Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2012 Front Label
Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2012 Front LabelGeorges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2012 Front Bottle ShotGeorges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2012 Back Bottle Shot

Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2012

  • WS93
  • RP93
  • W&S91
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The term "Chaillees" comes from regional dialect meaning 'rocky' and is in reference to the dry stone walls that form the terraces of this plot. In times gone by those who traversed the plot would often be heard to say "On est a l'Enfer," 'We are in hell,' in reference to the intense heat one would be made to endure owing to the plots south facing exposition and thus this is how "Les Chaillees d'Enfer," 'The Terraces of Hell' comes by its name.

Opulent, full bodied and aromatic this is a remarkably well balanced wine. Drunk well even in its youth, several years of ageing however will allow it to fully reveal its charms.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
A lively style, with a piercing feel to the anise, kiwifruit and quince flavors, followed by intense mirabelle plum, pear eau-de-vie and green almond notes. The long, minerally edge holds the finish.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A smaller production release that comes from the steep slope just to the south of where the Terrasses de l’Empire comes from, the 2012 Condrieu Les Chaillées de l’Enfer has terrific tangerine, citrus blossom, brioche and subtle apricot aromas and flavors. From vines planted in 1957, and aged 12 months in 25% new French oak, it’s a medium to full-bodied, vibrant, gorgeously pure effort to drink over the coming 2-3 years. Of the three releases, this is the most classic.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
These "infernal terraces" produced a ripe, juicy Condrieu in 2012, which roasted peach flavors and a rich, warm stoniness, The citrusy lemon acidity keeps it fresh, lasting with elegance.
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Georges Vernay

Georges Vernay

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Georges Vernay, France
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Condrieu is the original home of the Viognier grape, having been planted here since the Roman occupation in the third century. In 1940 it was officially made an appellation. In those early days, it was Georges Vernay and his father Francis who were instrumental in guiding the appellation into the future. Francis served as the first treasurer for the Condrieu Growers' Union and it was George who was influential in delimiting the boundaries of the appellation to ensure that only those wines from the vines planted on the steep, granite hillsides could call themselves Condrieu. In 1996, Christine Vernay took over the family domaine after her father Georges retired. Under her watch, the wines have become even more delicate and nuanced. In addition to world class Viognier, she has been crafting some of the top Côte-Rôtie here, and critics have taken notice. In 2013, Christine was given the prestigious award of "Winemaker of the Year" by Bettane & Dessauve.

A pioneer in the renewal of the Condrieu appellation, Domaine Georges Vernay has always made wines of unique style, notable for their finesse, elegance and harmony. The property has become a major emblem of Rhone Valley winegrowing, from the time when Georges Vernay saved the Condrieu appellation to the international awards earned by Christine Vernay’s Côte-Rôtie. Three generations have left the mark of the philosophy on the estate, while perpetuating its traditions in the greatest respect for both vines and winegrowers.

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As the source of some of the most vibrant and powerful white wines in France, Condrieu is uniquely situated in one of the northern outposts of the Rhone River. It is the original Viognier appellation with a wine growing history reaching back well over two thousand years. Like most of the wine regions of the Northern Rhone, Condrieu’s vines grow on extremely steep and narrow granite terraces. But what makes the region unique is a topsoil, locally called, “arzelle,” made of decomposed mica. This and a sheltering of the harsh northern winds, make optimal sites to produce opulent and brilliant Viognier. It is a tiny zone with no room for expansion and produces miniscule amounts of wine each year, contributing to its allure.

A fine Condrieu will have aromas and flavors suggestive of ripe stone fruit, lime peel, green almond, ginger, white flowers and toasted nuts. A honeyed smell may mislead you to think the wine will be sweet but the modern style favors totally dry on the palate. Its texture will be full and soft but a touch of mineral will provide great balance.

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Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône where it is used both to produce single varietal wines and as an important blending grape. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.

DNSDN1107_2012 Item# 135062

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