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2018 Condrieu Les Mandouls
Country: France France   Region: Rhone Valley    Sub-Region: Northern Rhone
Type: White   Style: Dry   Class: AC
No of Cases: 400
Drinking: 2020 - 2027

100% Viognier

Granite sub-soil with alluvial deposits at the surface. South to South-East facing. After pressing, the must is cold settled for 48 hours. Only the indigenous yeasts are used for the fermentation which occurs at temperatures ranging from 17 to 21°C. There is no malolactic fermentation in order to give the wine a maximum of aromatic freshness. 80% of the wine is aged in stainless steel vats and the rest in 600 litre barrels (demi-muid) to achieve the purest fruit aroma possible and the purest minerality possible.

Producer: Domaine Ferraton Pere et Fils

Based in the heart of Tain l’Hermitage, Maison Ferraton was founded in 1946 by Jean-Orëns Ferraton, the scion of a family of vignerons with a small holding in Hermitage. His ambitions were cemented with the purchase of vineyards in Saint-Joseph. Expansion of the family business continued at pace under his son Michel, who during the 1960s increased the family holdings in Hermitage and bought vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage. In 1998, family friend Michel Chapoutier became involved in the business and this coincided with growing ambitions for Ferraton. Their own vineyards were converted to organic and biodynamic farming methods and they also introduced a negociant arm to the business, with grapes sourced from partner growers, to extend the house’s offering to include classic appellations from the length of the Rhône Valley.

Ferraton’s winemaker Damien Brisset has an approach to winemaking that is best described as a blend of the traditional and the modern. For fermentation, temperature-controlled cement vats play a major role, with a number of different sizes in use to enable small parcels to be vinified separately, allowing for greater expression of individual terroirs. Unlike stainless steel tanks, cement allows the exchange of air without imparting the pronounced oak flavours and tannins that come from wood. For the red wines, pre-fermentation maceration periods range from two to four weeks, depending on the wine. For the more delicate whites, malolactic fermentation is avoided to preserve freshness in the finished wines. All of the wines are bottled unfined.

Media 4
Condrieu Les Mandouls data sheet
Condrieu Les Mandouls Producer data sheet
Ermitage Le Revery blanc data sheet
Ermitage Le Revery blanc Producer data sheet
Hermitage Les Miaux blanc data sheet
Hermitage Les Miaux blanc Producer data sheet
Saint-Joseph Les Oliviers blanc data sheet
Saint-Joseph Les Oliviers blanc Producer data sheet
Varietal: Viognier
  • Viognier

    Viognier (French pronunciation: ​[viɔɲje]) is a white wine grape. It is the only permitted grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhone valley.
    The origin of the Viognier grape is unknown. Viognier is presumed to be an ancient grape, possibly originating in Dalmatia (present day Croatia) and then brought to Rhône by the Romans. One legend states that the Roman emperor Probus brought the vine to the region in 281 AD. Another legend has the grape packaged with Syrah on a cargo ship navigating the Rhone River en route to Beaujolais when it was captured near the site of present day Condrieu by a local group of outlaws known as culs de piaux.
    The origin of the name Viognier is also obscure. The most common namesake is the French city of Vienne, which was a major Roman outpost. Another legend has it drawing its name from the Roman pronunciation of the via Gehennae, meaning the "Valley of Hell". Probably this is an allusion to the difficulty of growing the grape.
    Viognier was once fairly common. In 1965, the grape was almost extinct when there were only eight acres in Northern Rhône producing just 1 900 liters of wine. The popularity and price of the wine have risen, and the number of plantings has increased. Rhône now has over 740 acres (3.0 km2) planted.
    In 2004, DNA profiling conducted at University of California, Davis showed the grape to be closely related to the Piedmont grape Freisa and to be a genetic cousin of Nebbiolo.
    Viognier can be a difficult grape to grow because it is prone to powdery mildew. It has low and unpredictable yields and should be picked only when fully ripe. When picked too early, the grape fails to develop the full extent of its aromas and tastes. When picked too late, the grape produces wine that is oily and lacks perfume.

Producer Notes and Accolades
Colour : pale gold colour with silver tints
Nose : very intense aroma of tropical fruit: pineapple, lychee. Very fresh
Palate : pure, very long, aromas of white peaches and tropical fruit
Tasting Notes 2 Average Score: 93/100
James Molesworth
Wine Spectator
Nov 2020
93/100 2020 2023 A ripe, mouthfilling version, offering waves of creamed apricot, glazed peach and dried quince flavors, with a late flicker of honeysuckle giving the finish some lift. Drink through 2023. 400 cases made

Josh Raynolds
May 2020
93/100 2021 2026 Translucent gold. Heady nectarine, pear, honey and violet scents are brightened by an energetic mineral flourish. Gently sweet and seamless on the palate, offering intense orchard and pit fruit flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Shows sharp focus and spicy cut and finishes very long and floral, leaving a hint of pear nectar behind.