Georges Vernay is known as the "King of Condrieu" and was responsible for the growth and worldwide recognition of this small appellation during the 1950s. His estate covers 22 hectares of vineyards, six of which are in the Côte Rôtie appellation. The steep and uneven vineyards make mechanical labour impossible. The vines are manually cultivated without the use of residual herbicide or insecticide. Georges' daughter, Christine, returned to her roots with Paul Anselem, her Parisian husband, and has looked after the winemaking since 1997, gaining worldwide recognition for her Côte Rôtie wines.
A patchwork of small plots covering four hectares in the lieu-dits of Sainte Agathe and La Caille located in the heart of Condrieu. The vines are planted on steep South facing granite, biotite terraces where the use of machines is impossible; therefore the vineyard is maintained manually and without the use of weed killers or insecticides. The average age of vines is 35 years and they are planted on Richter 100 rootstocks and trained to the simple Guyot method. Planted at a density of between 8,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare, they yield 35 hectolitres per hectare.
The grapes were manually harvested at full maturity of 13 to14 degrees, they were then meticulously sorted and pressed. After a static temperature controlled must settling, the clear juice was fermented in 20 hectolitre oak vats, lasting approximately four to five weeks. The wine was matured on its fine lees in both oak barrels and vats.
Pure peach and apricot aromas are lifted with hints of acacia flowers. Full and creamy with a distinctive mineral expression and a subtle Condrieu saline complexity supporting the ripe stone fruit flavours. This is a pure expression of a very fine Viognier.
Delicious served at room temperature with seared scallops in a rich, creamy sauce; lobster; game and mature cheese.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
ABV = 13.5%.
"This has superbly fresh, apricot and white-peach aromas with gentle ginger and spice notes. Very floral and pure. The palate has a smooth array of peaches and apricots and super fresh and very discreet oak. Matured in demi-muid and concrete eggs. Succulent finish. Drink now. 93 points." James Suckling.
"White flowers, orange blossom, and hints of honeyed spice emerge from the 2018 Condrieu Les Grands Amandiers, another beautifully textured, medium-bodied, concentrated, yet straight and focused white. It's balanced, soft, and forward, yet superb. 92 points." Jeb Dunnuck, December 2019
Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in the Rhone Valley, with Hermitage La Chapelle being its most famous wine. It was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe & Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.
The Frey family has of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux. Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of convePaul Jaboulet Aine Condrieu Les Grands Amandiers 2018rsion towards biodynamic certification.
Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. Treasured by the Popes of Avignon in the 14th Century, the story of Condrieu has evolved alongside the history of France. At the beginning of the last century, only about 10 hectares of vineyards remained. The creation of a Condrieu AOC (a Protected Designation of Origin) in 1940, however, paved the way for the rebirth of Condrieu and its ascension to the greatest heights among the white wines of France today.
The autumn of 2017 was exceptionally dry. Winter 2017-18 was moderately watered and did not fully offset the water deficit. The winter season was very cool, temperatures returned to normal at the beginning of April resulting in later budburst. The whole spring was regularly and correctly watered. Temperatures remained and sometimes were above normal. These alternating hot and rainy periods led to very rapid growth of the vine. Phenology progressed very quickly and the season became early. At the beginning of July, temperatures were getting hotter/ the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, berries were juicy, well inflated and often larger than last year. The few rains in August allowed to unlock the situation and the harvest of September took place in a summer atmosphere under particularly heavy heat.
Grapes were hand-picked, sorted on the plot, in small crates. The vatting period lasted around 4 weeks with gentle extractions. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new).
See the link below for more details of the wine and winemaking from Jaboulet themselves.
We refer you to the above reviews for a tasting note.
ABV = 14.0% (estimated, not certain until bottled).
Since the early 19th century Paul Jaboulet Aine has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhone. In 1834, Antoine Jaboulet (1807-1864) started working the land in this region, creating a lasting link between the Jaboulet name and the Rhone over the generations. This famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They have brought renewed energy to this corner of France.
50% Grenache Blanc, 20% Marsanne, 20% Viognier, 10% Bourboulenc. This wine is vinified in stainless steel tanks before being aged for 2 to 3 months, 50% of which occurs in oak casks.
This wine is bright pale yellow in colour. It has fresh pear and stone fruit on the nose, with fine citrus acidity on the palate to balance the ample fruit intensity. It has a long yet appealing sherbet and pear finish. Like the better class of white Cotes du Rhones in which it belongs, it combines refreshing acidity (primarily from the Bourboulenc component) with a fuller body/mouthfeel (especially from the Marsanne and Viognier).
NB: fans of Jaboulet's Parallele 45 white may like to note that this is exactly the same wine under a different (off-trade) label: the same is true of the Parallele 45/Secret de Famille red CdR.
ABV = 13.5%.
** IN STOCK!! **
"A barrel-fermented blend of 50% Marsanne and 50% Roussanne, the 2017 Crozes Hermitage Domaine Mule Blanche is a terrific example of what those varieties can do when they're grown in the right location and vinified with care. Gentle toasted grain scents waft from the glass, along with notes of marshmallow and melon. It's full-bodied and richly textured, with notes of pineapple, crème brûlée and citrus on the long finish. 94 points." Joe Czerwinski - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"From the Thalabert estate, which is mostly rolled stone terroirs, the 2017 Crozes Hermitage Crozes Hermitage Mule Blanche checks in as equal parts Marsanne and Roussanne that was brought up in demi-muids and cement tanks. It offers a fresh, vibrant, slightly exotic style in its white flowers, lime blossom, and white peach aromas and flavors. Fresh, vibrant and pure, with a touch of Sauvignon character, it’s nevertheless beautifully concentrated, deep, and layered. 92 points". Jeb Dunnuck
Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.
The name Mule Blanche comes from the days before mechanisation, when mules were used in the Jaboulet vineyards, as they were hardier than draughthorses.
The Mule Blanche estate is located on a glacio-fluvial plain with clay-chalk soil; vines here have an average age of some 50 years.
50% Marsanne, 50% Roussanne (as distinct from Jaboulet’s 100% Marsanne Les Jalets white Crozes).
Hand-picked grapes are whole-bunch pressed, following which the must settles for 2 days before being racked. The wine is then oak fermented and aged for 9-10 months. 55% of the blend is aged in French oak - of which 15% is new - while 25% is aged in small concrete eggs and the remaining 20% in stainless steel tanks. Traditional ageing provides freshness in the mouth with a range of complex aromas. Malolactic fermentation is blocked and there is no battonage.
The Mule Blanche has an aromatic nose of white flowers, hawthorn and acacia, with a delicate woody final note. It is supple and well-rounded with an harmonious fresh finish.
ABV = 14.0%.