It is easy to forget this down-at-the-heel town just across the river from the sprawl of Valence. Yet, St Péray was once one of the major wines in the Rhône, selling for the same money as Hermitage. This is exceptional white wine terroir and I find this one of the most exciting wines in the Pilon cellar, terrific quality/price rapport. 50% Marsanne and 50% Roussanne. Fresh but expansive in the mouth. This offers delicious creamy orchard fruit flavours but retains that all-important vivacity (13%). Pilon’s en finesse St Péray is outstanding
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