Côte Rôtie: Domaine Georges Vernay 'Blonde du Seigneur' 2016
"Vernay's 2016 Côte Rôtie Blonde du Seigneur has 5% Viognier and spent 18 months in 30% new oak. It's a lovely wine, brimming with perfumes of violets, roses and jasmine, plus plenty of raspberry fruit, all framed by hints of pencil shavings. It's medium to full-bodied yet with a delicately silky texture and ample freshness on the long finish. 93/100, drink 2018-2030."
Joe Czerwinski - robertparker.com
Christine Vernay is recognised as one of the Northern Rhônes most gifted wine-makers and is gaining increasing recognition for her red wines as well as her celebrated Condrieu. Her 'Blonde du Seigneur' Côte-Rôtie is made from 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier from mature vines (30+ years old) from 4 different lieux dits on the Côte Blonde schist slopes of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. Farmed by hand using organic methods (but not certified) and aged in oak. Only 1200 cases were made in 2016.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Côte-Rôtie|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Syrah, Viognier|
|Food & Wine Matching||Beef|
|Cellarage||Drink 3-15 years after vintage.|
|Vinification||Hand-harvested, destemmed grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 2-3 weeks. Matured in oak barriques for 15 months (30% new oak).|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||12.5|
Domaine Georges Vernay
The Vernay name is synonymous with quality Viognier. Christine Vernay's father Georges (1926-2017) was instrumental in keeping the Condrieu appellation from extinction in the 1960s when there were only 8 hectares left under vine! The Vernays have worked tirelessly to promote Viognier and are largely responsible for its current renaissance and newfound global popularity. Christine Vernay took over winemaking responsibilities here in 1997 and is assisted in the management of the estate by her husband Paul Amsellem. Today the Vernays farm 7.5 hecatres of vines at Condrieu, which puts them in the top 3 growers in volume terms (alongside Cuilleron & Guigal). Domaine Georges Vernay is widely regarded as being among the very best sources of Condrieu, they also produce an excellent Vin de Pays Viognier, from higher altitude vines called ‘Le Pied de Samson’ as well as an impressive range of red wines comprising a fruity Vin de Pays Syrah, Saint Joseph and Côte Rôtie.
“Domaine Georges Vernay is the flagship of Condrieu. Its vines were planted in the AOC in 1936, and it remained the only domaine in Condrieu for many years, until others finally started believing in Viognier. Today, third-generation vintner Christine Vernay runs the estate, crafting whites that are both opulent and pure. Her Côte-Rôties are equally impressive.”
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator.