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DOMAINE JULIEN PILON

LVT  2018  wh  2018  r  This is a good address. Julien, a native of Chavanay, studied in the Beaujolais, and then moved around working on different estates – two years at Yves Cuilleron, three years in the cellars of Mas Amiel in the Roussillon, three years at Terra Remota on the Spanish-French border, with varieties such as Grenache gris, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Chenin, Chardonnay, followed from 2006 to 2009 chez Pierre Gailard’s domaine in Banyuls. In 2010 he set off back home, working with Pierre-Jean Villa in both vineyard and cellar. His parents had no wine or vine connection, so he chose the route of merchant rather than buying expensive vineyards. He produced 7,000 bottles, all white, across St Jo, Crozes, St-Péray, Condrieu and Viogner vin de pays in 2010, in a garage chez his parents. By 2019 this had grown to 80,000 bottles across around 17 cuvées.

Until 2020 he worked in the old cellars of Patrice Porte in Condrieu, cramped for the size of his operation. In 2020 he has a new cellar, which will permit longer raising for his wines, and a more measured approach.

Julien has bought small vineyards here and there, examples being 0.24 hectare at Seyssuel, Syrah planted in 2014, 0.3 hectare at Chavanay planted with Marsanne in 2015, and 0.3 hectare on Lamberte at Condrieu, planted in 2016. There are rental arrangements with the Villanos’ daughter that gives access to Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie, as well.

The whites are impressive, well made, not overly oaked, with Julien cutting back on the lees stirring from the late 2010s. Across the 2018 range, stand-outs were the ****(*) STGT St-Péray called les maisons de victor, and the ****(*) Hermitage blanc called prisme. The Vin de France Viognier mon grand-père était limonadier is also a highlight, **** in 2018.

The reds are beginning to ascend the ladder, and run from Syrah IGP/Vin de France to Côte-Rôtie, St Jo and Cornas. The Seyssuel Syrah sur schist Frontière was a serious, inky-iron **** in 2018, while the Cornas l’élégance du Caillou, made from old Elie Bancel vines, was **** in both 2018 and 2015.

8 rue Cuvillière 69420 Condrieu

Tel: +33(0)675 77 55 66

http://www.julienpilon.fr

julienpilon@yahoo.fr

British Importers: A & B Vintners Ltd Little Tawsden Spout Lane Brenchley Kent TN12 7AS +44(0)1892 724 977 www.abvintners.co.uk info@abvintners.co.uk

USA Importers: Bradley Alan Imports 347 Fifth Avenue #1012 New York NY 10016 +1 917 476 7578 +1212 679 5775 fax +1212 679 3366 Thomas Calder Selections 29 rue d'Armenie 92140 Clamart +33(0)1 46 45 15 29 www.thomascalderselections.com tkcalder@yahoo.fr