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Guigal Condrieu 2006

Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
  • WS92
  • RP92
0% ABV
  • 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
Robert Parker's 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.

Cotes du Ventoux

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

HPR277764_2006 Item# 95032

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