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  • Viognier
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  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Condrieu Patience

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Condrieu
    Patience

    $32

    A late-harvest sweet wine, unusual for the region, the Condrieu Patience evokes violet and yellow fruit. Harvested from 20-year-old Viognier vines and only made on exceptional years, Patience is a lovely reward for those who can wait for it.

    • In lieu of dessert, some prefer to serve a decadent dessert wine with an accompaniment of cheeses. This beauty has flavors of honey, apricot, acacia, and pure joy. Very pleasant, honeyed mouthfeel. Stone fruits a-plenty on a drawn-out finish. A dessert wine, but not syrupy, thick, or overly sweet. If you find an irresistible blue cheese or camembert, pop the cork on this bottle to go along with it.

      Food pairing: Cambozola cheese

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2010 Condrieu

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2010 Condrieu
     

    $38

    A dry but mellow cuvée, this Condrieu is a blend from 30-year-old Viognier vines in different parcels. We find it sweet but not cloying, perfect with food.

    • The nose—mostly suggesting wet stone, earth, and mushrooms—has an almost rancio character with hints of white flowers and other floral elements in the background. Honey and lychee flavors play on the palate. Rich and heady, the fruit flavors are so concentrated the wine gives an impression of sweetness, yet it is quite dry. Stony minerality marks a lengthy finish.

      Food pairing: Indian and other Asian foods

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine du Monteillet 2011 Condrieu Les Grandes Chaillées

    Domaine du Monteillet
    2011 Condrieu
    Les Grandes Chaillées

    $46

    Montez’s Condrieus are rich, ripe wines, made in a much bolder style than our other Condrieus. Les Grandes Chaillées is a plump wine that combines Viognier grapes from three areas: Chavanay for its apricot taste; Saint-Michel-sur-Rhône for minerality; and Vérin for richness.

    • A pretty medium-gold in the glass. Overflowing with scents of wood, pear blossoms, and apricots overlaid with more unusual scents, including smoke and tomatoes. A complex, evolving nose. Decadent, unctuous richness on the palate is balanced by citrus and spice on an extended finish. Ready to drink, but likely to keep through around 2016, with the fruit likely receding a little, emphasizing the spicier, grittier flavors.

      Food pairing: Pasta primavera in a light cream sauce, light curry dishes, the local goat cheese "Rigotte de Condrieu"

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2011 Condrieu Terroirs

    Domaine François Merlin
    2011 Condrieu
    Terroirs

    $50SOLD OUT

    This classic Condrieu, assembled from several Viognier vines, bears the trademark of François Merlin’s taste: not too cloying and sweet, with vivacity and minerality.

    • Dreamy and seductive on the nose, with suggestions of white flowers, wet stone, chalk, stone fruits, and confectioneries. Of medium body on the palate, which features white flowers, honey, perfume, and intense, ethereal apricot flavors that lead into a clean, delicate finish. The high level of alcohol is apparent—and part of the charm.

      Food pairing: apricot tart; chicken in an apricot sauce

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Condrieu Terroirs

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Condrieu
    Terroirs

    $50LIMITED QUANTITY

    This classic Condrieu, assembled from several Viognier vines, bears the trademark of François Merlin’s taste: not too cloying and sweet, with vivacity and minerality.

    • A pretty, medium gold color. A glassful of exuberance—the nose overflowing with butterscotch, peaches, white flowers, and apricots. Intense and buttery on the palate, yet restrained at the same time. Rich but dry. Opulent but understated. A little earthy as well. Not as expansive on the palate as on the nose, but still seductive. Enjoy now.

      Food pairing: Apéritif; light herb-scented dishes, including pastas with fresh peas, beans or other legumes; rich fish or shellfish dishes, including scallops and lobster dishes; roasted root vegetables; Condrieu often pairs surprisingly well with mild curry dishes

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine du Monteillet 2010 Condrieu Chanson

    Domaine du Monteillet
    2010 Condrieu
    Chanson

    $52

    Montez’ Condrieus are rich, ripe wines, made in a much bolder style than our other Condrieus. Chanson is a blend of grapes from Viognier vines aged 10-30 years in the Chanson lieu-dit, producing a ripe but balanced wine that is fruitier than the usual Condrieu — reminiscent of the Sauternes wines from Bordeaux.

    • Vibrant with plenty of delicious apricot, pear, and Meyer lemon scents up front. The nose is inviting, the palate even more seductive, with opulent stone fruit and a balancing citrus bite.

      Food pairing: Grilled prawns

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Monteillet 2010 Côte-Rôtie Fortis

    Domaine du Monteillet
    2010 Côte-Rôtie
    Fortis

    $58

    Silver medal winner, Sommelier Wine Awards, 2014. Made from a blend of Syrah and 8-10% Viognier, Montez’s Côte Rôtie Fortis is fermented in a sandwich — Syrah first, then Viognier, then more Syrah on top — thus preventing over-oxidization of the Viognier grapes and releasing a fruitier, less dry feel than other Côte-Rôties.

    • A lush, spicy Syrah with tasty, red fruit-laced black pepper. The fruit is juicy and fresh rather than jammy or stewed. Gingersnap and black pepper blend with raspberry on the finish.

      Food pairing: Steak

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Condrieu Cuvée Jeanraude

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Condrieu
    Cuvée Jeanraude

    $60

    The domaine’s top cuvée, this is François Merlin’s “keeping wine”, the one he takes out to impress his guests. “A definite cut above” Merlin’s other Condrieu, according to Rhône expert Livingstone-Learmonth.

    • A heady, complex wine. Toast, wood, caramel, and apricots mark the nose. Intensely flavored on the palate, with the alcohol apparent but not overpowering. Slightly tannic on the mid-palate. Powerful yet silky, buttery yet clean. Less overtly fruity than other Condrieus, but still seductive. Delicious now, and likely to remain at its peak for another year or two at least.

      If you love Condrieu, don’t miss this one. An unusually fine example of the appellation.

      Food pairing: Delicious to sip on its own; light herb-scented dishes, including pastas with fresh peas, beans or other legumes; rich fish or shellfish, including scallops and lobster dishes; roasted root vegetables; Condrieu often pairs surprisingly well with mild curries

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2011 Condrieu Cuvée Jeanraude

    Domaine François Merlin
    2011 Condrieu
    Cuvée Jeanraude

    $60SOLD OUT

    The domaine’s top cuvée, this is François Merlin’s “keeping wine”, the one he takes out to show off to guests. “A definite cut above” Merlin’s other Condrieu, according to Rhône expert Livingstone-Learmonth.

    • A beautiful nose makes this wine immediately appetizing. Hints of oak and citrus—blood oranges come to mind—nutmeg, sandalwood, white peaches, and even mint come up out of the glass. The sort of wine that’s as pleasurable to smell as it is to drink—but don’t forget to sip. You won’t want to miss the rich, complex, yet sophisticated flavors on offer. A long, intense finish gives a sense of power, yet never overpowering. Delicious now, but likely to keep through around 2017.

      Food pairing: Aperitif, Arugula salad, baked squash, cold pasta with broad beans or other seasonal vegetables, light curry dishes

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2010 Condrieu Caresse

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2010 Condrieu
    Caresse

    $68

    Created with Pichon’s oldest and best exposed Viognier vines, then aged in new oak for 9 months, this Condrieu is rich, ripe, and concentrated. It is Pichon’s top Condrieu!

    • A happy, zingy wine with loads of pear, tangy apricot, and spice. Ripe fruit but also herbal notes (I detected a bit of basil.) A perfect wine to drink outdoors with grilled fish and spring vegetables.

      Food pairing: Grilled halibut

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