Cornas, Brise Cailloux, 2011

  Domaine du Coulet

Bright, peppery, fresh red fruit, juicy and vibrant ripe flavours of plum, cherry and strawberry, a nice touch of richness with a gentle balancing acidity. A lighter style, earlier drinking Cornas of great charm that nonetheless shows a good level of complexity with its stone, spice and herb overtones. Extremely pretty and very moreish. A cuvée made from Syrah that comes from the lower slopes and younger vineyards from across the estate, aged in a mixture of demi muids and concrete eggs.

Contains Sulphites.

About Domaine du Coulet

On the evidence of owner Mathieu Barret’s first vintage, this Domaine is going places quicker than the TGV. He is a young star who runs his 4 hectares of vineyards biodynamically, one of the only one do so in the region. He owns three parcels of south and southeast exposed vines in the Arlettes, Mazards and Reynards that average 30 years old. The grapes are destalked and vinified in cement eggs and then aged in used oak demi-muids. These is Cornas with a difference, striking bright and almost burgundian in style.

Appellation: Cornas

An exclusively red wine appellation in the Northern Rhône producing wines made from the Syrah grape variety. A famous appellation back in the 18th century, Cornas' popularity had severly waned by the early 20th century, leaving many vineyards deserted and unkempt. Thankfully its success started to return in the 1980s with the arrival of one or two young ambitious growers. The last ten years have seen an even greater revival in fortunes with a good dozen high quality producers now making wine. The Cornas vineyards are planted on steep granite slopes with a number of different exposures, the resultant wine is usually one of the darkest most inky Syrahs from the Northern Rhône. Some refer to it as a mini Hermitage, though the best examples rival and often surpass the lesser examples of Hermitage. The wines are rich, spicy and sometimes quite burly in their youth so require a good 5-7 years before being approached, the best wines can happily age for at least two decades. The region's flag-bearer since the 1970s has been Auguste Clape, making complex and very traditional style wines. Since the 1980s and 1990s Clape has been joined by several other high quality producers, some of the best of whom are Thierry Allemand, Mathieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet and Vincent Paris.

Grape Type: Syrah/Shiraz

The great red grape of the northern Rhône where it reaches its optimum levels in the violet-scented muscular wines of Hermitage and the graceful sappy Côte Rôties, which in the latter case is sometimes blended with Viognier. The wines of Cornas are renowned as producing Syrah-based wines very close in quality to Hermitage, while St Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage also represent some good value examples. It is also a component of many southern Rhône reds, namely Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As Shiraz, it is Australia's most important red variety, found in various guises from ripe fruit-forward commercial wines to intense concentrated old vine cuvees such as Grange and those of Clarendon Hills. In the best instances Syrah/Shiraz produces deep, spicy, age-worthy wines.