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Guigal Condrieu 2006

Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • RP95
  • JS94
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

Condrieu is the original home of the Viognier vine, and is the source of one of the world's most exotic white wines. The tiny, parcelated appellation (500 acres total/200 planted) is located on steep hillsides beginning at a bend in the Rhône River just south of Côte Rôtie and continuing intermittently about 12 miles further south. Marcel and Philippe Guigal supplement the production of their own Condrieu vineyards with a small amount of grapes purchased from growers, vinifying the wine in stainless steel (two-thirds) and barrique (one-third). The delicately elusive perfume suggests pears, spice, and honeysuckle, while on the palate the wine is surprisingly rich and full-bodied, a wine equally for the intellect and the senses. Condrieu may be enjoyed as an aperitif, with foie gras, lobster and other rich seafoods, and (some say) white asparagus.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator

Rich and refined, with a gorgeous mouthfeel carrying flavors of quince, persimmon and melon, all pushed by a bright minerality on the finish. Drink now through 2011.

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

Perhaps the finest basic cuvee Guigal has yet made, the 2006 Condrieu exhibits superb acacia flower, white peach, honeysuckle, and mineral characteristics in a medium to full-bodied , gorgeous style with zesty acidity in the background.

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Guigal

Guigal

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Guigal, , France - Rhone
Guigal
The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Côte-Rôtie. In these vineyards that are over 2400 years old, you can still see the small terraced walls characteristic of the Roman period. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine for over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, participated in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment.

Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961 when the latter was victim to a brutal illness rendering him blind. Marcel's hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy out Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In 2000, the Guigals purchased the Jean-Louis Grippat estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage, as well as the Domaine de Vallouit in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.

In the cellars of the Guigal estate in Ampuis, the northern appellations of the Rhône Valley are produced and aged. These are the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The great appellations of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône, are also aged in the Ampuis cellars.

Howell Mountain

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

HPR277764_2006 Item# 95032

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