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The Wines

Viognier from granite soils at Vérin, St-Michel-sur-Rhône, steel vat fermented at 16-18°C, steel vat raised 8 months (down from 11 months in early 2010s), malo usually blocked, filtered, 9-17,000 b

2018

(vat) cloudy yellow robe; the bouquet has size, but isn’t open. There’s a hint of petrol, stewed white fruits, cooked lemon, oak. There is a discreet shaft of freshness. The palate has rich furnishing, a layered content with peach, nectarine, white plum in the flavour, an end note of apricot. It ends firmly, is very much for la table, suited to monkfish, full flavours. It’s a rounded, rather fat Condrieu, doesn’t go excess on the fat. It can develop its finish and length. Decant it. 14°. 9,350 b. €47. 2026-27 Nov 2019

2017 ()

yellow robe; the nose is still emerging, not yet out on full patrol. There’s a couch of fine lemon curd, orange blossom, but it’s hard to get into for now. The palate holds a flavour of pineapple, with a fairly wrighted mid-palate, before an extension on cooked citrus fruits, oaking present. It holds up pretty well on the conclusion, but is a touch hot as it ends. From mid-2019, and decanting a must. Drink with mushroom dishes, monkfish, tuna, white meats. 14°. 2024-25 Dec 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe; has a lively, apricot-fused aroma, with inner richness, a note of compote of white fruits, peaches, butter and flan. The palate is spiced, carries greengage plum with a honeyed surge late on. This is full, as per the vintage, and its strength takes it quite far. It just avoids glow on the aftertaste, which is savoury. 14.5°. 17,000 b. €43 at the cellars. 2020-21 Oct 2016

2014

clear yellow robe. The bouquet present a good mixed bag of lime, aniseed, ginger. The palate is soft and easy, offers cooked white fruits such as pear, the skin of pear, and apricot. Easy going, relaxed, New Wave Condrieu. It lacks a little depth. Aperitif or light flavoured foods. 13.5°. 17,000 b. €43 is expensive. To 2018  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

(cask) flinty yellow. There is citrus cut on the nose, a fine air of pear, a note of tangerine and a little couch of flan. The nose presents a sound start. The palate is tied in a tight knot as it sets off, with a little surrounding tannin. It isn’t very expressive. The finish tones down, a smudge of white jam there. Decanting a help for this reticent wine. 2018-19  Jan 2015

2011

(bottling in 4 weeks, has been raised longer than usual) yellow colour. Has a bright, clear aroma, leaves trail of hawthorn, may, lemon, pear and an appealing floral note – this is a classic, mineral soils Viognier bouquet. The palate has a simple roundness , its expression subdued, the fat quiet. Reserved, rather tame Condrieu - it skims rather than plunges. The texture is plump, while the finish gives a mix of flowers and mandarin. 14°. To 2017.  Nov 2012

2010

mild, light yellow colour. Pear compote, smoky nose, vanilla and apricot also – it is reserved overall. The palate is going through a rather dumb phase, is tucked up. Certainly needs food now. There is gras on the finish, with a white fruits, softer texture. A bit plain and pedestrian, even if it is dumbing down for now. 14°. 2017-18  Sept 2013 Previously June 2011 ***(*) (bottling in October 2011) fine, rather crisp notes on the nose with spice present, white fruits that include a pretty lime air. Straight line white fruit on the palate, which builds up body as it goes, takes on width, and white jam notes, fruit such as white strawberry. A slower developer than usual, has more clarity and delicacy than 2009. Around 13.7° with some at 12.6°, other cuvées at 14.1°. To 2018. June 2011

2009

tinted yellow; rather classic Condrieu nose – has a curved aroma of pear, with sweet heart and a light mineral outer air to keep it active. It is buttery, and persists well. This drinks well solo, has rich depth, but is not like some 2009s which are burnt or in excess. Being agile and rich is a good combination, its texture is suave and true. Good length. It is not complex, but is satisfying. 13.5°. To 2015 June 2011

2008

full yellow robe; open, broad nose – pockets of toast, pineapple, creamy pear, exuberant and tropical. There is agreeable restraint in counterpoint to the nose – it lengthens quietly, holds a fine register of fruit, the flavours mixing citrus, mandarin, hazelnut, even grapefruit. Contrasting nose and palate here. It ends on an unctuous note. From spring 2010. 13°- a full 2° less than the 2007. Good with Asiatic cuisine. 2014-15 Nov 2009

2007

off yellow colour, opaque, fresh gold. The nose is reserved, with a low-key cooked pear nature, with mandarin and some high tone, with pear, vanilla, spice, banana. The palate has a caramel, burnt sugar flavour – extremely well cooked pear. It is a tough do, and ends on a burnt tone that is firm and rather unyielding. The finish is putting-off – is hard and eau-de-vie like. Not surprised to see that it is 15°. To 2012. I can only suggest drinking from mid 2009 and decanting it – and drinking it with firmly flavoured foods. Dec 2008

2006

soft yellow colour; melted butter with a little lime and dried fruit alongside: pear is the main impression – typical Viognier – with some spice. The palate has a largely rich texture, but within lies some power that is only just held in check. The flavour is banana and white peach. Is a gentle drinking wine, suited to the aperitif. The length is sound. White fruits are prominent late on, with a sinewed feel and some impact from its alcohol. 14.5°on the label. To 2011-12 Jan 2008

2005 ()

buttery, mineral-flecked nose that is harmonious – reveals honey above all, also dried apricot, is fragrant. Soft and elegant palate, with good flow and is buttery to the end. Very correct, has decent typicité and a credible apricot-peach taste that is a little low-key. Lacks a little mid-palate richness. Sympa, quite easy wine, can be an aperitif. 13.5°. Nov 2006

2004 ()

flan/pear, mineral-flecked bouquet, which is elegant. Quiet start to palate, dips a little, then regains its poise. In a dumb phase, like several Condrieu 2004s at 18 months' old - doesn't show a flourish on the palate. Quiet end, no great width there. Surprisingly low-key. 2010 April 2006

2003

full, pear skin aroma. Palate clumps along, alcohol evident, seems top heavy. Lacks acidity, never has lift-off. Stops rather short. Hard to see a revival with time.

2002

typical pear, frit skin aroma, pretty bouquet. Good fruit, likeable richness, without any heaviness. Runs on quite well, banana-style aftertaste. Clear finish, this has good typicité.

2001

light pear, mineral/floral touch on nose; buttery, white fruit that grows through the palate. Quiet charm, white fruit, spiced finish. From 2004, still tight. Good with curry.