Notes from a small group tasting of Northern Rhones.

2016 Paul Jaboulet Aîné St. Péray Les Sauvagères – a slightly waxy nose, mid colour, clean and refreshing with a nice mineral component. 100% marsanne

2017 Domaine Bernard Gripa St. Joseph Blanc – quite similar but weightier – very nice. 70% Marsanne 330% Roussanne.

2015 Delas Frères Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins – lots of soft tannin, dark fruit and spicy berry flavours. Very good for a Crozes and with a solid finish.

1982 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle – my last bottle and for me, wine of the day. It was garnet red with an orange edge, a tarry spicy nose with a hint of iodine, and a lengthy finish with dried fruit that lingered. A bit of smokiness and bacon fat developed with time. Wish I had more!

We then concentrated on a trio of Bernard Faurie Hermitages:

1987 – our expectations were fairly modest given that the three wines were from off vintages, but we were pleasantly surprised. This one was medium dark with lighter edges, a nose of funk backed by good fruit, sweet entry with mellow cranberry and black olive flavours. Lots of secondary flavour interest. Showing well.

1992 – similar with green rather than black olive featuring, and some meat in the nose. I thought it not as good as the 87 but still quite decent.

2004 – medium dark with a very nice spicy meaty nose, with a briny component and good fruit. Medium length finish. Not a particularly nuanced wine, but what was showing was correct and enjoyable.

2004 Grahams Malvedos Port – brought as a follow up to an 88 Malvedos I had opened last week. Darker and fresher with raisiny fruit and quite sweet. Showing decently now and no rush.