2019 Condrieu, Les Vieilles Vignes de Jacques Vernay, Stéphane Ogier, Rhône
About this WINE
Domaine Stephane Ogier
The Ogier family had been established growers in Ampuis for over seven generations, but it was only in the 1980s that they began vinifying their own grapes. Stéphane joined the family estate in ’97, working alongside his father Michel, before taking over in 2003.
Heralded as the face of the Northern Rhône’s new generation, Stéphane continues acquiring new parcels and trying new techniques. He brings a Burgundian approach to the region’s terroir from his studies in Beaune. He works with multiple lieux-dits, vinifying each separately and using oak sparingly. This allows the characteristics of each to show. He releases many wines as single lieu-dit bottlings later in the year and others he blends, selecting from different barrels to build a style representative of both his vision and the vintage. Stéphane’s latest investment includes vineyards in Rasteau, Cairanne, and Plan de Dieu in the Southern Rhône, bringing his total land-ownings there up to 50 hectares, all destined for his Côtes-du-Rhône offering.
Until you’ve tasted Viognier grown in Condrieu, you’ve never truly experienced the grape’s majesty. In the same way that winemakers the world over have planted Pinot Noir in the hope of emulating red Burgundy, so too they’ve planted Viognier in the hope of achieving the unique balance of exotic perfume, weight and freshness for which Condrieu is famed. Few succeed. Traditionally, winemakers here have used relatively inert, large wooden vessels vinification and élevage are in relatively inert, large, wooden vessels, but the new generation of winemakers are increasingly interested in the qualities of new oak.
Plantings have expanded beyond the core of the AOC, around the village itself, to 140 hectares from the low of eight hectares in the 1960s. The vineyards pick up where Côte-Rôtie leaves off, the slope continues, but the schist of the north begins to give way to a little more granite and a topsoil of decomposed mica. Today the appellation is characterised by energy and creativity, and demand for the wines from this diminutive region is soaring.
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