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Wine from Cornas

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Cornas – French wine region (approx. 110 hectares) located in the Northern Rhone Valley. The word “Cornas” means “burnt land” in old French dialect. The Cornas region experiences many hours of sunshine, in particular, the area just northwest of the village boasts vertical granite slopes of sun-soaked land shielded from the North winds that are known to sweep over the Valley. The granite acts as an efficient heat retainer, provides low drainage, and offers extremely low fertility. This causes the vines to create deep and sturdy root systems. The Cornas region is known for rich red wine making and viticulture with the primary grape variety being Syrah. The Cornas wine offers robust flavor paired with graceful tannin. Cornas wines are not priced as high as the typical Rhone Valley production, which is a huge advantage to the consumer. Cornas offers the opportunity to purchase high quality wines with the typical style of the Rhone Valley without the expensive price tag. The Cornas region draws similarity to Hermitage, and produces a comparable wine almost as elegant.

 

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Johann Michel Cornas 2019

Johann Michel Cornas is 100% Syrah

Well structured and round, it displays red fruit, leather, black cherry, liquorice and black berry aromas.

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 12 years. Yield: 25 hl/ha

Review:


This bursts forth with a torrent of dark plum, boysenberry and blackberry preserve flavors. Vivid, racy and energetic throughout, with extra sweet bay leaf, violet and black olive elements chiming through repeatedly, while a mouthwatering chalky minerality courses underneath it all. Best from 2024 through 2038. —J.M.

Wine Spectator 94 Points



 Wine Spectator: 97
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 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

 




 Wine Enthusiast: 95
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Miche 2019

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:

- Wine Enthusiast (February/March 2022), 97 pts





 Wine Enthusiast: 97
Johann Michel Cornas Cuvee Mere Michel 2017 (magnum)

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:

"A new cuvée (at least for me), the 2017 Cornas Mere Michel comes from sandy, granite-laced soils and was brought up in new demi-muids. It's largely in the same mold as the traditional cuvée yet has another level of richness, depth, and texture. Blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, burning embers, and a kiss of bloody meat all flow to a rich, powerful Cornas that has ultra-fine tannins, beautiful mid-palate depth, and a great, great finish. It's unquestionably a candidate for the wine of the vintage in Cornas. Bravo!"
- Jeb Dunnuck (December 12th 2019), 98 pts

 98 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 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 Cuvee Grain Noir 2020

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) 


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