Château Gigognan Viognier, 2018, Côtes du Rhône, France
£26.50 (inc VAT)
A secret recipe using viognier, the variety most famously used in Condrieu. This is hand-harvested, then fermented in steel tanks at controlled low temperatures, with the very last part of the process done in barrels. Exceptional aromatic complexity: delicate notes of honeysuckle, apricot, quince, spice and toasted hazelnuts. This is a good indicator of the skill that went into it, as viognier can lose its wonderful aromas if you let too much oxygen at it.
This historic estate was taken over by the Callet family in 1996, who have modernised and renovated it into the Rhône powerhouse that it is now. The Master Blender, ex-rugby player and fruity Grenache lover behind this wine, Philippe Cambie, won Robert Parker’s “Best Oenologist in the World” in 2010. Grapes from 40 year old, organic, low yielding vines, grown on the famous galets roulés soils and battered by the Mistral.