As to the Condrieu, I was shocked at the quality of both new releases. The entry-level cuvée is the 2015 Condrieu Invitare. A flat-out great example of the appellation, it offers lots of caramelized peaches, tangerine, orange blossom and crushed rock-like characteristics in its rich, yet fresh and elegant style. Not enough can be said about the quality that consistently comes from this estate. From the top to the bottom of the range, you can’t go wrong. And while the prices at the top are frightfully expensive (they’re out of my zip code), there are incredible values from St Péray, St Joseph, Cornas and Crozes Hermitage that should be snatched up by readers. Looking at the 2014s reviewed here, these shine for their elegance and purity, and are certainly some of the most concentrated wines in the vintage. Readers shouldn’t forget that while 2014 was a complicated vintage for the reds, the whites are gorgeous. As to the 2015s, these massive and concentrated wines are going to demand patience, but at the top end, I suspect will be as good as wine gets.
The 2015 Condrieu Invitare is a remarkably lithe and pure Viognier, with lilting fennel and yellow apple notes that glide through the kaffir lime accented finish.
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2016 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Impériale - Vignes Centenaires" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)