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The Wines

Syrah (30% 1930s, 30% 1960s-1970s, 40% late 1980s-mid-1990s), 65% from Pigeonnier, 35% from Saint-Pierre, 80-100% destemmed, crop spends 24 hrs at under 10°C, then from 2006 25-28 day vinification with controlled temperature (21 days before then), pumping overs during alcoholic fermentation, cap punching during maceration, aged 1-8 year 228-litre oak casks (6-15 year oak before) 12 months, filtered, 10-13,000 b

2018

dark red; the nose is soft, ripe, on raspberry, a floral muskiness, is trimmed with iron filings, licorice, is not yet out, has more to come. The attack is squeezy, pliant, on the vintage, holds well in the mid-late phase, gains tannin and thrust, is grainy late on. It’s extremely young, holds good Cornas integrity. Black fruits lead into a violet aftertaste, the finish rather searching for now. 14.1°. From 2023, decant it. 2041-43 Dec 2019

2016

bright red robe. The bouquet gives stylish berry fruit, blackberry, loganberry, with bosky, oily notes, dried herbs. There’s a good flow of brambly fruit along the palate, the tannins fresh and ripe. The fruit quality is good here, as well as the accurate 2016 freshness. It’s orderly, sympa and genuine Cornas. 13°. From 2020. 2032-35 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ****(*) (casks) dark robe, black centre, purple at the top.  The nose has a grapey essence about it, a floral note above its raspberry liqueur aroma, a sense of tar, lead pencil, with coconut, vanilla. The palate bears tangy blueberry fruit, notes of blackcurrant backed by lithe, crunchy tannins that bring late zest. It is really motoring as it signs off, a promising sign. This is genuine, well grounded Cornas. From 2020. 2030-33 Nov 2017

2015

(casks) dark red colour. A red blood, beef gravy aroma comes forward on the bouquet, with prune fruit in behind. It’s a southern more than a northern climes start. The palate presents inky, dark fruit with inner muscle, a strength in its rather rugged tannins that shapes the finale. This is grounded, pretty bold Cornas, a good and traditional version of it, STGT wine. It finishes firmly. From mid-2019. 2030-32 Oct 2016

2014

dark red colour. The nose is attractive, has airs of blackberry and blueberry, with hints of flowers and herbes de Provence. The palate starts in a tender way, presents clear red fruit, followed by mild tannins with just a little dustiness about them. There is a tight knot of red fruit juice at its heart. Low-key depth, a wine for bistrot/restaurant drinking. 13°. 12,000 b. Bottled two weeks ago. 2022-23  Dec 2015

2013 ()

dark red. Plum, mulberry fruits with a liqueur leaning show on the nose, some ripe sweetness, a few herbes de Provence. The palate sets off on a cool, low-key sweet dark red fruiting, with a pepper-licorice infusion before the finish. This has a little vegetal side that dilutes it, so it tapers towards the end. It is a bit limited, and I am not sure about the ripeness. From mid-2015. 13°. €16 export, US$40 Sierra Nevada Imports www.sierranevadaimports.com 2021-22  Jan 2015

2012

recently bottled for the Marché de Cornas, early Dec 2013, the rest, main quantity to be bottled April 2014: dark robe built around black and purple. This has a good bouquet – it combines ripe black fruit with a floral ease, licorice, expresses openly. The palate offers soft, sliding black berry fruit with aromatic, scented angles, licorice, the black berry fruit returning on the finish, where it concentrates and darkens, with inky, more blueberry fruit. Stylish wine, good signs here. It will close in the summer of 2014 for a while. From late 2015. 13°. 2024-26  Dec 2013

2011 ()

shiny, full red-purple robe; smoky bacon, thyme herbs feature on the nose with well modulated black berry and mulberry fruit, and a lurking game-animal leaning – this is a nose of good reserves for the future. The palate gives attractive liqueur fruit, and after an enjoyable oily feel, the texture is round. It tightens and smokes up as it goes. I find it a bit like a 2007 – a slow gainer, so wait until spring 2015 and decant. It is less lucid and has more strength than the 2012. 13°. 2024-25 Dec 2013

2010

(casks) quite dark robe, inclined to a sombre hue, has legs. Blackberry-loganberry fruit aroma that travels across the glass, it includes juniper, hillside pine tree airs – it is a “dark” bouquet. There is ripe fruit on the palate, lots of fleshy delivery, ripe tannins around it. It is still very primary, not nuanced. It ends roundly, clearly. It has good guts, is a bit raw, quite traditional. Safe fruit lies at its heart. Balance good. Oak appears on the aftertaste. From mid-2013. 2023-25 Nov 2011

2009

dark, slight matt tone in the robe. The nose is dense – shows a toffee sweetness from its elevage/raising, also dates and prune airs that indicate the ripeness of the crop. The palate leads with black fruit that has a fleshy centre, and a licorice-tinged aftertaste. Oily, rather sleek fruit comes forward until a drier, withdrawn finish. It ends on a sweet tea, date aspect. Has weight on the palate – can run on over time. From 2013. On the button around 2016, I would say. 2023-26 Nov 2010 Previously Dec 2009 **** several casks tasted from Saint-Pierre, Pigeonnier – robes are full; noses mix herbs, leather, mulled berries, pepper – the fruit is ripe across the board. The Pigeonnier heart is savoury, very full, really good Syrah, fine and rich. Stems left on some Saint-Pierre, so ripe were they, ripe tannins and plenty of wine in the glass. Averages around 13.3°. 17-20 years of life. Dec 2009

2008 ()

Bottle 1 not quite right: all bottled 10 days ago. Steady red colour. Peppery red fruits, licorice on the nose that is fairly deep, and young without showing the “bony” side of this vintage. Acetate and violets are also present. The palate red fruit is juvenile, the tannins and acidity needing 18 months but there is body around them. Late grip, also burn. Bottle 2 is better, open since yesterday. Quite full robe. Blackberry aroma, rather sympa and welcoming, not reticent, smoky – is a bit chiselled, not a patsy. Soft black fruits come with a squeezy texture on the palate; it runs along safely, delivers a late prune and licorice tang and agreeable roundness. Tannins a touch dusty at the end. This is less solid than recent years. 12.8°. 2017-18 Dec 2009

2007

open yesterday: bright balck-purple robe. Grilled, bacon fat, black fruits aroma of secure depth and width, has shoulders, violet and spices also. Fine, local black fruits on the palate – they come with the tang of Saint-Pierre – the airy breeze of the limestone there in with the gore and schist. Runs freely, moves well to a crisp end. From 2012. Good local feel, STGT style. Is getting tight on the finish. 2024-26 “I compare it to 2005 – it`s about to shut down. I see it as a keeping wine, a vin de garde – it was very gourmand and velvet last year (I agree – see w.o.w. note below). I give it 20 years` life,” Jacques Leminicier. Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 *** full, red robe, some purple – the colour augurs well. There is a lot of blackcurrant fruit out and about on the bouquet, that has a smoky, clear-cut air. There is good grip on the palate`s expressive black fruit – it is nice and live. Has a little late kick and tar in the taste. Good, authentic Cornas that combines measured power with bright fruit and also ends clearly. After the summer of 2009 it is likely to close down, and will then get together for a more serious second stage. w.o.w. wine. 2015-17 Dec 2008

2006 ()

full red robe; there is a mild air to the blackberry aroma, a hint of bacon - a well-established bouquet. Is a bit earthy, with baked stones in the air as well. The palate fruit runs well, with a good side matter; its chewy, pebbly mix works well, and this has good local feel. A wine of character. The fruit revives on the finish. From late 2009. 2018-19 Dec 2008 Previously Dec 2007 *** bright, dark red robe, with magenta, too. Softly scented bouquet – this is a light touch Cornas, with gently mulled red berries to the fore. The palate starts crisply, with an easy, round fruit flavour present, comes in an accessible style. The fruits continue well, without effort. Some late tannin encircles it, prior to a mineral, clear aftertaste. Drinks well now on its primary fruit burst. Bottled this week, and will no doubt close more by mid-2008. Esp 2009 spring on. 2016-18 Dec 2007

2005 ()

the red robe is toning down, and there are legs down the glass. Has a bright, live, liqueur fruit aroma of mulled red berries, and a pretty full air. The palate leads with red fruits sprinkled with pepper, and has a touch of buzz late on - a little, almost limestone clarity comes through. Thus is quite typical with that mineral clarity on the second half – St-Pierre is in the most limestone spot at Cornas. Its tannins are live, but OK. From mid-2009. 2020-21 Dec 2007

2004 ()

largely red robe; its red fruit nose is just closing a bit, with red berries present, but a wee outcrop of game, high animal. The palate is supple, and more open than the nose: its shape is round, and there is a pleasing squeeze of red fruit. The tannins are very soft, and low profile this year. Tightens and firms a touch at the end. Provides solid, assured drinking, and is authentic. Now to 2017. Dec 2007 Previously Dec 2006 *** good, tangly black fruit and plum in quite an upright, reserved bouquet, which also has a hint of violet. The palate starts with black berry fruit, then its tannins climb on top from half way. There is a shimmy of red fruit on the finish, and this can live OK. Is a live wine with character, and holds a quiet energy. 2015-17 Dec 2006

2003

fruited, light toast/cherry nose; accessible, grainy fruit, some pepper/end tannin. 2019-21 - not a big style wine.

2002

soft, black fruits aroma. Fruit on palate has a pebbly grain texture, taste of white pepper. Is spiced, but doesn't sit comfortably. Light wine, lacks roundness in mid-palate. Surprising after what has been tasted before, isn't running on with time. Previously ***(*) sound, quite compact bouquet, harmonious black fruit, more varied by 2008. Upright, well-ripened fruit style. Some richness within and through it. Pebbly finale, esp from 2008. 2016-18

1999 ()

drink to 2023-25

1998

mature, still nicely full red colour, top ruby. Fungal, prune aroma, spiced red berries - has quiet power, dry edging. After 90 mins, becomes tanned leather, pepper as it tightens. Wiry red hedge fruit on palate, acidity at start wears off after 20 mins. Tannins are live and present, add black pepper feel. Still a bit lean, extended. Changes a lot in two hours, and gets earthy and down home. Autumn, winter drinking best. 2011-12 Feb 2005, Sussex