In a nutshell: A delightful Viognier made by one of the northern Rhône's masters.
The lowdown: Being of such good provenance this is always going to be a good wine even though it only has a modest appellation. It's aged for ten months in large oak barrels which provides a subtle extra layer of interest to add to the crispness and zest added by the small amount of Clairette in the blend.
When to drink: An excellent Rhône Viognier with a manageable price tag. Try it with a cheese fondue.
Stéphane Montez's family have been growing grapes in the Northern Rhône for ten generations and today have 23 hectares of prime vineyards in Condrieu, Côte Rôtie and Saint-Joseph. Their winery is just north of the village of Chavany in the heart of the region.
After formally studying winemaking in France, Stéphane travelled to South Africa, Australia, California and England to experience winemaking outside France, before returning to the family estate. He took over the business in 1997 and has driven the quality of the wines and the domaine's reputation to even greater heights. Winemaking focuses on power, precision and structure and involves temperature-controlled fermentations, careful extraction and the use of large wooden vats known as demi-muids.