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Georges Vernay Condrieu Les Chaillees de L'Enfer 2016

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750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Opulent, full-bodied and aromatic, this is a remarkably well balanced wine.

Critical Acclaim

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JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck

Even better, the 2016 Condrieu Les Chaillees de l'Enfer is vinified and aged in 25% new French oak (it’s made in the same fashion as the Coteau de Vernon). It would probably be the wine of the vintage if it wasn’t for its big brother. This vibrant gold-colored beauty boasts a huge nose of citrus blossom, tangerine, white flowers, citrus zest, and ample minerality. This is all about purity, finesse, and focus, with medium body, good acidity, and a terrific sense of salty minerality on the finish. It’s another brilliant wine from Madame Vernay.


WS 96
Wine Spectator
This is delightful, with the exotic apricot, nectarine and quince flavors typical of Condrieu but energized by ripples of honeysuckle, verbena and minerality throughout. Reveals an echo of bitter orange through the finish. Drink now through 2022.
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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, and the only one allowed in Condrieu and neighboring monopole (an entire appellation dedicated to just one winery), Château Grillet. It is also a blending variety in several appellations throughout the entire Rhône Valley. Viognier is grown throughout much of the rest of the wine world with some degree of success. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.

Tasting Notes for Viognier

Viognier is a dry, white wine with a full body and distinctive floral aromas. redolent of a full bouquet of flowers, stone and tropical fruits and a dash of spice. It is lower in acidity than most white wines, lending to its heavy impression on the palate. While a whiff of Viognier might suggest sweet flavors, these wines are typically quite dry.

Perfect Food Pairings for Viognier

Viognier is an intense, bold variety that can easily stand up to hearty food like pork loin with apricot stuffing, roasted chicken or chicken Kiev.

Sommelier Secrets for Viognier

While Viognier is a white grape, it also plays an important role in the red wines of Côte Rôtie in the northern Rhône. About 5% Viognier is typically co-fermented with the Syrah in order to stabilize the color, and as an added benefit, add a subtle perfume.

SPRDNGVLC16C_2016 Item# 516707

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