Tried this wine last night w/ dinner:
1. EricTexier Condrieu Vernon (13%) 2002: Deep burnished gold color; rather nutty/hazelnutty/slight oxidized slight Condrieu/mineral rather aromatic/complex nose; soft off-dry rich/lush slight hazelnutty/nutty slight mineral unusual flavor w/ a slight prickle and little Viognier fruit; med.short light Condrieu/mineral some nutty/hazelnutty finish; a very weird Condrieu but not at all unlikable. $30.00
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. I had tried the '02 Texier Condrieu (I seen to recall; but could have been the '01) some 7-8 months ago and found it a lean/austere but fairly typical Condrieu/minerally wine. Priced at $54/btl, I was not compelled to try it again.
I spied this Sat afternoon at a wine shop in SantaFe, priced at $30/btl on a distributor's close-out. Thought I'd try this again at a much more attractive price when I spied in small print, apparently stamped on the label... "Vernon". Immediately the adrenalin started pumping and my pulse quickened.....could this be Condrieu from Coteaux de Vedrnon?? Maybe wine from George Vernay, sold to Texier???
I immediately snapped up both btls on the shelf and raced home to crack that sucker open. With trembling hands, I ripped that cork outta the btl and poured my first glass, expecting a superb class of classic Condrieu.
But...but...my hopes were crushed; I was crestfallen. Looking at the color, my first reaction was that it was an oxidized/cooked btl from the distributor's wartehouse. Then I smelled it and picked up that classic hazelnutty character of old Rhone whites. That's it....the 2'nd btl is going back.
But has I tasted it more, it started to grow on me. Yeah...it had some of that slightly oxidized character of old Condrieu/Viognier. But it also had slight traces of the Condrieu minerality that's so distinctive. And a rather overripe character as well. And rather interesting aromatics that I kinda liked.
So...my guess...is that this Condrieu is from the Coteaux de Vernon, maybe unloaded by Georges Vernay himself, and probably from overripe grapes, maybe affected by rot or botrytis. It is very/very atypical of Condrieu. Were I one to worship at the altar of varietal typicity, I would have soundly trashed this wine. However, whatever the wine is, there were a lot of things to like in it; weird as it is.