Domaine Marie-Thérèse and Hervé Richard
I have been fighting against the modern tendency in Condrieu that wants to offer warm, sensual, creamy wines with a lot of ripeness (too much) and a lot of oak (too much). When you see those slopes where the declivity is often frightening, currently 40 to 50% and more, how can the wines be anything but very seriously mineral. It’s all stone, granite and schist. It’s all abrupt and violent; the result cannot be smooth, sweet, a “crème anglaise.” The result is what the Richard estate achieves through their Martial and Amaraze Condrieu Cuvées; precise, intense and straightforward wines.
The Saint-Joseph plot called “Les Nuelles” produced a wonderful wine in 2006. It has the perfect ripeness with not a hint of over ripe cooked fruit. It has a perfect acidity balance that you do not notice as it is in total harmony with the fruit, and yet, it brings the freshness and the air that makes your mouth breathe. Gently smoky with an overwhelmingly generous raspberry, an elegant ground pepper poured on top of this appetizing flesh, and the bottle is already finished.
Barbecue, a great pastrami, a boiled smoked beef tongue, or a rack of lamb, and everybody shall be happy.
The vintage 2006 is probably the best vintage in northern Rhône since 1999.
The Richards have four children. They also live in Chavannay, like Philippe Verzier does, the last village bearing the Saint-Joseph appellation to the north just before you cross the railroad and arrive to Condrieu. The family atmosphere generates a sensation of peace and harmony that obviously also found in their wine.