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 A quarter of the surface was withdrawn in order to only keep the hillside vines with the best exposure, where Viognier reaches its best maturity.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 :
Following the cold months of January and February, the spring was intermittent with periods of sunshine and rain propitious to the growth of the vines. The summer was hot and dry with record temperatures in the middle of August. After a bit of rain mid-September which allowed to swell up the grapes, the maturing continued when the sun returned. During this period, the days were hot and the nights were cool which provided a good sanitary state to the crop. The ideal conditions for a beautiful harvest which started around 20th September and finished around the 10th October.
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.
Light gold. Pungent, exotically perfumed bouquet of fresh pit fruits, white flowers, honey and anise. From the fleshy, ripe school of Condrieu, offering lush peach, nectarine and poached pear flavors enlivened by a note of candied orange. Finishes intensely floral, with very good cling and lingering spiciness.
International Wine Cellar, Note : 91/100, 2012-04-01
Their adventure should have been called “Jaboulet-Perrin” or “Beaucastel-La Chapelle” but when the family business is sold by one of the partners and bans them to use their patronymic, they came up with “Maison Nicolas Perrin”. This young negociant company is therefore the partnership between two major heirs : Nicolas Jaboulet (ex Director of Maison Paul Jaboulet & Fils) and Marc Perrin (Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf du Pape). In 2008 these two men from the Rhône Valley get together to mature and sell wine. Their mission is to locate quality plots of Syrah, create partnerships with the winegrowers and follow the winemaking process. The wine is barrelled at the winegrowers and then blended and aged in the Perrin cellars near Orange. Marc blends and Nicolas manages the sales and administration. They are very selective and only work with a dozen of barrels (35 000 bottles in 2010). Bring on the next selections !
A. Gerbelle, La Revue du Vin de France, 2011-01-01