Pierre Bénétière is a self-made man and staunch Northern Rhone traditionalist cut from the mold of the great icons of the region, Gentaz-Dervieux, Verset, Juge, Allemand, etc. While Pierre grew up in a wine family, his parents did not actually produce wine, but were merchants in Condrieu selling local table wines to the bars and restaurants in the area. He eventually studied Enology and started his winery in the late `80s by acquiring a small parcel of land in the southern end of Cote Rotie (in the lieu-dit of Cordeloux near Condrieu) and clearing and planting the vineyards himself. He later added two small vineyards in Condrieu itself as well as a small parcel of old vines in the heart of the Cote Rotie appellation, on the Cote Brune and right in the middle of Guigal’s famed “La Turque”!
The Condrieu is nicely phenolic in texture, and avoids the cloying quality that one often finds in this appellation. The richness of the wine is nicely balanced with an underlying acidity (he is clearly picking on the early side).