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Condrieu, SmartSippers

Condrieu is arguably the northern Rhone’s most distinctive wine appellation. It is a tiny white wine Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) established in 1940 in the northern part of the Rhône Valley, just 25 miles south of Lyon.

All are 100% Viognier, the only grape permitted in this appellation. Its larger neighbors (Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Cote Rotie) specialize in robust reds made from Syrah.

Tiny Quantity : Condrieu’s whites, which strike an unusual balance between delicate perfume and substantial body, are produced only in tiny quantities.

Tasting : 2012 “Les Cassines” Maison Jaboulet : The nose offers subtle scents of violets, white peaches, a touch of grass, oozing wet rocks and just a dash of toasted oak. On the palate it’s more stone fruits driven with violets, a dash of oak, wet rocks, a delicate bitterness and alcohol in impeccable balance with the other components.

Pairing : Marry any fish with a good creamy sauce and you’ll have a nice pair for this wine.