Our tasting impressions
Oh my, this Condrieu really rocked my world! I can't recall the last time I tasted a young wine with so much dimensionality and character. The flavor profile is so broad and complex as to be almost dizzying. As these vines age more and Corentin further hones his craft, it is hard to imagine that the wine can continue to get better each year, but his track record says otherwise. With a few more months in bottle, there will be even more focus and precision. Don't miss this!
About this wine
Chief was on a quest to find great unheralded Condrieu. After scouring the region, he found Pichon and his mission was accomplished.
100% Viognier from vines up to 60 years old in Roche Coulante, Mève and Maladière, on south facing granite slopes and southeast facing granite terraces. Yields are 37 hl/ha.
The grapes are handpicked and whole clusters are crushed with a pneumatic press. Cold fermentation (and malolactic) is spontaneous in barrels. Aged in 30% new oak barrels and 70% one-year old oak barrels.
About the grape
Viognier is a relatively low acid, higher alcohol grape that can provide a full wine with delicate flavors. Usually very floral and often displaying tropical fruit flavors. The wines generally are intended for early consumption when the fruit is freshest, but the Pichons treated us to a tasting of several older vintages of their Condrieu and two out of three were interesting and enjoyable despite the vines being very young when they were produced. Just be prepared for a very different experience featuring musk and oxidative notes.
About the vintage
2019 was yet another hot and dry growing season, albeit not excessively so. Rain in late August and early September was just what the winemaker ordered. Most of the region experienced good quantities of very healthy and ripe grapes. Corentin considers it a great vintage for whites and reds alike. He says the wines are more structured than 2018 and better for cellaring.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Liberté
The Pichon family is a growing force in the Northern Rhône region. Corentin, the eldest of the six children of Isabelle and Christophe, is a young, talented, 3rd generation winemaker. But this is every bit the family business as all of his 5 siblings are involved, along with Corentin's partner and mom and dad.
Based in Chavanay, the Pichons produce wines of elegance and finesse in a variety of appellations spanning more than 20 hectares. Chemical treatment of the mostly Syrah and Viognier vineyards is kept to a bare minimum. In addition to those from their own vines, they also purchase grapes for other wines.
VDLT has been visiting the Pichons for many years and is proud to include them as a foundation of the portfolio.