Christophe Pichon Hermitage Blanc Opale 2021

White Rhone Blend
Christophe Pichon

More Wines from Christophe Pichon

Our tasting impressions

The aromatics are so Hermitage - a thrilling bouquet of white fruits and flowers. There is so much depth and intensity that the scent lingers in the nose for quite a while. At least for now, it's fairly light-bodied. But it's unctuously textured and vibrant, so the overall impression seems bigger. The same flavors carry through on the palate and they are boosted by a zestiness that's almost spicy. The finish...well we are still waiting for it to end. Corentin may be an Hermitage neophyte but his simpatico with these grapes is evident. Bravo!

About this wine

Hermitage has been recognized as one of the world's great wines for centuries. It's a relatively small production appellation and demand for it is intense.

This is the maiden vintage of Hermitage by PIchon, with a cepage of 90% Marsanne and 10% Roussanne. The grapes are purchased from a vineyard  planted 50 years ago on a .52-ha site with loam, clay and limestone soil. The vines yield 37 hl/ha. The grapes are handpicked and whole clusters are crushed with a pneumatic press. Cold fermentation (and malolactic) is spontaneous. The wine spends 18 months in oak barrels, of which 30% are new.

About the grape blend

Marsanne and Roussanne are frequently blended in the Northern Rhône. Marsanne contributes body, richness, sweetness, fatness and an oily texture but very little acidity. Roussanne provides tension, finesse and deep aromatics.

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.

Christophe Pichon

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.