Frome a very small 6 hectare estate in Condrieu, it’s no wonder the fabulous Jean-François Jacouton Condrieu 2017 is in general hard to get hold of. After working for others in the wine world Jean-François Jacouton set up his own domaine in 2010 with just 6 hectares (for Condrieu and his other wines). The land, typically for Northern Rhône, is steep and terraced and so all the vineyard work has to be done by hand. Passionate about his terroir Jean François’s aim is to make precise wines: Viognier is notoriously difficult to grow well – and has a tendency particularly in warm climate areas to be a bit OTT with exotic fruit flavours and low acidity. But Jean François makes sure he picks the grapes at their optimal ripeness and before acidity falls too low so that there is a zippy citrussy edge to cut through the juicy stone fruit flavours.
This wine certainly ticks all the boxes of a top Condrieu: an elegant wine with fairly restrained peaches & apricots with some stony minerality and crisp citrus on the finish; a medium body and the most amazing smooth texture. It’s almost oily but without the wine tasting very rich as the acidity keeps it very fresh. I disagree with my wine hero, Jancis Robinson, below: the finish is really quite long but I have had the advantage of tasting this wine more recently and it has developed beautifully since 2018. I think this might be my new favourite white!
And if you find Condrieu a little expensive, why not try a Viognier from the same producer.
Note: You can also send a bottle of Jean-François Jacouton Condrieu 2017 as a gift