Domaine Georges Vernay - Fleurs de Mai - Syrah - red - 2019 - 750 ml
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WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING
Wine Person of the Year 2012: Christine Vernay.
Producer of exceptional wines, the absolute pinnacle of quality in France and in the world. Bettane and Desseauve, Le Grand Guide des Vins de France 2012
This cuvée comes from mature Syrah vines and offers a degustation very close to that of a Côte-Rôtie. It derives its name “Fleurs de Mai” ‘May Flowers’ from the May Flower peach trees that were long ago found planted on the plot. A wine of deep fragrances, those of black cherries and pepper, game and spices all wrapped around a supple texture. Ripe, fresh and persistant, it is remarkably well balanced wine produced in small, limited quantities.
Far removed from the plump, languid Viogniers from less unique terroirs, Domaine Georges Vernay’s three Condrieu, remain quite unlike any other wine produced in the world. Made from tiny yields on incredibly steep granite terraces, they are not cheap, but then nor should they be. They come from one of the most challenging – and expensive to manage – vineyard areas in the world, and they are benchmark examples. In the firmament of great white wine, these are counted amongst the very best.
Befitting the civility and studious nature of this Domaine, it is appropriate that their measured evolution from a great grower in the Northern Rhône into one of the greatest growers in France has been understated. At Domaine Georges Vernay, authenticity comes in the form of old vines, low yields and the mantra of ‘minimal intervention’. We could fill pages with the recent critical success that winemaker Christine Vernay and her wines have achieved over the past few years. This is actually quite scary considering that even a few years back it didn’t seem possible for their wines to get much better. And yet, that is exactly what has happened.
Christine Vernay’s received the “Wine Person of the Year 2012” award from the two leading French wine critics, Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve. In their new guide, 2012 Le Grand Guide des Vins de France, Vernay was elevated to the top “5 Star” rating. Vernay joins a clique of only 30 French Estates - that includes Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Ausone, Latour, Margaux, Lafite Rothschild and Yquem. It’s also worth noting that Vernay probably is the most artisanal of these and is also one of the few family-owned Domaines in this class. It’s an incredible achievement, yet for those insiders familiar with the wines, it’s an achievement that will not surprise.
There are two prestigious Condrieu cuvees, Côteau de Vernon and Les Chaillées de l’Enfer. The ‘normal’ cuvée is known as “Les Terrasses de l’Empire”. Today, the two Côte Rôties produced - la Blonde du Seigneur and Maison Rouge - are also regarded as some of the finest in the region. There is some great value to be had from the le Pied de Samson Viognier and the Georges Vernay Syrah.
Region: Rhone Valley
Appellation: IGP Collines Rhodaniennes
Producer: Christine Vernay
Grape: 100% Syrah
Age of the vines: 50 years
Vineyard: Mature vines planted on the plateau adjacent to the Condrieu appellation
Aging: 8 months in oak vats
Total Production: 6,000 bottles