Our tasting impressions
Pichon's Promesse often can be characterized as modern in style. The careful yet pronounced oak treatment is why this Côte Rôtie can be so accessible and enjoyable in its youth. Having tasted older vintages, I can assure you that the oak integrates very nicely. All of this is a lead-up to saying the 2019 Promesse tips decidedly more classical as Corentin allows the voice of the vintage to speak clearly. While at the same time, it is fleshier and more open that its 2 stablemates. Promesse may be entry-level Côte Rôtie chez PIchon but it remains top-of-the-heap for value and delicious drinkability.
About this wine
Many Côte Rôtie producers would be proud to produce just this cuvée, but it is the entry-level offering from Pichon. 90% Syrah and 10% 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 and de-stemmed and pneumatically pressed. .
Fermentation is over 28 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats with pumping over and punching down twice a day. Aging is 14 months in mostly new oak barrels. The wine ages 14 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
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 1855
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.