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The Wines

Viognier (50% late-1980s, mid-1990s, 50% 2013, massale cuttings from old vineyard on Volan) from hard granite soils at Malleval, fermented, raised 1-7 year 228-litre casks (some 1-year casks from Ch d’Yquem) 9 months, malo completed, (before late 2010s was 33% new casks, which dropped to 0% by 2017, rest was 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks), filtered, 3,600-5,400 b

2018 ()

full, bright yellow; the bouquet has a musky swirl of mixed white fruits, apricot juice, white peach, its curvy nature appealing. It doesn’t stray into excess, is well together. The palate holds rich, sustained content, with intensity from the vintage, the second half notably full and firm. This is true Malleval Condrieu, has the iron firmness of its place, and that underpins it most importantly. The length is good, indeed is impressive, lingering. We have high quality Condrieu here, for la table, and evolution. It will adore sweetbreads, pieds et paquets, sauced dishes from la Vieille France. 14°. 2029-31 Feb 2020

2015 ()

shiny yellow colour. The bouquet swirls on orange zest, apricot, white raisin: it’s a mixed bag, ripe, wide and up tempo in style, comes with some oak. The palate is sturdy, red wine-like in composition. It has inner strength, and will very well accompany serious cuisine, dishes with noble elements – lobster, poulet (chicken) de Bresse, the best of the land and sea. There is a deft mingling of freshness and body, the flavour involving citrus, white peach, raisin and vanilla. It doesn’t hand out all its wares as yet, has cards up its sleeve, which adds to its appeal. 13.5°. 4,500 b. 2023-25 Oct 2016

2013

yellow robe. A stewed pear aroma lies in a cautious nose, one that has some inner power; there is also an air of glazed fruits here. This is a more high octane Condrieu - it pushes out forcefully and requires food. It is a touch on the tannic side, with a little greenness. There is a glow of power on the aftertaste. It holds a more obvious degree of alcohol than most this year. 5,000 b this year, rising. 13.5°. 2021-22  Jan 2015

2012 ()

pale robe; broad, well filled, prominent bouquet that has an alert air, has oak across it which is bright. A good mix of depth and freshness here: subtle white fruits are present. The palate is attractive; tangy fruit in the clear-cut 2012 vein precedes a gentle spread of body, the flavour centred on cooked pear and apricot. This is all nicely together, has good grip, shows “steel” and potential. The oak means that there is a vanilla nudge on the exit, which is still a little square. Drink from spring 2014. Classy Condrieu of poise and appealing clarity -  it’s a pleasure to make its acquaintance. 13.5°. 2021-23  Sept 2013

2011 ()

mild yellow. Has a “crunchy” pear fruit air, offering smoke, white tobacco, minting and toast from its oak; pear skin and vanilla also right here in the nose. The palate shows less oak than the nose, possesses bonny, stylish fat. It spreads its favours well after half way, the middle juicy before it straightens elegantly, with freshness. The acidity is fine. The finish is quiet, and the fruit struggles against the oak on the aftertaste. “I have cut back from 50% new oak to 30% new oak, and may cut further,” Louis Barruol. 2018-19  Dec 2012

2010 ()

pale, flinty colour; the bouquet extends well across the glass, has marked oak vanilla in it, a mineral inset, and is rather explosive, live. The palate has a fine debut, holds well-founded gras richness, extends on a fine grain run, combining a mineral, warm stones, oak trio. The clarity of the wine is an important feature. Good length. An intricate, not obvious wine. 13.5°. To 2017. Jan 2012

2009

(steel vat, to be bottled in 2 days) pale yellow. This is a rich bouquet – offers a wave of creamy fruit with glints of toast and spice. The palate runs into a broad mass of matter, is robust, wide, full. Has a thorough finish, the length is good. Sauced dishes ideal with this. 2016-17 June 2010

2008

yellow robe; pear, glazed fruits aroma – the nose shows interesting evolution, notes of wax and verbena. The palate declares right out there – gives an explosion of sideways, guava style fruit, is very expressive. Going very well. Right up to good fish dishes, turbot, halibut, for instance. 13.5°. To 2016  May 2013  Previously Dec 2009 ** full yellow robe, legs. Wide, oak and flan pudding aroma, with peach and apricot fruits, barley sugar, prominent oak. Full scale palate – it is broad, and the texture is smooth until oak shows up at the end. A rather cellar-led, big production. From mid-2010 – the oak is excessive now. Food best. 13.5°. To 2014. Dec 2009

2007

even depth yellow; has a big, brewed aroma of pear and custard, also vanilla-peanut – it is broad and virile, with some caution and restraint for now. The palate exudes an obvious power, while its extract has a high tone uplift in it. Finishes on pear sweets or bonbons and hazelnut. Full, assertive wine that ends with a hint of power. 13.5°. 2011-12. Dec 2008

2003

banana custard, mandarin skin topping on nose - is fat, ample. Palate shows ripe fruit, plenty of buttery fat, ends cleanly. Nice full wine. Contains more flesh than some 2003 Condrieus. July 2005

2000

rich, oily bouquet, ripe fruit used, orange zest here. Full, solid palate, structurally this could be taken for a red. Has character and can improve with some age.

1998

gentle, oily nose, nice and tight, orderly. Rather hidden on the palate. Has prospects, works more on the mineral than the fat. Bottled June 1999, all new oak. March 2000