Rarely Seen Bénetière: 2007 & 2010 Bénetière Condrieu

Posted by Joe Salamone

There's no point in dancing around the fact that Condrieu and Viognier, in general, are often maligned for being flabby and uninteresting.

While you can find many examples of this, it's far from the whole story.

We present a duo of back-vintages of Bénetière's Condrieu as a counterexample. Bénetière dramatizes how complicated and compelling Condrieu can be.

As you can guess, we're very picky about our Condrieu and Viognier. This is only our third Condrieu offering in our fifteen-year history, and one of the previous offers was Bénetière's 2013 Condrieu.

Over the years, we've had some stunning bottles that have made us believers. We've had very impressive bottles of Georges Vernay's Condrieu and Château-Grillet from the 60s and 70s that have convinced us there is potential for near greatness. It's not an accident that Curnonsky, a famous 20th Century Parisian gourmet known as the "Prince of Gastronomes," included the wines of Château-Grillet among "the five great white wines of France," along with Montrachet and Yquem.

For us, Condrieu gets into its zone when the lavish textures are tempered by a steely mineral core and an impression of levity and finesse. Bénetière delivers both of these in a very compelling way.

Bénetière's Condrieu is primarily sourced from the steep terraced, granite vineyard lieux-dit of Le Tinal, which is located just above the famed Chateau Grillet. Sadly, production of this Condrieu stopped after the 2013 vintage leaving only Bénetière's tiny 0.2ha holding in the Riollement, which he bottles separately in very small quantities.

The 2007 and 2010 serve as perfect bookends to each other. In 2007, you get the radiant, incredibly clear layers of stone fruits, floral notes, and honey, all tied together with a tight web of phenolics and verve. The 2010 delivers a punchier, more focused, and relatively more introverted expression.

Both vintages showcase Bénetière's brilliant work with Condrieu and are beginning to show the mineral ungirding that becomes more prominent with age. I should warn you that quantities are extremely limited and when they're gone, that's it.

To order, email offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2007 & 2010 Bénetière Condrieu

2007 Condrieu

Special Bottle Price: $67.95

2010 Condrieu

Special Bottle Price: $69.95

Special 4-Pack Price (2 of each): $259.80