Domaine Pierre Gaillard Condrieu Fleurs D'Automne

31.25

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Sometimes botrytis-affected Condrieu can be thick and cloying, but Pierre Gaillard has managed to give this effort extraordinary honeyed apricot and floral characteristics, with great fruit, unctuosity, and richness, yet with no sense of heaviness or excessive sweetness. While this Domaine Pierre Gaillard Condrieu Fleurs D'Automne is sweet, the good underlying level of acidity and structure give it excellent definition, resulting in a superb after dinner drink.

Country: France
Region: Rhône Valley
Subregion: Condrieu
Vintage: 2002
Colour: White
Grape Variety: Viognier
ABV: 12%
Bottle Size: 50cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: Lively and honeyed
Drink With: Peach cobbler with clotted cream

The granite terraces of the Côte Bellay and Boissey face directly south and offer a terroir producing rich Viognier grapes affected by noble rot (Botrytis). Ideal autumn conditions in the area favour the development of noble rot: the cool morning air hits the the water of the nearby Rhône with its stored warmth and creates the localised fogs that allow botrytis to thrive, burning off in the afternoon sunshine before the grapes actually rot in the prolonged humidity.

Pickers make four separate passes through the vineyard, once a fortnight from October to December, so that botrytis has the chance to develop on more of the grapes and allowing the harvesting of only the botrytised grapes each time. To preserve the typical characteristics of Viognier, a proportion of late harvested, healthy grapes is also used. As a result, a subtle mix of botrytised aromas are combined with the fruity and floral aromas of Viognier. Fermentation took place in barrels at a controlled temperature of 15-18°C and it spent 6 months in 5% new French oak. The 200g/l of residual sugar is balanced by a similarly concentrated level of acidity, and regular stirring of the lees adds even greater refinement to the fleshy, unctuous characteristics of Viognier grown in this terroir.

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