Julien Pilon began his career with stints in the Languedoc, other producers from the Rhone like Pierre-Jean Villa, Yves Cuilleron and Pierre Gaillard and Spain. In 2010 he embarked on his own project while still lending a hand to Villa.
Our path to Julien came via Domaine Georges Vernay. In 2014 I was tasting with Paul Ansellem, the husband of Christine Vernay, the daughter of Georges. I asked Paul to point me in the direction of who he believed might be the next big thing in the north of the Northern Rhone. He proclaimed that Julien’s Condrieu would be the next great Condrieu. Now having tasted through three vintages of Julien’s line-up of reds and whites, I think Paul may be correct, but not only with respect to Condrieu.
Julien has a mix of owned and rented vineyards and he also purchases some grapes. Bear in mind, vineyard land in the Northern Rhone is limited and thus expensive. That said, Julien has had a slow but steady increase in what he’s producing. Today he has 13 wines in his repertoire as well. He also collaborates with Jurancon vigneron, Simon Forgue, on another project where they blend Julien’s Viognier with Simon’s Petit Manseng into a wine known as Dahu. Nine of the 13 wines from Julien are white and run the Northern Rhone gamut. From 2015 we have his Saint Peray les maisons de victor (80% Marsanne/20% Roussanne), St. Joseph Blanc dimanche à lima (50% Marsanne/50% Roussanne), Viognier mon grand-pere etait limonadier (Viognier), and Condrieu lone (Viognier). In March we will see the 2015 Condrieu Vernon.
On the red side from ’15 we have the Syrah de l’autre rive (Syrah) and will see St. Joseph Rouge rue des poissonniers Paris XVIII (Syrah), Cote Rotie la porchette and Cornas l’elegance du caillou.
As you can see, we are all in on Julien’s wines. They represent outstanding values and even higher quality. Order with impunity.