2016 Cornas, Terres Brûlée, Domaine Lionnet, Rhône
About this WINE
Anjou-Saumur is a Mid-west Loire region most famous for the fine sweet Chenin Blanc wines of Bonnezeaux, Coteaux du Layon (including the exemplary - if tiny- Quarts de Chaume appellation) and Coteaux de l'Aubance.
The bulk of the wines produced in the Anjou region comprise the bland `Rosé d'Anjou' (made from the Grolleau grape) and marginally better Cabernet d'Anjou; Some smoky dry Anjou Chenin Blanc also produced.
The Saumur region's bread and butter is its Mousseux, while it also produces some dry Saumur Chenin (similar to Anjou's version) and some impressive Cabernet Franc, chalky dry thanks to the `tuffeau' soils.
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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