May 1, 2008

A pair of Condrieu

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Hung out at a friend's place this afternoon to taste some yak cheese from Qinghai and had some fruit. I thought it would be nice to have some wine with the cheese so I brought 2 bottles of Condrieu along.

The first bottle was the 2000 Guigal Condrieu La Doriane. When I had this wine last year, I was disappointed coz it was over the hill. Judging from the color of the wine in bottle, I felt it was probably gonna be the same this time. And sure enough, after pulling the cork and pouring the wine into glass, it was exactly the same as last time. It's quite a full-bodied wine and had a lot of depth and complexity, but it just wasn't fresh anymore. The fresh, floral nose that is typical of Condrieu and Viognier had vanished. With time, the nose improved and I definitely found Anjou pear, a hint of lychee as well as honey in the nose. The finish was reasonaly long and you could tell that once upon a time it had been a great wine.

As a precaution, I had brought along the 2005 Chapoutier Condrieu Invitare. Now this was a fresh vintage and there was no way that it would be over the hill. And indeed, the nose was fresh and floral as I had expected. But alas, the whole package just wasn't there. The acidity was a bit more apparent, and there simply was no depth and complexity to the wine. Other than being fresh - which the girls clearly preferred - the wine just wasn't exciting. Pretty soon I went back to drinking the La Doriane...

Lesson learned? Stick to La Doriane but next time, drink it within a couple of years after release.

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