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The Wines

Viognier (early 1980s), 50% steel vat, 50% new 228-litre oak cask fermentation at 16-20°C, wild yeasts, raised 50% steel vat, 50% new 228-litre oak casks 10-11 months, lees stirred, malo completed, filtered, called Domaine Christophe Pichon until mid-2010s, 20-22,800 b

2016

fine yellow robe, glints in it. Has a bright, alert nose, citrus fruits, ginger, tang, orange marmalade. There’s a neat sub-air of lemon curd, nearly flan. This is direct, honeyed, comes with a white fruits, peach flavour with nuttiness present, some grip, a light note of bitter. It’s a buoyant, straightforward Condrieu, can drink solo. The aftertaste is honeyed. It lacks mid-late palate depth, is a trifle functional. 14°. To 2021 Mar 2018

2015

has a yellow robe that glistens. The bouquet is infused with an aroma of apricot juice, backed by some white tobacco, spicing, and a light note of white peach. The palate starts generously, hands out fleshy content with a roll of gras, rather a thick texture around it. It’s a fat Condrieu for la table, sauced dishes, risottos, mushrooms. There is grip on the finish. It seems to lack a little acidity. Decanting an aid. 14°. To 2019. Oct 2016

2014

yellow colour. The nose has a gentle quality, gives an apricot, pear fruit aroma, a hint of greengage. The palate is shapely, clear, holds lightly spiced white fruits with a white tobacco, infused tea such as camomile, grip on the finish. A Condrieu with a little mineral glint in it, and a note of tannin as well. 14°. €16 export price. 2018-19  GB £105/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015

2013

shiny yellow. There is taint on the nose of the first bottle. Bottle 2: sound yellow. The nose gives oak toasting, a peanut paste air with the backing of spice and apricot. The palate moves quietly along, is a little low on soul, is correct, but . . . It holds a little gras richness, a mild flavour of white fruits, peach, for instance. This is sensible, a bit tame. It finishes roundly. 14° To 2018. GB £108/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Jan 2015

 

2012

refined, pale yellow robe. There is an attractive little spot of tension in the nose, a clear strike, a low-key air of pear and spice, peach jam. This has a gradual, even flow palate: it gives a taste of white fruit jam, with a suave texture, good length, all in well-tuned roundness at the end, where flavours of apricot and peach turn up. A little burn, tang, on the aftertaste is out of the loop, comes with oaking. It has to sort out its finish. From mid-2014. 14°. €16 export. 2018-19  Nov 2013  Previously Oct 2012 (harvested 20 Sept, not quite finished its sugars, at 1000 now) pear, aromatic air. The palate has grip, is medium weight, fleshy. 10 Oct 2012

2011

mild yellow, some legs; pear, bonbon sweets air, fennel and toast, a note of liquid honey with spice and mandarin. The nose is still cautious, but will become a good, mixed bag over time. The palate is also careful – after a low-key peach and pear flavour on the attack. The texture is fleshy but not overdone, and it tightens gradually. Quiet persistence, good length. This is a good, orderly Condrieu, not flash. Decant it, and expect more expression in one year. The finish brings in light hazelnut. 14°. “2011 had attractive, aromatic freshness, length, good balance – you want to drink these wines. I rate them slightly ahead of 2010, helped by the acidity that brought length,” Christophe Pichon. 2019-20 Oct 2012

2010 ()

tiny advance in its pale yellow robe; has a nicely creamy air, ginger and nut in behind, like a pear coulis in its fruiting, the depth suggesting pear eau de vie for a fleeting moment. The palate has a supple debut, with the fat holding well, prior to grip on a more glowing finish. The finish also turns a note of Poire eau de vie, Poire William, along with white strawberry. Decant this. Suited to grilled fish, white meats, chicken in cream sauce, scallops, lobster, Comté cheese. 14.3°. 2018-19  Oct 2012

2009 ()

even, quite bright yellow; cooked pear, spice nose, comes with some lime freshness, is inviting, shows some good Condrieu minerality. The palate is tight-knit, not really expressive just now. It is bordered by oak and matter that is firm. The fruit and the richness are not declaring, and may do more from 2011 on, as if a pause is needed. There is definitely good matter in this. 2016-17 July 2010

2008

pale robe. Spiced top air, greengage fruit – a buzzy nose here. Brief gras on the attack, with honey-vanilla following notes. Elegant wine, not yet hit its straps, can broaden and deepen. The end is firm and closed, shows white stone fruit in the flavour there. From spring 2010 – a cold spell will help the wine come together a bit more. 14°. To 2014. Dec 2009 Previously March 2009 **(*) (casks, malo starting) pretty steady aroma that shows low-key apple fruit. The palate can be expressive and aromatic in time. This will especially do for the aperitif. The length is fair. 13.7°. “We stirred the lees a lot more than usual this year,” C.Pichon. To 2013. March 2009

2007 ()

fairly full yellow; pear, white fruits jam aroma, with a nice flicker of mineral – elegant and stylish. The palate carries on from the bouquet – has a measured, dried fruits flavour, with vanilla-pear uplift. This flows well. Ends on a well-wrapped, rounded note, is sympa to the finish, with a little late power for local imprint. To 2012 or so. Late Dec 2008 Previously early Dec 2008 ***(*) pale yellow; charming, soft aroma – with spice outcrops – it ends up pointed rather than curvaceous in shape. Honey and snappy, pear skin white fruit show through as well. The palate is good and interesting – fresh and well-integrated at the same time. Has a civilised, sound length. This palate is more mineral than floral. Not a big year. To 2011. Dec 2008

2006 ()

mid yellow colour; softly scented bouquet, with definition and clarity to it – serves up faint butter and white fruits such as greengage, and some spice. The palate debut is an agreeable bit of spice in the tangy, near exotic white fruits. Ends on a varied set of banana, oak, some citrus fruits. Is quite an “up”, alert wine that is good for the aperitif, but is capable of sound evolution. Some final heat, but not excessive. 14°. 2012-13 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2007 ***(*) pebbly, lightly spiced, lightly nutted nose, pear is the main fruit – is restrained overall. Pretty, elegant start to palate, with good grip, sprinkled with light spice. Comes in the usual refined, reserved fashion. Is tight-knit this year, the richness is not flamboyant. Correct length, live wine. 2012-13. Dec 2007

2005

soft, subtle, harmonious nose with a buttery style, a little asparagus there as well. Has its usual direct style, clear cut and subtly persistent. The palate texture is very smooth, with a classic flow – gains as it goes. Holds a nice grain, is showing well earlier than usual. Sustains well on the finish, a wine of harmony and no showiness. Very pretty softness here. To 2010. 14°. Nov 2006

2004

nut/pear aroma, quite classic, with earthy underlay. Open and expressive attack - mixes apricot, plum/quince flavours. Good length, a near marmalade finale. Interesting character, richness is apparent, but quietly done. Really good width, this is confident wine, it's all a whole. Veers towards tannin on the later stages. STGT style, can be aperitif, but food better. To 2013 April 2006 Previously March 2005 (pre-bottle) **** fragrant bouquet, white flowers, butter, nicely fresh. Promising palate - the core richness is shapely. Lasts well, holds a clear cut finish. The dried fruits flavour persists. Good glint of quality, Beau Vin. 2011-12.

2003 ()

buttery, round shape to bouquet, the richness is pretty, shows dried fruits with a low-key mineral tingle. Notably elegant start to palate, good mineral grip and light spice, sustains well. Baked tart, a wee bit of brown sugar on end, and a clear finish that is good for the vintage. Faithfully shows the reserved house style. March 2005

2002 ()

light spice/dried fruits bouquet. Nutty, pear, full wine, good integrity, nicely rich. Refined, very suave, pretty length.

2001 ()

clear-cut bouquet - orange peel/pear. Reserved palate, white fruit, pear, classic style. Charming gras. Very elegant, not the full-blown style of Condrieu.