Wines that come from the tiny northern Rhône village of Condrieu are the pinnacle expressions of the Viognier grape. 'Les Mandouls' comes from the local name of the almond trees that are first to bloom with white flowers at the end of winter. This is a reference to the very fragrant, floral notes of our Condrieu. This wine, a 100% Viognier, comes from a site with rich granitic sub-soil with alluvial deposits on the surface. These varied soil layers add additional complexity and mouthfeel to a wine that is both aromatic and rich. The vines at this site are situated on steep slopes which are organized in terraces (les chalets) surrounded by low walls. Due to these steep slopes, all work in the vineyard and harvesting must be done by hand.
After the grapes are brought into the cellar, they are sorted manually and pressed with the must being cold-settled for 48 hours. Only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation, which occurs naturally and spontaneously. Viognier is an incredibly aromatic grape known for its expressive profile, so to maximize these aromas, the wine does not go through malolactic fermentation. Once primary fermentation is completed, the wine is aged in 85% stainless steel and the rest in large oak barrels known as demi-muids to achieve the purest fruit possible. 'Les Mandouls' is beautiful and intense in youth and has the structure for further cellar aging.
92 points, Jeb Dunnuck – “The 2018 Condrieu Les Mandouls is another attractive, balanced, incredibly well-made wine from this estate. Spice citrus, apricot, and floral notes, with a hint of toast, all emerge from the glass and it's nicely textured, balanced, and layered, with a clean finish.