Nectar of the Northern Rhône: Extraordinary 94-point Condrieu

We spent yesterday tasting in the Northern Rhône Valley. From 9am through 5:30pm, we tasted dozens of meaty, intense, sinewy Syrahs, from appellations like Cornas, St-Joseph, Côte Rôtie, and Crozes Hermitage. They were chewy, delicious, and exhausting.

After a day of teeth-staining reds, our final appointment finished with a golden, shimmering white wine: Condrieu from the Domaine Bonnefond. This wine is always terrific and often extraordinary — yesterday’s 2018 was like a breath of fresh, golden air.

The 2018 Condrieu will be in the 2019 July Futures along with the rest of Bonnefond’s excellent lineup of reds. But a few cases of their 2016 remain in the depot in Boston.

Vinous’s Josh Raynolds put it best when he wrote, “Bonnefond has made plenty of excellent Condrieus over the years but this one [the 2016] is at another level.” He awarded 94 points, calling it “Sexy… juicy, densely packed and seamless… showing superb delineation and powerful thrust.”

We agree — the 2016 is simply superb. The nose is extraordinarily complex and perfumed, with notes ranging from gardenia, herb honey, apricot, green tea, and dried mango. The mouth is smooth and rich with notes of peach and pear, and a beautiful grape-skin briskness that balances the mouthcoating texture.

Bonnefond’s wines are always excellent, and they somehow keep getting better. But the 2016 Condrieu is, as they say here, spéciale.



Bonnefond Condrieu 2016
bottle price: $56

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