Francois Merlin Condrieu ‘Les Terroirs’ 2020: exquisite wine from one of the most exciting names in the Northern Rhone today: case of six bottles delivered
96/100 – Decanter
This is an exquisite Condrieu from one of the most exciting names in the Northern Rhône today, Francois Merlin. It balances the Viognier grape’s trademark luscious apricot fruit with a charming floral lilt and a texture pitched nicely between opulence and gentle acidity. Utterly delicious, it is worthy of serving with your finest seafood: wild turbot, lobster and prawns such as carabineros.
The François Merlin domaine has rapidly ascended to the top tier of northern Rhône producers. Here is what Decanter connoisseurs note about this superb Condrieu ‘Les Terroirs’ 2020:
Matt Walls: ‘Full, opulent but not heavy. Concentrated and intense, with good acidity. Long, retaining a sense of freshness. Cat Lomax: Fuzzy peach and tropical notes with overt parma violets. Concentration of fruit, weighty but balanced by fresh, sustained acidity. Nice mineral crunch to the finish.’
Notes Tanguy Martin, winner of the UK’s top sommelier title, ‘A generous palate with concentrated texture and a lovely lift on the finish.’
The wine is a blend from three sites totalling 1.5 hectares, with vines averaging 30 years in age. It has a marked goût de terroir with more finesse and freshness than many Condrieu. The wine is matured in oak, producing a notably mineral, fresh style. On the nose, it has all the exoticism you expect, with ripe peach, pineapple and a touch of lychee yet with precision and freshness, a honeysuckle delicacy and wonderful saline, mineral line. Deliciously viscous in texture, but with plenty of juicy acidity to cut through the sheer weight of the fruit. The use of oak is beautifully judged.
Drinking beautifully now, this fine Condrieu will age for up to five years.
Case of six bottles. Code MC20RW04. RRP £330. CCUK £209. Includes UK mainland delivery (courier surcharge for Highlands & Islands).