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The Wines

Viognier from sanded granite soils, purchased wine from Condrieu, Malleval, St Michel sur Rhône, Chavanay, 2 day cool decantation, 60% steel vat, 40% 1-2 year 600-litre oak cask fermented at 17-21°C, wild yeasts, raised 12 months (before late 2010s was 80-85% vat, 15-20% 600-litre oak cask fermented, raised 10 months, until early 2010s was 60% oak, 40% vat 10 months), malo blocked, unfiltered, has risen from 2,000 b to 6,000 b


fine yellow colour; restrained bouquet, a little grapey, with floral notes, has an airborne style. Decanting will help. The palate delivers pear flavours, apricot as well, lines up a little couch of firmness, near tannin, towards the finish. It’s aromatic Condrieu with some detail, a regular, steady do, a bit low on personality. The finish is on bonbon, candy notes. 14°. 2023-24 Dec 2019

2017 ()

steady yellow robe; the bouquet is on restraint, by design, a note of roast nuts, with pear, apricot, lime, butter, some grilling. The palate is snug in its rather stylish ease of content, a nugget of gras at its centre, the before and after more tight. The flavour has a grapey tone, with pear fruit prominent. This drinks with no barriers, has managed the vintage heat well, the finish orderly, pretty clear, even if there is a notion of drift there. 14°. 2025-26 Feb 2019

2016 ()

yellow colour; has a low-key, suave aroma of crème patisserie, a buttery fragrance. It’s a nose that is more in on itself than out. Decanting advised, thus. The palate is elegant, self contained, has a trim heart of stylish gras, doesn’t reach for the stars, plays a Steady Hand. The finish is rounded, quiet, reserved. It’s wholesome enough for white meats, has detail in its offer, precise acidity, freshness. It keeps going quietly, and the oak is commendably discreet. 13.5°. 2022-23 Jan 2018

2014 ()

fine yellow robe. The nose is breezy, presents a pear, pear drop aroma, a note of quince. The palate is on the lighter, more direct side of Condrieu, with crisp fruit, and a low-key depth of content. This lacks stature. There is a touch of apricot on the aftertaste. 14°. To 2018  Oct 2015

2013 ()

smoky, reserved nose. White raisin, tobacco aroma, with hints of peach and flowers: a bonny start. The palate centres on fluid pear fruit, is smooth and consistent, ends with gras roundness. It tightens on the finish, shows a bit of firmness there. Sensible quality Condrieu, no bells and whistles. 13.5°. 2018-19  Jan 2015

2012 ()

pale robe. The nose has a subtle depth, vanilla, apricot and pear, altogether offers an appealing serenity. The palate has a firm charm which is enhanced by its compact fruit, nothing loose. It lengthens steadily, is a measured Condrieu. It is a tiny bit in its shell for now. Decant. 14°. 2017-18  Nov 2013


quite a pale yellow; has a lime-lemon marmalade air with a spiced, fat centre, and an outer of baked tart, crusty pastry. The palate comes forward and delivers baked pear flavour. This is a founded, grounded wine that should be decanted and drunk with food – robust dishes over fine ones, so go for suckling pig, mushroom risottos. It is sturdy and enclosed right now. It finishes with a firm, vanilla-white raisin thrust. Respectable, without fireworks. From mid-2013. 13°. To 2018.  Nov 2012


quite a full yellow; interesting, broad and refined nose – traditional Condrieu pear and flan aromas, a hint of oak. The palate offers engaging richness, and a sympa, well modulated run of flavour, good end clarity, tints of oak. The oak on the finish needs to assimilate, so from 2011. Poised wine with a future. 13.5°. To 2016. July 2010

2008 ()

off white, cream colour. Ample, open aroma – pear with a little spirit in it, also banana – it is out there, a bit flashy. Full approach to the palate, but there is cluster of light tannin, grip towards the finish. Heat shows up late in the day, but there is a spirity run through the palate, even though the label says 13.5°. A full-on style here, tempered to some extent by the vintage cool weather. Needs food. To 2013. Dec 2009

2007 ()

off yellow, quite pale colour; has a full, hearty, broad pear aroma that comes with some spice, white pepper and vanilla pod. The palate holds low-key fruit, and proceeds at a steady pace: it runs consistently, and ends with grip. Low profile, but correct wine that could finish with more flair. 14°. To 2010. Dec 2008


aroma of light brown sugar, pear drop, more floral with air. Agreeable, fleshy attack, more buttered later. Sound roundness, fullness. Toast, smoke towards finish. Pear skin fruit present, overall is elegant


creamy, correct bouquet; quite forward, nicely pear flavour, fair length. Decent acidity, too. Sound.