Cornas, Gore, 2009

  Domaine du Coulet

From a part of the same vineyard used for Billes Noires, Arlettes. 40-year-old vines planted on very poor granite soils, where a very windy micro climate that makes for perennially low yields from tiny berries, are set apart and made separately in only the best vintages. An intense savoury and spice note strikes you immediately, wonderful flavours of rock salt, mineral, white pepper, saddle leather and dried herb mixed with thick satin-textured layers of cherry compote, bramble, raspberry and morello. Frighteningly concentrated and complex.

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.