Condrieu is pricey. The Northern Rhône is where the Viognier grape reaches its apogee, throwing off the traits that can make its lesser iterations a cumbersome, heavy-legged, overly rich, hotly alcoholic and flabby mouthful. Pierre Gaillard has been working the vineyards since he was twelve years old, going on to study oenology in Montpelier.
While it has Viognier’s signature apricot and peachy twang, this beguiles with its grace and mineral poise. Grown on granite soils, this spends 7-8 months in barrel (just 5% of which is new oak), and is a barnstorming advert for elegant Viognier at the top of it’s game. Honeysuckle and jasmine scented, a fragrant gem. Pricey? Of course, but £43.95 (retail) of ‘worth it’.