Cornas tasting @ Jeroboam Club

Bristol

Tasted January 15, 2014 by thewineoceros with 627 views

Introduction

A very unique and rare tasting of Cornas wines. 100% Syrah/Shiraz grown in a tiny appellation in Northern Rhone. Historically with a reputation for being tough or rustic wines, some producers show that this isnt the case, and with new modern techniques, are bringing on different interpretations of the terroir. The wines shown tonight are some incredible examples featuring Thierry Allemand, Robert Michel and his protege Vincent Paris, Noel Versat and of course the wines of Auguste Clape. This was very special.

All wines were double decanted approx 12 hours prior to tasting, bar the Jaboulet.

Flight 1 (1 note)

Red
2010 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30 France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
90 points
Ripe berry, pepper, and a touch of eucalyptus are all evident in this very fruit forward Cornas. Grainy tannin, good balance, clearly young, but has great freshness and vitality. Approachable and drinkable. Will certainly improve with a bit more time. 90+

Flight 2 (2 notes)

Red
2007 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
92 points
Exotic nose, hints of oak, spices, blueberry and black fruit, a touch of violet and red meat. Rich round, gritty tannins, but great balance and finish. Still has some places to go, but drinking very nicely. Good value and having tried the 04 next to it, will no doubt develop and improve with a few more years in the cellar. 92+
Red
2004 Alain Voge Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
93 points
More restrained than the 07, but has incredible class and elegance on the nose. Wisps of flavour reveal violets, black olive and touches of grilled bacon. A lot more focus than its younger brother. A big surprise on the night and really held its own against some of the heavyweights from Clape. Really need to try this with a steak. A bargain if you can find it.

Flight 3 (2 notes)

Red
2005 Robert Michel Cornas La Geynale France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
92 points
Mature nose, with exotic spices, tapenade and a lot of complexity and power. White pepper, grilled meat and lots (and lots) of structure. This is definately in the old style of Cornas. Will last for years, but definately needs air/food/age - probably all 3.
Red
1995 Robert Michel Cornas La Geynale France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
92 points
Incredible nose, mature with great depth and complexity. Tell tale violets/lavender and peppery spices. Palate is filled with white pepper, and the remnants of fruit, with very noticeable acidity and still powerful tannic quality. Mr Michel's wines are not for the faint hearted (or impatient). Very enjoyable.

Flight 4 (2 notes)

Red
1999 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
92 points
Barnyard nose, certainly showing more age than the 2007, and also showing a lot more focus. Very grown up and enticing. Acidity is quite prominent, with supporting dry tannins, a touch herbaceous but no bad thing. Lots of complexity and a long finish. I am preferring the younger wine without food, however suspect that this bottle would prefer a good meal.
Red
2007 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
94 points
Wow - Great pronounced nose that really leaps out of the glass. Classy spices, cedar, black fruits with violets and a real meaty hint. Spritzy palate, full of energy to bring all those complex fruit to the fore. Balanced structure, that certainly has more life in it, but equally drinks nicely now. I keep having to remind myself that these wines have all been double decanted some 12 hours previous. Take heed.
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Flight 5 (5 notes)

Red
2004 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
93 points
First thing to note is how dark this wine is even compared to some of the younger wines on show tonight. Very prominent nose with black fruits, almost a pastille component. Uber complex with a myriad of layered fruit. Plenty of verve and vitality, great balance, really enjoyable to drink at this point. Will clearly age, so certainly one to keep an eye on.
Red
1995 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
96 points
Mint, leather, minerals, game, beef, bacon and smokey spice. This is incredible and in an amazing place right now. It literally dances across the palate, somehow full of power yet light and delicate. Structure is perfect, and seamless. Very long finish. Top quality.
Red
1989 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
93 points
Incredible depth on the nose, still fresh and hugely complex. Layer upon layer of game, meat, spice, grilled bread, flowers. Acidity is still there keeping this bright, but tannins have melted to make this a powerful yet light touch wine. Evolves all evening. Magical
Red
1988 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
95 points
Grilled bread, complex, mature notes of leather, spice, this is at another level of maturity and all the better for it. Full, mouthfilling, classy and very burgundian with a long finish. On returning to this wine over the hour it evolves, changes and is super interesting. Wow.
Red
2000 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
92 points
Impressive nose, focus, complexity, gamey, violets, and spice. This is really text book Syrah, with crushed peppercorn, white pepper, and spices. Slightly drying on the long finish. Will go on for a few years yet.

Flight 6 (2 notes)

Red
1994 Noël Verset Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
92 points
Really unique nose on the night, touches of sulphur and smoke, reminds me of Cote Rotie. Fully mature and a bit of treat considering this wine is no longer made. Slightly dry finish, but enjoyable.
Red
1995 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
89 points
Totally different to other wines on the night, distinct notes of tomato, blood, with hints of mint and black fruit. Others comment on its lieness to Hermitage rather than Cornas. I like it, but does feels like it isnt from the same place as the others tonight.

Closing

I was totally blown away by the quality and different styles of this fine appellation. Great to compare across decades too, with wines appealing at different ages. Thanks to the Jeroboam team for organising

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