2016 Xavier Gerard, Condrieu “Cote Chatillon” Northern Rhone White, France.
One of the most beautiful Viognier wines I’ve ever tried, it’s unbelievably gorgeous, intensely mineral filled and with a lingering perfume this Xavier Gerard Cote Chatillon (single parcel) Condrieu highlights the vintage and terroir to perfection. The domaine has spectacular vineyard holdings in both Cote-Rotie and here in Condrieu, this granite soiled steep, craggy slopes of the vineyards demand that all work be done by hand, and the youthful Xavier Gerard continues the traditional practices of his family and the region in the cellar, with the use of native/spontaneous fermentation(s) and classic Northern Rhone lengthy elevage, mostly in older barrels of demi-muid size that allows this unique terroir to shine through. The Gerard Condrieu La Cote Chatillon comes from one of the estate’s finest holdings, situated in the middle of the slope overlooking the Rhone with extremely stony/rocky terrain, this cuvee from this famed lieu-dit has long been their flagship Condrieu (wine) of the winery. This amazing Viognier is gloriously expressive and exotic, but with vivid acidity, laser focus and depth of flavors. After primary fermentation is done in cuve, then the wine spends one year in a mix of mostly 500L cask and a smaller amount in 225L barrels giving a heavenly mix of rich texture and vitality of form. The palate is fine and hedonistic with layers of honeysuckle, fresh picked apricot, steely minerals, crushed stones, clarified cream, a hint of vanilla, citron, a touch of snappy spices and peach flesh all flowing in seamless detail, this is a white with the x factor and it should only get better over the next 3 to 5 years and last 10 to 15 years with graceful ease.
($66 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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