About this WINE
Jean Claude Mouton is a worthy representative of the new generation in the northern Rhône; who, despite the lofty location of his winery, high above the mighty river, is still on an upward trajectory in terms of reputation.
He is fortunate, in this respect, in having two perfectly located vineyards in the steep granitic slopes of Côte Chatillon in Condrieu and the schistous terraces of the Côte Blonde above Ampuis in Côte-Rôtie; he makes benchmark wines in each appellation.
Generous barrel maturation in both cases allows the famous terroir a full and harmonious expression.
VdP des Collines Rhodaniennes
Yves Cuilleron and Domaine Vins de Vienne (the Yves Cuilleron - Pierre Gaillard & François Villard joint venture) are the star performers in this Vin de Pays appellation, offering red and white wines from Syrah and Viogner. The wines are distinctly modern-styled yet filled with terroir character and show depth of fruit and powerful structure.
It is a poor-yielding grape that is notoriously fickle to grow, being susceptible to a whole gamut of pests and diseases. Crucially it must be picked at optimum ripeness - if harvested too early and under-ripe the resulting wine can be thin, dilute and unbalanced, while if picked too late then the wine will lack the grape's distinctive peach and honeysuckle aroma. It is most successfully grown in the tiny appellations of Château-Grillet and Condrieu where it thrives on the distinctive arzelle granite-rich soils. It is also grown in Côte Rôtie where it lends aromatic richness to the wines when blended with Syrah.
Viognier has been on the charge in the Southern Rhône and the Languedoc throughout the 1990s and is now a key component of many white Côtes du Rhône. In Languedoc and Rousillon it is increasingly being bottled unblended and with notable success with richly fragrant wines redolent of overripe apricots and peaches and selling at a fraction of the price of their Northern Rhône cousins.