Guigal has produced La Doriane, their top cuvée of Condrieu, since the 1994 vintage. The Viognier grapes for this wine are sourced from some of the finest sites in the appellation, including Côtes Chatillon, a steeply terraced shale, silicone and limestone vineyard overlooking the town of Condrieu itself. The other vineyards are Coteaux de Chery (granite and schist) and Colombier (granite and sand), situated further south, and starting in 2005, Château Volan – an exceptionally steep, south-facing vineyard comprised of granite and iron oxide near the town of Malleval.
Guigal performs several green harvests during the growing season in these vineyards to keep yields exceptionally low. In the vintages 1994 through 1997, Guigal made the wine in a fashion similar to their ‘regular’ cuvée, fermenting a portion in new oak barrels (33% for the regular, 50% for La Doriane) and the rest in stainless steel. Since the 1998 vintage La Doriane is fermented and aged in 100% new oak barriques each year, with a higher level of fine lees included in the fermenting must to help the wine integrate the oak character more completely. A great success since the first vintage, the wine always seems rich and very fruity when young, transforming in 3-4 years into a seamlessly complex, aromatic and vibrant wine. La Doriane contradicts the accepted wisdom that Condrieu does not age well.