The 2014 Marsannay les Ouzeloy was showing just a touch of reduction on the nose, though the palate was showing well with sappy red berry fruit mixed with a touch of citrus fruit. This feels as if it will turn out to be a fresh, vibrant Marsannay, not immense in depth but well balanced with good density on the finish. Returning to Domaine Joseph Roty two weeks after the untimely passing of Philippe Roty at 46 after a three year battle against cancer, as you would expect, one is filled with emotion far beyond that of appraising a new vintage. However, regretfully I have been in this same situation two or three times before and found that after obligatory condolences, there is always a desire to get back to some kind of normality and restore that sense of life going on. The blood stops running but the sap will always keep rising. And in a sense, Philippe is a strong spirit, a guiding influence at the domaine. Chatting with Pierre-Jean Roty, he told me how his brother had never relinquished until the very end, constantly asking him about the 2015 vintage. Photos and videos of the vines were bought in to his hospital and up until his last visits, he was still inspecting the vines and doing his best to continue as if he didn't have a matter of days left on this Earth. Perhaps one small consolation is that he died knowing that the domaine had been blessed with the 2015 vintage.
Healthy red-ruby. Musky, medicinal nose is showing more menthol, minerals and dark chocolate than fruit today. Quite sappy but unforthcoming on the palate, with dark berry and violet flavors complicated by notes of iron and tobacco. Here, too, the firm tannins call for patience.
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