One of the most harmonious Clos Chansons we have tasted for a long time. As ever this is the biggest and boldest of Perret’s Condrieus, but this natural power is counteracted by particularly juice-filled fruit. Fleshy, bold and boisterous flavours of peach, mirabelle and greengage. Aged and fermented in 20% new oak barriques and from a plot of 47-year-old vines where the high clay content in the soils tends to produce full bodied wines.
Tasting André’s superb wines is an unforgettable experience. However, there is always a reticent air about him and an unwillingness to accept praise for the nectar that lies in his immaculate cellars. He deflects most of the praise onto the steep vineyards he owns at Chavanay and the three hectare Côteau du Chéry, the pearl in his oyster. His vines (between 25 to 50 years old) are well exposed to the sun and rarely yield more than 30 hl/ha. He prefers one- to two-year-old oak for maturing his whites, believing that brand new oak can only subdue the extravagant natural aromas and flavours of the Viognier. Malo-lactic fermentation is completed but these never lack for verve or balance. He is truly one of Condrieu's great winemakers. Of his two top Condrieu, the Clos Chanson is usually the most immediately appealing. It offers balance and charm for up to three years in bottle, while the Château du Chéry plays a little harder to get with its finer, classier fruit and violet hints that further reveal themselves with a couple of years bottle age. The crunchy, damson-packed St Joseph usually requires two years in bottle before starting to drink while Les Grisières, a parcel of 90-year-old vines, could challenge a Côte Rôtie for its grace and longevity.