Discover Cornas in six wines

Discover Cornas in six wines

by Westgarth Wines November 24, 2023

Cornas, nestled in the heart of the Rhône Valley in France, may not command the same immediate recognition as some of its illustrious neighbors, but it's a region that wine connoisseurs regard as a hidden treasure. Known for producing robust and distinctive Syrah wines, Cornas offers a journey into a world where tradition meets modernity in the vineyard.

Fast facts

Name: "Cornas" originates from the Celtic term meaning "burnt earth," mirroring the area's distinct terroir which benefits from abundant sunshine due to its south-southeast facing position. Its soils are found on notably steep terraces, held in place by stone walls.

Location: Tucked in the northern Rhône, it's one of the smallest appellations, exclusively dedicated to Syrah grapes.

Climate and Soil: Its soils are found on steep terraces, held in place by stone walls. The climate is notably warmer than any other vineyard in the Northern Rhône, which contributes to the powerful character of Cornas wines.

Grapes: Cornas produces only red wine made exclusively from the Syrah varietal. These produce wines of a robust and full-bodied nature. Deep in color they are known for their longevity and often characterized by smooth, mature tannins.

Indulge in the wines:

At 18, while working as an electrician for Domaine Robert Michel, Thierry Allemand began building his vinicultural skillset, taking every opportunity to learn from the fiercely traditional winemaker. He is now a highly revered figure in the region.

His Cornas Reynard is made from old vines on steep slopes. Known for its intense, earthy flavors and elegant structure, this wine epitomizes the harmony between power and finesse, thanks to. Allemand's minimal intervention philosophy in both vineyard and cellar.

'Les Vieilles Fontaines' is a testament to the old-school charm of Cornas. Produced from ancient vines, this wine by Alain Voge offers a complex bouquet of dark fruits, spices, and a hint of minerality. Voge's commitment to biodynamic principles adds a layer of depth and purity to this exquisite expression.

Once a relatively unknown wine, Auguste Clape’s Cornas is considered THE quintessential Cornas. It is a love letter to the region; respectful of the land, traditional, and yet unrestricted in process.

It is a masterclass in the appellation's potential. Traditional vinification and extended aging in old oak barrels impart a robust structure with spicy and smoky notes, making it a quintessential Cornas that ages gracefully.

Cornas Chaillot is the estate’s flagship bottling with fruit sourced from century-old vines from the revered Chaillot vineyard. This wine reflects a classic Cornas style, balancing rich, dark fruit aromas with a refined structure and subtle oak nuances. The nose is captivating with layers of dark berries, pepper, and earthy undertones. On the palate, it presents a harmonious mix of robust tannins and vibrant, dark cherry flavors, underlined by a hint of minerality.

Michel Tardieu has been producing wines from very-old vines since 1994. Working with Burgundy’s Dominique Laurent, The 'Vieilles Vignes' from Tardieu-Laurent is a harmonious blend from various old vine parcels across Cornas. This wine stands out for its elegance and layered complexity, featuring dark fruit, leather, and pepper notes. It's a testament to the blending artistry, capturing the essence of Cornas terroir.

'Pur Noir', a limited-production gem from Stephane Robert, is crafted from a selection of the best grapes. This wine is a profound expression of Syrah, offering a rich tapestry of blackberry, violet, and savory spices. Its meticulous vinification process ensures a wine that is both powerful and impeccably balanced.

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