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The Wines

1994 & 2003 Viognier from 1 hectare on granite soils at Limony, fermented 70% vat, 10% new, 20% 3-4 year old 228-litre oak casks at 15-16°C, raised 9 months, malo blocked, fined, filtered, first wine 1998, 4,000 b, up from 2,600 b

2017 ()

attractive yellow colour; the nose is broad, rather wild, gives a lusty aroma that mixes peanut, oak, peach, tilleul [lime linden] infusion. It has the solid nature of the year, doesn’t present a winning charm. The palate is well-filled, genuine, has a compact couch of white fruits, white peach, with honey and apricot in the mix. It’s well measured along the palate, ends freshly, to its credit, ticks over quietly on the close. 13°. 2023-24 Dec 2018

2016 ()

fine yellow robe. Floating, wispy, floral airs are the feature of the nose, discreet pear fruit its centrepiece, lightly sizzled butter also present. It’s an attractive bouquet. The palate has a classic pear flavour with a light mineral presence through it spine. I feel the vines are growing up here now, so it bears a sage gras at its centre, and is a more relaxed wine as a result, even if it’s not from the prime Condrieu vineyards of the original appellation. I like its delicacy, and it’s a good ensemble. The fruit is bright, the balance good. There’s even a touch of spearmint on the aftertaste, though it tapers a tiny bit there. 13°. 2021-22 Jan 2018

2015 ()

yellow robe, green tints. The nose has an air of elder flower cordial, white plum and white peach, is neatly assembled. The palate takes an airborne route, offers gentle peach fruit with a light honeysuckle presence, a little late musk from that source. It finishes on a note of aniseed. This is a trim 2015 Condrieu. To 2020 Oct 2016

2013 ()

yellow robe. Notes of glazed fruits, aniseed, and a touch of  spice show on the nose; a mandarin air lurks as well. This is showing well now, has a genuine Condrieu depth and length, finishes on true southern content, a note of jam fruit there in its late glow. Good, vrai, STGT wine. It is fresh and convincing. Top drawer wine. 13.5°. €43. 2020-21 Jan 2015

2012 ()

yellow robe; melted butter, cooked pear aromas meld with tangerine, Bergamot and oak on the nose – the effect is one of stuffing, bulk in the bouquet. Sets up the prospect of la table for drinking this. The palate provides a ball of cooked fruits, a compote flavour, with light grip as it ends – this shows well. Has good heart and continuity. There are nudges of citrus and ginger along the palate. A wine of firm intent. Decant it. From spring 2014. 14°. €15 export. 2018-19  Nov 2013

2011

bottled last week: fair yellow, a pale colour. There is a mix of jam and grain on the nose – some nut, white stone fruits, tangy airs. The palate is subdued post-bottling, but a combination of banana and flan come through in the flavour after a crème patisserie, restrained start. After half way the taste develops into dried fruits, more grip, ending on a light chewy note. Sympa wine, not forced. From mid-2012. 13.5°. 2016-17 May 2012

2009

full yellow, tangerine tints. Bergamot, peach-apricot aroma, baked fruit tart. Supple, willing palate – offers generous fat all through, continues securely. Is rather low on acidity, lives in the here and now. Good aperitif, also goes very well with a tataki of wild salmon that matches its richness. 13.5°. To 2013. July 2010

2008

(6 year cask, 2003 Viognier from Rouelle Midi, sugars still fermenting slowly) *** fragrant pear and honey aroma; restrained richness on the palate, has a sympa spot of plump appeal. (2005 massale selection Viognier from Merlan *** good grip on palate, holds a simple fruit given the young vines, but the length is OK. Nice mineral touch in this. (1994 Viognier from Merlan) *** quite wide, pear drop nose; pretty palate fruit, with good nerve and a line of support, is a clear wine. OK length, too. “This the verterbral column of my Condrieu,” A.Vallet. March 2009

2007 ()

50 cl bottle: beeswax, light sense of high tone in the aroma – pear mingles in, also toasting from the oak. The palate is scented – has a tasty cooked pear flavour, and this ends notably on its oak. The finish needs to soften – it is making progress since December. Good with scallops in the meantime. 2014-15 – can keep going. March 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *** steady yellow with lime traces. Has a brisk nose – live pear and mandarin, grilled toast – with some SO2 that demands it be decanted or double decanted. The palate early on has grip, an enclosure of its elements along the palate. The mid-palate is rich, not overdone or big, and ends securely. Is not quite in its safe place yet. A touch of late burn on this. It can be drunk as aperitif or with gentle foods. There is a good tenor and good flow along the agreeable palate. From spring 2009. 13.5°. 2012. Dec 2008

2006

the aroma travels sideways across the glass – shows ripeness, and some damp wool that has a crème patisserie backing, a little spice topping. The palate reflects orthodox Condrieu, led by its pear flavour that comes with a little high tone, and some implications of its degree (13.5°). The texture is round. This goes nicely in step with a carrot-chicken-cumin salad, and the finish is rounded when drunk with that. Sound wine. To 2011. June 2008

2005

buttery, well-fashioned bouquet, has traces of lime and salt. The palate is a little “straight”, comes with a plum flavour, and a tangy, then oak finale. There is a dip in the mid-palate. Clean enough, a gentle style of wine, sympa and quite easy. As their vines age, so more body will come into the Vallet Condrieu. 13°. To 2008. Nov 2006

2004 ()

marked yellow in robe. Ample, flourishing bouquet, also a fleeting impression of mineral and freshness on top, oak toasting later on. Palate is substantial, a flavour of flan and banana, with a fresh texture nevertheless. Sound length, clear finish. Has a classy feel, even if the oak is pretty apparent - the freshness helps. 2011-12 April 2006

2002

glazed fruit aroma, ripeness here, citrus and exotic fruits mingle. Nice flesh on palate, pear, banana flavour, well done, tidy. Tightens correctly towards finish, touch mineral, some heat there.

2001 ()

floral bouquet. Rather dilute, exotic dried fruits, but halting. Pale wine, as if the vines are still too young to make an impact.