Domaine Georges Vernay Les Terrasses de l’Empire Condrieu 2016

Striking a balance between fruitiness and freshness is an art, not a science. You cannot, for example, measure that sort of harmony by units of acidity nor gm of sugar. Such a result is mind over matter. Philosophy rather than science. Winemakers capable of achieving such sublime results believe that “less is more”. The contrarian view is to hit you over the head with in-your-face fruit. Such simple-minded winemakers swear by awesome, monster wines. Why anyone would want to drink a monster is anyone’s guess. Domaine Georges Vernay produces Condrieu of a finesse to make you believe that unicorns once roam the earth. The wines are just that refined and absorbing. Third-generation daughter Christine Vernay assumed responsibility in 1996 and turns organic grapes into remarkable wine from their family vineyards. I had met Georges Vernay 25 years ago and Christine on another trip to Condrieu about 15 years later. Scented and delicately perfumed. Flowers, a whiff of lychees, and white/pink/golden peaches. The immediacy is fruitiness followed by  texture: creamy, gently glycerol, velvety. After that initial caress, the wine releases a  torrent of freshness. The fruitiness is surfing on wave after wave of invigorating acidity. A conquering Condrieu from an aptly named vineyard called “The Terraces of the Empire”.

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