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The Wines

1970 Viognier on La Ribaudy at Chavanay, 2 week steel vat fermentation, raised 60% steel vat, 40% 1-3 year 228 litre oak casks 11 months (until early 2010s was raised 25% new, 25% 1 year oak, 50% steel vat 11 months), first wine 1997, malo completed, 2,000 b

2018

pale yellow; greengage, vanilla, a hint of apricot, cooked lemon also all feature on the bouquet. This is stylish, nicely elegant, holds pinpoint gras, has a real neat centre, glides along well. It’s cool in demeanour, and its purity is excellent. It delights via its detail. There’s a touch of late tang. 14°. 2026-27 Nov 2019

2017

yellow robe. The nose is reserved, dumb, shows floral-acacia blossom airs, a wee note of pear, wax; it holds firmly. The palate is stylishly filled, has good heart, extends with a sure hand. Pear is the central flavour. There is some glow on the finish. There is more to come. Decanting an aid. 14°. €20.50 export. 2025-27 Nov 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe, quite deep. The bouquet comes with airs of nectarine, ripe peach, has a lemon curd aspect as well, a trifle of jungle fruits. The palate is nice and gourmand, bears tasty content with a rolling line of orange-style freshness towards the finish. This has good style, carries well, is a leading 2015 Condrieu. It is deft on the finish, with elegance there, much more than most. There’s a little carbonic gas as it closes. 14°. 2021-22  Oct 2016

2014

bright yellow robe. Cooked lime, honey, vanilla pod, nougat aromas mix on the nose, which has a degree of lift in it. The palate centres on spiced, citrus influenced fruits with a ginger tang as it finishes. It is pretty shapely, has lucid qualities, and some inner strength. It has the body to evolve a little. 14°. 2019-20  Oct 2015 

2013 ()

yellow robe, legs visible. The nose bears a tangerine, spiced aroma of definite depth: this is a solid opening. The palate is robust, grounded, reaches a near tannic stage as it ends, shows oak there. Decant this, and drink it with full flavoured dishes such as monkfish, veal chops. It is broad across the palate. 14°. 2020-21  Jan 2015

2012 ()

mild yellow colour. This has a “sober” bouquet, gives a round air of vanilla, peanut, cooked pineapple and orange. It has a stately, assured aspect, isn’t going anywhere fast. The palate is nicely deep-seated, bears a rolled-up layer of white plum, pear, some apricot; it then liberates a little, takes on a more saline note. Sound grip, closes well. A serious Condrieu with a life of several years ahead. Drink with lobster, crayfish, monkfish, white truffles. Its texture is quite dense, but that never slows it down – it spreads really well across the palate. 14°. 2020-21 Nov 2013

2011

medium depth yellow; banana-apricot lead air, with a soft vanilla presence, beeswax and pineapple ahead of greengage plum – the nose is varied, shows oak and some salt. The palate content is ripe, gives a flavour of pear and vanilla. It tastes as if it is going into transition, a period of change – the expression is held back, and it needs a year to lessen its oaking. The aftertaste shows the oak, also walnut. The flavours are precise, the tone of the wine elegant. 14°. From late 2013. Marked on its potential post-oak. 2017-19  Nov 2012

2010 ()

sound, bright yellow robe; the nose is nice and deep, with apricot, greengage plum fruit prominent. There is an agreeable backdrop of toast in this wide and satisfying bouquet. The palate has a stylish start, and is tasty at the mid-point. It has fine acidity and length, so it comes across as classy wine. The balance is good. There is a spot of dried fruit intensity on the aftertaste. A wine of considerable style above all. 14°.  To 2018  Sept 2012

2009

(new 500-litre oak cask, still fermenting) wide, confident nose – baked fruits such as pear, a touch nutty, and the impression of ripe, concentrated grapes. The palate is very ample, but not overdone. It is fat in the mid-late palate stages, and there is a big curve of richness in this. It ends quite clearly. Lobster, not aperitif wine, fish in sauce. 14.5° will be. To 2016. Nov 2009

2008

soft yellow robe; quiet pear, hiding bouquet (low pressure today), honey and hazelnut in the air. The palate is active, not yet hit its stride. Has a toasty aftertaste, a weaving content, pebbly touches, mid-plus weight. From late 2010 – it needs to round and settle its finish. The length is fair, with vanilla and apricot on the aftertaste. 13.5°. To 2016. Nov 2009

2007

even yellow robe; there is a pretty curve in the pear aroma, with space for grace and style. The main airs are melted banana, white pepper and spice. This has a good, measured banana/pear flavour, with balance and grip. It ends on a nice little charge, so is best with food to take in that push. There is a mineral infusion late on that helps it to move along. 14 deg. To 2013. Dec 2008

2006 ()

yellow, plus some lime in the robe; the bouquet is quite wide, and has an oaked overlay, a buttery underlay. The palate “richness” is rather contrived – it hinges on oaking, and provides some dried fruit, but a masked flavour. There is some late sugariness, maybe with residual sugar here – I wonder. A workmanlike wine, that ends on mandarin and oak. May just make it 2010 or so. 14°. Jan 2008

2005

yellow robe; the nose is reserved but holds good potential, has a soft apricot air now. Well-rounded palate, led by a peach flavour, the matter is full and well-balanced, the wine runs on richly. Good and wide at the finish, and its structure is enhanced by the good oaking. Wait a little – from mid/late 2007. To 2012. 14°. Nov 2006

2004 ()

traces of yellow in robe. Marked ripeness on nose - gold sugar fruits, apricot tart, with burnt toast imprint also. Rather forced style of wine, the assembly of ripe fruit and oak isn't there yet. Down home, robust, and not for early drinking. Try from mid-2007 on for more integration. Length is OK, quite a rich finale. Food wine, not aperitif. To 2012 April 06

2003

oak dominates bouquet, spices and toasts it, there is quite a lot of matter below. Unctuous feel, very fat on palate. Oak takes over on finish, has a buttered aftertaste, finishes clearly enough. Leave till 2006-07 unless you like obvious oak in your wine. 2011

2002

some weight, will be quite stylish with time, clear-cut.

2001

some apricot, mineral on good potential bouquet; fairly rich, slow-burn wine, compact. Butter/dried skins, oak helps length. More from 2004.