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The Wines

1988 Viognier from south facing terraces at Côte Châtillon at Condrieu, fermented at 16-18°C, raised 50% new, 50% 1-year 400-litre oak casks (until mid-2000s was all new oak) 9 months, lees stirred weekly, malo usually completed, fined, filtered, 3-5,000 b

2018

clear yellow robe; the bouquet has style, engages with a floral-buttery aroma, a note of cooked lemon and flan. The palate links well to the nose, runs with a smooth delivery of neat white fruits, hints of white plum, followed by oak on the finish. It’s relatively fine and well defined in the late moments, with floral touches before the finish. 13.5°. 5,000 b. €34. 2025-26 Nov 2019

2016

yellow robe. This has an air of refined, but comfortably full pear, with fennel, licorice, toasting, greengage, banana flambé. The palate is well geared around the mineral of Châtillon, and its fleshy inner, is STGT wine. There is a good, polite stream of white fruits all along, and a good, smooth, feathery texture; it has a dainty presence. It’s refined enough for the aperitif! I would favour nouvelle cuisine over traditional with it. 13.5°. 2023-24 Mar 2018

2015 ()

two casks 1) (1 year 400-litre cask, malo completed on this cask) **** bright yellow robe. Pear and notable toast, a little guava jelly show on the front nose. It hasn’t been racked so there is carbonic gas to protect it. The palate goes directly, with citrus influences, peach fruit, greengage plum. It needs time: wait until spring to mid-2017. It finishes well on fine juice. A table wine, suited to sauced dishes. “It is more dense, less crystalline than 2014,” Christophe Bonnefond. 2023-24 2) (1-year 400-litre cask, but the malo won’t be done on this) ***(*) yellow robe, pretty full. Exotic fruits show on the nose, with a cooked lemon interior, pineapple. It has fat via its ripeness and a little menthol. The palate travels directly, funnels along with a good sweep of plum fruit. This has a different shape to the previous 2015 – it holds much less gras, is more direct, also reserved. To 2022 “The 2015 Condrieu doesn’t have a lot of acidity, and 2014 will live longer,” Christophe Bonnefond. April 2016  

2014

clear, shiny yellow robe. The nose is stylish, very appealing, is a mix of crème patisserie, white strawberries, lime, apricot – quite a bundle. The palate has a juicy, textured debut, rolls on that texture. It takes on smoke, aniseed, tobacco towards the finish. This is thorough, true, elegant Condrieu with flowers such as honeysuckle in it. It is balanced, STGT wine. 13.8°. 2023-24 April 2016

2013

yellow robe. Oak, toasting feature on the nose with orange peel, grapefruit, lime. The nose has a good variety of aromas, but there is still some oak. The palate offers bright fruit – it is clear, and runs well, shows mineral qualities. It is cool all through in a good manner. There is soft gras at its heart, and it is absorbing its oak well. 13.5°. To 2020 April 2016

2012

pale yellow robe; plenty of goings-on in the bouquet - pear, vanilla, ice cream, wax, honeycomb, pear skin and white fruits compote. The palate is nicely close-knit after the open fat of the nose; it has a textured gras, ends on more liqueur of Poire William notes. A regular level Condrieu, slightly tame. Decant, but also drink from spring 2014 to see if it wakes up. I am not sure how much more expression it will gain. It travels directly, and could have a bit more late weight. Time may aid its structure. Bottled June 2013. 13.5°. €32. 2019-21 Nov 2013

2011 ()

pale yellow, green tints. Acacia flowers, apricot, pear jam notes feature in a varied bouquet, has a light hazelnut air. The palate runs on some “high” fruit, an essence of pear, a note of lavender at the end, tilleul (linden), aniseed – they give interesting prompts. Its gras is supple, likeable. Drink with steamed fish, soft cheese. There is a wee bit of bitter and darkness and mandarin cut on the finish. 13.5°. To 2019  Nov 2013

2009

sound yellow robe; toasty, white raisin, quite high octane bouquet – eau de vie, nearly Poire William country, with oak-toast as well. The palate goes off with a full push, is packed within, does not pause for grace or charm. It recedes at the end, where there is a spirity hover never far away. Balance is in question here. 14°. To 2014. July 2010 Previously Nov 2009 **(*) 1) (new oak, malo not yet done) ** the nose holds up, and there is depth in it. The palate moves aromatically and consecutively, is very consistent, has a big finish that stamps its foot, ends on a charged note (is close to 15°). 2) (1 year oak) **(*) a wide run of aroma that is all knit together here. The palate is beefy, is quite muscled and an engrained heat murmurs inside. Correct length. A big scale, copious wine, but mercifully it is not on the sticky side. To 2015. Nov 2009

2008 ()

(1/2 bottle) quite yellow robe. Has a mandarin, orange peel aroma – it comes with gracious spring white flowers, is really inviting, offers a lovely elegance. The palate is fine, the flavour is flan and hazelnut, the texture good. It ends on a clear-cut, more mineral note. A wine of good style – a fresh Condrieu. 13.5°. 2014-16 Nov 2009

2006 ()

mid level yellow; the nose assembles baked fruit tart, dried fruits, a little white peach. Has a partly honeyed, mild brown sugar, or barley sugar flavour, with some orange inlay to it. Drinks OK, although its cohesion is fragile. Lacks depth, like many this year. 13°. 2009-10 Jan 2008

2004

(pre-bottle) bouquet on the floral trail, shows potential. Rich, well-balanced palate, with good content, pretty flavour. Finish clean, Good weight of wine, and style. March 2005

2003

baked apple, tarte tatin nose, buttery and pear also. Butterscotch, marmalade flavours - very much show the vintage imprint. Marked evolution here, but goes well with the monkfish wrapped in bacon dish. Half bottle, December 2005 Previously ** overtly oaked nose, some ripe fruit behind, has fair style. An upright form of Condrieu, oak is woven into it, and rules right now. May assimilate the oak by around 2006, but it's a pity to have to wait for that, because the early swirl of aromas will have departed by then.

2002 ()

live, a squeeze of fat in middle, not a big year; OK.

2001 ()

zesty, light pear/green apple aroma, air rounds it, brings white peach. Palate steps up a gear - round, elegant, stylish. Pear/custard and melted butter, brown sugar finish. Tidy fullness.

2000

subtle white fruit bouquet, light spice and flan. Pretty full palate, the middle is rich then calms and runs on well to an orderly finale. Buttery, dried peaches flavour, with a tinkle of end oak. March 2005