Located in the Cornas appellation, Domaine Dumien-Serrette is almost a caricature, in the best possible sense, of course, of an old-school small scale Rhône Domaine. The Cave is tiny and chaotic, located in the lee of Cornas’ exceptionally large church spire. Gilbert Serrette is small, tanned in most seasons and perennially energetic; he insists that the barrel tasting involves several different foudres, of differing ages, but fundamentally all containing partially destemmed Syrah from the 1.8 metre squared lieu-dit of Patou. Foot crushing and a manual press underline the traditional inclination of this fourth generation estate, but the attention to detail in the vineyard and care with yields and fining are all modern enough. Their wines, accordingly, do not want for the granitic splendour for which this appellation is known, nor the indulgent cassis-cum-sauvage mid-palate flavours, so typical of fine Cornas, but they also have a beguiling floral elegance which sets them apart from more prosaic peers. Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer
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