Say Condrieu to the 'normal' wine drinker..and he may not know what you are talking about.It is a small area in the Northern Rhone that produces some of the most exotic wines of the world...but..I should add..the wines are never cheap. On my visits to Portugal..a stop in Condrieu at the Hotel-Restaurant 'Le Beau Rivage'..was part of the ordeal I had to endure passing through France..a wonderful view over the mighty Rhône..the sun shining..a one-star restaurant..and a wine-list full of Condrieu from all the top growers.
That was my first experience of the grape known as Viognier. You never got to taste it anywhere else back then...not in any quality that is...and..once bitten..nothing would ever be the same again.
Calera Viognier Mount Harlan 2006
This wine was once described as 'Dolly Parton Viognier'...but I believe they are trying to tone it down over recent vintages. Ripe, exotic fruits...melon and orange-peel......on the palate..citrus fruit...and nice balance of acidity at the finish. Sounds OK..well.. yes it is..but here is where we started out.This costs 25 Euros...it will impress new wine drinkers..but if you wanna treat yourself....splash out...pay double...and get the real thing.You'll be bitten as well.