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Deep ruby. Tangy, high-pitched aromas of bitter cherry, licorice and spicy oak. Rich and full, with sweet dark berry and dark chocolate flavors that cling to the palate. Extremely dense and velvety, conveying an almost overripe fruit character.
Saturated ruby color. A huge bouquet of blackberry, dark cherry, blackcurrant and licorice is nicely complemented by spice and floral notes. Velvety-rich, with impressively dense dark berry and plum flavors, along with notes of bacon fat and cracked pepper. Finishes with broad, palate-coating tannins that build slowly but never overwhelm the fruit, even with a good 30 minutes of aeration.
Fleshy in feel, with a ganache edge around the core of warmed plum sauce, fig paste and blackberry reduction flavors. Loam and charcoal notes line the finish, while the fruit plays out wonderfully. Shows a touch more fruit than grip, but the fruit is really beautiful. Best from 2020 through 2035.
Fleshy in feel, with a ganache edge around the core of warmed plum sauce, fig paste and blackberry reduction flavors. Loam and charcoal notes line the finish, while the fruit plays out wonderfully. Shows a touch more fruit than grip, but the fruit is really beautiful.
Youthful purple. A powerful, highly perfumed bouquet evokes dark fruit preserves, olive paste, candied flowers and star anise, backed by a suave vanillin oak nuance. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering sappy blueberry, cassis and spicecake flavors that are lifted and given a spicy edge by a jolt of cracked pepper. Quite rich for the vintage but lively as well. Finishes very long and smoky, featuring mounting tannins and a lingering floral note.
Solidly built, with a beautifully ripe core of blueberry, plum and blackberry paste flavors pumping along, inlaid with ample charcoal and bay leaf notes. Best from 2018 through 2029.
Leading off the two single parcel selections, the 2014 Cornas la Louvée (which translates to "The She-Wolf" and comes from 70-year-old vines) is more concentrated and layered than the Terres Brûlées. It offers outstanding notes of cassis, toasted spice, creamy licorice and a hint of violets in its medium to full-bodied, concentrated, elegant and seamless package. It will keep for a decade or more.
My favorite 2014 Cornas from Jean-Luc Colombo, this boasts an intoxicating perfume of peppery spice, anise and blackberry-plum liqueur. It's elegant on the palate despite the ripe fruit, with silky tannins that belie the wine's intensity and length. Drink now–2030.
Inky purple. Deep-pitched aromas of black and blue fruits, dark chocolate, licorice and black pepper, backed by a hint of smokiness. Broad, sweet and open-knit, showing very good intensity to the blackberry liqueur and bitter chocolate flavors. This powerful, concentrated, emphatically fruity Cornas finishes smoky and quite long, with strong thrust and spicy persistence.
Offers some lovely ripeness, with blueberry compote, plum sauce and melted licorice notes gliding together seamlessly, offset deftly by a hint of chalk that lengthens the finish. A pleasant whiff of tobacco lurks in the background. A wonderful effort for the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2024.
The 2013 Cornas la Louvee is gorgeous and has considerable elegance and purity in its cassis, liquid blackberry, licorice and crushed rock-laced bouquet. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, pure, perfectly balanced Cornas that has plenty of tannin, yet also plenty of fruit and mid-palate depth. More mineral driven than the les Ruchets, enjoy this complete, textured and lengthy 2013 anytime over the coming 15 years.
Inky purple. Pungent cherry pit, blackberry and violet aromas are complemented by hints of peppery spices, woodsmoke and minerals. Succulent and expansive on the palate, offering gently sweet dark berry flavors and a subtle licorice pastille quality. Concentrated yet lively and precise, finishing with excellent clarity, slow-building tannins and very good smoky persistence.
This delivers a beautiful beam of ripe, pure plum, cassis and bitter cherry fruit notes, underscored by chalk, bay leaf, lavender and iron accents. The long, tightly focused finish shows serious grip for the vintage.
Light, bright yellow. Fresh, floral-accented peach and pear aromas are brightened by notes of green tea and dusty minerals. Juicy and light on its feet, offering bright orchard fruit flavors and a touch of anise. Fleshy but lithe, finishing with very good clarity and a hint of succulent herbs.
Plummy and ripe, with a sheen of glossy, cedary oak, this is as plush as it gets in the northern Rhone. It's full-bodied, supple and open, with a long velvety finish. Drink now-2030.
Bright purple. Fresh black raspberry and blueberry aromas are complemented by dried violet, anise and olive. Chewy dark fruit flavors show very good concentration and clarity, along with a sweet vanilla touch on the back half. Finishes with chewy, mineral-accented cherry and cassis flavors and excellent persistence.
This drips with cassis, blackberry pÃte de fruit and plum sauce flavors, maintaining terrific verve. The iron spine and bay leaf- and sweet tapenade-fueled finish keeps this grounded. Long and sleek, with mouthwatering acidity stitching everything together.
This is cool and restrained, with peppery flourishes layered over raspberry fruit. Rather than being massive or intense, it?s medium bodied, perfumed and elegant, with hints of dusty tannins that build slowly on the finish. It's approachable now, but should age well through at least 2023.
Opaque ruby. Violet pastille, black raspberry, olive and peppery spices on the intensely perfumed nose. Stains the palate with energetic dark berry and cherry-cola flavors, picking up a touch of bitter chocolate with aeration. Surprisingly lithe and seamless on the finish, which emphatically repeats the floral and berry notes. Showing much more elegance than it did from barrel, but still plenty dense and powerful, with the concentration to age.
Bramble, tobacco, sweet tapenade and charcoal notes lead the way in this muscular, mineral-driven red, offering a core of steeped black currant, blueberry paste, plum sauce and bitter cherry notes that should meld nicely with the grip over time. A steely, chalky edge emerges steadily through the finish.
Cornas the Dominatrix: From a vineyard of syrah vines up to 70 years old, this is at once lush and hard as nails, the satin-textured fruit lashed to the tongue with oak tannins and stony minerality. It?s impressively structured and gorgeously fragrant, a youthful Cornas to tuck away for another 10 to 15 years.
Inky purple. Potent aromas of candied dark fruits, licorice and black olive, with smoke and espresso notes contributing to the wine's serious mien. Then livelier on the palate, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors lifted by a smoky mineral quality. Finishes broad and smooth, with lingering sweetness and excellent length.
A full-bodied, rich wine, with tannins either supremely smooth or just concealed under masses of plummy fruit. Yet despite the enormous ripeness, it's not lacking nuance, boasting savory notes of espresso and leather. Drinkable now, but should age through 2023, at least.
Mature aromas of ripe black fruit and choco-berry, over cooking spice, star anise and toasted vanilla bean. Complex flavors of dried black cherry and currants, with dark chocolates, allspice, and caramel. Long, elegantly balanced finish.
Very tightly wound, but the purity of the plum, blueberry, cherry eau-de-vie and dark currant fruit is impressive, with sleek, well-integrated toast and a very long, violet- and iron-filled finish that just sails on.
This is cheerful Cornas in the Colombo style, dark yet ebullient, with plenty of spice and lily florality on the purple plum fruit. A firm earthiness sustains it through a long finish, glowing ruddily through the smooth, vanilla-infused blackness of the wines. For braised rabbit with bacon.
Dark purple. Intense aromas of cherry compote, blueberry and licorice, with a medicinal note gaining strength with air. Round, lush and broad, with a restrained sweetness to the dark berry and fruitcake flavors. A rich, pliant wine that finishes with dusty tannins, resonating sweetness and impressive length...
The 2008 Cornas from Colombo have turned out very nicely, led by this effort. Scents of cracked pepper, bold blackberries and a hint of coffee presage a big-fruited wine, but one with ample complexity of savory notes. It?s full bodied and richly textured, with a long, chewy finish.
This has weight and flesh, with almost plump damson plum, red currant and blackberry fruit woven with sweet spice, tobacco and iron notes. A flash of blueberry, along with more iron, helps stretch out the finish. There's superb ripeness and cut for the vintage. Drink now through 2018.
Colombo has caught some flak for what was considered unorthodox winemaking in Cornas (destemming grapes and using new oak barrels, for example), but the finest of his current crop of Cornas manages to capture both the best of the old and new styles. Consider the 2005 La Louvee, for instance: From 70-year-old syrah vines, it feels as if it were pressed from stone, all smoky, mineral tannins and ironclad red fruit. It's sultry and delicious yet gives a sense of the steep, sun-warmed, ferrous slopes of Cornas.
Coming off of vines more than 70 years old, this is dense with concentrated fruit. With air, it unfurls fruit flavors that are indigo-dark and velvet-textured, with notes of spice and wood smoke. Despite the density, it feels fresh and lively, a Cornas to drink now or to cellar for eight to 10 years.
Coming off of vines more than 70 years old, this is dense with concentrated fruit. With air, it unfurls fruit flavors that are indigo-dark and velvet-textured, with notes of spice and wood smoke. Despite the density, it feels fresh and lively...
Vivid purple. Pungent dark fruits and smoky minerals on the nose, with a hint of dried violet adding complexity. Then brighter in the mouth, offering dense, sweet dark berry and bitter chocolate flavors plus a late note of smoky minerality. Rich but energetic, with very good finishing clarity and cut. Anne Colombo says that rot is rarely an issue in La Cote, where these vines are planted.
Very concentrated, with black currant, fig and açaí berry flavors carried by bright, racy iron and chalk notes. The long, intense finish lets violet and lavender notes streak through.
...The fruit starts to kick in near the back of the palate; a long, fine finish is an auspicious sign.
Bright purple. Wilder, more pungent aromas of dark berries, smoked meat and licorice, with a peppery undertone. Sweet cassis and mocha flavors coat the palate and become spicier in the glass. Showing the combination of richness and energy that it did from barrel, with mounting richness and velvety tannins. This big, brooding, chewy wine demands some bottle aging. I'd serve it with a piece of peppery grilled lamb or steak.
Inky ruby. Powerful aromas of cherry liqueur, blueberry, roasted coffee and licorice. Deep and chewy, with sweet dark fruit and bitter cherry skin flavors, dusty tannins and a late jolt of anise. The fruit maintains strength through the long, deeply sweet finish. Serious stuff, and built for the long haul.
Really focused, with a tightly wound core of macerated cherry and currant fruit mingling with olive, garrigue and freshly roasted coffee bean notes. Long and racy, with a great tug of earth on the plum-filled finish.
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