Red, Ready, but will improve

2012 Cornas, Empreintes, Domaine Eric & Joël Durand

2012 Cornas, Empreintes, Domaine Eric & Joël Durand

Red | Ready, but will improve | Domaine Eric & Joel Durand | Code: 23981 | 2012 | France > Rhône > Cornas | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

92-94/100

WA - Looking first at their 2012s from Cornas, the 2012 Cornas Empreintes is pretty and fresh, yet still unformed and grapy. Fresh blackberry, chocolate and meatiness all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, supple, pure and polished 2012. Loaded with fruit and texture, it will dish out serious pleasure, but will need to be consumed in its first decade of life or so.

The brothers Eric and Joel Durand, who started working with their father in 1988, have excelled in both 2011 and 2012.

Drink 2013-2023

Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate #210, Dec 2013

The Producer

Domaine Eric & Joel Durand

Domaine Eric & Joel Durand

The Durand brothers, Eric and Joël, joined forces in 1996 to devote the polycultural family business to the cultivation of grapes. The Domaine is based in Châteaubourg in the Ardèche and covers twenty hectares, with Syrah, Marsanne and Roussanne farmed over the appellations of Cornas, St Peray and St Joseph in addition to the IGP des Collines Rhodanienes.

Their outstanding Viognier is farmed at an altitude of 450 metres, its south-facing granitic vineyards located above the village of Mauves. With cold stabilisation and only 20% of the must fermented in This outstanding Viognier is farmed at an altitude of 450 metres, its south-facing granitic vineyards located above the village of Mauves.

The St Joseph wine is sourced on the granitic slopes in the south of the appellation, close to Cornas and is matured for eighth months, mainly in large vats (6000 litres) but with a small percentage nurtured in cement tank.

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Cornas

Cornas

Cornas is situated directly south of St. Joseph, and to the west of the river Rhône. It is 12km south of Tournon and directly east of Valence. Importantly, temperatures here are hotter than Hermitage, which is only 7km away. Cornas is a small appellation located in a south-facing semi-ampitheatre with granite-rich soils. The appellation was established in 1938 and only red wines are made, produced solely from the Syrah grape.

A contributing factor to the style of the wines is the granitic soil; the wines are made traditionally and often spend two years in oak. They are also strong and powerful – a cross between Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie, but typically displaying less elegance and finesse. They tend to be much more serious wines than either St Joseph or Crozes-Hermitage, however.

Cornas can have a slightly raw and rustic side to them. Young Cornas can be deep and dense, almost pitch black in colour and ferociously tannic. After five to 10 years of ageing the best examples take on a more elegant and complex character, marked by aromas of sous bois and wild animals.

Recommended producers: Robert MichelAugustus ClapePaul Jaboulet
Best vintages: 2006, 2005, 2004, 2001, 1999, 1991, 1990

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