22 July, 2009

You never forget your first time, or your first Condrieu

"Condrieu is a wine for romantics." - Jay McInerney, A Hedonist in the Cellar - Adventures in Wine

"Really love your peaches/ wanna shake your tree." -from "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band

I am a lucky wine-blogger. I have tasted some fine wines since my blogger career began and I finally was able to taste my first Condrieu. I have tasted many Viogniers from all over the world, mind you, but Viognier from the Condrieu is a totally different animal.

I first heard about Condrieu from novelist/wine-writer Jay McInerney. He actually claims that Condrieu is his favorite white wine in his second collection of wine-writings "A Hedonist in the Cellar~Adventures in Wine." So I guess that is remarkable, considering how much wine he drinks and writes about. Also, I love that a man can admit that he actually has a favorite white wine.

Condrieu is a once-forgotten appellation in the Rhone that was revived in the 1950's. It is a small apellation on a steep hillside, so you can imagine that yields are low. These hillsides are located on the right bank of the Rhone and only 105 hectares of Viognier are cultivated.

Tasting my first Condrieu was like lounging in a May garden surrounded by peaches, especially those peaches shaken by Steve Miller from the tree! "Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time/oooo weee baby I just wanna show you a good time." I had a very good time drinking the 2006 Etienne Guigal "La Doriane", Condrieu, Rhone Valley (13.5%):

Robert Parker rated this wine 97/100. Wow, impressive, but this wine is truly amazing. I love the nose of white nectarine, and yellow peach marmalade but it was the honeysuckle that made it stand out the most. In fact, some fellow tasters said it actually tasted like flowers. I did not taste the flowers but I inhaled the intoxicating perfume repeatedly. And it tasted just as intoxicating. It is a full-bodied white that is relatively low in acidity that coats your palate with its lively viscosity. It is smooth, well-balanced and not too sweet, no detectable oak. I would drink this wine by itself but Jay recommends drinking it with foie gras.

Is this really a wine for romantics? I am not sure, but it is defintely a wine for hedonists. Drinking the Condrieu enlivens the senses. And, as the Brixchicks like to say: it defintely "flavored my experience." This "lovey-dovey" wine rocked my world.

This wine sells for $35 - 60 a bottle.
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