Producer: Domaine Boissonnet
Wine: 2012 Condrieu
Varietal: 100% Viognier
Vinification: After manual harvesting, pneumatic press, alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats (from 1 to 3 wines). Maturation on fine lees with regular stirring in 10% new french oak. Bottling after 9 to 10 months of aging.
Nose: Pale gold with golden hues. Rich and opulent, with aromas of glazed fruits, white peach and apricots which develop into honey, almond and baked fruit with age.
Palate: Stone fruits, marmalade and assorted floral nuances. Supple yet mouthful, creamy with an overall freshness and great length.
Food: Drink chilled but not cold, serve with rich shellfish, lobster in cream sauce, scallops, fois gras, chicken and fish dishes, and mild Asian dishes.
Cellaring: Drink now
Serrieres, Northern Rhone
The Boissonnet family has been in the town of Serrieres in the district of Ardeche since the 17th century. The family house and the underground cellars date back to the year 1600. The first cellar was restored by André Boissonnet, and the second cellar was found by accident in the 1990's by his son Frederic, who is the current winemaker.
The vineyard estate is located in the center of the village of Serrières in the north of the Rhone Valley. The XVII house hides vaulted cellars, restored with dedication, in which the Saint Joseph and Condrieu are aged. On the steep hillsides that peer down over the Rhone, the domaine manages 30 acres with full respect of the land and the control of yields (leaf thinning, green harvesting), achieving the perfect ripeness for ultimate quality.
Frederic uses both cellars as an ideal place for aging their production of Saint-Joseph and Condrieu. 1990 was an outstanding vintage as well as a turning point in the life of the domaine, which at the time was only comprised of five acres of red Saint Joseph: Frederic vinified his first cuvees as he took over the domaine that year. The domaine grew to 22 acres with Saint Joseph white in 1994 and Condrieu in 1995.
Tucked right up in the north of the Rhône Valley on the river’s right bank is the Condrieu appellation. These are made from Viognier grapes, planted on narrow terraces, here in their spiritual homeland. The true Condrieu aficionado will know to move away from the village center, and will explore the winding maze of hillside vineyards in search of the grapes of this famously aromatic, golden wine. The AOC area measures around 495 acres and has become a global standard, particularly in the US.
t is likely that Viognier has been grown in Condrieu since the time of the ancient Greeks. Emperor Domitian had the vines pulled up in 92 AD, as he felt they were a bad influence on his soldiers. Around 280 AD, however, emperor Probus had them replanted, declaring that on the contrary, their effect on the army was beneficial. In the 12th century, the area archbishop built a fortress overlooking the town to fend off enemy attacks. It still stands today. Like Saint Michel and Vérin, Condrieu then became home to the sailors who transported goods and people along the Rhône between Lyon and Beaucaire. Wines from Condrieu have been popular for many generations; they were particularly highly regarded by the Avignon Popes, while famous epicure Curnonsky believed they were among the best white wines in France. There were difficult times, of course. Phylloxera, World War 1, World War 2 and industrialization all took their toll. By the 1950s, there were only a dozen or so hectares left planted with vine, across the communes of Condrieu, Vérin and Saint Michel. A handful of winegrowers however, the AOC revival started in the 1980s. Abandoned hillsides were replanted and terrace walls were rebuilt. In 1986, the AOC boundaries were revised, retaining only the slopes with the best exposure. Nowadays the AOC covers 495 acres of vineyards.
The appellation area encompasses the 7 communes of Condrieu, St Michel sur Rhône, Vérin, Chavanay, Saint Pierre de Boeuf, Malleval and Limony, in the Rhône, Loire and Ardèche districts.
Information by: Vins Rhone
The right bank of the Rhône Valley between Saint Romain en Gal and Serrières is characterized by greatly contrasting landscapes. The Rhône’s most recent alluvial deposits, the flat terraces, come up sharply against the steep inclines that provide access between them and the Plateau de Pélussin. This is where the vineyards grow, clinging to the parent rock in long, narrow “chayées” needing constant upkeep. The deepest part of the rocky outcrops here is granite. Inside the altered fringe, the soils have a friable texture, while the fissures are rich in clay.
The fissures provide ideal conditions for the Condrieu vines to root and flourish, not least because the clay supplies moisture when most needed. The outermost layer of the fringe never becomes thick on the slopes, and is made up of altered and unaltered minerals, rock fragments and clay. The chayée terraces ensure this section of the vineyard never compacts, resulting in a soil that is richer in organic matter.
Information by: Vins Rhone