Éric Texier Côtes du Rhône 2007 & 2008
After a forward and voluptuous 2007, the 2008 was not appreciated by most - but I loved it. Slightly too lactic at first, but it cleared up by the second glass. It is much more savoury than the 2007 with lovely pepper and camphor aromas instead of the '07's dark, sweet, strawberry aromas. Good richness despite only 12,5% abv, lovely tannins, refreshing and palate-cleansing. It isn't lacking in fruit IMO, it just isn't as obvious as the 2007, which also had good structure and no excess fat or flab or heat (which is rare for this year in my experience in the South). I liked both, but will probably open more 2008 at home because I love the savouriness and the structure.
Éric Texier Opâle 2009
7% abv; 100% Viognier; from Condrieu; moût de raisins partiellement fermenté (partially fermented grape must). Lovely scent: very appley and mineral like a BdB Champagne, except with a vivid, crystallized fruitiness more akin to Mosel Riesling. Slight sweetness (I have no figures, sadly), good tartness and minerality; almost endless. There is a slight yeastiness to the palate that one of us found a little off-putting - and though I noticed it, too, it was in such small amounts that I didn't find it annoying at all. I had thought of Viognier as usually overly perfumed and under-structured, but this peachy, stony delight was a great antidote to my previous, mostly bad experiences. This is lovely and moreish.