1996 Noël Verset Cornas

Community Tasting Note


88 Points

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - Medium-light red, bricked edge. Complex nose of cranberry, dust, camphor, leather, then a touch of VA. Soft tannin, velvety acids initially, after two hours increased. Very Cornas flavors favoring tangy fruit and herbal notes over black pepper; acids spread out on one's tongue for 30 seconds, producing a nice finish. Terrific match with dinner of quail stuffed of mushroom, garlic and olives, and the last of the garden's peas. It's a bottling that probably would hang on forever at this stage and perhaps be as good as it will ever be in another ten years. In our final visit to M. Verset's tiny home in 1999, we confirmed that this vintage was his first ever "early harvest" without rain, a product of his advancing age, reduced energy, bad knees and fear of oncoming bad weather (which ironically did not arrive in Cornas). He was 82 years old in '96. Bottle #5 of six.

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