Julien’s original intention was to produce whites only; his discipline lasted precisely two vintages! Success breeds opportunities. The offer of stylish old-vine Bassenon and Rozier fruit was far too exciting to ignore, two vineyards that complement each other superbly. The blend is a svelte and deep Côte-Rôtie of devastating purity, as witnessed by those drinking his gorgeous 2012.
Although a native of Chavanay (next village to Condrieu), Julien is not from a winemaking family. After wine college, he travelled widely, producing wine in both the Roussillon and Spain, as well as working for local champions Cuilleron, Gaillard and Pierre-Jean Villa. “My wife and I decided to return to Chavanay. I’ve always had a special attraction for whites of the region and so decided on a different approach from others. I strive to produce Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier with flesh but with maximum freshness too. I want to make balanced and precise whites.” So, in 2010, Julien started crafting a range of micro-négoce wines, from local sources. Five years later, Pilon is producing some of the most exciting Rhône whites – wines of genuine flair and class – and attracting excitable attention from both critics and other importers.
“ This has definitely become a domaine to watch. The wines are very much in the image of the vigneron too – understated, stylish and relying more on nuance than overt power” W I N E SPECTATOR