Our tasting impressions
No surprise that this is more challenging to taste at this early stage than the Condrieu. It is apparent that is richer, zestier and more savory. Likely this needs a year to coalesce and evolve but all the requisite components seem to be there for this to an outstanding Caresse.
About this wine
100% Viognier from a single, exceptional plot of vines averaging 45 years on south-facing granite slopes. Yields are 35 hl/ha. The lees are stirred during fermentation. The malolactic fermentation is completed. Aged in 228-liter oak barrels - half new and half one-year old. Only 2,500 bottles produced.
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.