[ Northern Rhone – France ]
[ Story: ]
André Perret is considered by opinion leaders and the international wine press as the top producer of high quality Condrieu. His wines are impeccably made, using skin contact, higher-than-average fermentation temperatures, full malolactic and batonnage to produce full-bodied, mouthfilling expressions of intense Viognier fruit. Good acidity underscores each wine, reducing the sense that they are too heavy or flabby.
His Saint-Joseph wines are every bit as impressive. The white is an opulent expression of the potential of the Marsanne grape, while the reds benefit from steep south-facing hillside sites that bring them closer in style to Côte Rôtie than the bulk of weedy, flatland reds that have highjacked the name Saint-Joseph. The Les Grisières cuvée, in particular, is one of the veritable stars of the appellation; a wine that will not disappoint the most choosy of Syrah afficionados.
The young and amicable André Perret has achieved a lot in a very short time. Now regarded as one of the stars of Condrieu, he began in 1983 with just a single acre or so, inherited from his father, most of which was dedicated to other fruit than grapes. He had studied biology at Lyon University, before moving to the Macon wine school to refine his craft. Upon his return, he switched the emphasis of the estate to quality wine production, and started renting and buying parcels on the best south-facing slopes of Condrieu.
His great ‘coup’ was in securing approximately 10 acres of the celebrated Côteau de Chéry, which is now recognised as THE grand cru of Condrieu. Today, these wines are impeccably made, and Perret is amongst the leading growers who have revived the tradition reputation and image of great Northern Rhone white wines.