IGP Vin de Pays de la Drôme: Domaine Lombard 'Le Viognier' 2018
The Northern Rhône is the spiritual home of the Viognier grape. As recently as 1980 this grape variety was almost extinct, with less than 50 hectares surviving in and around Condrieu. Happily, since these dark days, plantings have increased significantly and, only 40 miles south of Condrieu (at the southerly limit of the Northern Rhône), Julien Montagnon makes a cracker. His humble Vin de Pays de la Drôme Viognier, was a revelation in the first vintage we shipped (2014), receiving glowing independent praise. You simply won't find a better example of aromatic Northern Rhône Viognier at this price.
|Style||White Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Brézème|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Viognier|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||13|
In 1972, Jean-Marie Lombard took over family vineyards outside Livron-sur-Drôme and was rewarded when Brézème Côtes-du-Rhône was granted AOC status two years later. It was only in the early 1980s, with the encouragement of winemakers such as Gérard Chave, that Jean-Maire elected to strike out on his own and bottle his own wine, but the results thoroughly justified his decision.
In 2011, on the retirement of Jean-Marie and Sylvette Lombard, two young Rhodanienne wine-makers, Julien and Emmanuelle Montagnon, who had been plying their trade in the Roussillon, took over the nine hectare vine holdings. Two of these hectares are outside of the Brézème appellation, therefore are classified as Vin de Pays de la Drôme. On a recent visit in October 2014, we found a recently-constructed, state-of-the-art winery and the whole domaine under conversion to organic status.
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"Brézème is a little-known appellation at the Southern end of the Northern Rhône, 10km south of Valence. Here Domaine Lombard, under the new ownership of Julien Montagnon who took over the estate in 2011, reigns supreme with a portfolio of wines to make your spine tingle... All in all you must taste the Lombard wines – they are thrilling, accurate and also unique." Matthew Jukes - Moneyweek, July 2015.