Maison Les Alexandrins Condrieu White 2018
The wines from Condrieu have had an excellent reputation for many generations. The Popes in Avignon worshipped it, in the XVIth century the “Chapitre Lyonnais” offered it to his esteemed guests. More recently, Curnosky described it as one of the greatest white wines in France. Unfortunately, Phyloxera the first world war, the great depression in the thirties along with the industrialisation of the region were responsible for many to abandon their vineyard.
When the appellation of Condrieu was created in 1940, only three communes; Condrieu, Saint Michel and Vérin were included in the production area and totalled 170 hectares. In 1967, this was extended to four neighbouring villages; Chavanay, Saint Pierre de Boeuf, Malleval and Limony bringing it to 387 hectares. With increasing demand from the winegrowers and in view of keeping high quality wines, the area of plantation was reviewed one last time excluding any vines above an altitude of 300 meters. An agreement with the INAO brought the appellation down to 262 hectares. A quarter of the surface was withdrawn in order to only keep the hillside vines with the best exposure, where Viognier reaches its best maturity.
The main stone found in Condrieu is granite. On the surface the soil is covered with decomposed granite and loess. This is soil is perfectly suited to Viognier and the vines benefit from excellent sunshine. When looking for winemaker collaborators, we wished to limit our research to Côteau de Cherry and Côteau de Rozay that have a bit of altitude and where the wines have a good balance and more importantly great freshness.
In 2018, we were lucky to have another very good vintage in the Northern Rhône Valley. A generous and qualitative crop despite major climatic hazards that required the greatest attention.
In our search of winegrowers, we wanted to work in very specific places like coteaux de cherry and coteau de rozay, which are vineyards quite high in altitude, in order to get a nice balance and keep freshness for our wines.
Vinification partly in tanks and partly in barrels of 225 litres. Maturing on fine lees for 8 months.
Beautiful bright yellow colour with green reflections. The nose offers a nice aromatic freshness with notes of citrus and exotic fruit. With a nice ba-lance, the mouth is structured by its liveliness before evolving into a dense roundness with aromas of orange, lemon accompanied by discreet notes of aging that enhances the wine. Long finish on the palate with a tight fi-nish that fades gently to finish with nice bitterness.
Drink in its youth as an aperitif with some prawns.
Viognier : 100 %
Inviting, with lush creamed apple, melon and star fruit notes, gilded liberally with heather and lemon curd flavors. The long finish is open and lilting in feel. Drink now through 2022.
Wine Spectator , 94/100 , 2019-10-22