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Johann Michel Cuvee Grain Noir 2020

ID No: 448101
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Country:France
Regions:Rhone
Cornas
Winery:Johann Michel
Grape Type:Syrah
Vintage:2020
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Johann Michel Cuvee Grain Noir is made from 100 percent Syrah

This is delicious. Expressive, deep, rich, silky and juicy.
Well structured and round, it displays red fruit, leather, black cherry, liquorice and black berry aromas.

This Cornas is a blend from 2 different vineyard sites: 
- 60% of the final blend is coming from vineyards located on the hillside (16 year old vines on the "coteau") which is planted on sandy soils, decomposed granite and some roicks, giving the strucutre, the spiciness and the licorice type of flavors to the blend.
- the other 40% of the final blend is coming from the bottom of the slope (40 years old vines on the "pied de coteau") which is planted on sandy soils, bringing acidity and balance to the wine.

Manual harvest, selection of the grapes, 100% destemming, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. 
Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (2 to 4 year old barrels) 


Winery: Johann Michel

The Domaine Johann Michel Estate
Johann Michel is a self-taught winemaker who discovered his passion while tasting old bottles of wine with his grandfather. His first vintage was 1997. He works alongside his wife Emmanuelle, farming a little over 5.5 hectares (13.5 acres) spread between three AOC’s:


  • 4 hectares are in Cornas, all farmed under "culture raisonnée" (sustainable method), in the lieux dits "Les Côtes", "Bayonnet", "Chaillot" and the parcel called "Saveaux" for the AOC Cornas. Yields are very low here – 33 hl/ha for Cornas Tradition and 25 hl/ha for Cuvee Jana. He also produces a special cuvée, only in certain years: “Cuvée de la Mère Michel”, a tribute to his wife & a play on the French song “La Mere Michelle”.
    AOC Cornas is one of the smallest AOC’s in France (only 116.4 hectares; 287 acres)
  • 0.37 hectares in Saint Joseph AOC. Planted only with Syrah, Johann’s first vintage was 2016 with 700 bottles produced. The vineyard is 120 meters high in altitude with a density of the density of 4,400 vines per hectare. The Saint Joseph wine is made using 100% destemmed grapes.
    Saint Joseph AOC is quite large compared to Cornas AOC, with a total acreate around 920 hectares (2,270 acres). The quality of the soils can be very different from one part to the appellation to another part of the AOC.
  • 1 hectare in Saint Peray, planted with Marsanne and Roussanne. His parcels are located at the extreme South of the Saint Peray AOC (a few meters away from the border with the Cornas AOC). Johann makes 2 cuvées of Saint Peray: Saint Peray Blanc (a blend of 50% Roussanne and 50% Marsanne), and Saint Peray Blanc Cuvée M (100% Marsanne).


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Finca Sobreno Seleccion Especial Toro is now called Finca Sobreno Tempranillo Reserva Toro.


Finca Sobreno Tempranillo Reserva Toro 100% Tinta de Toro from selected old-vines plots and aged during 14 months in American oak.
Production: 8,500 cases/year.


Deep dark cherry red color with dark purple tones. Powerful yet elegant nose, refined and stylish with ripe berry fruit, spicy complexity with scents of clove, sandalwood, vanilla, chocolate. Muscular, elegant yet silky smooth taste shows fruit preserves/jam blackberry and chocolate truffle. Concentrated and rich but not sweet with superb length. A good match for venison or wild boar with a fruit-based sauce.

Soil types
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The soil is formed by sediments of sand, clay and lime-stone, which produce a dark lime-bearing topsoil, with fine and coarse sands.

Harvest: In Toro summer temperatures were lower than usual and only rose over 40°C on a few days, which compensated for the dry conditions. Fresher nights from mid August also helped vines to reach optimum ripeness in the six weeks leading up to harvest –which was carried out between September 19 and October 10- and tamed alcohol levels. Tempranillo (Tinta de Toro) grapes ripened well – bunches were small and clusters were loose and healthy. Yields were low but the wines show intense color, good fruit profile and ripe tannins, which will be help to achieve roundness and good mouth feel in the finished wines. The fresher summer also resulted in slightly lower alcohol levels and a slightly higher acidity and this bodes well for quality in wines destined for ageing.

Winemaking and aging: Following a careful selection, the grapes were destemmed, crushed and the must underwent cold maceration at 7º C for five days prior to fermentation, which took place at a constant 28º C. The total maceration period lasted approximately 20 days. This wine was aged in new and one year old American and French oak barrels for 14 months, followed by another 24 months minimum in the bottle.

Winemaker: Oscar Martin

Technical specification: 
TA: 4.88 grams / liter
pH: 3.62
SO2 free: 76 mg/l
RS: 2.23 grams / liter

A good match for venison or wild boar with a fruit-based sauce.

Review:

"A slightly old-style Toro with lots of ripe fruit and loads of new wood. Chocolate and black-fruit jam. It’s full and dense with layers of polished, medium-chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (October 2020), 90 pts

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Aromas of tart blueberry and lush red cherry dominate the nose, while firm tannins and full body lend structure to this inky, pigmented wine. The palate features notes of dark fruit, fresh cut wood, and dried tobacco. This wine is an excellent candidate for decanting, as the aromas evolve wonderfully over time to express softer, lush fruit and hints of herbs and spices.


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Un-fined and un-filtered

Pairs with grilled red meat, fig and olive tapenade, bacon wrapped dates.

Review:


"Blackberries, grilled strawberries, dill, sweet tobacco and some smoke on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with creamy, ripe tannins. Smooth, rich and spiced finish. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (July 2021), 92 pts

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 95 Points
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Johann Michel Cuvee Grain Noir 2016

Johann Michel Cuvee Grain Noir is made from 100 percent Syrah

This is delicious. Expressive, deep, rich, silky and juicy.
Well structured and round, it displays red fruit, leather, black cherry, liquorice and black berry aromas.

This Cornas is a blend from 2 different vineyard sites: 
- 60% of the final blend is coming from vineyards located on the hillside (16 year old vines on the "coteau") which is planted on sandy soils, decomposed granite and some roicks, giving the strucutre, the spiciness and the licorice type of flavors to the blend.
- the other 40% of the final blend is coming from the bottom of the slope (40 years old vines on the "pied de coteau") which is planted on sandy soils, bringing acidity and balance to the wine.

Manual harvest, selection of the grapes, 100% destemming, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. 
Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (2 to 4 year old barrels) 


Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana 2020

Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana is 100% Syrah.

Black raspberry aromas, licorice, sizzled bacon and smoke. Elegant and pure with depth and well-integrated tannins.

Jana is the name of Johann and Emmanuelle's daughter.

Manual harvest, selection of the grapes from the "Chaillot" parcel, full clusters, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (new old barrels) The average age of the vines is 11 years. Yield: 25 hl/ha

 



 




Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Michel 2020

Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Michel is made from 100 percent Syrah.

Cuvee Mère Michel was first introduced in 2016 and is not produced every year. This wine is a tribute to Johann Michel' wife, Emmanuelle, and a nod to the French song, La Mere Michel. This wines comes from Selection Massale (replanting new vineyards with cuttings from exceptional old vines from the same property) cuttings of Serine off the 1947 Yves Cuilleron vineyard at Chavanay. The vineyards are located in the lieu-dit "Les Cotes" at an altitude of 230 meters and benefiting from a southern sun exposure.





Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana 2018

Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana is 100% Syrah.

Black raspberry aromas, licorice, sizzled bacon and smoke. Elegant and pure with depth and well-integrated tannins.

Jana is the name of Johann and Emmanuelle's daughter.

Manual harvest, selection of the grapes from the "Chaillot" parcel, full clusters, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (new old barrels) The average age of the vines is 11 years. Yield: 25 hl/ha

 

Review:

There are two special cuvées from this estate. Looking first at the 2018 Cornas Cuvée Jana, it tastes like the essence of Cornas with its meaty, bloody aromas and flavors of scorched earth, ground pepper, rare steak, iron, cedar, and dark, almost blue fruits. Tight, tannic, and concentrated on the palate, this full-bodied effort packs incredible intensity and power yet stays lively, elegant, and weightless. It's a brilliant, brilliant Cornas, yet certainly not for those seeking instant gratification. It actually reminds me slightly of the incredibly age-worthy wines from Domaine Clape, and I suspect it will have a similar evolution. Hide bottles for 7-8 years and enjoy over the following two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2018s and 2019s, November 19th 2020), 99 pts



 99 Points
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Michel 2018

Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Michel is made from 100 percent Syrah.

Cuvee Mère Michel was first introduced in 2016 and is not produced every year. This wine is a tribute to Johann Michel' wife, Emmanuelle, and a nod to the French song, La Mere Michel. This wines comes from Selection Massale (replanting new vineyards with cuttings from exceptional old vines from the same property) cuttings of Serine off the 1947 Yves Cuilleron vineyard at Chavanay. The vineyards are located in the lieu-dit "Les Cotes" at an altitude of 230 meters and benefiting from a southern sun exposure.


Review:


"Only made in top vintages, the 2018 Cornas Mère Michel is a tribute to Johann's wife and a play on the French song "La Mere Michelle." Brought up in a new demi-muid, it's a richer, broader wine compared to the Cuvée Jana yet still has incredible Cornas style in its red, black, and blue fruits as well as notes of toasted spice, roasted meat, chocolate, and wild herbs. Rich, full-bodied, and opulent, it has a touch more upfront appeal and should be drinkable in just 4-5 years yet also evolve for two decades." -

Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2018s and 2019s, November 19th 2020), 98 pts


 98 Points
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana 2019

Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Jana is 100% Syrah.

Black raspberry aromas, licorice, sizzled bacon and smoke. Elegant and pure with depth and well-integrated tannins.

Jana is the name of Johann and Emmanuelle's daughter.

Manual harvest, selection of the grapes from the "Chaillot" parcel, full clusters, fermentation in tanks for 3 weeks, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (new old barrels) The average age of the vines is 11 years. Yield: 25 hl/ha

Review:

"The tiny production 2019 Cornas Cuvée Jana is another gorgeous wine. More up-front and opulent than either the 2018 or 2016, it has a mass of blueberry and black cherry-like fruits as well as smoked game, bouquet garni, ground pepper, and iron. It hits the palate with a lush, opulent attack and has a terrific mid-palate, before the tannins build and clamp down on the finish, showing more loamy earth and mineral notes. It certainly displays the richer, ripe style of the vintage and has moderate acidity, yet the purity of fruit is spot on, it's beautifully balanced, and it’s going to keep for 25+ years in cold cellars."

- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: 2019s From Bottle, February 16th 2022), 98 pts



 




 Wine Advocate: 97 98 Points
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