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The Wines

mainly 1976 Syrah on Les Grands Murs, 1978 Syrah on Les Terrasses, both on Chaillot, plus 1950s Syrah from Mazards, Saveaux, crop crushed, whole bunch fermentation, 3-4 week vinification, 1 or 2 pumping overs at the start and finish, manual cap punching, malo in cask, aged 70% 4-14 year 600-litre, 30% 400-litre oak casks 18 months, topped up (ouillage) every 3-4 weeks, no racking since 2009 unless much reduction, unfined, unfiltered, does not necessarily state Chaillot on the label, unfined, unfiltered, 400 b in 2004, 5,000-10,000 b

2019 ()

(the blend, 1-year 300-litre cask) full red robe; the nose has a floral, perfumed top note, strawberry, red berry present, is graceful. There is a clear tinkle of notably red fruit on the palate, a good lining of tannin. This is a Burgundian slow developer on freshness, real purity of fruit – it’s fine, fresh, aromatic, very promising, stylish, the fruit red despite the sun. I like its fibre, too. There’s a good foundation, and it’s promising. I wonder where it will go next. 24-26 years Dec 2019

2018

1) (1978 Syrah, 1.2 ha, granite, Terraces, 40% of the final wine, 600-litre cask) ***(*) bright red; there is quiet poise on the nose, red fruits, reduction, raspberry, a touch of caramel. The palate content is trim, low-key in expression, gives a gradual, discreet gain in depth. It’s precise, with hidden qualities, ends with iron grip, a measured firmness. The purity is good – that’s its main quality. “It’s 13.2 has a lot of finesse, a light touch,” Guillaume Gilles. 18 years 2) (Les Grands Murs, 1976 Syrah, granite-limestone, loess-clay, 0.6 ha, 45% of the final wine 600-litre cask) **** bright dark red colour; red cherry, mulberry fruit come in a firm, cooked style. There are notes of acetate on the palate, with running iron strength, is very spinal. “It’s often Sudiste/Southern, but in 2018 there is blood, and a straight, direct shape,” Guillaume Gilles – I agree. It ends on rocky fissure notes, smoke vegetal tones, comes with purity at its heart, develops intensity towards the finish, is naked. This will give the final wine much of its aroma. 20-22 years 3) (now the blend of the two with 15% La Combe, 400-litre cask, where it has been since the start of its raising) **** shiny, quite full red robe; red fruit with caramel casing, some Southern paste effect in the fruit, blood notes, a touch of reduction. The attack is expressive, comes with good freedom, clear, clean threads, iron filings, is very Burgundian, to grow into its frame and to expand. It has much restraint, more blood with firm cherry notes towards the finish. It’s not an evident wine – it requires patience, then study. Decant it. From 2023. 2042-44 Dec 2019 Previously Nov 2018 **** (Les Terrasses, 1978 Syrah, used 600-litre cask) bright red robe; there is a lucid, nice flow of red fruit on the nose, which has a sunny curve, is appealing, accessible. The palate gives a tight run of rather wiry red fruits, with floral, aromatic fineness. The fruit is very pure, is a precise, understated style of Cornas with a quiet increase in depth, a Burgundian take. “It is very fine, balanced. I started the harvest on 4 September, and picked this on 7 September” Guillaume Gilles. 13.5°. From 2021. 2038-40 Nov 2018

2017 ()

full red; acetate-kirsch airs feature in a tight aroma, bacon fat along with that – it’s a well weighted bouquet. The palate is walled in, with density from the low yield of 21 hl/ha. It’s insistent, very firm, carries a couch of solid tannins, takes a Mediterranean route. The palate carries good potential, freshness, prolonged length. It’s nicely raw for now, has promise in its veins, blood late on. It holds foundation, iron, vigour from within, is true Cornas. The acetate should enter into it. 14°. Bottled July 2019. From 2023. 2043-45 Dec 2019 Previously Nov 2018 ****(*) 1) (Les Terrasses, 1978 Syrah, bottling June 2019) **** dark red, purple. There is a good line-up of cherry fruits on the nose, raspberry, licorice, a soft sweetness. It is smoky, a bit brooding. The palate gives a good, typical impact of mineral, a hint of acetate. This has attitude from within, gives a rocky, chewy moment on the close. It has a fibrous, muscled style. From 2022. 23 years 2) (Les Grands Murs, 1976 Syrah, limestone-loess soils, with clay on Chaillot, granite) ****(*) dark red; Has a classic, lovely Cornas bouquet, lurking acetate, a combination of raspberry and cherry, iron filings, a good, mixed bag. The palate serves a sensuous run of red cherry fruit with an increase in depth that is nice and gradual, steady. There is a real pocket of late intensity, iodine, dark tannins that are thorough. It has good structure, is proper, interesting Cornas with hints of violet as per Chaillot. From 2023. 2042-44 Nov 2018

2016

shiny red robe. The bouquet is aromatic, so typical of Chaillot, pot pourri dried flowers, spicing, red berries present. It’s a flattering, open arms start, quiet intensity within, not all on the surface. The palate kicks off on butty red fruits, comes with gleam in its offer, but is actually compact, discreetly profound. The tannins are crisp, down the line. The second half is mineral, with crushed rocks on the close, along with notes of perfume, rose. Its florality and energy serve it well; it’s a wine with a bit more to it than on the surface. Decant it – it needs some prising open. “It’s very juicy, with blood in it, is very open, has always been accessible,” Guillaume Gilles. 13.5°. 2035-37 Dec 2018

2015 ()

bright, quite full red robe. Has a smoky, lingering bouquet, a wee spot of acetate, loganberry and raspberry, large berry fruit with appeal on the surface, layered depth, hidden pockets below. The palate has a sturdy start via a thick wave of cherry fruit, ripe and dense tannins within, munchable tannins that ends up on a lip smacking finish. This has good weight, handles it well with freshness along its spine, deep within is evident mass. The richness takes care of the deep tannins, and the freshness extends it. It surges towards the finish – it’s full there. 13.5°. “2015 is my most balanced year, with a lot of acidity. I expected it to be like 2009 – very beefy, hard, also very tannic, but it wasn’t. I had just started in 2009, and since then developed the working of the soils, which explains this advance,” Guillaume Gilles. 9,000 b. From 2023. 2042-44 Dec 2018

2014 ()

attractive red robe with a good core; the bouquet is fluid, comes with a rich roll of raspberry fruit, elderberry, some acetate, black olives, an unusual mix of prompts, iodine and seaweed, iron, smoke – it’s a good bazaar. The palate hands out lovely gourmandise, way to go fruit – what a beau glass it is, the texture smooth, and floral prompts after half way. This is delightful, serene, Burgundian, a very fine Cornas that gives good pleasure, slinky appeal. “It’s my most beau vintage, with great juice in the grapes, even ahead of 2015 and 2016,” Guillaume Gilles. I note its 14° is higher than the 2015 which was 13.5°. 2034-36 Dec 2018 Previously June 2015 **** (400-litre cask, 1976-80 Syrah on very granite, gore soil on Les Terrasses, harvested before the rain) ***(*) shiny dark red; has a nicely clear, well buttoned up aroma, red cherry liqueur, cassis – it indicates a good activity in the wine. The palate sweeps along with a fluid style, and its tannins fit in well. This is fine, charming wine. The red fruit is notably pure, and very accomplished. Singing wine here. From late 2017, say. 14-15 years. (600-litre cask, 1976-80 Syrah on limestone, gravel soils on Les Grands Murs) **** good shiny red robe. This has a belle aroma of raspberry that has a coulis quality – it is elegant, and holds up well. There is good grip and tension in this – it speaks of rocky zones, has the mineral clack, with red fruit allowed to come out in fine lines. It has good grip, is a true Cornas, naked quality, wine. It ends well, is lightly crunchy there. 16-17 years. (600-litre used cask, a blend of Les Terrasses & Les Grands Murs) **** good, shiny dark red, legs visible. Raspberry and violet, a most inviting dup, feature on the nose, with a powdered dust and mocja back note. This is a stylish opening. This is harmonious wine: it is aromatic, and holds tasty fruit in fine droplets, also fine tannins. There is a certain sense of pointillisme, of accumulated detail, in its construction – call for Seurat. It is fine, but has Cornas attitude, a note of game on the nose, a note of rocks on the palate. Charm, harmony and truth here in what is a slightly Burgundian styled wine. From 2018. 2029-30  (600-litre new cask, a blend of Les Terrasses & Les Grands Murs) ***(*) the difference here is the new oak: dark red. Blackberry, cassis aroma with caramel and vanilla, the fruit more jam-like than the previous wine due to the oak influence; the oak smokes it. The palate is more square, more chunky than the previous wine, is more coated and gives less of a pure access to the wine. The fruits have the odd flash of clarity here and there. 2029-30. This new oak only forms a small part of the final wine. “2014 was less ripe than 2013. The colour went from strawberry to purple after two weeks, but the wines are not deep – we had too much rain,” Guillaume Gilles. Jun 2015

2013 ()

steady red robe. Red meat, blood droplets, sweet herbs, attractive raspberry fruit with hints of iodine make up an interesting, varied bouquet. Gradual advance is occurring on the palate, which has the 2013 vintage cut, ping, garners smoked tannins with a little dryness in town; it concentrates on the close, with a max Cornas rocky statement there. It has nice crunch, will be expressive, and is a vintage out of tune with 2015 to 2018, and I like that. It has proper structure, cool, menthol notes. The yield was very small, under 21 hl/ha. 13.5°. From spring 2020, say. 2039-41 Nov 2018 Previously June 2015 ****(*) healthy red robe, nice and bright. Blackberry and cassis airs come in a wave on the nose, which has a clear density, gives acetate also. It is strong on the cassis, and also gives an aroma of licorice. The palate has a well-packed start – this is really well bundled together. Dark berries, smokiness are present, then a hum of rose hip and violet towards the finish. Good pedigree, good vivacity; one can chomp on its content as it finishes, with grainy tannin. Interesting, well balanced, authentic Cornas: it is clear, well-filled and notably fine. 13.5°. Bottled two weeks ago. From 2018. 2034-37  Jun 2015

2012

bright, sound red robe. The nose is intricate, on a rich roll of red jam fruit, a hint of reduction, with violets and a perfume of Pez sweets, is curvy and appealing. The palate delivers a wholesome bundle of nuggety red fruit gras richness, has proper heart, lengthens with total assurance, carries into the yonder. It’s accomplished, very beau, complex and interesting. The balance is right on the mark, even with its strength. There is brilliant late detail in its blue fruit. 14°. 2038-40 May 2018 Previously June 2015 **** shiny, inviting red robe. Mulberry, red berry, mulled fruits air, a hint of game and ground force: the bouquet has a butty depth. The palate evokes warm early summer days: it gives appealing scenting of flowers, brings in raspberry and plum, licorice and mocha. It is quietly intricate, and very different from the 2013. This is something of a sunshine wine, has jam notes, toffee notes. “At first after vinification the tannins were very hard and strict; Robert Michel told me that it reminded him of 2001 at the stage. It became more robed and together after its cask raising,” Guillaume Gilles. 14°. 2034-36  Jun 2015

2011 ()

dark red robe. The nose combines the cool of blueberry fruit with a sweeter, more raspberry aroma; it has a round and also broad shape, and is easy to appreciate, is softly floral with some licorice also. This is starting to sing: the fruit is tasty, presents dark red berries in fruit pastille form, and it gives a powdered tannin run after half way. This is accessible Cornas, supple for the most part, before the tannins. It isn’t quite a close-knit ensemble: an attack of fruit pastille – pause – powdered tannins is the sequence. It is aromatic, pleasing fine wine that would please lovers of Burgundy. “We had 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain on 26 August when the crop was ready at 13° to 13.5°. The grapes lost their depth, so I waited for them to re-concentrate. I harvested two plots on 5 September, and waited some more, then finished on 20 September. It is a very aromatic year, with the fruit well-juiced from the kick-off. It is also fluid from the rain,” Guillaume Gilles. 13.5°. 2030-32 Jun 2015 Previously Dec 2013 ****(*) dark robe, plenty of Cornas on display. Smoky, smoked meats top aroma, plus a lot of brambly fruit which is ripe and sustains well. The palate rocks along – this is lively, bright Cornas, one with genuine depth, crackling tannins, an oily essence in its fruit. The tannins fit in well on the finish, are snug and quite fat. The end is broad, typically Cornasien, and persistent. From late 2015. 13.5°. €29 retail at the cellars. Bottled 25 May 2013. 2027-29  Dec 2013  Previously Nov 2012 ****(*) (600-litre cask, c50% of the wine, Les Grands Murs on Chaillot (1976-81, granite with limestone, loess, clay) ****(*) bright, rather rich robe. Has a robust, copious aroma with an oily, sunny ripeness in it. There is a strong granite connection in the drive and gunflint of the nose, which also shows some game, red meat notes. The palate spreads well, has running red fruit laced with Cornas dust and grain. It ends on accomplished floral notes – this is stylish, has flair and good juice. The tannin is tangy, and forceful for now. Genuine, local wine. “It has a lot of character, and is the most meridional of my wines; during the raising it can be exuberant and then close, have a lot of variation,” G Gilles. From 2017 20+ years. (600-litre cask, c50% of the wine, Les Terrasses on Chaillot (hard granite, pH of 5.9-6.5) ***** bright, dark red. Has a prolonged air of mulled red fruit, thorough depth, without the smoulder of mystery – is on track to be sunny and open on this showing. The palate has a floral, well-charged debut, swiftly followed by a network of live tannins that criss cross it. STGT wine of good spine, good direction. It will blend well with the fruit richness of the other half, has a savoury late flavour. “It has not shifted much in 18 months, and is a good pupil,” G Gilles. 20-22 years (400-litre cask, which is always added, as Robert Michel used to do) **** good, steady red. Floral – peony, rose, red jelly aroma. There is an intense note of redcurrant, and it hasn’t varied away from that. A supple side wins over tightness on the palate, which appears in measured, grainy, smoky form at the end. There are wide and chalky tannins on the finish after a good surge of red berry fruit. Interesting – has character and local definition, can be STGT. It is less complex than the other two, is separate. 17 years. Overall: lots of authentic feel in this STGT wine, a Cornas with spine and variety to come. A top rank 2011. From 2015 at the earliest. 10% new oak this year due to purchase of a new 600-litre cask. 2031-33  Nov 2012

 

2010 ()

red robe, dark and bright, in good shape, has a rich aspect. The nose is smoky, lurking, pine needles, meatiness, blood, iron, hints of violet. It’s a typical Cornas bouquet. The palate comes with a bright, clear running style, sustains well, the juice spreading broadly, generously. There is crunch on the tannins on the finish, is very long. There is fine fibre inside, the finish a touch spartan. The nose is more harmonious than the still rugged palate, has a cussed nature, will take time to perform well. From 2021, decant it. 2037-39 May 2018 Previously Nov 2012 ***** good, brilliant, shiny robe. Has a wide, almost brimming nose, full of blackberry, and backed by bosky depth, tar and cassis, roast beef steak. This has the copious nature of 1990. The palate drives off with vigour, has layers of black fruit, mixed in with coffee and chocolate notes, black raisin and menthol. It shows real strength on the finish, gets into overdrive there. Has admirable central fruit, the flair and impressive depth of 2010 Cornas. The balance is good, even if the wine seems charged. The length is fulfilling – well done, Guillaume! From 2017. 14°. Bottled 25 April 2012. “Guillaume has an excited look when telling me: “I’d be very interested to see how it is in 10 or 20 years; there was a lot of anxiety at the start; I feared acetate (a high degree derivative) from Les Grands Murs, but that didn’t show through. 10% new oak this year due to purchase of a new 600-litre cask. 2036-38  Nov 2012

2009

healthy dark red robe. The bouquet is firm, upright, clear, still not fully out, gives red fruits, spice, cordite – you could light a match. It carries authority. Good blue fruit features on the start of the palate, a pine flavour with true Cornas spine, proper structure, iron filings late on. This is STGT Cornas that gives access to its terroir, a cool thread through it, despite the hot summer. It can amplify further, is very rewarding, and based on notably fine fruit. “I worked the soils this year,” Guillaume Gilles. 2042-44 Cornas, Dec 2019 Previously Nov 2010 **** (casks) dark colour; varnish, acetate first hit on the nose, black cherry with a hint of volatile acidity and marked notes of damp forest or soil, with violet that can be typical of Cornas: in sum, a varied collection of aromas. The palate also bears the sweet style oiliness suggested by the nose; its fruit is wholesome and abundant, and it ends clearly, with a drift of crisp tannin. The refinement of the fruit stands out. Harmony will come here, since the wine is pure. Once the nose has arranged itself, all well. From spring 2013. 2030-32 Nov 2010

2008

full red, black tints. Baked fruits, grounded nose with jam, floral airs. Prune, sweet fruit start on the palate – reflects the late harvesting this year. There is a fat moment before more tannin comes along, the tannin ripe. Ends roundly, just a bit sticky. From 2013. There is just a little Cornas mineral grip here, a decent job done. Not his normal style, but has manoeuvred well. 2023-25 Dec 2009

2007

bright, full dark robe, legs down the glass. Has a blackberry coulis style aroma that lingers nicely – it is not complicated , but has a floral and mineral snap in it as well. There is full black fruit on the start of the palate – the fruit is sunny and has enough juice to be pretty now; it is followed by oak in a minor register. This is nicely made Cornas that comes across well, with elegance and attractive fruit. The heart of the Syrah grape is here. The length is sound. From late 2009. 2026-28 Dec 2008 Previously Dec 2007 (Chaillot, cask) **** good life in a purple, mauve robe; the nose bounds along, with clear fruit and substance of content around it. The palate holds good, savoury fruit – has a lot of charm and plump, sustained appeal – delightful fruit. From 2010 for early appeal, can live 16-18 years. Dec 2007

2006 ()

steady red robe; the nose has style – a pretty top floral note, airy and cherry fruits. The palate weaves along quietly, the red fruit has sinew in its texture, before tannins gather and enclose at the finish – its mineral tang is typical there. The tannins are fine, but can yield with time. This is not exuberantly fruity, and for now the fruit is a bit limited, taut, on its wire. Has tightened up for now. From spring 2010. Bottled April 2008. 2028-30 Dec 2008 Previously Jan 2008 ***(*) (casks) red-dark black cherry robe; the aroma runs along the cassis, blackcurrant trail, with a little raspberry and violet also. The palate starts softly and easily: its expressive black berries are nice and clear. Length is good, with a dash of rounded raspberry on the aftertaste. The tannins are elegant and well woven. From 2010. This is very persistent and some good sweet spice crops up on the finish. Beau vin, in the STGT vein. 2027-29 Jan 2008

2005 ()

deeply-founded red robe; the bouquet is solid, still closed, and has a note of juniper, unusually – needs another 2-plus years. The start is quite gracious, with an even flow – black berry fruit here has late kick and attitude. A wine à l’ancien – traditionally styled - but it has been tidily made. The tannins grip nicely at the end, and there is a peppery, tingling aftertaste. The tannins demand patience – they are just about ripe enough. This is faithful to its place. From 2010. 2028-30. 50% Mazards, 50% Saveaux, 22 months ageing. “It was little bit open after the winter of 2006-07, then it closed up again,” G.Gilles. Dec 2007.

2004 ()

nose shows black fruit with some local feel - the energy, mineral presence of Cornas; it's a bit reduced. The fruit is also quite clear on the palate, which gains an earthy side mid-palate, and is quite crisp towards the finish. Correct structure potentially here, has grain and a lithe feel. Chunky style and needs decanting. 2025-27 Dec 2006 400 b this year, for starters