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 A quarter of the surface was withdrawn in order to only keep the hillside vines with the best exposure, where Viognier reaches its best maturity.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.
The vintage :
2010 started with a big freeze and snowfall. Then with the arrival of spring, April was exceptionally warm which allowed an early budburst.
Then during May, the temperatures went back down along with regular rain. Flowering took place as usual end of May beginning of June.
July and August were beautiful. Mid-July, temperatures reached a peak during the day but were often followed by showers at night that cooled down the vegetation. The crop was very healthy and the maturity was fairly late.
In September the temperatures dropped, the nights were cooler which allowed slow maturation of the grapes. Harvest started on September 25th.
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.
The bunches are pressed followed by a long fermentation at low temperatures of 12/15°.
20% is aged in oak barrels to bring fatness to the wine and the rest in stainless steel tanks to preserve aromas of fruit and freshness.
Viognier : 100%
Tasting notes :
A shiny pale yellow color.
The nose is aromatic, exotic with notes of citrus and slightly floral.
The bouquet is balanced and leaves a lovely impression and length.
Drink in its youth as an aperitif with some prawns.
A very fresh, almost high-tone style, this offers chamomile and honey suckle flavors to lead the way, followed by green almond, white peach, fennel and quinine notes. The long, racy finish has extra mineral drive, setting this apart from the more tropical-style Condrieu. Gorgeous cut.
Wine Spectator, Wine Spectator, Note : 94/100, 2012-08-29
The 2010 Condrieu reveals the exotic, lychee nut, tropical fruit side of this appellation, but less minerality than some of the finest examples of Condrieu. Nevertheless, it is a very good effort to enjoy over the next several years.
Wine Advocate, Note : 87/100, 2011-12-01