Cornas

Cornas, long considered the poor relation to Hermitage, its more illustrious neighbour on the opposite bank of the Rhône, but whose wines are hewn from the same granitic land. It would be fair to say that a few names have been the dominant force for many years, but as ever a new generation are on the march, rejuvenating the land and bringing a fresh approach whilst respecting tradition.

Cornas is definitely on the rise again, not quite the noisy neighbour of Hermitage, but justifying the renewed global interest. As Matt Walls points out in Wines of the Rhône ‘there is still plenty of land left to plant, so the story isn’t finished’.


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Domaine Lionnet

Husband and wife team Ludovic & Corrine are certainly pushing their small domaine in the right direction, fashioning some remarkably good wines from their miniscule 3.7 hectare estate. With 3 of those hectares in Cornas making traditional, rich, formidable wines, made with whole bunch ferments and minimal intervention with wild yeasts, these are wines with a structured sense with good tannin balance. Two wines are made, Terre Brune (burnt earth) and the fresher Pur Granit, along with a small amount of excellent St Jospeh red from 0.4 hectare and a white from 0.3 hectare, production is tiny, the wines sought after, long lived and serious. Cornas is definitely on the rise again, not quite the noisy neighbour of Hermitage, but justifying the renewed global interest.
2019 CORNAS Terre Brulée Domaine Lionnet

2019 CORNAS Terre Brulée Domaine Lionnet

Suave, mineral-accented blackberry, cassis, cherry compote and exotic spice qualities on the intensely perfumed nose, along with a slowly emerging floral nuance. Sappy and penetrating on the palate,Suave, mineral-accented blackberry, cassis, cherry compote and exotic spice qualities on the intensely perfumed nose, along with a slowly emerging floral nuance. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, displaying powerful lift to the concentrated black and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors. Finishes extremely long and spicy, with pronounced mineral thrust, a hint of smoky bacon and gently chewy, well-knit tannins. -- Josh Raynolds (94-96) J Rating: 94-96 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Mar 2021)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

2019 CORNAS Pur Granit Domaine Lionnet

2019 CORNAS Pur Granit Domaine Lionnet

Vibrant, spice- and mineral-tinged dark berry and cherry aromas are complemented by suggestions of olive, licorice and pungent flowers. Energetic, appealingly sweet black and blue fruit and candiedVibrant, spice- and mineral-tinged dark berry and cherry aromas are complemented by suggestions of olive, licorice and pungent flowers. Energetic, appealingly sweet black and blue fruit and candied violet flavors deepen with air while a smoky mineral element adds lift and back-end cut. Velvety tannins add gentle grip to an impressively long, floral-driven finish that leaves a repeating floral note behind. -- Josh Raynolds (93-95) Rating: 93-95 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Mar 2021)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond