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The Wines

Syrah 85% from the top of La Genale, plus part of the lower end, includes plenty of 1910 Syrah, 10-15% T├ęzier (1992), 80-85% whole bunch fermentation, 1 week cool maceration, 4 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, cap punching, aged 2-10 year oak casks 12-14 months, casks assembled 4 weeks before bottling, fined, unfiltered, 20% bottled 14 months after harvest, 80% bottled 17-18 months after harvest, 4,000-6,000 b

2018 ()

dark robe, slightly matt hue. The bouquet carries a floral-violet hover over some generous, sweet-noted, notably ripe black berry fruits, which remind me of the old Pez sweets [good packaging, you slid them out of a little canister]. The palate is also well scented, combines that with a note of iron, and stewed black fruits, prunes on the table. This carries the warm rays of the year in its supple constitution, is a ripe Cornas with inner notes of complexity. It has good, lip smacking length, will drink young, given its ripeness. From spring 2021, but there’s more variety to come if you wait beyond that, obviously. 14°. 4,000 b. €39. This has been bottled for the Cornas Wine Fair in early December; the main part will be bottled in spring 2020. 2040-42 Nov 2019  GB £185/6 b in bond The Wine Society +44(0)1438 741177 https://www.thewinesociety.com/openingoffer/Overview.aspx?offercode=wrh181

2017

(casks) dark red colour; the nose serves cooked blackberry fruit that is sweet, the effect rather brothy, but it’s then followed by a cool thread, a note of violet. The palate bears peppered, direct, blood-mineral content with tannins a little on the dry, parched side. It is very raw still, finishes with a vegetal edge to it. The red fruit within has quality, and this is a Cornas of yore in its rocky, rugged young countenance. It needs time to knit and to fuse its tannic thrust. From spring 2022. 2040-42 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2018 (casks) **** dark red; the nose has scope, is on reduction, lines up blackberries, a fluid sweetness, black olives – it has a rolling aroma. The palate is medium weight, builds some tannic intensity as it goes, takes on more dark fruit, southern notes towards the finish. The tannins are ripe, discreetly firm on the close, which is savoury, the length sound. It doesn’t land a knockout blow, but is agreeable. This is the year when Vincent had terrible mildew on La Geynale. 14°. From 2021. 2040-41 London, Nov 2018

2016 ()

(casks) deep red robe. The bouquet has weight, gives an accumulation of mulberry, red berry fruits, a touch of blackcurrant in the background. There is a sense of soaked cherries, griottes, too. The palate sweeps along with a smooth delivery, shows some acetate, the flavour on dark berry fruits with noted intensity towards an express train finish, which is tarry, grapey, a little rocky. The second half is impressive, really spreads widely and covers the ground. Leave until 2020. 14°. 4,000 b. 2030-33 Nov 2017 Previously July 2017 ****(*) (5 year 228-litre cask) dark red colour, some black tints. This has an inky, squid-pulp aroma, concentrated raspberry, loganberry, thyme, herbs, a hum of spice, nutmeg. The palate debut is intricate, with freshness right away, backed by a good coulis of blackberry fruit, and a steady length. The balance is good. There are cedary touches. There is good Cornas mineral on the close, typicity; this is STGT Cornas – the second half is very Cornas. It’s a wine of good, subtle prompts, with floral charm late on. It’s a beautiful, true Cornas. Only 18 hl/ha this year due to mildew. 2029-31 July 2017

2015

very dark robe. Has a broad, sustained nose, resembles sandalwood, striking wild raspberry, also licorice, with much potential for extended variety later on. The palate attacks on closely packed red fruits, damson and mulberry with mineral in the tannins, concentrated juice just peeking out. This is Big Wine, with much emphasis on the second half of the palate. It’s really thorough, has great length. It’s not far off six stars. 14°. From 2021. 2035-37 July 2017 Previously ***** (casks) deep robe. The nose has a cosy, rounded, perfumed aroma led by blackberry fruit, with a sultry ripeness and a little mystery. It’s a well ripened opening. The palate gives suave, caressing content with very bonny waves of black fruit riding the surf, an inkiness of depth in them. This has a delicious, plump centre, followed by very fine grain, deft tannins. This is wholesome, nourishing wine, high grade Cornas. Great potential: from mid-2019, even though it tastes so well now. 14°. 5,000 b. €21. 2032-34 Oct 2016

2014 ()

dark red; smoky, latent violet, raspberry fruit appear on the nose, which has good style. There is a hint of acetate on the palate; its gras carries well, and it is well polished, the length agreeable. The sign-off is tasty, the aftertaste lip-smacking. This has finesse, is promising. 14°. This is part of the small lot bottled for the Cornas Marché in early Dec 2015. The main bottling will be March 2016. “Ripening was difficult to achieve in 2014, but not with La Genale, which is full south facing. It is more accessible than usual,” Vincent Paris; I agree with that last comment. 5,000 b. From mid-2017. 2026-28  Dec 2015 Previously Oct 2015 ****(*) (casks) dark robe, black interior. The bouquet spreads widely, has an inky, seared, slightly acetate presence, a black cherry liqueur pulse at its heart. The palate offers a good kick of rolling black fruit, a cool blueberry touch, consecutive waves of it, and brings in some tar darkness of tannins as it closes. Lots of wine in the glass: the finish correctly captures the light grain of Cornas. This has pedigree, and promise. It is still running well on the finish. This rocks. 13.5°. From mid-2018. 2027-28 GB £140/6 b in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com Oct 2015 

2013

notably shiny dark red; there is an inky intensity, along with meaty notes on the nose – this is a pretty full bouquet, breathes ground warmth. The palate holds compact matter, has a wee note of acetate, and a sleek tannic siding. It runs with energy, carries impact. It is good and free as it ends. There are spots of dark concentration through the palate – plenty of wine in the glass, thus. The length is good. From 2018. 14°. 2028-30  Feb 2015 Previously Jan 2015 ***(*) dark red colour. There are notes of acetate in a sturdy bouquet that has a red berry centre, shows liqueur style fruit and violet traces. The palate shows drive, but doesn’t yet have a Headquarters, a true centre. It has merit, gives a flash of lively fruit, the finish peppered. The tannins are robust. This is very young still. I am surprised it is already in bottle – it is raw goods, has a big, forward style, with an inkiness, the pulp of the grape in the second half of the palate. 14°. 2026-27 GB £156/6 bots in bond Berry Brothers 0800 280 2440 +44(0)207 022 8973  www.bbr.com GB £149/6 bots in bond The Wine Society +441438 740 222 www.thewinesociety.com  Jan 2015

2012

plum red,  quite a full robe. The bouquet is full of life, spreads a red berry, slightly spiced raspberry aroma, a little dark intensity in it, mulberry also, along with dried herbs, close to thyme they are. The palate starts on a rocky, salty, prolonged dark red berry fruit flavour; this has Cornas bite and grip, an overt dusty grain minerality, towards the finish. It isn’t yet ensemble, but has good inner strength. Licorice features threaded through the late moments. It is very much a mineral, Nordic wine. 14°. From 2017, for example. 2032-34  Feb 2016 Previously Dec 2013 NR bottled 11 days ago, a small bottling for the Marché de Cornas, most to be bottled spring 2014. Dark red, purple tints. Acetate, pine, plastic airs in a firm nose. The palate is taut, very stiffly fruited, acetate prominent. The fruit lacks a comfortable side. There are burnt notes at the end. Unconvincing, isn’t a good ensemble, and the exit is stern, dry. Worry that this will not come round. Hope that the other, main, bottling, is a lot better. 14°. Dec 2013

2011

a magnum: healthy, full red robe, little change in it. The bouquet has an air of stewed fruits, plums, raspberries, red fruits, a rather thick aroma, hints of mineral on the edges. The attack is openly fruited, ripe fruit in play, red stone fruits, with spark in the tannins, clarity from them. The length is sustained, if a little robust, disorderly. This has inner strength, carries the sweetness of a ripe vintage. There’s licorice on the aftertaste. 14°. 2034-36 Sept 2020 Previously Nov 2012 ****(*) (casks) dark robe. Reduction features above a deeply packed nose, that shows lees now, a full brim of blackberry fruit with an agreeably roasted air, a bonny do. Shows black olives that connect it to the south, has a red meat intensity, spice and grilling. The palate runs along with free fruit, its density building as it goes. There is a circle of full tannin on the finish, accompanied by crisp, even scorched notes now from its oaking. A large scale 2011 Cornas, serious table wine. Decant this. From mid-2015. 2028-30  Nov 2012

2010

has a still firm red robe. This has a great bouquet – the elegance of Pinot, and the sunshine roundness of Grenache, airs of plums, latent spice-cinnamon, violets: there’s a lot going on. The palate departs on rocky cut, stone red fruits, inner heart a-plenty. It brings in roses towards the finish, where there are tight tannins. This is real structured Cornas, very young, carries fresh acidity, its balance right there. It’s moving quietly along. The juice has a plum skin, plum fruit emphasis. This is right up there in quality. The late moments are grainy, granular, on mineral-powder. The fruit backs off after half way, showing the wine is still not knitted together. From spring 2019. 2032-34 July 2017 Previously Jan 2016 ****(*) dark red robe, not much evolution. This has a warmly and roundly layered black berry fruit aroma, with a buffed leather, tight aspect. It is still on its youthful grain, gives a hint of violet. This is a very true Cornas bouquet. The palate is full, closely lined with dark berry fruit and prominent fine grain and dusted tannins that prevail on its second half. This delivers a good burst of black berry with licorice. It will drink in  amore fused manner in spring 2017, for instance. This is genuine, STGT Cornas; it has verve and vintage freshness – this is a big vintage, but the wine is cool above all. It has a confident depth, and an unhurried style. 14°. 2030-32 Jan 2016 Previously Sept 2012 ***** dark red robe, oily aspect. The bouquet is broad, shows some meat stock, red beef droplets. There is a reserved depth in its black fruit, some thyme and baked bread, ash smoke. It is still firm. The palate has a variety of elements to make it complex – there is more than one game in town here. It gives the image of small, concentrated berries with good, tannic density and proper structure to allow gradual and steady evolution. It has the grain grounding of Cornas on the finish, mineral and powdered rocks. Good balance, interesting wine. From 2016. 14°. 2027-29  Sept 2012  Previously Nov 2011 ****** (casks) dark, shiny robe; black cherry, clean extraction air, polished fruit on the nose, leaves a good, floating blackberry air, holds suggestions of mint, raw tobacco, black soil – is more varied and compact than the Granit 60. Somewhat gamey implant in its intense black berry fruit on the palate, has a lot of heart, a big core and well-juiced sides, even with some powdery, pebbly tannins alongside. It is reminds me of La Geynale (tasted blind), has good drive, is ripely fruited and finishes with the grain of Cornas, with the cut of the vintage clarity in it. STGT wine, thus. Very good, very long. From 2014. Great around 2016-21. 2026-28 Nov 2011

2009

(casks) dark, rather sombre robe; ripe and rich nose that brings together black olives, southern airs in the form of grilled beef, beef stock – it is nearly weighty. Has a rich, gamey nature on the palate. Assertive fruit and tannins zig-zag, it lengthens well, shows plenty of carry along the way. Has supple texture, the attack coating the mouth. A full-on style of wine that assembles a tight collection of late tannins, the length good, with licorice, cocoa aspects on the aftertaste. From 2013. 23 hl/ha this year, 4,000 b. 2022-24 Nov 2010

2008 No Rating

purple with a little darkness at the centre of its robe. High tone, very overt acetate, volatile acidity on the nose, some red cherry. The palate is very uneven, dried at the finish, eau de vie influences, disorderly. Sketchy fruit in this, and I find a wave of volatile in this, just cannot get away from that. 2 bottles tasted on different days this month, and neither comes up to scratch. They represent 65% of the wine – what has been bottled so far. (fibre glass vat, the 35% not yet bottled) light robe; red fruit aroma. More substance on the palate, but a similar worry about late acidity, and rather burning on the finish. Dec 2009

2007

magnum: sober plum red. Creamy berry aroma that is reductive and not quite clear; has a fine tail of pebble-licorice, and a violet drift across it. Pretty authentic Cornas debut. There is marked sinew in the palate – it starts fine-grained, shows a weave of dark fruit, rather thin tannin; the wine is withdrawn, in on itself. It has reserves, showing black cherry fruit towards the finish. The 2007 vintage clarity is here, and the palate has substance, along with a resilient couch of tannin. The palate today is more agreeable than the tucked up nose. Decant if in magnum. 2020-22 Feb 2011 Previously March 2009 ***(*) pretty, full red robe; has an aromatic, briar-heather, floral scent with baked stones and latent black fruits. The palate also has a violet, fruit lozenge nature – the scenting effect again. This flows well and clearly, holds really good violet-infused fruit. It is long, and finishes clearly. I find it more tender than it was in Dec 2008. There is a pretty grain texture on the finish, a quiet gathering of the mineral tannins. 2019-21 March 2009 Previously Dec 2008 ***(*) Tasted twice in 3 days, 1st tasting open with Vincent, 2nd tasting blind with 29 other Cornas, 10 days after its bottling. Tasting 1 *** full robe with purple hints; black cherry, wee high tone nose that gives out some sense of power and inherent content – it has a firm, almost marzipan air. The palate starts on bright blackcurrant fruit, is cleanly textured, develops tannins as it goes, ends on a pebbly grain, its fruit more evident early than late on. Somewhat of a gangly child; it has live tannin of some sinew attached to it and ends a bit on its stalky early nature now. From mid-2011. 13.2°. 2020-21 Tasting 2 **** full black robe with a purple top. Damp black soil, raisin, Christmas cake and violets on the bouquet, with some fungal airs and a backdrop of blackberry – this is broad, and comes with maybe some red meat, suggesting a country wine that has not been too urbanised in the making. Crisp, bold black fruit leads the palate with energy and good drive. It moves along well. Holds ingrained tannins, and ends on a more quiet, pebbly texture, with less fruit in evidence there. Is finding its way. A mineral texture comes forward as it nears the finish, and there is pepper on the aftertaste, with a touch of bitter. With air, it shows real persistence and good potential. Decant if drinking it in its first 3-4 years (a shame to do that). From mid-2010. 2020-22 Dec 2008 Previously June 2008***(*) Cask 1 (228 litre, 5 years, Genale with the mid-high slope on Reynards) *** red is dark at its heart; reductive, farmyard aroma, has width and substance, holds red fruits. The palate is thus also reductive, and difficult to taste. Its core is pretty rich, the tannins absorbed but layer it well. Gracious ending, good harmony. 17 years. Cask 2 (600 litre, 10 years, heart, high part of La Genale) black plum at the centre of the robe; the nose veers towards reduction (no racking done during its raising) – there is soil, farm etc, but the dimension shows shoulders. There is red raspberry fruit inside the palate, with violet, offers some delight and persists well. Good length, the fruit is long. Accessible since its tannins are ripe. “I find prune in this – it has concentrated since December 2007, and the terroir has come through,” V. Paris. 16-18 years. From mid-late 2010 on this showing. June 2008 Previously March 2008 ****(*) (1-year cask sample, the wine 2 months in the cask so far) although rather reductive, the nose has heart and plenty of core, and persists deeply within: there is a floral topping. The palate is ripely fruited - the fruits are black and scented with a violet-licorice tang. Holds good, profound content, its feet firmly on the ground, and depth that is natural from its mature vines. The fruit is clear and notably persistent. Promising drop. The sugars have ended, the malo perhaps has completed. Dec 2007. “The Geynale has been coming and going win its early life: the Granit 60 is often more fine and open than the Geynale so far – with the 85% whole bunch use, the latter is reserved and a bit tougher,” V.Paris, March 2008