Less typically Cornas but attractive fruit and freshness. Cherry notes on the nose with a creamy edge and light, fine tannins.
Drink 2023 - 2028
James Lawther MW, JancisRobinson.com
Situated near the top of the Cornas appellation, the 2020 Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre features enticing scents of crushed stone and ripe blueberries. Medium to full-bodied, it comes across as richer and more concentrated than Jaboulet's domaine wines from Crozes this year yet still reasonably suave and approachable.
Drink 2023 - 2033
Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (Jan 2022)
About this WINE
Paul Jaboulet Aîné is an iconic producer in the Rhône Valley. Founded in 1834 by Antoine Jaboulet (father of Paul), it was Paul’s son Louis and grandson Gérard who can be heralded among the great ambassadors for both the region and the négociant. Upon Gérard’s untimely death in 1997, the business began struggling and was sold to the Frey family in 2005.
Caroline Frey, daughter of owner Jean-Jacques Frey, has been at the helm of winemaking here since 2006. She immediately began converting the estate to sustainable farming, achieving organic certification in 2016. In 2022, Jean-Guillaume Prats, of Bordeaux fame, was brought onboard.
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.