From Our Cellar

Christophe Pichon Côte Rôtie Promesse 2016

Christophe Pichon

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Our tasting impressions

Smooth and quite approachable for a young Syrah.  An herbal note gives this Promesse interesting character.  As with almost all of Pichon’s 2016’s, there is even more balance than the terrific 2015.  Plenty of pleasure now but better in a few years and should continue to evolve for 20 years.  Crazy good price for terrific Côte Rôtie.


About this wine

Many Côte Rôtie producers would be proud to produce just this cuvée, but it is the entry-level offering from Pichon.  92% Syrah and 8% Viognier from vines in Rozier (2/3) and Le Plomb (1/3) up to 55 years old planted in schist yielding 40 hl/ha. The grapes are handpicked. The wine ages 13 months in oak - 75% new & 25% one year old barrels.


About the grape blend

Côte Rôtie is comprised largely of Syrah but the addition of up to 20% Viognier is permitted.  Syrah 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.  The Viognier adds finesse and balance. 


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.


On your table

Serve at cellar temperature with this stuffed zucchini recipe.


Suggested Glassware: Grassl 1855

Christophe Pichon

The Pichon family is a growing force in the Northern Rhône region. Christophe and Isabelle continue to steer the 23 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.  A few years ago, 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 taking him on a tour of Long Island wineries.


VDLT is the only North American source for current vintages of Pichon’s wines.