We’re heading to Condrieu for episode 10 in the northern Rhone series. It’s an appellation that’s a bit of an outlier in the region, but it adds some welcome diversity. Viognier is the grape here: recently fashionable, as evidenced by the growth of the appellation. Back in1965 there were just 8 ha (that’s all the Viognier planted in the world at the time), but this grew to 20 ha in 1986 and then soared to 108 ha in 1995, and now stands at 202 hectares. Still not all that much.
Georges Vernay is the second largest vineyard holder in the appellation after Guigal, and one of the best. This wine is superb. But Condrieu doesn’t come cheap, alas. I reckon wines like this are best drunk within a few years of vintage.
Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu ‘Les Terrasses de l’Empire’ 2008 Northern Rhône, France
13.5% alcohol. Beautiful aromatics here : peach, pear, vanilla, melon and baked apple. It’s textured yet fresh with pear fruit dominant as well as citrus and spice character. Quite serious with a bit of grip on the finish. 93/100 (£36.75 Yapp)