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  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Saint-Joseph
     

    $25

    A light but elegant Saint-Joseph, created with Syrah grapes grown on the upper half of granitic hillsides and aged 9 months in oak. We find it great for everyday drinking.

    • Light, fruity, grapey scents mingle with suggestions of caramel, butter, and ripe red fruit. Straightforward and immediately appealing on the palate with an attractive, sapid quality. Good body, light tannins, and good acidity combine for a balanced flavor profile. Savory, subtle, restrained. Appealing now but likely to soften somewhat with another year or two in bottle.

      Food pairing: Lamb; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or pungent herbs

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Saint-Joseph
     

    $25

    A light but elegant Saint-Joseph, created with Syrah grapes grown on the upper half of granitic hillsides and aged 9 months in oak. We find it great for everyday drinking.

    • A Syrah that’s both a great value for everyday drinking and good to have a stock of in the cellar. Flavors of dark berries and spice, solid structure, and nice acidity. Very rich and ripe. Ready to drink, but I would recommend cellaring it through 2017–2019.

      Food pairing: Grilled lamb

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Saint-Joseph
     

    $27

    Rarely exported, this white Saint-Joseph is made of 100% Marsanne grapes, grown on granitic soil. More flavorful and fruity than an Ermitage White, with more richness and breadth on the palate than a Saint-Peray.

    • A wine with great depth and a complex, bright nose. The citrus comes out, but the fruit is ripe so this wine is approachable now. This wine is nicely balanced with citrusy acidity giving way to more depth and richness as you sip.

      Food pairing: Sushi

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Condrieu Patience

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Condrieu
    Patience

    $32

    A late-harvest sweet wine, unusual for the region, the Condrieu Patience evokes violet and yellow fruit. Harvested from 20-year-old Viognier vines and only made on exceptional years, Patience is a lovely reward for those who can wait for it.

    • In lieu of dessert, some prefer to serve a decadent dessert wine with an accompaniment of cheeses. This beauty has flavors of honey, apricot, acacia, and pure joy. Very pleasant, honeyed mouthfeel. Stone fruits a-plenty on a drawn-out finish. A dessert wine, but not syrupy, thick, or overly sweet. If you find an irresistible blue cheese or camembert, pop the cork on this bottle to go along with it.

      Food pairing: Cambozola cheese

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2010 Condrieu

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2010 Condrieu
     

    $38

    A dry but mellow cuvée, this Condrieu is a blend from 30-year-old Viognier vines in different parcels. We find it sweet but not cloying, perfect with food.

    • Rather closed at the moment, but distantly offering white peaches and clean, grapey fruit scents. Attractive immediately for ripe, fruity sweetness on the palate overlaid with spice suggestive of nutmeg. Then intense on the mid-palate before becoming a little more delicate on a long, dry finish. Ready to drink, but will keep through around 2016.

      Food pairing: Arugula salad, baked squash, cold pasta with broad beans, light curry dishes

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Côte-Rôtie

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Côte-Rôtie
     

    $44

    Pichon’s Côte-Rôtie is lighter and more elegant than Côte-Rôties from other producers. Made with Syrah and Viognier grapes from 30-to-40-year-old vines, then raised 13 months in 75% new oak, this is a sumptuous, full-bodied Rhône that ages slowly.

    • Toasty oak and blackberry aromas on the nose are prominent elements on the palate as well, joined by truffles, dark chocolate, and background floral notes. Dense, with a chewy texture and muscular tannins, this full-bodied strongman needs time. Likely to be approachable from 2017–2019.

      Food pairing: Game, juicy steak in a pepper sauce

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Côte-Rôtie Promesse

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
    Promesse

    $44

    The Guide Bettane et Desseauve gave this wine a commendable 15/20 rating. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, it’s raised 13 months in new oak barrels.

    • Freshly picked strawberries rolled in white pepper on the nose. On the palate, this wine has more spice than fruit but as the wine ages more fruit will pop out. For now, plenty of pepper and nutmeg lingers on the finish.

      Food pairing: Steak

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Côte-Rôtie Rozier

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
    Rozier

    $50

    Made exclusively from the Rozier parcel, with vines 10-55 years-old, this Côte-Rôtie blends sturdy Syrah grapes with a small amount of delicate Viognier. Raised 13 months in mostly new oak.

    • Closed on the palate at present, featuring big tannins. Somewhat paradoxically, it’s already rather spicily effusive on the nose, offering up dark fruit, cinnamon ball candy, leather, meat, peaches, cloves, cola, and nutmeg scents—a pleasure just to linger over. This wine will need time to open up. Likely to be more approachable by around 2017 and likely improve through around 2020 or beyond.

      Food pairing: Lamb; game; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or the more pungent herbs

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Côte-Rôtie Rozier

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Côte-Rôtie
    Rozier

    $50

    Made exclusively from the Rozier parcel, with vines 10-55 years-old, this Côte-Rôtie blends sturdy Syrah grapes with a small amount of delicate Viognier. Raised 13 months in mostly new oak.

    • The youthful nose is full of oaky spice, nutmeg and other sweet baking spices, black olive tapenade, anchovies, violets, and mushrooms. The palate offers full-bodied flavors including coffee, cocoa, brambles, black currants, boysenberries, and tapenade, with leafy herbal and garrigue-like suggestions, as well as pungent spice. Intense, full-flavored and robust with massive structure, powerful fruit, and a lengthy finish. Likely to be drinking well well into the 2030s.

      Food pairing: Hearty dishes in sauce

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2010 Condrieu Caresse

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2010 Condrieu
    Caresse

    $68

    Created with Pichon’s oldest and best exposed Viognier vines, then aged in new oak for 9 months, this Condrieu is rich, ripe, and concentrated. It is Pichon’s top Condrieu!

    • A happy, zingy wine with loads of pear, tangy apricot, and spice. Ripe fruit but also herbal notes (I detected a bit of basil.) A perfect wine to drink outdoors with grilled fish and spring vegetables.

      Food pairing: Grilled halibut

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Côte-Rôtie La Comtesse en Côte Blonde

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Côte-Rôtie
    La Comtesse en Côte Blonde

    $68

    The top Côte-Rôtie of the domaine. Grown in the Côte Blonde, whose paler, more crumbly soils yield more delicate and earlier-drinking wines than its neighbor, the Côte Brune, this Syrah was raised 18 months in new oak. Already dazzling now, it will reward for the next 8-10 years.

    • Honey, smoky oak, and a slight spiciness in the nose — appealing even before the first sip! Concentrated, intense fruit on the palate — suggestions of citrus, pine, and chocolate. Bright, rich, fruity and perfectly balanced with a shot of chewy tannin and just enough acid to balance its richness.

      Powerful, yet elegant. Complex and shifting. A truly beautiful wine that’s full of delightful surprises.

      Food pairing: Delicious to drink all by itself, but, if you must, try it with lamb; game; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or the more pungent herbs

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