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Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:07 pm


Helsinki, Finland

WTN: Ch-Grillet and other recent tastes

by Otto » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:37 pm

Apparently like many others, judging from the previous post, Viognier has never really been a favourite grape of mine. Mostly this is because there is so much bland crap made out of it which gets sold cheaply. So I was surprised once when given a blind wine which I genuinely liked even though it didn't give me an acid mouthwash:

Chateau-Grillet 1996

A floral nose, but not overly perfumed, it also is very apricotty, with hints of marsipan. But the most notable features are the immense minerality and the strange scent of vomit which is only a very small hint and brings a much needed savoury note to the otherwise fruity nose. I guess the scent is a bit like shit in reds - a hint (as often appears in Champagnes) is good. The palate is very full bodied, low in acidity, but paradoxically is still fresh: the minerality and a slight, pleasant bitterness keep this from becoming cloying. Very long aftertaste. This was a lovely and nuanced wine, but a rather paradoxical one: soft, yet savoury; low in acid, yet fresh. I liked it very much, but had no idea what it could be. When revealed, I realised that there is good Viognier made afterall. And everywhere I read that Ch-Grillet is the most overrated wine from France! On this tasting I'll have to disagree. And I even thought that 96 wasn't considered a great year for this appellation.

Since this revelation, I have always gladly tried Viognier - but I have been cautious with it. The strong perfume of it can trigger a migraine with me, so I can only stand the more savoury ones. But the more savoury ones, I'll admit, can be superb.

My next "higher end" (i.e. more expensive than cheap crap) Viognier was not a pleasant experience, but I didn't give up my search:

Jaboulet-Aîné Condrieu “Les Cassines” 2000

Massive nose of rosewater and toffee and flowers: like a parody of perfume. Instant migraine. Spent two days in bed nursing my boiling brains. Avoid.

Delas Condrieu Clos Boucher 2000

Pretty nice: wet wool and massive minerals balance the peachyness. The palate is full bodied, but dry and again with a refreshing minerality. Nice!

I really find it odd that I am so drawn to examples of wines without my much beloved acidity! I don't think I can fully explain my love for these!

Château de Campuget Viognier de Campuget Cuvée Prestige 2004 (Costières de Nîmes)

Lovely stuff! Floral and mineral - maybe not especially complex but it is fresh and even a touch lemony, with great lift to the nose and not at all cloying. The palate is also very mineral, with surprisingly good acidity for the grape, fine length. Again, not very complex, but impeccably balanced a delight to drink. Very good.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Bob Parsons Alberta


aka Doris




Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: WTN: Ch-Grillet and other recent tastes

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:26 pm

Otto, the Viognier from Costieres de Nimes is one I will look out for. As I said earlier, there are some nice whites down there in Southern France and should be explored. Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne .....go get `em!!

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