Drink Distinct: Wines & Producers

Cornas is on fire

If you pay any attention to the world of wine, you can’t miss that Cornas is hot right now. A few producers, their US distributors and the press have parlayed great wines, a string of outstanding vintages, shrewd marketing and limited supplies to stoke intense demand and send prices soaring. Add to this, the deaths in the last few years of Cornas legends Noel Verset and Auguste Clape and suddenly, an appellation long thought to produce rustic, tannic, backward wines, that were considered a stepbrother to Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, is all the rage. 

Well, VDLT doesn’t chase trends and we won’t overpay for trophy wines. But we love great Cornas and are fortunate that Domaine Christophe Pichon started making a small quantity of Cornas in 2015 and they broke from the gate impressively (Kudos to Corentin, whose winemaking talent grows each year). We couldn’t get an allocation last year but some samples (along with Corentin’s brother, Alexis) were at Chief’s house during the joint tasting with Dubreuil-Fontaine and all of us begged Alexis to find us some. The Pichon finesse overlaid on the rugged terroir of Cornas worked beautifully, oh, and the 70-year old vines they acquired helps more than a bit.

Flip the calendar a year, we got 2016 Cornas Allégorie, and I like it more! All the power, ripe fruit and body of last vintage with even better balance and integration. The biggest challenge with this wine is getting your nose out of the glass long enough to taste. I got drunk on the aroma. Such a wonderful expression of Northern Rhône Syrah and we know you will love the price.

We are delighted to offer this “new” wine from an old friend, along with other favorites - many of which are “best we’ve ever tasted” in 2016 vintage - Condrieu, St Joseph Blanc and Côte Rôtie Promesse. All are pre-arrival sale but expected on US soil in the weeks ahead. Very soon, we also will do a very limited offering of a single very special Pichon wine.
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