The 2017 Condrieu Clos Chanson is the top wine in 2017 and checks in near the top of the vintage with its beautiful perfume of pear, stone fruits, crushed rocks, and flowery, exotic spices. As with the Chery cuvée, it has a distinct salinity on the palate as well as a voluptuous, layered texture, thrilling purity, and a great finish. This is haute couture at its finest and is a magical Condrieu to drink over the coming 4-5 years. Based just south of the town of Condrieu, Andre Perret continues to fashion some of the most profound Condrieu out there. In addition to his top single vineyards, don’t overlook his base Condrieu as it offers incredible quality and classic characteristics year in, year out. In addition to the Condrieu, he makes two elegant Saint Josephs that are closer in style to a Côte Rôtie than a Saint Joseph from the southern part of the appellation.
The floral, apricot-scented nose of the 2017 Condrieu Clos Chanson screams Viognier at the top of its lungs. Full-bodied, silky and rich, this is deep and long, with ample complexity in the form of spring blossoms, peppery herbs, stone fruit and pineapple. Wow. One of the stars of Condrieu, Andre Perret continues to turn out exemplary wines. He's not shy about using barrels, but they're generally older, leaving little mark on the finished wines. The two single-vineyard wines, Chery and Clos Chanson, are consistently near or at the top of the ratings. When I visited in September, the grapes for the 2018 Saint Joseph les Grisières had just been harvested, so Perret was happy to talk about recent vintages. 'I prefer '16,' he said. 'It's more balanced, more fine. Seventeen is more sunny, higher alcohol. Not an easy vintage.' It became clear that those comments were directed more toward Condrieu than his often overlooked reds when he poured me a taste of his 2009 les Grisières. 'Here, where Saint-Joseph struggles to ripen, the hot vintages are good,' he said. (JC)
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