Expected Arrival November 2023
Our tasting impressions
Damn, we love this "little" Viognier. It is such an exuberant, joyful wine. The 2022 is light and uncommonly bright for this grape. It manages to be simultaneously crisp and round. It offers so much pleasure, you might miss that it's quite more than just another tasty slurp.
About this wine
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.
About the vintage
Extreme weather has become commonplace and 2022 in the Norther Rhône was no exception. Searing temperatures and a dearth of rain could have spelled trouble for the vingerons, but some June rain and August humidity were beneficial. The harvest was, on average, about 20 days earlier than 2021. Overall, this is viewed as an excellent vintage.
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.