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The Wines

1980s/1990s Viognier from granite soils on Vernon at Condrieu, cool decantation, wild yeasts, 45-50% new, 50-55% 1-2 year 225-litre oak cask fermented (before late 2000s was 80% new, 20% 1-2 year oak fermented), raised without any racking 18 months, occasional lees stirring through to end of raising when 1 stirring a month done, malo completed, egg white fined, filtered, first wine 2001, called Vertige until 2015, "drink with foie gras either fresh or fried", 2,700-5,600 b

2015

(casks) golden-hued robe. The nose is sultry, very broad, has an air of sultana, white raisin, with a butter-caramel background insistence. The palate comes as a rich, oily, close-knit affair, has inner punch, with just a little juice on the finish. This could come from well further south, with a cap doffed to dessert wine from Sicily, for example. The flavour centres on white raisin, vanilla. It needs la table, white meats, ris de veau (sweetbreads) and friends. From spring 2018. 2025-26 Oct 2016

2014

(casks) pretty full yellow robe. The nose mixes toasted oak, pine with a ginger snap, cooked lemon. It is rather abrupt. The palate holds stewed white fruits which lack precise definition. There is an orange marmalade flavour on the aftertaste. This isn’t a real ensemble, comes in fits and starts, different parts. There is some freshness on the finish, which is the lifeline of hope. It has body enough to live a little while. 13.5°. 2,700 b.  2020-21  Oct 2015 

2013

bottled last week: pale robe. Has a structured, firm nose with reserves, comes in a pear coulis/liqueur style, the depth good. The attack is solid, sealed – this has a red wine feel, a couch of white fruit compote at the centre of its flavour, the length steady. It has sinew, demands food – pork would be good, as would salmon. It needs to breathe - decant it. 13.5°. 2023-24  Feb 2015 Previously Jan 2015 *** (casks) quite a full yellow, legs. Has an oaked aroma, so there are airs of banana, copious stewed white fruits, vanilla. The palate is laced with exotic fruit flavours, passion fruit, guava, pineapple. It is medium weight. Modern, oaked, slightly formulaic Condrieu. It ends a little quietly. 13.5°. From late 2015.  Only 2,700 b this year.  2020-22  GB £258/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com  Jan 2015

2012

(casks) cloudy, off yellow, creamy-tinted robe, not that clear. Apricot, white strawberry, waxen airs – the bouquet is pretty firm, serious. This is a close-knit, solid start. The palate is a tight bundle of pear and plum fruit with touches of tannin firming its sides. It ends firmly and clearly. This is a table wine for superior cuisine – veal good, pork dishes, but also good old cardoons. There is a sense of alcohol, eau de vie, towards the finish. 13°. 2020-21  Nov 2013

2011

(casks) rather cloudy yellow, a touch of apricot in its hue. Honey, pineapple and beeswax aggregate in a full bouquet, has a wide spread, shows rich white jam or marmalade: this is a big bouquet. The palate has a sturdy debut, with oxidative notes which are more part of its style than stemming from its reality. Pear is central to its flavour. It ends on a nut, peanut and vanilla, compact mix, a firm sign-off. Good for full fish such as tuna or salmon, also cheeses. Decant this. A masculine, doughty Condrieu that should only be drunk à table. Has an imposing style, and the tannin to live into a second, interesting stage. I am not surprised to find it is brut, not yet bottled (tasted blind). 2019-21  Nov 2012

2010

(bottling in 2 weeks) soft, pale yellow with light green touches. Has a forward, pushy air – the front of the queue for this wine, wants to be noticed, a touch of the “Hello Mum” signs. Pear, bonbon, honey feature here – there is no shyness. The palate is tight, rather solid, with an oiliness in its texture. It gives a sense of white stone fruit eaten near the stone. Some oak shows up, and there is note of burn. Has a firm, sound conclusion, the length is confirmed. Decant this. From spring 2013. 2022-24 Feb 2012 Previously Nov 2011 *** (cask) soft yellow robe. Wide, insistent nose, brioche, baked fruit tarts, a bouquet that wants to be noticed. The fruit resembles pear, comes with toast-oak, pineapple. Has a gras front and end, a chubby palate with fat and not a lot of movement. It shows some bite towards the finish, but I find it is just there in the glass, no more – is not the fruit of inspiration. Dried apricot, white strawberry jam on the aftertaste. Hasn`t been bottled, so can move up a little. 2017-18 Nov 2011

2009

(cask) off yellow, pear colour, this is cloudy. Vanilla, pear, slightly floral air, with fruit tart – there is a certain finesse in the nose. Rich but insecure palate: it starts on a burst of white fruit, then retreats and tones down, ending on a nutty, buttery, subdued note. Decant this. Shows late oak, can develop – drink from mid-2011. Nose better than palate now. 2016-17 July 2010

2008 ()

legs in a pale yellow robe. Wax, tangy, near mandarin or bergamot air. The palate starts out on the stretch, then traverses a gras stage and comes out fresh, floral. It starts with grip, a tight texture. The length is OK. Clear Viognier at the end. There is nothing big about this, which reflects the nobility of the terroir. From spring 2012. 13°. “The pH is about 0.2 less than usual this year,” Y.C. 2021-23, can live. March 2011

2006

(cask) light gold beyond a full yellow colour; has a wide, pineapple-led nose with a “cool” top note, and some honey and banana flambé for good measure. The palate is enclosed, and at a cautious stage in its evolution. Towards the finish, it shows some pear, dried fruits and maybe a touch of eau de vie. There is plenty of gras, and enough grip to do well once it has been bottled. 2015-16 Dec 2007

2005

broad, firm nose with a stout air to it – pineapple, nutty and spicy. Sinewed feel to the palate, with good underlying richness. Has a solid finish. Not an aperitif wine – best with fish in sauce, such as a darned good turbot. 2018-19 June 2007 Previously Nov 2006 ***(*) (pre-bottle) nice, sweet smiling bouquet – round in shape, with pear and baked banana. There is a rich pear context for its oak – proceeds well, is smooth all the way to the finish. The oak has been well handled. There is some banana in the aftertaste right now at this primary stage. A food wine – works on its overt richness and a really smooth texture. Ends with some heat/alcohol. From late 2007. To 2013-14 Nov 2006

2004

straw, near gold colour. Creme brulee style aroma, is weighty. Big scale palate from its ripe fruit, with some alcohol here. Avoids heaviness, though. In the dessert wine shape, not an easy food companion unless it's foie gras or rich, sauced food. A sipping wine, rather cellar pushed. Honey, dry aftertaste from the oak. Boudoir Wine. 2013-14. April 2006

2002

yellow colour. Full, heavy, plush bouquet. Palate has marked extreme ripeness, with dried fruits, dates flavour. Sipping, not drinking wine. Exotic fruits, pineapple and oak mixed up together. Pretty fat wine, oak on aftertaste

2001

(cask) opulent nose, burnt sugar/oak, gras; very suave, well-directed palate. Good length, lot of finesse, broadens well.