Condrieu: Domaine Georges Vernay 'Coteau de Vernon' 2018
The jewel in the Vernay crown and, to many observers, the finest Condrieu bar none, the celebrated 'Coteau de Vernon' hails from a steeply-terraced, single vineyard in the centre of the appellation.
It drinks wonderfully well from release but will keep for up to 20 years in all but the lighter vintages. Bring on the quenelles!
A heady bouquet of wild flowers and white orchard fruit, and a complex palate of peaches, nuts, figs and minerals with an ethereal dry finish - it exhibits power and finesse in equal measure. A wine of true terroir for decanting and sipping reverently over the course of an evening!
|Style||White Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Condrieu|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Viognier|
|Cellarage||Approachable from bottling finer vintages can age well for a decade or more.|
|Vinification||The grapes for this wine all hail from the Vernays 1.7 hecatre vine-holdings in Condrieu's most celebrated climat 'Vernon', after which this, their flagship bottling, is named. The wine is vinified in 225-litre casks, up to 25% of which may be new. A heat exchanger is used to ensure the fermentation starts off cool and rises gradually to peak at 17-18 degrees C., coming back to finish at about 14 degrees C. Malolcatic fermentation then follows. The wine spends one year in cask and is filtered prior to a late bottling. Approximately 4,500 bottles are made.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||14.5|
Domaine Georges Vernay
The Vernay name is synonymous with quality Viognier. Christine Vernay's father Georges (1926-2017) was instrumental in keeping the Condrieu appellation from extinction in the 1960s when there were only 8 hectares left under vine! The Vernays have worked tirelessly to promote Viognier and are largely responsible for its current renaissance and newfound global popularity. Christine Vernay took over winemaking responsibilities here in 1997 and is assisted in the management of the estate by her husband Paul Amsellem. Today the Vernays farm 7.5 hecatres of vines at Condrieu, which puts them in the top 3 growers in volume terms (alongside Cuilleron & Guigal). Domaine Georges Vernay is widely regarded as being among the very best sources of Condrieu, they also produce an excellent Vin de Pays Viognier, from higher altitude vines called ‘Le Pied de Samson’ as well as an impressive range of red wines comprising a fruity Vin de Pays Syrah, Saint Joseph and Côte Rôtie.
“Domaine Georges Vernay is the flagship of Condrieu. Its vines were planted in the AOC in 1936, and it remained the only domaine in Condrieu for many years, until others finally started believing in Viognier. Today, third-generation vintner Christine Vernay runs the estate, crafting whites that are both opulent and pure. Her Côte-Rôties are equally impressive.”
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator.