White Rhone longevity -

In a fine mystery case ‘beyond sell-by-date’ I had a couple of fascinating bottles: 1998 Clos des Papes, and I think an old Hermitage. Both were excellent, and full of apricot, gorse, hawthorn, but no hazelnuts.

My question, is how come these wines age so well ? there are plenty of other high acidity / high aromatic whites which do not. What should I look out for to snap a few up at auction, where the prices seem very low.


Not sure, and certainly no expert, but think the magic of Marsanne might have something to do with it


That’s interesting, and I’m relieved it’s not Viognier because not a fan (except with cab Sauvignon)

I shall have a search for marsanne blends, not one I’m familiar with. And a fine pre Xmas project!

Viognier/Condrieu are indeed not reputed for their longevity contrary to white hermitage (marsanne/roussanne blend with usually high proportion of marsanne - typically 80/20)

1 Like

Just finished a bottle of this:


Which is only supposed to last 3 years - but feels like it should go a LOT further. This kind of prompted my original post.

1 Like

looking at my notes it seems most of the well aged Rhones whites I have enjoyed have been Marsanne/Rousanne blends. But bear in mind these are whites we are talking about and that’s an area I’m definitely not expert in!

1 Like

This was very tasty …21 version …
interesting grape blend


Likewise. I perhaps drink 90% red… but when a white is good, it’s very good indeed. Savennières especially.

1 Like

Jancis wrote an article on this a couple of years ago. She spoke to some of the quality producers (from memory Chave, Beaucastel?) and their view was to either drink young to get the fruit (3-5 years) or wait to get the complexity you are talking about (12-15 years+). But that quite of few of these wines can go through a mid life muted phase where you don’t get the best of either world.

Not mentioned by her, but I guess like any rule of thumb this is a general sense of wine development, but individual wines and vintages may vary!

1 Like

This has just appeared in my reserves


Confusingly the drinking window is shown going to 2027 and 2037.

Edit: Member Services have confirmed that 2027 is correct.