2015 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu (Previously $50)

SKU #1289283 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 More fresh, straight and tight, the 2015 Condrieu Roches D'Arbuel displays crisp pineapple, tangerine and citrus notes in a slightly light, lean style. I suspect it will put on some weight with six months of bottle age. (JD)  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

Condrieu is located just to the south of Côte-Rôtie in the northern part of the Rhône Valley. It is a particularly small region that solely produces Viognier--but not just any Viognier. Simply put, these are the best in the world, and Condrieu is the benchmark by which all other Viognier is measured. Domaine Clos de la Bonnette was purchased in 1992 by wife and husband team, Isabelle Guiller and Henri Montabonnet. Isabelle had her eye on this abandoned vineyard site for many years before they moved forward. The main reason that the site remained unoccupied was because the hillsides were in complete disarray, as many of the stone retaining walls had collapsed over the decades due to neglect. Restoring this property could only be done as a labor of love, not a commercial venture. Henri did most of the restoration himself, rebuilding the walls by hand. Isabelle took on the task of cultivating the indigenous flora around the property, making it more biodiverse. Because of the location of the vineyard, Henri and Isabelle are surrounded by forest, a creek and another hillside of ruins. This natural barrier allows them to more easily produce organically, a process by which they have farmed since they began replanting. The quality of the fruit is so high that Marcel Guigal wanted to purchase their grapes and put them under contract. Thankfully, they politely declined.

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Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/19/2017 | Send Email
In a concerted departure from the opulence and weight by which Condrieu is often measured, the Arbuel is organically grown and harvested from younger vines on the property and given minimal oak. Peach, apricot and citrus flavors are prevalent in this suave, elegantly polished version that will pair well with a variety of dishes. Saffron-scented, lightly grilled scallops should work!

Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/23/2017 | Send Email
It's absolutely incredible that Clos De La Bonnette is not with a national importer. This is world class Condrieu that Somms and retailers across the country will be jealous they can't get. The beautiful Roches d'Arbuel is textbook Condrieu. Powerful aromatics, but not overly perfumed and with tons of pithy fruit. Very richly textured with a slightly hidden acidity poking out behind the richness. This is about the best value you could ever expect from one of the world's top white wine appelations.

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Varietal:

Viognier

- Relatively challenging to cultivate, this white grape's plantings were long limited to two appellations in the Northern Rhône - Condrieu, the better known of the two, and Château-Grillet - but its recent gains in popularity inspired plantings in the Languedoc-Roussillon, across California, as well as in parts of Australia, Italy, Spain and South America. Intensely aromatic and full-bodied, Viognier is prized for its aromas and flavors of stone fruits, d'Anjou pears and white flowers. In fact, its heady perfume wins it the honor of being a rare white varietal used in one of the world's top reds - Côte-Rôtie - where it is often planted amid the Syrah and co-fermented with that grape. The combination deepens the color of Côte-Rôtie and adds to its already deep and distinctive nose.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Organic: