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Louis Cheze Condrieu Pagus Luminis 2015

Viognier from Condrieu, Rhone, France
  • WS96
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#76 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017

Critical Acclaim

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WS 96
Wine Spectator
This has power, with a large core of creamed peach, nectarine and yellow apple fruit. Lengthy, pure and vibrant, with a mineral streak running underneath and chamomile and honeysuckle notes gilding the finish. Dreamy wine. Drink now through 2022.
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Louis Cheze

Domaine Louis Cheze

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Domaine Louis Cheze, Condrieu, Rhone, France
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The Domaine Chèze is a family estate managed by Louis Chèze since 1978. It is located on top of a hill in the Limony County, 40 miles south of Lyon, in the middle of the Northern Côtes du Rhône region.

Mr Chèze started the venture with 1 ha of Saint Joseph and some grapevines in lease. Today, the entire domain is 30 ha and includes some highly esteemed appellations such as Condrieu, Saint Joseph and Vin de Pays. Mr Chèze’s resolve, curiosity and meticulousness are applied regarding the vineyard monitoring and the winemaking process. Every vintage is a new challenge, with the purpose of producing the embodiment of each terroir and their delightful specificities.

The vineyard is run according to the viticulture raisonnée (sustainable winegrowing), where the main concern is the respect of the grape vine. At the Chèze domain, each vineyard is handled according to the specificities of each parcel. If the slope allows for it, grapevine trellising is used; and if not, grapevine stakes are used on the slopes.

Condrieu

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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.

Viognier

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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, Chile, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.

In the Glass

This is an aromatic variety making rich, complex and full-bodied white wines 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 Pairings

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 Secret

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.

MSW30194184_2015 Item# 209814