A streamlined Cornas, with tension as well as a wealth of fine fruit – nothing at all overdone or out of kilter like some wines from this area which can be just too dense. South facing vines keeping their cool due to their high altitude seems to be the trick – a fine Cornas from one of Hermitage’s lesser-known lights and terrific value too.
Tom Cave, Cellar Plan Manager
From the named lieu-dit to the north of the named village, this is a worthy illustration of both the skill of the winemaker and the renaissance of Cornas in general. Herbal and rich, with hints of jambon cru and liqueur-steeped cherry, Les Eygats marries sweet and savoury, Carnival and Lent, with effortless aplomb.
Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer
Ferraton is owned by Chapoutier, but run as an autonomous entity. For a long time it seemed to underperform, almost as if shocked in the headlights of the energetic charisma of its benefactor. The potential of the vineyards, some of which are located on the very best sites on the Hill of Hermitage, has never been disputed. Now, with Bordelais winemaker Damien Brisset firmly in control, one begins to see, at last, the realisation of potential. I am pleased to have ‘stuck with’ them over the years, as the maturing vintages seldom fail to please and the quality of the current vintage gets better and better.
For whatever reason, I enjoyed the 2011 Cornas Les Grands Muriers more than the 2011 Cornas Lieu-Dit Les Eygats. Les Eygats is one of the finest vineyards at the top of the natural amphitheater that represents the appellation of Cornas. Although the 2011 was closed, it exhibited some peppery spice, scorched earth, black currant and blackberry fruit notes. With lots of minerality and a slightly austere, foreboding personality, it was difficult to penetrate this cuvee, but a lot is going on here, and I should have a better handle on it once it is in bottle.
The quality of Ferraton’s wines has been increasing with nearly every new vintage thanks to the efforts of Michel Chapoutier and his number one assistant, P.H. Morel, who has the responsibilities for these wines. I have included a few Southern Rhones that were not reviewed in Issue #203. Some of the 2011 white wines are in bottle, but the more serious cuvees are still in barrel. Ferraton produced four lieu-dit offerings in 2011, which I tasted with Michel Chapoutier and Pierre-Henri Morel.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #204, Dec 2012