B-21 Top Recommendation
Domaine Georges Vernay, founded by Francis Vernay in 1937, is a third-generation, venerable wine producer, located in the heart of Condrieu, France. The efforts of Francis Vernay were instrumental in the creation of the official Condrieu appellation in 1940. In later years, Francis was succeeded by his son Georges, who played a key role in restricting the geographical boundaries of Condrieu, preserving the character of the appellation and ensuring its future greatness. In 1996, Christine Vernay, Georges' daughter, took over as winemaker and General Manager of the Estate. Recognized as one of the great winemakers in France, several of her wines have recently been awarded the coveted 100 points in the world’s top wine publications; remarkable - since the 2011 vintage, not a score below 96 from Jeb Dunnuck for the Coteau de Vernon. Among the top two or three Condrieu in any vintage, the Coteau de Vernon comes from very old vines planted in 1936 and 1960, on the steep granite slopes just behind the Vernay estate.
From vines just next to the Coteau Vernon, the Condrieu Les Chaillées de L'Enfer is year-in, year-out one of the top examples from this appellation. The 2018 Condrieu Les Chaillées De L'Enfer reveals a light gold color as well as a gorgeous bouquet of ripe stone fruits, honeyed nectarines, and apricots intermixed with notions of white flowers, white chocolate, and truffly earth. Possessing an incredible sense of salty minerality, medium to full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and a great finish, it strikes a beautiful balance between richness and freshness and stays light on its feet and elegant. I'd drink bottles over the coming 4-6 years, but it will evolve for longer.
97 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Nov 2020)
Bright and nicely detailed, with a mix of green almond, white peach, honeysuckle and mango notes, backed by a subtle bitter orange thread on the finish. The rich and showy side of this white is balanced by its inner purity. Drink now through 2024. 650 cases made, 35 cases imported.
95 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Nov 2020)