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The Wines

from Chaillot (25% early 1900s, 35% 1950s, 40% late 1980s Syrah), 80% destemmed (whole bunch first used 10% 2017, 20% 2018), 3 week vinification at up to 29°C, pumping overs only, aged 50-60% new, 40-50% 1-2 year 225-litre oak casks (cut from 90% new oak until mid-2000s) 18 months (raising reduced by 3 months from 2014), less racking in late 2000s than before, fined, unfiltered, 4,800-5,300 b

2018

(casks) dark robe; smoky, black filling on the nose, buffed leather, cassis fruit with intensity of coffee notes. The palate gives a stylish entry of black fruits, with a little thread of mineral towards the close, provides grip, clarity. This achieves stylish richness and not excess oaking. From 2023 to allow its oak to fuse further, and move away from its slight caramel close that exists for now. 2037-39 Dec 2019

2017 ()

dark robe; there’s a meaty angle to the nose, blue fruit, a note of stewed ripeness, but that’s not too prominent. It’s a wide start. The palate engages on red fruits with a discreet vegetal presence, a smoky, cendré or ash texture and air. It has a little intricacy, and can move forward with a set of chewy late moments to sort out. There is this lurking toughness in the vintage here, and I hope it can fall back. There is oak-caramel on the close, which rather falsely softens its texture. 14°. From mid-2022. 2038-40 Dec 2019

2016 ()

quite a full red colour; the bouquet gives cooked plums, clear glints of raspberry, discreet oaking in back, menthol. Its energy comes through on the palate, which is a little wiry, a little taut, with vegetal notes on the close. It takes an acidity-led approach for now, so allow time for fusion, and more ample content. It can become more Cornasien if it is left, especially in four of five years. From 2023-24 in that case. 13.5°. 2036-38 Dec 2019

2015

(cask) dark robe. Has a solid, well sustained nose, with well inset black fruit jam, licorice. It has a good horizon ahead, is an up-tempo start. The palate deals a good hand of black fruits with sparkle, clarity, and runs with purpose and freshness. The tannins have a chalky, zingy quality. It has nice structure, good frame, and is clear wine that rocks well. The length is solid and sustained, the juice fine late on. From 2019. 2032-34 Oct 2016

2014 ()

dark robe with a purple rim. The nose has a sweet centre, a coated aroma of blackberry – it isn’t really open, but suggests a perfume of flowers, also licorice. It can open and flourish well. The palate starts well, has a close-knit black jam flavour, is delivered with soft assurance, and the tannins arrive well on cue, a light tread from them towards the finish. Rocky late moments add appeal. This has the superior structure of the three 2014 Cornas. The tannins play a key role here, and lengthen the wine. Decant it. 13.5°. From mid-2018. 2031-32 Oct 2016 Previously Oct 2015 ****(*) (cask) dark red. The nose is hidden, has potential, gives an aroma of some red meat, lateral muscle, the black fruit sealed for now. There is cosy depth of black fruit and expressive tannins well linked on the palate – they add lustre, render the finish bright, with notes of flowers and licorice. This will be stylish. Notable tannins add lift, expression. This is beau, its fruit very attractive. From 2018-19. 2030-32  Oct 2015

2013 ()

dark red robe, nice and full. The nose is a good mix of oily fruit with some herbes de Provence, low-key rosemary and sizzled bacon. The  palate holds cool blueberry fruit, iodine, licorice, with complexity on the agenda. It gives good, fine juice on the aftertaste, a real neat spot of that. The length is secure and successful. This is a belle bottle in the making – harmonious, balanced. It is ace drunk now with a rib of beef. 13.5°. From 2018-19. 2031-33 Oct 2015 Previously Feb 2015 ***(*) (casks) dark colour. The bouquet is supple, presents curved dark fruit aromas with oak implicit, has a savoury, lamb stock angle as well. The palate gives juicy early gras richness, is shapely, its fruit reaching out quite well. It ends on a knot of oak-tannin, powdery notes there. A gentle Cornas, with a second half of greater impact – it builds well to that moment. A clear wine but rather full of oak. From mid-2017, say. 2028-29  Feb 2015

2012

(casks, bottling Aug 2014) rather full red. Smoky, still upright nose that has a chiselled side with direct fruiting, an air of small black berries. The palate debut is sparky, with tenacity in its iron veins, the black fruit under wraps. Has interesting possibilities – where will it go? Oak runs around on the finish. A complicated wine, with potential. Can be drunk from 2016, but more especially from 2018, needs time. 2028-29  Nov 2013

2010

(casks) bustling, full robe; its blackberry aroma lies well set within the bouquet, offers good, pure fruit. The palate bears live, agile fruit which runs freely, has momentum. There is promising fruit with good, safe matter to keep it company. The tannins are supple, have a fine style. Good length, licorice on the aftertaste. 2026-28 June 2011

2009

dark red; the nose is reduced, so needs to breathe. There are airs of stewed red fruits, plums, overt sun ripeness, notes of iron, and the trademark oak of Colombo. The palate has style in its gras – this is modern Cornas back in 2009, one of the front runners in that field. It bears a sheen of polish, early fruit with oak attached. The fruit doesn’t persist quite far enough to convince. The close is quiet, rounded, innocuous, fades. It doesn’t carry much local ID. 2030-32 Cornas, Dec 2019 Previously June 2011 **** (casks) quite full red; blackberry aroma with smoky notes, grainy airs, pebble dust, a prune ripeness, the fruit nearly mulled and simmered. The palate grips out at first, is still in on itself, the use of ripe crop is apparent. Less forward than the Terres Brûlées. There is some scenting in its flavour, that works well. The second half is tasty, and it keeps going. “It was a bit hard at first, and has rounded out from this solar year,” Anne Colombo. From spring 2013. 2024-26 June 2011

2008

sober plum colour, evolving nicely. There is dark intensity at the centre of the bouquet, lots of mineral, black jam with a rather sultry tone. The palate is a good earthy-fresh mix, is engaging, right in the frame now. It ticks over well to the finish. 13.5°. 2022-23 Oct 2016 Previously Nov 2009 *** (cask) bright, quite dark robe; blackberry and licorice aroma, with pepper fringes, a touch of raw meat. The palate gives rather fine black fruit that has a fine grain. Oak threads through it. The fruit lasts OK, has fair length. From 2012. 2018-19. Only 30% new oak this year. Nov 2009

2007 ()

red with some purple in the colour; refined red fruit air, with oak smoke, a suggestion of grains of tea and floral scents. The palate gives soft, squeezy red fruit that prevails over its oak until the later stages. It is the most open of the three Cornas 2007s now – this, Méjeans, Terres Brûlées. Attractive, rather fragrant fruit here. A fine style of Cornas. From mid-2011. 13.5°. 2018-19 Nov 2009

2006

the red colour is still mid-depth; game, funky notions in a varied bouquet that is coming together – date, prune airs combine with some oak still. The palate is still tight, upright, with oak stretching the fruit; you have to like oak to get into this – I am surprised it hasn’t integrated more, and is still only half a wine. Decant it. 2022-23  Nov 2013  Previously Nov 2009 ***(*) full, quite dark red robe; blackberry and cassis jelly, fruit nose with a rounded appeal. The palate is darker and more crunchy than the nose suggests – due to the oak influence, with its tannins moving into it. There is a “dark” tang to this, its length is sound. From mid-2010. 2018-19 Nov 2009

2005 ()

the red still is sound at heart; salty edges to the nose, with prune and raisin touches, violet set in a soaked fruits context, rather a plush leather air as well. The palate gives similar flesh, the forward fruit has a snappy feel, a correct 2005 clear finale. It is showing youth tonight. 13.8°. 2019-20 June 2011

2001 ()

sappy, smoky stewed fruits nose. Mint/oily start. Finesse more than power. Quite wide blackberry/licorice end. 2006 on. 2016-18

2000 ()

clear, bit mineral/leather nose. Upright, grainy black fruit palate. Coffee and tar end. Its fruit is not that well cast. 2011-13

1999

ripe stewed fruit/meat potent nose. Pebbly cooked fruit, decent weight. Clear mineral end. Touch tarry, bit short. 2010-12