From Our Cellar

Christophe Pichon Cornas Allégorie 2016

About this wine

100% Syrah 70-year old vines in granite soil (cooled magma, mostly quartz).  The juice from handpicked grapes with yields of 38 hl/ha is aged 14 months in oak barrels – half new & half one-year old.  Only the second vintage from Pichon.


About the grape

Syrah is the sixth most planted grape worldwide.  It thrives on steep slopes because of the dry climate and soil that enable deep root penetration.  The grapes are small and dark-skinned high in acid and tannins. 


About the vintage

2016 Syrah production in the Northern Rhône was widely acclaimed but by no means easy. The biggest challenge was achieving requisite ripeness due to a rainy spring followed by a very dry summer. Those who waited long enough to pick were able to produce wines of great transparency. They are more compact and less rich than 2015’s but certainly more classically-styled.


Our tasting impressions

Oy, what a stupefying nose.  You expect the taste to be a letdown…NO!  Deep and rich dark-fruit flavors.  Cornas tends towards rustic but the Pichon finesse is apparent without belying the terroir.  I thought the 2015 was great…then I tasted this.  Better balance, more complex.  It’s got significant tannins but they are ripe and smooth.  Rigorously decant for many hours to drink now or wait five.  There is at least 15 years of development ahead.


On your table

Chief’s late friend, Auguste Clape believed rabbit and Cornas are a great match.  Who are we to argue with a Cornas master?  Break down the critter, season with rosemary and thyme, then wrap  in bacon and roast for about a half hour.  Serve this wine at cellar temp.

Christophe Pichon

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Christophe Pichon

The Pichon family is a growing force in the Northern Rhône region. Christophe and Isabelle continue to steer the 18 hectare Domaine, but their sons, the third generation - Corentin, the principal winemaker and Alexis, who focuses on sales and marketing - are making their mark.

Based in Chavanay, the Pichons produce wines of elegance and finesse in a variety of appellations. Chemical treatment of the mostly Syrah and Viognier vineyards is kept to a bare minimum.


The joy of this family of eight is evident in their wines. VDLT has been visiting the Pichons for many years and is proud to include them as a foundation of the portfolio.  Last year, Alexis visited New York for the first time for a VDLT tasting event. We enjoyed introducing him to some of NYC’s finest, as well as bringing him to tour one of the best wineries on Long Island.