Five Wines from Domaine Pichot, 2020
Sometimes, reflecting on all I have written on the Loire Valley over the last twenty years, I feel I have only ever managed to scratch the surface of this wine region. Looking back solely over the last twelve months I have encountered cuvées never until that moment tasted, and been introduced to vignerons I had never before met (or even heard of in some cases), despite more than two decades of obsession with the region. Some of these were young vignerons starting out in their very first vintage, like Alexandre Giquel, so it is no surprise they were new to me. Others, however, have been around a little longer, and sometimes I have to ask myself how I have managed to survive so long without ever encountering their wines.
The Pichot family of Domaine Pichot certainly fall into the latter category. This long line of vignerons can trace their viticultural activities in Vouvray back to the 18th century, as I described when I wrote up the 2015 Domaine Pichot Vouvray Coteau de la Biche just a few weeks ago. The domaine as it exists today, however, was not created until the 1990s, when the father Jean-Claude and the son Christophe Pichot joined forces. The former had vines at Le Peu de la Moriette, close to the town of Vouvray, while the latter was running a domaine inherited from grandparents and situated in the Vallée de Nouys, just up the road from Domaine des Aubuisières. Uniting the vineyards gave Christophe more than 24 hectares to work with, some in familiar and under-rated lieux-dits such as Le Marigny and the aforementioned Le Peu de la Moriette, others in less familiar vineyards such as Clos Cartaud and Clos Berger, both of which are situated well back on the plateau.