One of the most singular, majestic Condrieu I’ve ever tasted is the 2015 Condrieu Coteau De Vernon. I wish I could pour a taste of this heavenly wine for every reader. White peach, white flowers, hints of citrus oil, and subtle minerality all flow to a thrilling pure, elegant, yet powerful wine that could only come from this incredible terroir. Long and silky, with nothing out of place, it's as good as Condrieu gets. The benchmark estate in Condrieu is unquestionably that of Christine Vernay, who pulls from the magical hillside of Coteau du Vernon located just behind her home. This is pure granite terroir and all three of her Condrieu come basically from this steep hillside. Christine prefers a slightly longer élevage on her Condrieu, with the 2015s being the current release. I’ll review her 2016s next year. In addition to heavenly Condrieu, she makes a terrific set of Côte Rôtie.
(25 percent new oak) Limpid gold. Penetrating aromas of ripe citrus and pit fruits, violet and honey are joined by suggestions of chalky minerals and ginger. Juicy and deeply concentrated on the palate, offering expansive pear nectar, Meyer lemon and floral flavors that show superb clarity and mineral drive. There's a wonderful blend of richness and energy here, and I can find no rough edges. The mineral and floral notes carry strongly through the strikingly long, incisive, seamless finish, which hangs on with outstanding focus and tenacity. (JR)
The oldest vineyard of viognier in existence, the oldest is 1936 (before the appellation), another parcel in 1960. Super chalky, spicy and fragrant with dried white flowers and light honey. The oak is very well integrated. The palate has powerful presence and immense weight with phenolics, mineral saltiness, and long, pure apricot fruit. Drink now.
For the vintage, the 2015 Condrieu Coteaux du Vernon shows notable tension. It's tight, citrusy and gingery on the nose, then a bit lean on the palate, showing hints of bergamot and lime. Somehow, the finish manages to combine velvety richness and vibrant zestiness into a coherent, harmonious whole. (JC)
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