ years,” Marc Sorrel. 2050-52 Nov 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ***** (228-litre cask) shiny, full yellow. The bouquet is lovely, has real pedigree, a graceful hazelnut aroma, ginger, citrus tang, a note of aniseed and licorice cut, expressive Marsanne on the agenda. The attack is wholesome, pursues its path well, delivers flowing richness, holds squeezy, effortless content, old vine sève or sap. There is a cooked lemon clarity in it. This has very good freshness, is a balanced, complex wine, detailed, long and true wine. 14.5°. 2039-42 Nov 2017

2016 ()

(228-litre cask) full yellow robe. Has an attractive air led by greengage plum, grapiness, spice, ginger notably, brioche bread, vanilla. The palate holds fluid gras, coasts along well, comes with silken moments, persists with fine assurance, late droplets of juice. It has the intricacy of Rocoules, isn’t an evident wine. There are interesting nuances and nudges in this. It ends florally, in tender fashion – real class there. You should study this rather than knock it back!. It’s good and fresh. Much reduced crop – 10 hl/ha, so 600 b instead of 1,500 b. “We harvested on a normal date, so this has finesse, tension,” Marc Sorrel. From 2022. 2038-40 Nov 2017


(cask) yellow, shiny robe, legs visible. This has a sturdy, grapey, sustained and brooding nose, peach fruit and a sub air of Muscat present. The palate delivers a rolling richness, with tight grip along the sides. The flavour centres of dried fruits, inherent nuttiness. It ends coolly and neatly given the gras content. The length is bold. I find it in a quiet phase today. “The fermentation has ended, with 2.8 gm of residual sugar still left,” Marc Sorrel. 2040-42 Apr 2016 Previously Dec 2015 ***** (used 228-litre oak cask, sugars and malo completed) bright yellow robe. The bouquet is broad, nutty, has an oily interior that harbours aniseed, stewed white fruits compote, cooked lime. It comes with a gentle glow of ripeness. The attack is purposeful already, which is most unusual so early in its career. It offers steady gras richness all through it, grips well into a complete finish. This has a good spring in its step, is rich but there is no trace of its degree, which is 15°. The balance is first class: there is no sense of jam in the fruit, nor headiness. “It resembles 2014, “ Marc Sorrel. I find it more thorough than the 2014. 1,500 b. From 2018-19. 2039-42  Dec 2015

2014 ()

even yellow robe. The bouquet is quietly sturdy, goes wide, gives peach, acacia, spring flowers, is rich. This attacks well, delivers a real bustle of gras, is prolonged, has good heart, travels broadly. It offers grip in a steady, firm close. The gras is classy here, and the finish fresh. 14.5°. 2032-34 Apr 2016 Previously Dec 2015 ****(*) (tank, bottling spring 2016) yellow robe, good sheen. The bouquet is nicely packed, offers airs of greengage, apricot, lime, candy, a good touch of exotic fruits, also licorice. The palate’s stone fruits sit comfortably – this is plump and bonny. With flavours of caramel and hazelnut present. This has a swell style, is long, and the finish is orderly, clear. A wine of locked-up potential, needs time. You feel there is plenty more to come forward. There are appealing fat gras “bubbles” in it. Decant this. “It is very rich, has a lot gras,” Marc Sorrel. 14.5°. 1,200 b. 2033-35 £369 6 bots i/bond Lay & Wheeler +44(0)1473 313 300 www.laywheeler.co.uk Dec 2015


(tank, after 1 year of cask, bottling April 2015) shiny yellow, oily robe. The bouquet lies in wait, but has definite reserves: it is wide and properly southern in depth and scope. There are airs of toasting, quince, white raisin, camomile. The palate glides along; there is toast on the debut, and good style in the apricot and quince fruit, some Poire William as well. It becomes chewy, and intensifies as it finishes, like a red wine. This is STGT wine. This has inner strength, and the freshness of the vintage helps to keep it moving. Good balance, a complete wine. 14°. 1,500 b as usual. “It has a lot of freshness, tension,” Marc Sorrel. From 2018. 2036-40 Jan 2015

2012 ()

(bottling April 2014) tiny crop: 3 casks this year versus 7 casks 2011 – “there was a lot of oïdium, and we had to sort and discard a lot of crop,” M Sorrel. This has a rich yellow, near vin de paille deep colour. The nose is reserved, has a liquid fruit, sympa style, showing rich pear, white raisin aromas. The palate is coated, profound, a slow moving, large wine that exudes power from within. It handles its degree of 15.5°. well. It does have acidity, some tension and grip, its fresh finish a good sign. It keeps going. It isn’t really balanced, but will live on its glycerol in the classic fashion. It is filled more than solid wine. “Its fermentation only ended in April 2013; luckily I waited, otherwise it would have had residual sugar. It is very long on the palate, like tasting a liqueur. It can live 30 years. Drink this with turbot in sauce, monkfish,” Marc Sorrel. 900 b this year. 2033-35  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 ***** (cask, malo not yet completed) deep yellow. Broad, chunky but rich, yes very rich aroma that is layered and sustained. Shows vanilla and stewed greengage plum airs. Has concentrated depth, but runs freely, shows licoice, aniseed. Southern climate wine, very long, but northern in its clarity. A great mix of density and life. 15.5°. 21 years. An elixir. 20 hl of pure gold this year.  Nov 2012


rich looking yellow; the nose is lovely, here comes a summer abundance – buttercups, buttery, attractive light lime drifts, nectarine, vanilla: this is an excellent bouquet. The palate rolls with a becoming richness, is very well assembled, a ball of ripe joy in the glass. It makes very beau, really consistent progress through the palate, has a near tasty status. Drinking this solo is a treat, to contemplate life. It is very round, the texture is very supple, and it is long through Pink Panther footsteps. Its light bitter grip is very authentic Marsanne. From now it is very good in its gilded youth, and will close in two to three years. “It has evolved well, was a bit more neutral, but its aromas have become more significant, and it gives more fruit on the palate,” Marc Sorrel. Great with monkfish, red mullet, fish in sauce. €70 at the cellars: drink this when going well, thus. Around 2018-20 it will be in a magnificent second phase. 2034-36  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2012 ****(*) (228-litre cask, bottling April 2013) steady, sound yellow robe. The nose has a rich start, is quite a full offering, showing pear-apricot jam, an oily depth, also honey and vanilla. The palate picks up well from the nose, has lime, ginger flavour with a light note of pineapple, white raisin. Has good texture – this is a true glycerol wine, unlike the regular Hermitage blanc this year. The depth is attractive, just what one wants – less alcohol than some years, and more poised as a result. STGT wine, gives access to la terre, the soil itself. 15% more crop than usual. From 2014. 13.3°. 2027-29  Nov 2012


(4 year cask, leaves cask March 2012, bottling April 2012) full yellow; , the robe looks rich. The nose is profound, still discreet, reveals melted butter, hazelnut, peach-pear fruit aromas, and involves fennel and tea of infusion such as verbena/verveine, good variety. The palate`s early roundness is infiltrated with a cool vivacity, is really well integrated. Ripeness is on excellent display – it has the silk of 2010, and is continuous like the classic, just has a bit more depth and mystery. Classic honey and hazelnut aftertaste. From 2014, I would say. 14.8°. “It is more reserved than the classic white 2010, its matter is all full of potential,” Marc Sorrel. 2028-30 Nov 2011


(cask, to be bottled March 2011) full yellow with gold tints. Smoky, full nose which combines wax and varnish, also drifts of hazelnut, liquid honey. Bulky, muscled wine with a big spread of flavour, a tight constitution. Really scaled up on the finish, where there are tannic influences. I don`t notice the degree (is 14.7°) – it is all wrapped together, is ripe and has matter, balance. Sturdy, but will become refined. “I harvested this on 5-6 September, my earliest date after 2003, with 30 hl/ha,” Marc Sorrel. 2030-33 Nov 2010

2008 ()

nicely firm yellow robe, legs visible. The bouquet is in a quiet phase, has an aroma of stewed apricot, airs of quince, vanilla, orange marmalade, ginger – there are multiple aromas set to emerge. After two hours, the bouquet expands, and gains in power, and becomes complex and beau. This grips securely, tightly on the attack, holds a really comfortable freshness. The gras has the effortless depth of old vines, and the late knuckle is very Marsanne. It is still spinal in places, with a cool finale. It is a triumph for the vintage, a tribute to the fresh year, and its longevity is assured. 14°. 2032-35  Oct 2015 Previously Nov 2010 ****(*) bottle open three days: level yellow; pear, hazelnut aroma, honey, wax also, is fine, offers vanilla, candy, verbena. The palate has an appealing mix of dried fruits, apricots, a fine run of fruit and lengthens steadily. The finale is fresh. Good grip and intensity in this, which is essentially an elegant wine. Great bouquet. “It has developed with the opening and exposure to air,” Marc Sorrel. 2026-28 Nov 2010 Previously Dec 2009 *** (3 year old cask) yellow, glinting colour. Has a soft air of boiled sweets, baked fruit tart, aniseed. The palate has richness that is lying low – this has spine and quietly rich matter that grows through the palate. The flavour is a tangy dried apricot. This is a take your time wine. “It has freshness, the terroir of Rocoules and its complexity is starting to come through – it will live 15 years, no problem,” M.Sorrel. 13.5°, inc 0.5° of chaptalisation. From 2013. 2025-26 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 **** (2 year oak cask) full yellow robe; there is more lees evident on the nose than for the classic: this is a solid bouquet – it is certainly wide and deep. The palate has a gutsy, rich interior – this will be a wine of direct body, one on the go from say 2012 autumn. It will live well – it is long and fresh, the foundation is there. “It finished fermenting three weeks ago, about 20 November, and 2008 has a bit more acidity than 2007 and 2006,” M.Sorrel. 14.5°. 2025-27  Dec 2008


subdued but steady yellow colour; has a fat, approachable aroma that brings out baked fruit tart, hazelnut, honey – this can make progress and vary. The palate is discreetly rich, bordering on the complex. Has a traditional style, carries punch. Ends on a fine, firm note, a quiet solidity. This is finer than previous years, which tended to be more opulent. Ends clearly, has good acidity. From 2012. The 15° are not really noticeable. 2024-26 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) (cask) full yellow, with glints of gold. Has a wide, white fruit jam aroma – pear and apricot with nougat and almond en direct from the Marsanne. Gets off to an imposing start - the palate has a solid couch of raisin, and dried white fruits – the sort of wine that demands white meats, chicken, poultry or sweet meat or Asian dishes. It ends on a firm, even layering of white raisin and spice. There is some late heat – “I picked earlier this year – 2006 was about 16°, and this is nearer 15°,” M.Sorrel. It is a wine that will take its time, a copious, big do. “It is closed, but you sense the matter is here – you have to be patient. It is clearly better than it was at first – it is now racé, more elegant, “ M.Sorrel. 2024-26 Dec 2008


full yellow colour, with a light gold subset. Has a butterscotch, white raisin nose with pear, banana flambé and caramel airs, a ripe ensemble – a bouquet of true depth and breadth. The palate is on a full, forward run. This is a Big Wine – in reality it is around 16°. Very deep, very solid and sustained. Only drink with food – line up dishes such as foie gras, lobster, fillets of turbot. An out of the loop Big`Un that is really profound, one with old school assertion. From 2011. “Young wine, still closed, leave another five years,” Marc Sorrel. €65. 2027-30 Dec 2008 Previously Nov 2007 ****(*) (steel tank, racked two weeks ago) pretty thorough yellow robe; has an elegant aroma that travels smoothly across the glass, is a dense affair, with marmalade, oranges in the air. This is a tight-knit wine with a rich heart, grows a peacock`s tail, and really gets moving after half way, as its power comes through. Is rich, with borderline balance, but net net is compelling. The acidity is low but it trucks on with real character. Wide and beefy late on, where there some hint of its degree – a high 15°. Has some exotic fruit flavours, tangy and spiced. A real one-off for these days of homogenous wines. Eat with Vieille France dishes – sauced fish, or as Marc says, foie gras or Roquefort cheese. Esp 2010-11 on. 2025-27. “The bouquet showed honey a while ago; I find it like 1999, with its aromatic persistence on the palate. I think it can live,” Marc Sorrel. To be bottled March 2008 Nov 2007


mild yellow; white raisin, spice, patisserie aromas in a solid bouquet, with spice and vanilla marking out their ground: it is not overdone in any way, and has good reserve. The palate shows a wine of orderly bounty, has real depth without excess, is very rich and prolonged. A bit less degree than 2006 – is 15°. Comes from the traditional school, but is cleanly made. Late on there are white fruits, spice and at the very end some richness breaks out of its tight coat. 2027-30 Nov 2007 Previously April 2006 (cask) ****(*) yellow colour. Broad, brooding nose showing honey and salt – has a solid couch. Deep, involved flavour on the palate, marked by apricot. A bit of a slugfest – is a punchy wine, and there are burnt notes on top of the Marsanne – hazelnuts and bitterness. Will age, needs patience. Excellent length, and doesn't show its high 16° degree at the end. Has a muscled interior, very much a wine for classic French cuisine. 2025-29 April 2006


weighty, caramel/custard bouquet with no heaviness at all - traces of melted butter and flowers - is impressive. Good, broad palate with some bite from the acidity at this stage. From 2009-10 so it can harmonise. Good Marsanne character on finale, some very typical bitter tones. Good length. 14°. STGT wine. 2024-26 April 2006


marked yellow, in the vin de paille vein. Damp wool, the inside of boxes airs, along with apricot, white peach jam, white raisins from Ukraine, almond paste and also prune that shows on the palate as well, a factor of the heat this year. Pear, vanilla, honey flavours, has good late grip, even if a bit of burn. I find tannin on the finish, where there is heat or glow. Will live until 2028 at least, thanks to its power. “Foie gras with this. It`s also good for the aperitif, but not so much for fish – it is jammy, like Sherry, almost white Port in nature,” Marc Sorrel. I would like sweet spice Asiatic dishes with this. 15°+. Previously Nov 2007 ****(*) mid-yellow colour, with legs down the glass. There are butter, straw notes on the nose that has abundant potential. Also vanilla, white raisin, white pepper – this is a good, varied bouquet. There is a good, true Marsanne stamp of richness laced with the bitter on the palate, all very well wrapped. Well-sealed, consistent texture to this. Solid, with something of a red wine structure, The flavour is bonny, like a fruit tart and vanilla mix. There is also a touch of the later-picked crop as if it were Tokay from Alsace. Complex wine, with unusual taste associations. 15°+. “It has not moved much up until now, but is a bit more open than usual; I find prune in it,” Marc Sorrel. 2022-24 Nov 2007

2002 ()

(cask) creamy, nicely traditional bouquet. Sound attack, rich and oily, peach/apricot flavour. Good length. 2013-16


floral/white fruit aroma, spice lurking. Tasty straight away, yes! Good structure. Very elegant dried fruits, some nut. Length very good. Tightens discreetly on its warm finish. 2019-22


gold hints; buttery and floral mix, tight bouquet. Very thorough, tightly packed wine. Lot of power but is subtle. Stylish, genuine wine, great terroir feel. A year of low acidity, but lots of rich matter to make it live. 2020-25

1999 ()

(vat, pre-bottle) good live bouquet, lime cordial drink, hint of exotic fruits. Big opening on palate, toast, dried fruits, apricot. Very beefy, warm, but reserved finish. Structure good, final heat, very Marsanne oily texture. 2023-28