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The Wines

early 2000s Viognier from granite soils on Jeanraude at St Michel-sur-Rhône, fermented in large oak barrel with wild yeasts over 4 months, raised large oak barrel 9 months on lees (before mid-2010s was raised 30% new, 70% 1-7 year 228-litre oak casks, with 60% new, 40% 1-year oak used until early 2010s), fined, filtered, until 2015 called Les Archevêques, "drink with quenelle de brochet (pike fish quenelles), steamed foie gras", 1,000-1,500 b

2017 ()

a full yellow robe has almost a few light gold glints in it. The bouquet is alert, refined, shows lychees, guava, pineapple, is more tropical than cool climate in its fruiting. The palate runs with a sure hand out of discreet gras richness, takes on a more singed aspect towards the finish as the power of the year comes forward. The aftertaste brings in a cooked orange tang, almost like fat Marsanne. Food with it will soften the finish: white meats, for instance. 14.5°. 2023 Dec 2018

2016 ()

has a pear skin-tinted yellow robe. The nose is quietly sturdy, typical of Jeanraude, has a buttery, firm aroma, a hint of crème patisserie, a light note of lime. There’s a touch of mineral cut. This is closely packed, has a layered density with not a lot of fruit definition as yet. The finish is honeyed, buttery. This is a manly, meaty Condrieu, bears tannic weight, helped by mild freshness along its sides. This is to drink with sauced dishes, plenty of flavour in them. It needs prising open, so allow time, and decant it. It could be a bit more refined, but will show well around 2021. 13.5°. 2026-26 Mar 2018

2015

shiny yellow colour. The bouquet achieves a little top, floating air above its ripe fruit depth. There is light spicing. The palate gives a flavour led by cooked lemon, has a relative refinement for this big vintage. The juice is stylish, and released with care. The aftertaste brings in a rounded, gummy aspect. This is a bonny Condrieu, with greater precision than many this year. 14.6°. 1,500 b. €26.40 export. 2019-20 Oct 2016

2014 ()

shiny yellow robe. The bouquet is open, broad, on the go, has a salted air outside some white stone fruits. Oak lends a nutty hand. The palate is covert, however, and isn’t firing fully today, as if it is just moving past its glorious first youth. The central flavour is peach, with a little squeezy gras there. Decant this. 13.5°. 1,500 b. €26.30. 2018-19  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

shiny yellow. Fragrant , floral inspired nose, nicely clear fruit, pear and beeswax. Joli vin: elegant, precise acidity, good length and freshness. New lighter weight school of Condrieu, where the finish fails to explode and end on a southern surge. Against that, it has subtlety and drinkability, lots of finesse, plus some reserves for the future. For those who don’t know Condrieu well, it will be very appealing. 13.5°. €26.30 export. 2018-19  Jan 2015   

2012 ()

yellow colour. Ripely fruited, compote of white fruits aroma, airs of banana, stewed apples, aniseed; has a dusty angle. The start of the palate is coated, a style that continues all through: high maintenance wine here. It centres very much around gourmandise, so lacks some focus and cut. Has a gummy, near reductive nature, plods along. Too much cellar, also slightly earlier harvesting would have rendered it more enjoyable. Decant. 13.5°. To 2017-18  Nov 2013

2011

mild, bright yellow; the nose is reserved, but potentially stylish: there are light citrus, mandarin-Bergamot notes, with a drift of banana and pear. The palate is round, with a gradual show of depth and content: banana once more, nut and pear, apricot line up in the flavour. Has sound length. Good late acidity renders the finale clear. This is well-balanced for the table – pork, chicken, scallops/St Jacques come to mind. Has a fine depth, and lingers well, too, the aftertaste coming with a cut of smoke ash and aniseed. 14°. To 2017.  Nov 2012

2010

yellow robe, green touches. Has a soft bouquet, providing apricot, stone fruit airs, with a traverse of lime that keeps it fresh, even saline. Good, authentic Condrieu on the palate: there is a build-up of gras, and it ends on restraint – exactly the business. The aftertaste bears flan, apricot. The sequence through the palate is good, and leads to a decisive end. A little glow shows up on the exit. Good now. To 2015. 14°. Nov 2011

2009 ()

(casks) full yellow; pear, cooked pear aroma with rather bright acidity, a mix of flowers and nut. The palate is measured, the second half offering a crystalline appeal. Good run of fruit, and length, here. 2013-14 July 2010

2008

glinting yellow. Soft, pear aroma beckons the drinker – it is open and willing, shows melted butter, brioche bread, is harmonious. Restrained and shapely wine here – the lead flavour is white fruit jam, has an apricot/quince density, and ends on drifts of aniseed, the length poised. Can serve as the aperitif, is more understated than many 2008s. Drinksing easily now. Just a hint of late burn or heat, a feature of some 2008 Condrieus. 13.5°. To 2013. Dec 2009