Our tasting impressions
Damn, we love this "little" Viognier. It is such an exuberant, joyful wine. The 2019 is light and uncommonly bright for this grape. It's a great summer white but, we will happily enjoy it year-round.
About this wine
Chief and the Guru have always enjoyed this IGP but the economics of traditional importing made it challenging to include in the portfolio. VDLT Direct to the rescue!
100% Viognier from 2.5ha vineyard in granite soil with plantings mostly at the top and some at the bottom of the gently sloped hill. The grapes are handpicked and whole clusters are crushed with a pneumatic press. Cold fermentation (and malolactic) is spontaneous in barrels for 1-4 years. A tangential filter is used and the wine spends 9 months in oak barrels (70%) or steel tanks (30%).
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.
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 Liberté
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.