Expected Arrival November 2023
Our tasting impressions
Right now, this Cornas is lighter than past vintages. Alexis assured us that patience will be rewarded as this wine will develop and grow over time. Even so, it is a fleshy, flavorful Cornas that evokes its terroir but with the usual Pichon finesse.
About this wine
100% Syrah from a 1ha, 70-year old southeast facing vineyard in granite soil (cooled magma, mostly quartz). The vines sit a 400m in a crater carved out of the slope by the mistral. The handpicked grapes with yields of 40 hl/ha are de-stemmed and pneumatically pressed. Fermentation is naturally occurring over 28 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats with pumping over and punching down twice a day. Aging is for 14 months in oak barrels that are 3 years old.
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
2021 was extremely challenging for grape growing regions throughout Europe -Northern Rhône included. But very good wines were possible from diligent farmers and, lower yields produce more complex wines. Very mild and dry conditions at the start of the growing season prompted early bud break. So, when the spring frosts hit, there was signifiant loss of grapes. Frequent summer thunderstorms and generally high humidity posed further issues and limited sunshine made it difficult for the grapes to ripen. Ultimately, while generally lighter, the wines have good energy and balance.
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.