Domaine Pierre Gaillard Condrieu Jeanne-Élise

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Domaine Pierre Gaillard Condrieu Jeanne-Elise is named after Pierre's two daughters; this is a very special cuvée indeed. Medium amber in colour with a honeyed and complex nose of hazelnuts, figs, quince and dried stone fruits. An intense, mouth-coating sweetness on the palate that is not at all cloying, with fig and dried apricot fruit. Carrying its 240g/l of residual sugar with ease, its fresh, bright flavours vibrate on the palate like the hum of a tuning fork. This elixir's qualities have been described by Andrew Jefford as "...suggesting new, exotic horizons for this appellation as one of the great dessert wines of the world". This is a vibrant and yet extremely graceful wine.

Country: France
Region: Rhône Valley
Subregion: Condrieu
Vintage: 2002
Colour: White
Grape Variety: Viognier
ABV: 10.5%
Bottle Size: 37.5cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: Honeyed and complex
Drink With: Good company

In vintages when the climate guarantees a perfectly healthy harvest, Pierre Gaillard selects top quality Viognier grapes to make a special wine using a traditional local technique. A vin de paille, or straw wine, such as this is named for the process of drying the grapes on straw mats before fermentation so as to enhance its sweetness and richness.

The grapes are picked when fully ripe and only the perfectly healthy, golden grapes are selected and placed on racks covered by straw mats. A flow of air is maintained above the grapes to keep midges away and any rotting grapes are removed on a regular basis. After a 40 to 50 day drying period during which the grapes have significantly dehydrated, they are ready to be made into wine. In light of the high level of concentration of sugar and acidity, the yeasts are unable to complete the fermentation and they die off when the alcohol content reaches 10 or 11% by volume, leaving a substantial level of residual sugar. The natural acidity, concentrated by the drying technique, brings freshness to counter the wine's sweetness. This sweet Domaine Pierre Gaillard Condrieu spent 6 months in 5% new oak barrels.

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