Guigal Condrieu 2018
This white wine has remarkably pure aromas complimented by a soft roundness. A typical expression of the Viognier grape with its aromas of white peach and apricot. Brilliant clear golden yellow color. The aromas are intensely flowery (violets), and fruity (apricot, peaches and citrus). Fresh and round on the palate. Rich, unctuous and full bodied. Overall, harmonious with light acidity and round fleshy fruits.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Limpid yellow. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented pear, white peach and Meyer lemon scents are accompanied by hints of violet, saffron and honey that build with air. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering intense orchard and pit fruit and honeysuckle flavors that are sharpened and lifted by a core of smoky minerality. Finishes sappy, minerally and extremely long, leaving a hint of peach nectar behind. Guigal's "basic" Condrieu is consistently excellent but this one really stands out.
Textbook Condrieu, this shows viognier in all its silky, peachy opulence, elevated by the savor and structure imbued by Condrieu’s challengingly steep, cool vineyards. The flavors are as concentrated as pâtes de fruit, with a similar tender chew, but the acidity keeps the wine lifted, the wine long, ready to elevate a roast chicken to a special-occasion meal.
Bright and engaging, with a mix of honeysuckle, plantain, white peach and acacia notes mixed together and carrying through the juicy, rounded finish. Drink now through 2022.
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, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône, are also aged in the Ampuis cellars.
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.
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. Somm Secret—Viognier plays a surprisingly 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.