2019 Remi Niero Condrieu Chery

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Wine Critic Reviews for 2019 Remi Niero Condrieu Chery

The 2019 Condrieu Chery is always a more steely, mineral-driven example of this appellation, but it packs a punch in 2019 and has powerful notes of buttered citrus, pineapple, honeysuckle, and a liquid rock-like minerality. These carry to a rich, full-bodied Condrieu with an opulent texture, moderate acidity, and a great finish. As with most 2019 Condrieu (and 2018s), it’s not going to be the longest lived, but who cares? Drink this brilliant wine over the coming 4-5 years.

Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JD
From 70-year-old vines, the 2016 Condrieu Chéry is a bit more concentrated than Niero’s Les Ravines bottling, but otherwise, it’s similar in its aromas of crushed stone and pineapple. Like the other wines at this estate, it’s aged 12 months in a mix of stainless steel (60%) and oak barrels (40%), giving it a rich, slightly oily texture. It’s harmonious and long, with pineapple and melon flavors giving way to gingery spice on the finish. (JC

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93-95 RP

Wine Details on 2019 Remi Niero Condrieu Chery

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Producer Remi Niero: The Northern Rhone is renowned for exceptional wines of immense flavor, subtle power and elegance. The appellation of Cote-Rotie is arguably the most prestigious red-wine growing location in the Rhone Valley. When it comes to production of whites, the AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) Condrieu reigns supreme and where the Viognier grape reaches its full zenith. Neither AOC possesses an abundance of hectares under vine making parcels of land extremely prized and coveted. Producers such as Remi Niero, who also owns land in Saint Joseph, compensate their limited vines with impeccable quality. World-wide demand for such wines severely outweighs the region’s production.

It is on terraced hillsides that Niero harvests top-quality vines of Viognier and Syrah. This landscape is a key element, essential to the production of unparalleled vintages of Condrieu, Cote-Rotie and Saint-Joseph. From the steep granitic hillsides of Condrieu to the east facing slopes of sunny Saint Joseph to the steeply elevated, rocky soils of Cote-Rotie and their sun bathed vines, the landscape and terroir of Remi Niero vineyards is truly spectacular. The wines become a true replication of their terroir; finely structured, complex aromas and elegant.

Remi Niero wines from the Grand Crus of the Northern Rhone Valley truly reflect his passion for winemaking. These fruits of labor derive from a genuine know-how inherited from his father and grand-father. Third generation farmer, Remi Niero, owes his entire expertise and devotion for wine growing to his father, Robert Niero. Robert had initially acquired a small vineyard from his father-in-law, Jean Pinchon, in 1985. It is here that he planted vines and endured the difficult labor in those “chaillets” to make one of the most magnificent landscapes even more exceptional. Despite the arduous work required for this soil (and its impossible terrain) his efforts have continued to be rewarded in the form of authentic and naturally balanced wines.

Starting with intensive work in the vineyards, continuing all the way through the winemaking process, Remi and his team continue to strive to obtain the perfect maturity of the grapes, then capture the quintessential aromas to offer the best expressions of Syrah and Viognier in the Northern Rhone. Caring about environment, Remi Niero has resorted to thoughtful working methods in the vineyard so as to develop a responsible wine growing process. Moreover, aware of the need to adapt his culture policies, he has recently resorted to organic farming. The harmony in which the terroir, grape varietal and producer develops wines with no façade; for they show themselves in all their untethered glory.

The Remi Niero portfolio is impressive for a producer with such limited hectares under vine (3 hectares in Cote-Rotie, 2 hectares in Condrieu and 1 hectare in Saint Joseph). Multiple Condrieu wines grace the collection, including Heart of Rocharde, Les Ravines, Legacy and their esteemed Chery, hailing from the famous hillside of Chery; considered the most beautiful terroir of the appellation. Niero also produces several Cote-Rotie wines, including Heritage, which pays tribute to both his father and grandfather, and the wisdom in which they instilled. To drink Remi Niero wines is similar to discovering unique, emblematic wines which are instilled with a subtle blend of tradition and modernity.
Region Rhone: While the Northern Rhone produces only about 5% of all wine coming out of the Rhone Valley, the quality of these bottles is not to be underestimated. The terroir in this region is heavenly for growing Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne or Rousanne - the only permitted grapes in the AOC. Picture this - the Rhone flows through the valley like an azure thread piercing the landscape, a reflection of the dreamy skies hovering above the vineyards, ready to produce rainfall at a moment's notice. The rocky soil of the steep, almost surreal hillsides provides a bountiful feast for the grapevine roots. The flavors and texture of Northern Rhone wines tell you everything you need to know as soon as your lips touch the elixir, like a whisper in the vigorous valley winds

As per the Southern Rhone wine, it is like taking a plunge into a whirlpool of juicy flavor. Every sip explodes forward like a crashing tsunami, bathing your tastebuds in delicious aromas of prune, chocolate, grass, and black fruit. The wines are so compelling that it can be hard to drink them casually at a social event without getting lost in their intricate textures and emotional depths. Let's set sail together, and drink deep from these luxurious bottles with our friends and loved ones.
Subregion Northern Rhone
Appellation Condrieu
Country France: Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.

For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.

France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.

France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.

Type of Wine Rhone (Other): Rhone wines come from southern France, where a wide variety of grapes are cultivated. Some of the most commonly used varietals within this region are Syrah, Grenache Noir, Carignan, and Cinsaut for red wines, while white blends are typically based on Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Carignan Blanc, Grenache Blanc and others.
Varietal Viognier: Northern Rhone is home to some of the most hedonistic wines in the world, which can be greatly credited to the mighty Syrah grape.  However, the white grapes of the region produce wines just as dizzyingly spectacular and pleasure-inducing as the reds.  They may be overshadowed and overlooked, but not to be underestimated.  One such grape is Viognier, which hails from, arguably, the Northern Rhone’s most distinctive wine appellation, Condrieu.

The appellation of Condrieu was officially created in 1940; it has since been exclusively devoted to the Viognier grape.  However, the cradle of Viognier had enjoyed the presence of this mighty white for many centuries prior to its formation.  The first historical reference of Viognier was mentioned in the same breath as the Condrieu region in 1781, in Barthelemy Faujas de Saint-Fonds’ Histoire Naturelle de la Province de Dauphine, in which it was written as “Vionnier.”  It is likely much older and is speculated to have arrived to France during the time of the ancient Romans.  Nonetheless, the varietal enjoyed great fame and success in Northern Rhone up until middle of the 20th century when it nearly faced extinction.  With only 8 hectares remaining in the region (and the world) Viognier was slowly revived by devotees and advocates of the varietal and its fortunes have been reversed with greater regional, national and international plantings. 

Since its renaissance in the 1970s, the Viognier grape and the wines of Condrieu have gained increasing popularity among consumers and growers alike.  Today, Viognier represents nearly 5,500 hectares of vines in France.  It has traveled beyond its borders and is distributed among many localities in Northern Rhone, such as the neighboring hillsides of Chateau Grillet, Ampuis and Cote Rotie.  It is also gaining traction for its success in Southern Rhone and the Languedoc.  Some successful plantings have taken root in the soils of South Africa, Australia and California; however, the grape is fussy and needs great care and attention for it to prosper.

Viognier is known to be unforgiving and difficult to manage in the vineyards; it is hard to cultivate and not naturally inclined to producing healthy, reliable yields.  The thick-skinned, white and amber colored grapes are mid to late ripening and have naturally low acidity which require a great deal of sunshine to ripen properly.  It is quite sensitive to heat; too much direct sunlight can yield overblown, hotly alcoholic wines which lack the grape’s true characteristics.  Despite its difficulties, the grape reaches its true zenith in the hilly terrain and terroir of Condrieu, which is comprised of limestone, mica, schist and granite soils. 

The wines produced from Viognier are deep golden in color, with an unmistakable, heady aroma of apricots, peaches and honeysuckle.  Some wines take on herbal notes of chamomile, lavender, thyme and pine, depending on the location in which it is cultivated.  When Viognier is crafted into sweeter styles, the hallmark aromas are softened and infiltrated by honeyed notes.  On the palate the wines can range from light and spritzy to the oaked versions of rich and creamy flavor and texture, with a highly viscous mouth-feel.

Viognier is king of Condrieu, its stronghold; it has greatly influence winemaking in the Rhone Valley and is now being internationally cultivated.  It may still need an introduction to a majority of consumers; though, pleasure seekers are probably well aware of the grape’s hedonistic qualities.  Viognier has come back from the brink of extinction and today is considered to be one of the most distinctive, seductive and unforgettable varieties in the world.

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