We continue our careful exploration of the northern Rhône with the addition of this stellar producer of Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, St. Joseph and Cornas. Now in the third generation of the Pichon family, the estate covers 16 hectares split between the four appellations above and a small quantity of vin de pays. The domaine offers elegant, perfumed wines that punch way above their weight when their modest cost is considered – the WineWise paradigm!
The startlingly beautiful and exemplary Syrah nose of this wine makes its name entirely apt, for rarely has a perfume offered so much promise that is then fully realised on the palate. This is a silkily gorgeous wine with such purity of fruit that it is hard to believe that 75% of the barrels in which it was aged were new. To achieve such high class for such a tarriff is scarcely to be believed.
At this echelon, Condrieu demonstrates its reputation as one of the world’s great white wines. As powerful and intense as a fine burgundy, it is made like one, too, being mostly vinified in barrique (30% new), with complete m.l.. Just 20% is done in cuve to retain freshness. The resulting wine is voluptuous but contained, vibrant and complete with impressive length on the palate.
The elegance and suaveté that Pichon brings to this wine are ravishing. Deep-coloured, entirely “typique” Syrah nose with a seamless oak integration. This is St. Joseph at the highest height.
The vines lie just to the north-west of Condrieu, planted on gentle grantic slopes. 30% is aged in used barriques, the balance in cuve. The resulting wine has an unmistakable honied nose that melds with the oak as a hand fits in a glove. The glossy texture of the fruit could distract you from the wine’s surprising mineral charge. At 13.5% alcohol, it passes for moderate in today’s world. Exceptional class for the modest tariff.