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The Wines

early 1960s-early 2000s Viognier on granite soils on Clos Bouche at Vérin, harvested in 5 blocks which each have a specific oak for their fermentation, raising, fermented, raised 40% new, 40% 1-year 228-litre oak casks, 20% steel vat 8 months, lees stirred until malo completed, malo blocked, filtered, 4,700-8,000 b

2018 ()

fine yellow robe; the nose carries young oak, a note of grilling, with a grapey backdrop, hints of nut paste. The palate is neat, restrained, comes with a greengage plum flavour, clarity in its expression, reveals fine acidity towards the finish. This has a floral nature, with jasmin style notes, is refined enough to drink solo. It’s New Wave, a little arm’s length, in nature. 14°. 4,700 b. €56. 2022-23  Nov 2019

2017

attractive yellow robe; the nose has detail in its discreet pear fruit, a note of beeswax, cooked lemon, roast nuts - a harmonious start it is. The palate bears carbonic gas which I notice right away, serves a measured run of white fruits, white peach with apricot juice, and ends, unlike many, with poise and refinement. There is a floral, spring flowers note on the slightly wispy aftertaste. It’s almost New Wave, but that helps it in this hot vintage. 14.5°. 2025-26 Dec 2018

2016

fine yellow robe. The bouquet has a mild, slightly pared back style, leads on ginger, vanilla, has an inset of grapiness, apricot juice. The palate is suavely textured, runs with good ease, has a discreet flavour of pear with a sweet curl on the finish. It straddles the crisp school and the fat school of Condrieu, rather hangs out in no man’s land from that point of view. Either more decisive cut, or more boom of expression would be preferable. It’s tame, sadly. Decanting may help a little. The 13° on the label points to a desire to keep it from being flamboyant, and I don’t think that works, all the more so given the high price. To 2022 Nov 2017

2015

shiny yellow colour. Oak, roasted nuts show on the front nose, with a backing of cooked lemon, sultana raisins, aniseed. It’s a bold declaration to start the wine. The palate comes with life in its stream of white fruits, with a ginger, spiced note towards the finish, notes of orange drizzle there. It grips well on the close, where there is a revival of its oak; the length is good, and this has a discreet complexity. 14.5°. 6,000 b. €52 at the cellars. 2020-21 Oct 2016

2014 ()

shiny yellow robe. The nose opens with a burst of oak, which blocks much of the access to its fruit. There is a light note of greengage, quince fruit within. Too much oak for comfort here, even before the palate, which of course is also obviously oaked. However, there is gras to handle some of the oak. This is a made in the cellar wine as it stands. Its inherent mineral qualities would be better served with milder oaking. 13.5°. 6,000 b. €52. From 2017. 2022-23 Oct 2015 

2013

(cask) pale yellow. Has a nice and clear, loose bouquet that has airborne qualities, evokes early summer flowers, bears some toasting. The nose links closely to the palate, which is delicate, and holds clear, clean fruit. Very digestible, its freshness permitting the aperitif. Nice balance, well integrated. It has an interesting finish, with smoky, white tobacco notes there. To 2019  Jan 2015

2012 ()

pale yellow, shiny robe. Flowers and spices are sprinkled in an elegant nose, lime and soft white plum fruit are accompanied by licorice. The palate holds agreeable, clear fruit such as quince, some citrus factors present – it runs directly. Aperitif style Condrieu, doesn’t have the gras depth of the main table wines. It works a lot on its aromatics over its palate fullness. The palate is a quiet affair towards the finish, where a salty plum greengage comes forward. It lacks real grab, is a metropolitan wine, has no real commitment to local expression. There is drift on the finish. Just 3.5 stars. 13.5°. To 2018  Nov 2013

2011 ()

yellow robe. Exotic fruit, oak, notably pineapple aroma in a strong, smoky and wide bouquet. The palate has an oily debut, with pear, pineapple, cooked apple in its flavour. It ends on a lime marmalade, nut-vanilla oaking. Not in the groove yet (bottled July 2012). More to come from 2014. The finish is restrained now. It needs less oak, and drifts towards the finish which is floating, could have more carry. 13.5°. 6,000 b this year, some of it in Galopine. 2020-21  Nov 2012

2010

(bottling in two weeks) quiet, reserved nose, but has definite poise, serenity, a true ensemble; light pear with nut traces here. The palate has a supple and tempting debut, comes with good flesh, good juice, well-filled flavour, a richness that is satisfying, aromatic, honeyed, spiced. Very good. It lengthens well and finely. 14.5°. 2020-22 June 2011

2009 ()

full yellow robe; good, interesting nose demanding patience and concentration from the drinker – it is not flashy. Has a true pear near the stone aroma, grainy airs, mineral and flint. The palate is fine-boned, all very precise and structured; it lengthens well, has a red wine structure. It grips tightly, almost like a Marsanne. Firm, oaked finish. Decant this. Very suitable for veal, pork dishes, Asiatic sweet and sour plates. Length and power lie within here – I find juniper in the empty glass after tasting, and its sides are firm. From spring 2012. 13.9°. 2020-23 June 2011

2008

full yellow, though lighter than the 2007. Attractive pear aroma – cooked fruit, lime traces. The palate holds running fruit, golden fruits in a marmalade style, but it is also fresh, so keeps moving. It ends on a phenolic firmness, a bout of tannin, with salty final touches. Nice reserve – it is more elegant than the 2007, and also more clearly Condrieu. 13°. To 2016. Nov 2009

2007 ()

marked yellow, wee gold robe, legs; ample bouquet – candy, butterscotch leading aroma – glazed fruits, pineapple chunks, is a ripe do. The palate is big, with a rather burnt, incipient alcohol side as it develops along the palate. The aftertaste is oaked and firm, cutting. I find it disjointed. Suited to Vieille France cuisine, sauces, butter, cream, - its texture will seduce, since it is a real supple, fleshy affair. Foie gras, or scrambled eggs with shavings of black truffles. 14°. To 2014. Nov 2009

2006 ()

wee gold in the robe; potent air to the bouquet – up top is a lateral hover of power, with lime present; underneath it shows baked pear (not fresh pear) and white flowers that make strange bedfellows, given its power. Rich-toned palate – there is a lot of texture here, with a broad and filling late presence. Is very much on the power, and is demanding. Concentrated wine, with sound length. Hot but quite fresh on the finish. Must be drunk with food, so big is it. OTT – over the top - for me, but some will like its New World punch. 2012-13 Jan 2008

2005

yellow robe; crisp, white fruits, mineral-trimmed nose – cooked pear with oak and mineral implants. Structured like a red wine, reserved at first, then chewy late on, with lurking richness. Reserved and discreet now. The length is good and there is fullness to emerge. Has an unusual style for Condrieu – is not showing today. 14.4°, no botrytis. Drink from May 2007 on. 2012-13 “I give this a life of five years,” Jacques Grange Dec 2006

2004 ()

subtle depth in a mineral, white fruits, pear and pepper bouquet. The honeyed, apricot flavour becomes assertive at the end, pushes out. Generally elegant, a wine with sinew and a tannic coating on the finish that comes through with some chew. Sound length, structured wine. Can live - 2014-17 April 2006

2003

elegant, crème caramel, buttered aroma. Exotic fruit, banana edge to flavour, with spice to keep it going. The Viognier tannic chewiness here on finish. Well-handled, beau vin. Good end grip, with mineral outcrops. STGT wine.

2002 No Rating

NOT PRODUCED

2001

lingering, rounded potential on nose, some spice; peach, light flan flavour, buttered. Still reserved, has a certain rigour. From end 2004. 2011-12

1997 ()

good, true depth on bouquet, earthy in the Chéry style more than floral. Decent substance on palate.

1994

full wine, good acidity; pear taste, mix of modern and local, modern dominated positively. Oak has helped length.