Deep purple color with aromas of summer berries, violet, black pepper, leather and roasted cocoa that will reward patience and curiosity, eventually unveiling its rich complexity after 1-3 hours of opening.
Certified Organic (Ecocert)
Vineyards: 2.2 hectares
Vine: 40-100 years old
Aged in oak barrels for 18 months
Annual production: 8,000 bottles only.
The Wine Advocate : 94/100
The Wine Spectator 94/100
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|Grape variety||100% Syrah|
On the right-bank of the Rhône, Cornas sits on the Eastern slopes of the Massif Central, the abrupt, south-facing slopes which form a natural amphitheatre that protects the vines from cold winds. South-facing vines mature early, which is why this appellation is the first red to be harvested in the Northern Rhône.
Syrah is the only variety of grape used in this appellation, and is able to express its full flavour. Cornas is a very dark red wine: almost black with purplish tints when young, becoming amber with age. It is one of the most robust French wines. These wines age superbly: their tannins round over time and it develops aromas of black fruits, with a spiced, “licorice” finish.
Cornas’ vineyards are very old, dating from ancient times. The first terraces and “chaillées” (walls) were likely made by the Romans. Legend has it that Charlemagne himself tasted the wine when travelling through Cornas in the year 840, and liked it so much that he had some sent on to his residence in Aix la Chapelle.
The Domaine Lionnet has been growing grapes in the village of Cornas since 1575. Corinne Lionnet took over the domaine from her father, Pierre Lionnet when he retired in 2003. Today, Corinne, only female winemaker of Cornas, runs the show with her husband, Ludovic.
After many years of effort, the vineyards are organically farmed and certified by Ecocert. No chemical herbicides, no insecticides, no chemical fertilizers. The soils are mechanically worked with a small tractor or horse each year. The entire vineyards work is done by hand. The grapes are sorted in the plot, quality taking precedence over yields.
The 2.2 hectares vineyards are fully planted with Syrah at an average density of 8000 plants / ha. The vines are between 40 and 100 years. The estate is located on four localities among the appellation Cornas: Mazards, Combes, Chaillot and Brugères. The estate produces annually a single vintage "Terre Brûlée". The winemaking is completely traditional and natural. Each parcel is harvested manually and vinified separately.
The grapes are left intact and put in cement vats. The fermentation starts with indigenous yeasts only. No additives are used in order to have a true expression of Cornas typical terroir.
Maceration is long (three weeks) during which the grapes are stirred several times a day. This practice ensures an aromatic and structured tannic wine.
Residual pulp and seeds are then passed through the vertical wooden press dating from the XIXth century. Wines temporarily stored in tanks resin will achieve their malolactic fermentation at controlled temperature. Once the second fermentation is complete, the wine is racked to be separated from the lees. The wine will rest in oak barrels for two winters to oxygenate and refine the flavors. No new oak is used to avoid giving a woody taste to the wine.
After two winters, all the barrels are assembled and bottled. All work is done by gravity. The wine is neither fined nor filtered. Cornas wines age very well and hold aromas of summer fruits that, with age, acquire a spiced, licorice, finish as the tannins become more round.
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