Georges Vernay Condrieu Terrasses de l'Empire 2012
Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
The Georges Vernay Condrieu "Terrasses de l'Empire" is an excellent example of Rhone Viognier with the unique flavors of white peach and flowers with the elegance, delicacy and charm typified of this style . A Condrieu steeped in harmony, freshness with aromatic quality to finish the wine with beautiful balance.
International Wine Cellar - "Pale gold. Powerful, mineral-drenched aromas of lime zest, pear skin, violet and quinine, with a suave, smoky overtone. Juicy, intense and dense, offering chewy orchard and citrus fruit flavors, building spiciness and strong minerality. Penetrating acidity energizes the smoky, strikingly persistent finish, with the pear and quinine notes repeating. No excess fat here."
Wine Spectator - "A fresh style, with yellow apple and melon rind notes framing a core of apricot and creamed peach. Hints of bitter almond and orange line the finish, lending good definition."
The Wine Advocate - "Always the first to be released, the 2012 Condrieu Les Terrasses de l’Empire is a downright pretty, perfumed and elegant example of the appellation, with notions of white peach, apricot jam, lychee nut and white flowers emerging from the glass. Fresh, supple and yet beautifully textured, it should be enjoyed over the coming 4-5 years."
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Georges Vernay Winery
GEORGES VERNAY created the family business with 1.5 hectares of AOC Condrieu "Coteau du Vernon" vineyards.
Towards the end of the 40's, GeorgesVernay became one of the most ardent defenders and saviours of the Appellation, then about to disappear.
Today, the vinification is assured by his children Luc and Christine VERNAY and the estate extends over 16 hectares:
7 hectares in the appellation Condrieu, of which 3 hectares are old vines producing 2 prestigious vineyards matured in barrels: the "Coteau de Vernon" and "Les Chaillées de l'Enfer".
Both vineyards represent the quintessence of Condrieu's Viognier vine. These exquisite incomparable white wines with their golden colour are of great nobleness, full-bodied, unctuous and persistent.
3 hectares of Côte Rotie
1.5 hectares of Saint Joseph
5 hectares of Syrah and Viognier View all Georges Vernay Wines
About CondrieuView a map of Condrieu wineries (con-dree-UH)
This tiny appellation just south of Cote Rotie produces all white wine, all from Viognier, the heady, perfumed grape that is at its best in the Northern Rhone. The slopes are south facing and made of granite, with a very specific top soil made from mica, called arzelle. Condrieu is small, with only 300 acres of vine. Within Condrieu lies Chateau Grillet, a sole estate and an appellation – the smallest one in France at under 9 acres of vine. Also a Viognier-only region, the wines from here are small production (obviously) so somewhat expensive, but not always superior in quality to Condrieu.
Notable FactsDue to Viognier's fickle nature, the yields in Condrieu are kept low and the grapes are carefully tended. This in turn leads to low production and high quality - not to mention high prices. Slopes face the south and so protect the vines from the disruptive (yet cooling) winds of the Mistral. The wine is meant to be drunk young (within 3 years) because the grape does not often have the acid to hold the wine up for longevity. Typical of Viognier, the wines exude intense scents of apricot and honeysuckle. For the true essence of Viognier, Condrieu is the wine to try.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.