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 A quarter of the surface was withdrawn in order to only keep the hillside vines with the best exposure, where Viognier reaches its best maturity.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 :
The winter in 2014 was characterised by mild temperatures for the region and heavy rainfall until mid-March. The heat and water reserves allowed an early start to the vegetation. Spring was dry until late June, with signs of hydric stress in some sectors. However flowering and fruit set were optimal, guaranteeing a great crop. The months of July and August, particularly cool and wet, slowed the cycle of the vine, forcing the winemakers to strengthen surveillance of the vineyard. Early September starts off with two lovely sunny weeks, along with an optimal maturity of the grapes.
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 :
Pretty yellow color with green highlights. A delicate nose on notes of flowers and ripe fruit, good freshness, elegance from the subtle ageing, soft and sweet spice. The palate is rich with a balanced expansion, a mineral tightness that brings a lot of persistence. The finish is smooth with nice bitterness.
Drink in its youth as an aperitif with some prawns.
Gorgeous flavors of creamed pear, yellow apple and green melon are backed by verbena and salted butter accents, ending with a twinge of green almond. Shows good range and purity.
Wine Spectator, Note : 93/100, 2016-11-01
Silky, smooth and showing bright vanilla and aromatics; lush, creamy and elegant; a classic Viognier.
The Tasting Panel, Note : 92/100, 2016-06-06
Pungent – not at all sweet. Exciting and fine, very juicy and refreshing.
Jancis Robinson, Jancis Robinson, Note : 17,5/20, 2016-01-21