2012 E. Guigal "La Doriane" Condrieu (Pre-Arrival)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better and a monumental effort, the 2012 Condrieu La Doriane shows the freshness and purity of the vintage, with thrilling minerality that gives lift to stone fruits, citrus, marmalade and assorted floral nuances. Medium to full-bodied, laser-focused and ultra-precise, yet still fantastically textured and long, this is blockbuster stuff that flirts with perfection and should not be missed. (JD)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(all new oak here): Bright yellow. Assertive aromas of nectarine, violet and smoky minerals, with a gingery nuance adding lift. Broad and silky on the palate, offering densely packed orchard and pit fruit flavors that become spicier with air. The mineral note comes back strong on the finish, which lingers with excellent tenacity and building smokiness.
The 2012 Condrieu La Doriane is a selection of the estate's better parcels that was first bottled in 1994. It combines both schist- and granite soil-based parcels, which is relatively rare in Condrieu. This vintage also marks the first with fruit from a 1-acre parcel in Coteau de Vernon, which Guigal feels will bring additional minerality to the wine. The wine is powerful but defined, with a blaze of bitter almond and bitter orange along the edges while the core of apricot, white peach and creamed melon waits in reserve. The echo of brioche and anise wafts beautifully through the finish and this seems like it will need a year or two to stretch out fully. "The original parcels used for the wine are schist and the wine was often big and smiley. But now as we have added granite parcels and the wine has a different balance and will age. It's very different from the regular Condrieu," said Philippe.
Guigal's La Doriane is a luxurious and invigorating Condrieu sourced from four exemplary, steeply terraced parcels of this tiny and very special appellation. The vines average 35 years old, and the wine is made in a somewhat firmer style than some of the more flamboyant bottlings of years' past. The wine is aged in 100% new oak, but the distinct granite minerality of the finest Condrieu terroir has a way of "absorbing" the oak so that it is completely integrated and seamless in the overall profile.