Julien Pilon Cornas ‘L’élégance du Caillou’ 2020

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Young winemaker Julien Pilon is based in Chavanay, on the right bank of the Northern Rhône Valley, in the Condrieu region. Since 2010, he has been making dry white wines (Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Péray, Saint-Joseph, Hermitage and Condrieu) vinified and aged with brio in wood, from Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier grapes. His red wines (Saint-Joseph, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie), 100% Syrah, are equally successful. All these wines are the expression of their rich terroirs and of a precious work performed on a small scale.

Julien trained trough encounters and travels. A child of the Rhone Valley, he first worked with Yves Cuilleron, and with Olivier Decelle at the Mas Amiel estate in Maury in the Roussillon. Then came Spain, Banyuls with Pierre and Pascale Gaillard, and finally a return to his roots. Having neither land nor cellar, Julien bought the grapes and made his first vintage in 2010, in his parents’ garage. He aims to produce wines that respect the identity of their terroir, offering both concentration and finesse. A year later, in 2011, he had the opportunity to buy 1.5 hectares of vines. Since then, the estate has been developing, until the construction of its own winery in the summer of 2020.

This wine comes from a vineyard Blend of two plots on the terroirs of La Côte and Sauman, the vineyard is planted on steep slopes facing South-East with granite soils. The grapes are harvested manually and more than half of the cuvéé remains in a whole bunch, the other is erased and trodden. Vinification is completed in open stainless steel vats lasts for about 3 weeks with frequent pump-overs. The wine is then aged for 18 months in 500L barrels, 30% of which is new wood.

Made from 100% Syrah, this French red is deep and concentrated, with the nose offering remarkable fruit, the mouth fresh and round.