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The Wines

25% from 1 ha Colombier (1973) at St-Michel, 33%, 25% from 1 ha La Côte Chatillon (1983) at Condrieu, 25% from 1 ha Volan (1996) at Malleval, 12.5% from 0.5 ha Coteau de Chéry at Condrieu (from 2008 vintage), 12.5% from 0.5 ha Coteau de Vernon at Condrieu (from 2012 vintage); until 2005 was 50% Colombier, 50% La Côte Châtillon, fermented, raised new 228-litre oak casks 8-9 months, malo completed, first wine 1994, half vat raising until 1997, filtered, 16-20,000 b (was 8,000 b until 2005)

2020 ()

(bottling this week) ripe yellow robe; the bouquet is full, but not too intense, the oak bringing overt toasting more than vanilla, a good thing. There are buttery, grilled notes, infused herbal tea airs, quince fruit present. The palate has a stylishly rich start, centres around a firm gras, takes a slightly red wine route in its structure, the finish emphatic, notes of tannin there. It sustains well. Take your time with this: from 2023, decant it. It will show very well around 2026. 14.5°. 2031-33 June 2021


attractive yellow robe; the bouquet centralises around a pinpoint of sweet oak and apricot, is softly floral, wide, carries potential for variety and emergence. The aroma is low-key for now, not flamboyant. The palate is a suave affair, gives a smooth flow of pear fruit, a late touch of quince and its tang that works well. Oak comes forward on the aftertaste, controlling the close. Given the degree, this has been made with the lightest of touches to avoid excess blowsiness, which, for me, represents being caught between a rock and a hard place – the exuberance of the Viognier at Condrieu is subsumed under the New Wave tones of the wine – it’s refined, but lacks resonance. 15.5°. 2029-31 Nov 2020 GB £305/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/rhoneep


shiny yellow colour; the bouquet is very obviously osked, carries a rich filling beyond that, ginger, spice, apricot, white peach. The palate offers a swell, very smoothly coated flow of dried fruits, is buttery, carries lime and walnut late on, the finish solid. There is refinement within. It has the size of the vintage, breathes a little late strength. 14.5°. From 2022 – the wait may pay off. 2032-34 Dec 2019  GB £295/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017 ()

yellow robe. The bouquet is broad, sustained, gives pear and oak toast-vanilla in a streamlined funnel, grilling, and hints of white strawberry and apricot as outliers. The fruit is notably ripe, and it’s a good start. This attacks well, is more en finesse than the nose might suggest. This is juicy, elegant, with pretty full gras at its heart, with a bit of surge as it goes. The texture is good and oily. Decant this. 14.5°. From spring 2020. 2031-33 March 2019

2016 ()

bright, rather full yellow. Has a large, broad, impressive bouquet that brims with grilling, oak, tropical fruits. Wham bang! The palate carries a generous, stylish wave of richness laced with mineral coolness that really ignites its quality. It finishes with flair, really races along to the close, oaking on the aftertaste. This is sensaround Condrieu, one that really covers the ground, and deserves turbot, lobster, veal and other joli ingredients. From spring 2018. Deacnting advised. 2027-29 Nov 2017


pale yellow, legs visible. The nose is rather ample, centres on a broad and sustained pear fruit, with southern warmth in it, ripe fruit on deck. Oak-vanilla mixes in. The palate criss-crosses with pear-apricot, stem ginger, is butty and concentrated. It’s wide across the palate, and the finish is honeyed, pretty thorough. It has a near chewy substance that suits la table – lobster in sauce and so on. Its fat wins over its freshness overall. 14.9°. 20,000 b. 2025-26 June 2017


shiny yellow robe. This is a good bouquet, off the bat, off we go: oak-toast, mineral, good lift, peach and a little pear, a cool spot of mandarin. The palate is elegant, very satisfying, has real grace, a little hidden intrigue. This is a good, clear and stylish Condrieu, hits the mark, is a top category performer. It deserves dish such as turbot, the best fish and ingredients, une bonne table. Its freshness, balance and structure are admirable. It has delightful, super elegant length. 14°. 2024-26 GB £220/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015


quite a full yellow. Prominent vanilla oak on the first nose, a banana, peanut paste effect from that; there is an inner air of spice, white raisin and peach fruit. The palate is big in scale, has a red wine constitution, a chewy, prolonged finish. Its pear, soaked fruit flavour is under the oak pump for now. Moves along with a sure step. Foods that are rich and sauced for this. This is long, sustained. 14.5°. From 2016 spring. 2024-26  €75 at the cellars. GB £270/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com £305/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Jan 2015


full yellow robe. The bouquet is deep, gives a soaked peach, brioche, white raisin, dried fruits aroma. The palate is in a quiet phase, has a flavour of ripe peach. It is grounded, firm, still slightly on its raising. A solid Condrieu that is only slowly making its way. The aftertaste brings in nuts, is firm for now. It needs to be prised open – it is a de la terre wine, so decant it, and wait until mid-2016. Drink with veal, sweetbreads, full flavours. 14°. 2026-27  Oct 2015


mid-depth yellow. Has a toasted aroma, the oak absorbing into a securely rich setting. The nose isn’t flamboyant, gives traces of Riesling petrol and glazed fruits, is wide and likely to evolve gradually. The palate has a broad debut, a wave of gras that is still tight. Its texture gives the game away about its richness. It is still on its oak in the late stages, the second half. The gras is orderly, restrained, with the finish tight, rather in a red wine manner. This is a serious Condrieu, with clear-cut tension in its finale. Has undeclared promise. Pretty long. The oak rises on the aftertaste. From 2015. 2026-27 14°. May 2013


yellow, full robe; good, filled nose, has a pretty, rolling intensity offering vanilla, a touch of flowers, smoky pear. The palate is well-textured – there is a solid build to this, while spicy, toasty new oak emerges at the end. It is only just starting out, is closely packed. It has more movement than the more static classic 2010 Condrieu here, has more tingle. It has a gradual firm underscore. The finish is compact, firm. Meaty wine that will live. Decant this. From 2013-14. 2024-26 Dec 2011

2009 ()

even yellow robe. Broad, ample nose showing oak and nutty airs; it flirst with tropical fruit, but today it is more on its oak, with honey and butter extra depth. The palate has a refined debut; there is an oak theme through it, it is powerful. Lobster would be ideal – it would soak up the oak raising and pair well with the rich heart of the wine, its fat ball of content. Good length; it has a mineral second half, and the air helps to clarify it. 2019-20 May 2011 Previously July 2010 ****(*) steady yellow colour; reserved nose that offers potential: cooked pear, white fruits, vanilla, apricot, spice mix in with some oak. There is measured early richness on the palate, delivers a sustained run until more grip comes in to it. The first half is bountiful, the second half orderly. From spring 2012 for less oak on the finish. A big but well orchestrated wine. 2019-21 July 2010


quiet full yellow colour; wide, apricot-beeswax nose, honey present, too. The palate has a pretty, juicy nature – it is refined and persistent, comes with the mystery of some spice alongside the traditional cooked pear flavour. Lovely length on this – it is aromatic and gives a mix of finesse and power. Very beau, I go for its late juiciness, mingled in with oak traces. Bottled June 2009. 14.2°. To 2018-19. “The most handsome crop that I have brought in for La Doriane was in 2008. After a year of bottle, its 100% new oak is well within the wine,” P.Guigal. July 2010


full yellow; has an oak-pebbly, pear and apricot aroma of style with a tang of mineral. The palate is well enclosed and solid, comes with a lot of heart, and its length is secure. There is a red wine structure in this. The flavours resemble pear, baked apple, brown sugar. There is heat on the finish, but also a clear tone. From 2011 for instance. 2019-20 Dec 2008


the bouquet has substance, and keeps going well, with a restrained butter note and a little white pepper and also banana: indeed, there is a lot of bouquet here – it is very big and full, sustained and silky. Pretty much top grade. On the palate, it comes right out as a really sustained wine, with good grip and width, and it keeps going well. Flavours of honey, apricot and vanilla are present. Has spice with even some nut and raisin bounty. The finale is good and clear and long. “The acidity is similar to the 2005, but the taste is fresher,” P.Guigal. Beau Vin, cracking Condrieu, way ahead of the field this year. 2018-19 Jan 2008


oaked top note with cooked pear aroma under it on the nose – white fruits with some spice: isn`t very expressive just now. Bundled fruit and a firm content on the palate. Wait – ne touchez pas. Has a mineral edging (Volan influence, quite possibly), and some late oaking is apparent. Length is OK. Has the chunky form of the vintage. From late 2007. Today the oak is too obvious. 2017-19 Jan 2007, London Previously Dec 2006 **** wide bouquet with pebbly touches; structured, currently upright wine, is good and crisp. More mineral than usual, shows good direct appeal. The addition of the Volan vineyard to compose 33% of it has added grip and clarity, and overall a gain in structure, with a clearer finish and mineral and pebble elements. The oak mingles on the finish. Can live and move into greater complexity as it goes. 2015-16 Dec 2006 Previously April 2006the two halves before the decision to include Volan: Châtillon part (cask) clear aroma, well-weighted. Fine, well-shaped matter, is refined and length good. Citrus moments on end, this is stylish sur tout. 2005 Colombier part (cask) more nutty flavour, structured wine, has a robust, almost chewy nature. Peach, buttery, broad flavour, solid and impressive. Both very good. I make the wine close to ***** April 2006


pear skin/caramel aroma, spice lies here, ahead of some honey. Honeyed fruit on palate, with vanilla. Length good. Clean finish, clean lines, I like its freshness compared to the biggest years. Esp 2007 on. 2012-13 April 2006

2003 ()

deep bouquet, hints of alcohol, spice-banana. Big start to palate, wide and meaty wine. Flavour of dried fruits and again that banana effect. Some oak in background. Sit down and sip wine. To 2011 or so. March 2005 Previously **** tight-knit, solid bouquet. Chunky wine, needs till 2006 to unpick its lock. Dried fruits/honey finale, some heat. 2013.

2002 ()

the Châtillon part: fine, quite elegant bouquet; dried fruits, sinewy pear flavours, with apricot and honey. Fine, has a dried fruit skin, oak end. Colombier: oily, hazelnut aroma; solid, austere, has a brown soil flavour/texture. Good depth, tight flavour, quite hidden wine, with a mineral finale.


cooler aromas than 2000, restrained pear; mineral, chewy dried skins, elegant and full, but burnt, rather abrupt oak finish. Let´s see.

2000 ()

broad, deep nose, oak melding well; ripe, oily texture, unctuous and enough fat to beat the oak. Fabulous richness. Esp 2004-08.

1999 ()

oak, lemon drizzle on nose. Tasty, modern style on palate. Tight, with a toasted end.

1998 ()

sustained, deep, flan-style flavour, some spiced, deft touches around it. Some floral/oak aspects on bouquet. Well worked.

1997 ()

green-gold colour; has a honey-oaked, gentle pear or softly baked fruit aroma – this is a classic, refined Condrieu Viognier, its style very hard to find outside the appellation. Orange, tangerine flavour with a fine acidity, a tender wine that carries its 1997 nature accurately. The finish is still bright, and there is a bonny glimpse of southern power there. “It is now on its sweetness and roundness – it has swallowed its oak,” Philippe Guigal. To 2013. Dec 2008 Previously ***(*) full-on bouquet, peaches, toasted, frilled almonds; very full and rich with a touch of final spice. Oak, honey mix on a long finish.


quite tight nose, some exotics, almost banana, quite earthy, not yet filled out - there is a lot of fat mass rather than a complete sum of the parts. Uneasily delicious, is off-key; final heat, the top is confected. Could need a year or so. Power wine, exotic on flavour. March 1997


sub yellow; really ample, sustained and wide, true Viognier nose - fat, cooked pears, pungent. Satisfying, tight grip, weight and acidity, good structure. Burnt edge at end, persistent