Monday, March 24, 2008

Bitten By Condrieu

A white wine from Spain or Italy with the octopus...had been suggested. Spanish white in my cellar..and I am not going to open my last bottle of my favourite Sauvignon Blanc from Italy... Vie di Romans 'Pierre Sauvignon' 2004....yet.

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
California, U.S.A.
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 will impress new wine drinkers..but if you wanna treat yourself....splash double...and get the real thing.You'll be bitten as well.
Points 16


Anonymous said...

While not a fan of New World viognier, I confess that I really like Calera, which has some real structure.

Barry said...

Hi Craig....agree..this is one of the better Viognier..others have been overblown..but as I stated.. I have been 'spoiled' by the original..and I can't erase the matter what it costs!