Condrieu La Doriane 2017
Condrieu is the ancestral home of the Viognier vine and is the source of one of the world’s most exotic white wines. In the mid-20th century, only 20 acres of Viognier remained in Condrieu, leaving the grape and the appellation in serious jeopardy. Guigal was instrumental in bringing this appellation back from near extinction, and today supplements the grapes from their own vineyards with grapes purchased from numerous small growers, ultimately vinifying nearly one-third of the entire appellation.
La Doriane is a luxury cuvée of Condrieu that the Guigals have produced since the 1994 vintage. A great success since the first vintage, the wine always seems richly oaked and very fruity when young, transforming in 3-4 years into a seamlessly complex, aromatic and vibrant wine. La Doriane contradicts the accepted wisdom that Condrieu does not age well.
The tiny, parcelated appellation (500 acres total) is located on steep granite hillsides beginning at a bend in the Rhône river just south of Côte Rôtie and continuing intermittently about 12 miles further south. The granite hillsides have sand intermixed in their soils, and the vines for this wine average around 30 years of age, and only produce around 2.4 tons of fruit per acre.
The Viognier grapes for this wine are sourced from some of the finest sites in the appellation, including Côtes Chatillon, a steeply terraced vineyard overlooking the town of Condrieu itself. The other vineyards are Coteaux de Chery and Colombier, situated further south, and Château Volan – an exceptionally steep, south-facing vineyard near the town of Malleval.
This 100% Viognier wine is fermented and aged in 100% new oak barriques for 12 months, with a higher level of fine lees included in the fermenting must to help the wine integrate the oak character more completely. It undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation as well.
Very challenging climatic conditions prompted harvest 10-15 days earlier than usual. There was not heavy rainfall, despite a few storms in August and September. Though lower yields, the wine produced is of excellent quality. There is harmony between a pleasant low acidity and a fruit that bathes in a fleshy roundness.
This wine shows freshness and pure elegance in the glass. Citrus blossom, crushed rocks, honeysuckle, and orange blossom give way to a medium to full-bodied expression of the vineyard. It lingers and gains depth over time in the glass. A joy to drink, and will continue to improve with time.
Guigal performs several green harvests during the growing season in these vineyards to keep yields exceptionally low.
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Spectator - "Intense, with a honeyed edge, this maintains drive throughout, featuring intense apricot, nectarine and peach fruit flavors, lined with mouthwatering bitter orange and anise notes. The long, unctuous finish has serious cut to match. Drink now through 2025. 1,667 cases made, 500 cases imported"
Jeb Dunnuck - "Bottled at the end of June and brought up in new barrels, the blockbuster 2017 Condrieu La Doriane is up there with the crème de la crème, and just might be the wine of the vintage in the region. Stunning notes of buttered peach, crème brûlée, white flowers, and honeysuckle all literally soar from the glass. Deep, rich, medium to full-bodied and powerful, like the base cuvée, it stays incredibly pure and elegant. Drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. Don’t miss it."
Wine Advocate - "Slightly more forward and flamboyant than the more classically structured 2016, the 2017 Condrieu la Doriane is full-bodied, plush and opulent, loaded with flowers, melons and apricots. Yes, the oak is noticeable, but it adds a relatively restrained note of toasted almonds, serving to focus and lift the waves of succulent fruit. I'd drink this silky-textured beauty over the next few years, while it's still as showy as can be."
More on Condrieu La Doriane 2017
October 7, 2019 - Summarizing James Molesworth's latest Wine Spectator feature on E. Guigal's 2017 vintage would not do it justice. We highly encourage you to read through the detailed article, which features several…
Other Wines by this Producer
Guigal’s Côtes du Rhône Blanc both sets and steps outside the standard for the appellation and showcases one of the great secrets of the Guigal family: their specialization in the great white Rhône varieties. While only 8% of the Rhône's production is white, a full 25% of Guigal’s production is white and they are today the single largest producer of whites in the Rhône Valley.
The Guigal family has made serious rosé wines since the 1940s, and their Côtes du Rhône Rosé, like all their Côtes du Rhône wines, is humble in name only. The wine bursts with irresistible fresh red fruits and yet is also long and satisfying. Because of its quality and body, it's a rosé that you can bring to the table, and do so all year long. It is a rosé that offers both refreshment and pleasure.
Given that this particular wine can be the introduction to the entire Rhône Valley for a drinker, as well as the position they occupy in the Rhône, it is not enough for the Guigals to make a good Côtes du Rhône. They are relentlessly driven to produce a distinctive and outstanding wine that drives interest in exploring the entirety of the Rhône.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. The reds, which are the majority of production, have wonderful warm flavors of red and black fruit, and typical Syrah pepper, spice and savory notes.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expresiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Explosive and exotic floral and fruit aromas and flavors meld with intense mineral notes, and the silky, powerful concentration of flavors has an appealing roundness that finishes remarkably fresh.
Guigal’s Gigondas is an incredible introduction to serious Southern Rhône reds, and a show-stopper at the price. In the hands of Guigal, the rich ripe fruit and savory character of the wine bursts with sheer pleasure, yet the wine displays terrific refinement, complexity, length and ability to age.
Guigal produces an intensely concentrated, inviting and complex Châteauneuf-du Pape that is almost unique to the region today. Their passion for Châteauneuf, the leading appellation of the Southern Rhône, runs as deeply as that for their home sites in the Northern Rhône.
Hermitage is one of France’s most spectacular and famous appellations, producing small quantities of extraordinarily intense and ageworthy red wine and tiny amounts of dry white. The entire vineyard consists of 309 acres planted on a single granite hillside on the banks of the Rhône. The Hermitage Rouge is the example of a racy wine, that manages to remain seductive.
Guigal is synonymous with the Côte-Rôtie area, for bringing this great wine region to prominence, and for owning three times as much land as next largest land-owner, vinifiying 1/3 of the total appellation, and unquestionably holding the finest sites in this tiny, special area. The incredible Syrah from this area, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier, has tremendously balanced concentration, depth and finesse.
Whites make up a small percentage of production in the Rhône, under 2%, but white wines are a little bit of a secret specialty at Guigal and today comprise 25% of their production. And for good reason, as the whites of the Northern Rhône are true discovery wines, immensely appealing and complex. They specifically display an expressiveness and brightness while also capturing the warmth of the area. Even more of a discovery is Hermitage Blanc, one of the least-known yet most intriguing wines of the Rhône Valley and in the small 309 acre Hermitage AOC.