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The Wines

Viognier (av age 17 years) from granite soils at Chavanay, Limony, involves purchased crop since early 2010s, cool decantation, 0-25% new (new % in decline since early 2010s), 75-100% 1-4 year 225-litre oak cask fermented, wild yeasts, regular lees stirring, raised 9 months, lees stirring, egg white fined, filtered, comes in a tall bottle, "drink with delicate fish, salmon carpaccio, daurade", 30,000-45,000 b (up from 26,000 b)

2018 ()

bright, pale yellow robe. The nose is lightly spiced, greengage plum, honeysuckle, floral touches. The palate shows ease, is fine, has a gentle wave of white fruit, with squeezy gras towards the finish. This is aperitif style Condrieu with fine acidity, drinks well solo. The exit is clear, a little saline. It’s not especially deep, but gives w.o.w. drinking. 13.5°. 45,000 b. To 2024 Nov 2019

2017

yellow robe; there is some reduction, hence “high” fruit on the nose, stewed white fruits, a touch of banana, jungle fruit. This has a New Wave style, is stripped back, holds sleek white fruit content, but more overt gras richness is needed to be in tune with the alcohol – there is glow on the aftertaste. This is uneven, not truly balanced. 14°. €19.40 export. 2023-24 Nov 2018

2015

full yellow robe. The nose gives a classic Condrieu aroma led by pear with a walnut addition, and a salted glance – that nudge of mineral helps it to fly rather than remain grounded. There is a hint of oak. There is a leaning towards Riesling petrol. The palate is nicely full, has a tight make-up, and needs decanting so it can be prised open. The flavour centres on cooked pear, pear skin, with some apricot juice. There is honey on the aftertaste. This can develop an exotic fruited personality with some time. 13°. 35,000 b. 2022-23 Oct 2016

2014

shiny, full yellow robe. Mango-papaya, exotic fruits lead the bouquet, have a willing openness. There is light oaking. The palate rolls well thanks to some joli freshness, and a smoothly textured richness. The flavour resembles white peach, a touch of apricot juice. Good with fish such as turbot, halibut, even red mullet, rouget. 13°. 35,000 b. To 2019  Oct 2015

2013 ()

shiny rather full yellow, legs. Has a ripe fruit aroma, a real display of grape abundance on show, comes with a fat, caramel aspect, crème patisserie, white raisin, white, raw tobacco. The palate is lined with exotic fruits, oak and pineapple flavouring, is a rather succulent take on Condrieu. There are moments of mandarin, cooked citrus as well, which help its freshness. It runs right through to the finish with some gusto. 13.5°.  2019-20  Jan 2015 Previously Nov 2014 ***(*) yellow robe; the bouquet is broad, involving, fat more than fine – airs of glazed fruits, ample in nature – pear in syrup, greengage plum jam, a small dab of vanilla. A trace of lime is welcome, aids its clarity. The attack is glossy, presents fat, fleshy white fruits with flan and buttery notes as well. It fills the palate broadly, ends on a smoky, white tobacco note, a near ash touch. The fruit combines peach and pear after 30 minutes, the air allowing it to expand, a fatness in the pear billowing out like a schooner under sail. This is a steady hand Condrieu that will be noticed because of its open, fleshy nature. It is still in very good shape on Day 3 – a nice intensity in the pear, Poire William flavour. 30,400 b. 13°. 2018-19  Nov 2014

2012

pale yellow. Honeyed, minor opulence on the nose, with ginger and a little simmered pear, with even a leaning towards garrigue herbs: this is a beau bouquet. The palate texture is suave, nearly rich; the flavour takes in cooked pear with a nutty later note and a slightly saline finale. Very orderly, flows well through the palate, and the end is firm, near tar in nature with good darkness and licorice. Steamed fish, precise flavours suited to this. Is a joli vin. 13°. 38,000 b this year, on the rise. 2018-19 Nov 2013

2011

attractive, pale yellow, legs in the robe. The bouquet leads a good dance, offers a combination of vanilla, floral scenting, buttery pear and a drift of mandarin, orange marmalade. The palate is well-textured, lissom, flows on a bonny gras, is all together. The honeyed aftertaste is sympa, and brings in white raisin, lemon tart. Bang on what Condrieu should be – has enough depth to hold its ground, and do well with fine-flavoured foods, and enough scent and freshness to entertain. It ends clearly, and is good, very reliable Condrieu. 13°. To 2017  Nov 2012

2010 ()

yellow-green, rich look. Flan, custard first air, a steady depth, apricot-pear-vanilla mingle in behind, lime and Earl Grey tea – the overall effect is subtle. The palate is big, rather bountiful from the start. Ripe crop with signs of tannin in its late moments, a border of grip and wee heat or burn. There is some fire in this – it is more that way than many. It needs leaving until mid-2012 – is framed like a red wine. A lot going on here – it has a fine texture and can live well. Decant. 14°. 2019-20 Nov 2011

2009 ()

quite full yellow robe. Prominent bouquet, shows exotic fruits, mango, banana flambé, white raisin – this bouquet is all on power and ripeness. This is a filled wine, with broad sides. Flavouring of caramel-flan, baked bread. Ripe, with body, sustains in a muscular way to the finish, bulldozers its way along. Near GBH wine (Grievous Bodily Harm) What happened to finesse? Needs food. 13.5°. To 2015 July 2010

2008 ()

full, steady yellow robe. Buttery, banana aroma in an open nose, with a good, low-key mineral tone beside it, an aniseed and licorice coating. Baked fruit tart, glazed pineapple flavour – this is hearty, its texture smooth until the final stages, where more power and a chewy grip emerge. Fine wine, good length. Has a salty aftertaste. 13°. To 2014. Dec 2009

2007

mid-level yellow; there is a broad swirl of pear and apricot on the nose, with baked fruits or raisin tart present, then a line of escapist alcohol, and finally a lemon, lime, salty air. The palate has a supple, full debut – it comes out with a sturdy approach, the flavour towards the finish being peach and nut. It ends on a suave note, but the grip and direction indicate it can live. From spring 2009 to allow it to settle. Decant if drinking in the next year or so. Lobster would be great with this, yum yum. A food rather than aperitif wine. 14°. 2014. Dec 2008

2006

even yellow, quite bright colour; the nose mixes pineapple and oak, so there are some exotic style aromas floating around here. Its openness is limited by its oak right now. Fair richness kicks off the palate, even as if there is some residual sugar in it. Has an apricot or peach jam flavour, the length is correct. Is round towards the finish, with a build-up of power at the same time. 14°. To 2012. Jan 2008

2005 ()

yellow robe; creamy, buttery aroma with some ripe lime – has an elegant harmony. Buttery palate, mixed with some white fruits such as pear, and then gives a quince flavour, with some fennel later. Not at its max flow now. Soft wine, its length is OK. Accessible, charming, drink as an aperitif. 14°. Nov 2006

2003

oak, taut pear bouquet. Reasonable pear flavour, dried fruit skins also. Decent width, quiet length, fills the palate OK. Chewy aftertaste from the oak. Oaked style Condrieu

2002 ()

(cask) tight, touch honey aroma; compact flavour, rich, quite solid. Chewy oak end. Stylish.

2001 ()

smoky, oaked nose, ripe pear, spice; sappy, softly spiced apricot, wholesome. Starts well, then fades, leaves some oak behind. To 2007.