Cave de Tain l’Hermitage – Cornas 2012

I don’t really know why the AOC Cornas appellation in Rhône isn’t more sought after. It’s a very small region over just over 100ha with very small production of just half a million bottles–in a good year. It’s an easy name to say and the only grape is the world-renown, Syrah. It has all the ingredients to be much more prized than say, wines in Burgundy.

Don’t get me wrong, there are indeed expensive bottles from Cornas, but nothing reaches the stupidity in prices of Pinot Noir from Burgundy. I suppose it’s due to Syrah being seen as humdrum and too easy to get whereas Pinot Noir is a grape for which you and in turn, your wallet, must suffer. But I have to say that I adore the Syrah of Cornas and like it even more than it’s double-sized brother just to the north, Côte Rotie.

Maybe it’s because, sitting just across the Rhône River from Valance (which has a great Premiere Classe hotel by the way) that, while technically a Continental climate, it gets just enough Mediterranean dusting to punch it up and raise the volume a touch. The wines can still be quite austere though and as shown by this wine from the cooperative of Cave de Tain l’Hermitage, it will easily increase in awesome sauce given another year in the bottle. But, it can be forgiven that they sell it now as at 20€ (and actually less in their shop) it’s a damned fine value for anyone who wants a taste of Cornas that’s not too dear.

Cornas 2012
Dark ruby with a garnet rim. Earthy, cedar, wet brick, ripe red cherries, sawdust, tinge of crunchy cranberry. Medium plus acidity and medium plus tannins, alcohol not fully integrated and quite bold across the palate. Full in the mouth with a medium minus finish and a twist of greenness in the finish. Needs more time in the bottle.

100% Syrah 14% 20€
*+ Q