2014 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu SKU #1269170


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Tasting Notes

Condrieu is located just to the south of Côte-Rôtie in the northern part of the Rhône Valley. It is a particularly small region that solely produces Viognier. But not just any Viognier. Simply put, these are the best in the world, and Condrieu is the benchmark by which all other Viognier is measured. Domaine Clos de la Bonnette was purchased in 1992 by wife and husband team, Isabelle Guiller and Henri Montabonnet. Isabelle had her eye on this abandoned vineyard site for many years before they moved forward. The main reason that the site remained unoccupied was because the hillsides were in complete disarray, as many of the stone retaining walls had collapsed over the decades due to neglect. Restoring this property could only be done as a labor of love, not a commercial venture. Henri did most of the restoration himself, rebuilding the walls by hand. Isabelle took on the task of cultivating the indigenous flora around the property, making it more biodiverse. Because of the location of the vineyard, Henri and Isabelle are surrounded by forest, a creek and another hillside of ruins. This natural barrier allows them to more easily produce organically, a process by which they have farmed since they began replanting. The quality of the fruit is so high that Marcel Guigal wanted to purchase their grapes and put them under contract. Thankfully, they politely declined.

Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    An absolutely wonderful additional to our northern Rhone white offering, this stupendous producer is one of those world class offerings that's yet to hit the limelight, but surely will soon. Big nose of the finest buttered popcorn, although the butter is powerful, it's not overpowering and aeration brings deep yellow fruit, white flowers and big minerality. This is is what Viognier should be and exactly the reason I list Condrieu as one of my preferred appellations. Sure it's not cheap, but it roundly best big powerful whites in the price range in almost every other category.
  • John Downing
    By: John Downing
    K&L Staff Member
    My colleague Keith Mabry discovered a hidden gem during his most recent sojourn in the Northern Rhone as I can attest after having tasted this stunning Condrieu. I'm rarely convinced by most Condrieu but this one is a head turner. A round and creamy palate of subtle orchard fruits envelops a core of minerality and acidity that together make this an ethereal experience. There's an overall combination of freshness, vibrancy and complexity that make this an especially compelling wine.
  • Jacques Moreira
    By: Jacques Moreira
    K&L Staff Member
    Condrieu for me it's one of the most fascinating wines of France, if not always a bargain. That's why I was not only surprised, but actually impressed by our Buyer, Mr. Mabry, to have found in this minuscule appellation a producer for our direct import program. The exotic Viognier grape display its array of flavors in this wine. Jasmine flower, apples, quince, honey, and orange flower, but fear not, it is dry, and definitely never heavy or cloying. If you like Indian curry, do yourself a favor and pair it with this wine, for an elegant dinner party.
  • Olivia Ragni
    By: Olivia Ragni
    K&L Staff Member
    I can't believe it, we have a Direct Import Condrieu! And what a Condrieu it is! Elegant and beautiful with aromas of white flowers, wet stones, and yellow Mirabelle plum. The palate wraps your mouth in flavors of rosemary, quince, nectarine and beeswax. This white has big texture and length for days. This bottle drinks at much more than its price point.
  • Keith Mabry
    By: Keith Mabry
    K&L Staff Member
    When I visited this property in the spring of this year, it was quite a sight (and site) to behold. Just seeing the vineyards and the thoughtful detail in the farming practices, I knew before tasting the wines that I wanted to work with them. But of course, taste I must and everything I saw in the vineyards was confirmed in the glass. This is not hedonism, this is purity and balance. A focused and pure Condrieu, it is redolent with ripe apples, white nectarine, jasmine, stargazer lilies and a touch of oolong tea. This is enticing on the nose, not overblown. The palate shows nice weight and mineral tones but never comes off as heavy. In the hands of a great producer and from a great site, this is what Condrieu and Viognier can and should be: dynamic and ethereal.


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