2016 Cornas, Granit 30, Domaine Vincent Paris, Rhône
Joe Czerwinski - 29/12/2017
About this WINE
Domaine Vincent Paris
Having started as a vigneron in 1997, Vincent is now the proud owner of eight hectares across the Northern Rhône. Some are situated on the perilously steep slopes at the top of the hill, looking down on the village itself. Indeed, the numbers on his Granit cuvées refer to the degree of the slopes on which they grow. His wines are made without new oak and are also unfiltered – letting the natural power of his vines and terroir speak for itself. His ’20s are bold but, as ever, balanced. Fresher and more chiselled than one has come to expect of Cornas, they combine power with elegance and finesse.
The Granit cuvées are grown on east-facing granite slopes and are made with mostly de-stemmed fruit. His prestigious La Geynale is one of only two south-facing slopes in Cornas (the other being Reynard), so it benefits from an especially warm microclimate. This cuvée, made from 100-year-old vines, is fermented using entirely whole-bunch; which brings perfume and crunch to match the power. All his Cornas wines promise a long, rewarding life in the cellar.
Cornas is a small appellation, just 150 hectares, located south of St Joseph. It’s on the west side of the river. The name “Cornas” comes from an old Celtic dialect term, meaning “burnt land”, so it’s no surprise that on the steep terraces here, facing south, temperatures are significantly higher than those in Hermitage, which is just 7km away.
The granite soils are home to the Syrah grape, producing reds that sit somewhere between those of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. These are strong and powerful wines, with nervy acidity and a robust, rustic charm to them. Their prominent tannins mean that they often demand time in the cellar to express their underlying elegance and complexity.
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.
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The 2016 Cornas Granit 30 had been blended and was in tank awaiting bottling during my visit. Medium to full-bodied, its already almost drinkable, showing attractive and classic notes of crushed stone, blood and cherries, reasonably supple tannins and charming blueberries on the finish.
Joe Czerwinski - 29/12/2017
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