Terroir: The abrupt, south-facing slopes form a natural amphitheater that protects the vines from cold winds. Cornas means “burnt earth” in old Celtic. The south-facing vines mature early (sunlight bath), which is why this appellation is the first red to be harvested in the Northern Côtes du Rhône. Cornas is a very dark red wine: almost black with purplish tints when young, becoming amber with age. It is one of the most robust French wines. These wines age superbly: their tannins round over time and they develop aromas of black fruits, with a spiced, “licorice” finish. This wine is made from a parcel of 2.5 ha on a south/south-east exposed hillside. It is made entirely from estate-grown grapes, like all the wines produced by the estate. Vines are 20 to 30 years old.
Vinification: Philippe and Vincent practice a sustainable farming, respecting the nature as much as possible. They received the HEV certification (sustainable certification) which guarantees high level of environmental performance. This certification was created as a contribution to the implementation of the agro-ecological project launched by the French Minister in December 2012.
To improve complexity, they lower the yields to 35-40hl/ha, by practicing green harvest and planting vines closer to each other forcing the vines to compete against each other which naturally regulate the yields. The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed and chilled for 24 to 48 hours in order to preserve the aromas of the fruit and spread out the work in the winery.
The fermentation occurs in wooden vats to allow complex and smooth tannins through micro-oxygenation. Maceration lasts three to four weeks, which is long. Both Pump-overs and punch-downs are performed twice a day. The goal is to extract color, aromas and tannins to express the terroir. It also requires longer ageing. Just like Ermitage Red, this wine was aged for 24 months in 228-liter oak barrel (50% new oak).
Score: 91 PointsVinous Author: Josh Raynolds
Score: 92 PointsWine Spectator Author: James Molesworth
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