In a nutshell: A rounded, fruity and aromatic Marsanne from the Northern Rhône valley.
The lowdown: Yves Cuilleron is one of the stars of the Northern Rhône making an exceptional range of wines from his base in Chavanay. His so-called 'regional' wines labelled Les Vignes d'à Côte are from vines bordering the named appellation areas and offer all the qualities at great value. This young and fresh Marsanne is full of aromatics on the nose with stone and tropical fruits, ripe citrus and floral notes. The palate is weighty, rounded and fresh with rich white stone fruit, citrus and creamy flavours and touches of exotic spice. A wonderful expressive wine that is a great advertisement for the Marsanne grape variety.
When to drink: Marsanne is very food friendly and works well with a wide variety of richer seafoods. Also try with cream based dishes such as carbonara.
Without doubt one of the star names of Rhône viticulture Yves Cuilleron took over the reins of his family estate in 1987. He now owns and leases over 75 hectares of top quality vineyards. From his base in Chavanay, just south of Condrieu he has built up a formidable reputation in recent years and is always developing new ideas and cuvées which, virtually without exception, are all wonderful and very much in his signature style - lingering, rich white wines and big rich minerally reds.
Yves is a driven man with a growing family, a part share with other top growers in vineyards on the eastern side of the Rhône, and a fantastic new cellar, purpose-built and temperature controlled. All his stylish AOP whites spend 9 months in barriques on the lees with regular bâtonnage. The St Joseph Blanc Lyseras is Marsanne and Roussanne. The Condrieu Les Chaillets is his old vines cuvée and named after the local terraces. The reds are equally consistent and impressive. The St Joseph Rouge Pierres Sèches (named after the dry stone walls built by hand on the terraces) is a favourite spending 16 months in barriques and offering layers of seductive, silky fruit.