Went to a big retailer press tasting today. My favourite wine? A fantastically elegant, Burgundian Cornas:
Vincent Paris Granit 30 Cornas 2007 Northern Rhone, France
13% alcohol, half matured in barriques. Wonderful nose: thrillingly alive, with fine meaty, spicy notes. Just so lively and expressive with perfumed floral elements. The palate is beautful, with high acidity and lovely firm but fine-grained tannins sitting under the elegant red fruits. Just thrilling: my favourite style of wine. 96/100 (£23.99 Waitrose, 2 branches)
Nice. I’ve always liked Vincent Paris’ wines and the Granit30 for early consumption in particular, but have yet to try the 2007 vintage. I stocked up on the older vine and longer lived Granit60 in '07. Sad the Granit30 is now 25 quid, the '01/03 was only 11 quid from my merchant at the end of last year.
NOSE: stony granite minerality; slightly smoky; blackberries and a hint of red berries; slightly meaty; cigar wrapper. Intriguingly complex nose.
BODY: superfine particulate matter present; ruby-purple color of medium-deep depth; medium-light bodied.
TASTE: on the acidic side of well-balanced — seems “fresh”; cigar; fresh (not concentrated) red and blue fruits on the palate; no alc. taste, and not hot; 13% alc.; very light oak; some garrigue on the medium length finish (33 - 41 sec.); hole at the back of the mid-palate. A lovely wine, and I do see it improving with additional age. Ridiculous steal at $25. I would compare this to the 2005 Arcadian Sleepy Hollow Syrah that has gotten a lot of attention lately: this Cornas is very similarly styled, but is a good notch or two better in terms of complexity and also seems to be more clearly delineated than the Arcadian.
Jamie, if you like this one, get your hands on the Cornas “Le Geynale”, the former Robert Michel wine, now produced by the nephew Vincent. Pretty fabulous, though it holds form to the leaner, higher acid 07 vintage.
I likewise thought that the 30 and 60 designations were based on the average age of the vines, but I have found some contradictory info out there. In one review Jancis Robinson wrote that the Granit 30 is so named because the grapes come from the lower slopes where the degree of inclination is literally 30%. I found a similar explanation on the Millesima-USA site: “The name of this bottling refers to the angle of the slope in the steep bowl on which Syrah vines are planted in this, the smallest appellation in the Northern Rhone.” On the Polaner Selections website, they offer perhaps the most complete explanation: “The Cornas Granit 30 and 60 designations refer to the soil, the approximate age of the vines, and the slope on which they are planted.”
I tasted the 30 last month, and likewise liked it, but am even more impressed with (and bought) the 60. Here’s my note on the 30: Dark red violet color; charcoal, refined herbs, pepper, mineral nose; tasty, pepper, tart red fruit, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ finish
Here’s my note on the 60: Dark purple violet color; beautiful, lavender, white pepper, graphite, fresh cracked pepper nose; tasty, pepper, charcoal, tart red fruit palate with poise and balance; medium-plus finish 93+ pts
Thanks for the info, Richard. Though it sounds like for the 60 that’s gotta be some kind of made up justification. I don’t know where one number comes out of a combination of something about the soil, the vine age, and slope. But just 60° for a slope would seem unlikely, as that would be in the upper ranges of Mosel slopes even (I’ve seen Calmont as allegedly the steepest at 65°.).
Maybe it’s meant to suggest you should be willing to pay twice as much for it as for the 30.
Nice notes, and now Jamie will be looking for the 60 no doubt!