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The Wines

Syrah, purchased wine, from 2004 its sources are 1940s Syrah on La Côte, St-Pierre (1998) and Reynards (1988), destemmed, 3 week vinification, cap punching, pumping overs, aged 0-10% new, 90-100% 1-2 year 228-litre oak casks 15-16 months, unfined, filtered, 10-15,000 b

2018 ()

(casks) dark robe, black-purple. This has a sleekly fruited nose, with oak alongside, cassis and black cherry, is a swell, whooshing start. The palate engages immediately via its steam of black fruit, with dark intensity, a tarry cover to it. There are pockets of freshness, but for now, the impression is one of extraction, assertion. It demands time – leave until 2023. The firmness on the finish needs to loosen, in order to deliver more pleasure. 13.5°. 14,660 b. €40. 2040-42 Nov 2019  GB £147/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017

(casks) shiny, dark robe, black-purple. The bouquet is polished, thorough, shows violet, rosehip above a firm layer of smoked black fruit, oak apparent. The palate sequels well from the nose, has a good depth of black-fruited matter, flavours of black olives, black cherry stone circulating. It gains a little freedom on the close, its tannins ripe and persistent. It is modern Cornas, doesn’t have the soul of some, but will make a good impression, its fruit quality strong. The oak, also apparent on the aftertaste, needs time. From spring 2021, and the longer the wait the better for more local ID beyond the oak. 2039-41 Dec 2018

2016 ()

(casks) dark robe. The bouquet centres on young, slightly green oak with soaked black cherries or griottes, has a meaty, roast beef, grilled aspect. It is a dark start. The palate commences with a compact, sealed delivery of black fruited content, its tannins streamlined, providing spine. There is a flourish of live gras richness on the finish. There is a lot here, to parade and to sustain it; it’s extremely long, cuts a dash. From spring 2020. 2032-34 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) dark robe. The bouquet shows prominent oak, reduction, with a soupy air of crushed black berries behind, notes of red blood, grape pulp. The palate gives juicy, rolling black cherry fruit with oak steeping in at half way, bringing a toffee note to the close, a note of tar, pitch, as well. This is modern Cornas, with the fruit quality pretty pure, and well distributed. 13.5°. 13,000 b. €33 at the cellars. From mid-2019. 2031-32 Oct 2016

2014 ()

(casks) dark colour; the nose is a little reduced and also cautious. There is a tentative air of loganberry, a smoky bacon sideline. The fruit has a clear ring, just needs time to show more. The palate holds suave, wavy black fruit with a clear ring and some fresh tannins and their graininess in the closing stages - there is a little Cornas imprint there. €32 at the cellars. From mid-2017. 2023-25  Oct 2015 

2013

(casks) dark robe. Grilled, oaked, nutty first aroma here, an inset of black raisin – the nose has a slightly square depth. The attack is chunky; after that oaked, still being raised debut some fine juice is released, which gives a more oily finish – there are almost southern notes such as herbs there. The length is robust. This has plenty of future. From mid-2017. 2027-29  Jan 2015

2012 ()

(casks) dark red; the bouquet has a floating air, shows a relative elegance, an aroma of simmered black cherry, violet infused with it, nudges of oak and licorice. This is sensible Cornas, oily and shapely, doesn’t offer real fireworks, is a compact, neat package. It lacks the oomph to be a top drawer wine. Its continuity is mild. It doesn’t have enough real, local heart, and skims through the sensibilities, fails to ignite the imagination. Could creep up to 3.5 stars when about 5-6 years old. From late 2015 for first drinking. 2024-26  Nov 2013

2011 ()

(cask, bottling March 2013) dark red. Fat, open nose, holds plenty of ripe red stone fruit, raspberry, soaked strawberries, with a fundamental, forest floor under note, damp matter. The palate shows a canopy of red berry fruit, light smoke in it, then a chiselled, more grainy ending. A mixed bag, a game of two halves: it doesn’t come from the most intricate, smoky Cornas sites, is more open. Ripe style Cornas. From mid-2015. 13°. 2025-26  Nov 2012

2010 ()

dark red; cassis bud, crème de cassis air, with a hovering pine woods, vanilla, menthol mixture. This is warm soils wine – it delivers a rolling wave of black berry fruit, with toffee richness on the end, North African date flavours. A thread of Cornas dust mineral emerges on the finish. Work in progress. From 2015. 2028-30  Nov 2012  Previously June 2011 ***** (casks) full robe; blackstrap, big nose, has just been racked and shows reduction, earthiness, but there are discreet floral notes and a blackcurrant bud air to it. The palate is a tasty fellow! It holds lots of vibrant blackberry fruit, and moves along with silky, sustained appeal. It takes on orderly grain-mineral moments, is well focused. It becomes exact after its cavalier start, and delivers laurel on the finish. A cracking Cornas. From mid-2014. 2027-29 June 2011

2009

(bottling in two months) thorough red robe. Blackberry, smoky, clean Cornas on the nose – it is smoky from the oak, in a primary state, not yet varied. The palate has shoulders, persistent black fruit with licorice present. It lengthens well. There is a mix of leather and black fruits, and a ticking content-power in it. The finish is full, broad, grounded, and then there a really good late flourish of black fruit. From 2013. 2024-26 June 2011 Previously Nov 2010 ***(*) bright, dark and sleek robe. Oak top air above a rich foundation – there is sweetness in the black fruit, bacon smoke, something of the animal in its grounded airs, and the fruit slightly “high”. There are easy waves of clear, refined fruit wrapped in a firmer tannic-oak coating. The fruit is good and clear. There is a smoky intensity and grilling late on: this is a very modern Cornas. It will soften and flesh out. For now there is a spot of late gras roundness. It isn't especially deep – it is something of an easy traveller. From 2013. 2021-23 Nov 2010

2008 ()

(to be bottled in 2-3 months, 70% is now in vat, rest still in cask) full robe, good. Chocolate, cocoa airs on the nose – there is a good, broad run of aroma with well-founded black fruit. The palate is a touch on the soupy, creamy black fruit for now – it is all in that vein – with soft late tannins. Has a young wine gras richness which will tighten as it evolves. The cassis flavour is typical, it ends attractively. Handsome, true wine that can be STGT once the oak is out of it from 2012. “It is more than half from Saint-Pierre up high, which ripened late and very well,” Jacques Grange. 13° 2021-22 Nov 2009

2007 ()

the robe is full, has good heart. Smoky, coffee, ripe fruit air – black cherry liqueur. Has an interesting black fruit attack with a really fine run of fruit, and good local cut. It ends on grilled oak. Has the grain of mineral of its place. The aftertaste is good and genuine – coffee, mocha, but there is just a tiny bit of a vegetal note that impedes its late flourish, takes on a dry note. From 2012. 13°. 2018-19 Nov 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *** (casks) dark robe; has a modern bouquet – streamlined oak in the vanilla aroma, black berries and a cap punched style clarity about it. The oak influence is forward on the palate, with a sound push of matter as it goes. This is modern, practical Cornas that gets on with it – but needs to dismount from its wooden horse. The fruit is clearly struck. It ends on its oak now, with black cherry fruit mingling with it. From 2011. 2019-20 Dec 2008

2006

(cask) thorough, black-toned robe; the aroma bears black fruit with some cocoa in it – is wide and outgoing. The oak adds a crunchy side, and there is spice lurking as well. The palate is a mix of early richness that is quite round, with more direct, decisive tannins on the second half. The tannins are fairly supple. There is decent mineral in the texture towards the end, where some good black berry crops up to bring a clear conclusion. Very sound length. From 2010. 2022-24 Jan 2008

2005 ()

full, dark robe with black at its core. Has a very ample nose – blackberries with a menthol infusion, eucalyptus. The palate has a rich, well set core, and its richness of ripe black fruit continues. This is a Cornas set in a modern context – it is not that local now. A wine headed for game dishes. Shows late tar and oak. Leave until it becomes more local – is like a lot of other wines now, hence the drop in stars for the moment. For more Cornas typicité, drink from 2012. 2023-25 Jan 2008 Previously Dec 2006 ***** very dark; wide bouquet – complete, tight and piercing black fruit/licorice combo, with violet, black pepper and some herbal garrigue. The palate shows some richness through it, within a black fruit, cassis outer, quite tannic frame. Lot of content, matter here, and the tannins are ripe. A big but never exaggerated wine. From 2010. 2025-28 Dec 2006 “The first Cornas where I am really happy with the crop and where it came from,” Jacques Grange.

2004

quite dark; packed black fruit with some meat and minor game aspects on bouquet, also some herb garrigue. Attack is black fruit-channelled, elegant in style, is broad mid to late on. There is a continuous mineral thread, this is crisp but as ripe as it could be in this tricky vintage. Lacks some core, but is elegant. Esp 2008-09 on. 2015-17 Dec 2006 Previously April 2006 (pre-bottle) *** mid-weight bouquet, more along elegant rather than solid lines - shows red fruits, some oak. Live thread of flavour, reflects the limestone, north side of the appellation it would seem, also has the vintage freshness. Well-woven together, there is some oak, the length is a bit dodgy though. Esp 2009 on. 2017-19

2003 ()

(cask) grilled aroma, ripe, raisin character, fruit subdued. Red berry flavour, a flourish then oak and tightens. Lot of oak/tannin on finish. Less generous than was. From 2008. 2017-20

2002

matt robe; biscuity, black fruit bouquet, rather airy. Bosky black fruit flavour, upright, not fleshy, pepper aftertaste. Reduction-tinged wine. Plain, bit short. Has withdrawn in last year. Await gamey stage, eg 2006-07-09. 2012/16

2001 ()

live, meaty/leathery nose, touch rustic. Tight black flavour at first, really good juice in it, tasty, quite oily. Firm, solid wine, truly made. Will be gamey. From 2006. 2013-16

2000

full robe; smoked, pepper nose, quite deep, getting damp sides; stone fruit jam, some light mineral, spice. Light coffee, stewed end is the vintage. Length OK. 2004. 2011-12

1999

deep bouquet - gamey/spiced. Beefy, assertive attack. Tight berry fruit, wide mass of flavour, ripe raspberry fruit feel at end. Good gras. 2014-18

1998 ()

meaty, gamey, typical 1998 nose, peonies too; red berries, leathery, some richness. Plenty of character. Drinks well. 2007-10.

1997 No Rating

meaty nose, but doubtful balance on palate, bought in from three sources, largely northern sector.

1995 ()

bosky, pine-tar nose that is broad and pretty vigorous. The bouquet grows with air, comes from yesteryear. The palate has dark and darting berry fruit – the shape is clear and direct, there is a mineral energy, a wired element, the finish decisive. It has the vintage character, is a bit taut, holds up well. Plenty of depth. This is true to its year, a very sound wine still. 2018-21  Oct 2007, Copenhagen

1990

firm colour; cooked black fruit, tar, ripe grape smells; very dense attack, this is big-scale wine, has lasting, warming richness all the way through. Sumptuous, nicely potent. 2009-14. June 1995