Expected Arrival November 2023
Our tasting impressions
We have tasted some incredible vintages of Caresse, but dare we say, none have impressed initially as much as the 2020. Even at this early stage, there is impeccable balance and the oak already seems beautifully integrated. Often Caresse reminds us of Brigette Bardot. This one is more evocative of Catherine Deneuve. Fabulous Condrieu!
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
2020 was an outstanding vintage in the Northern Rhône. A mild winter was followed by a warm, dry spring. The sweltering summer heat was mitigated by timely and sufficient rain, but even more so by cool nights. The early harvest was completed by mid-September. Most of it was done in the very early mornings - offering critical relief to the pickers and the grapes.
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.