I had planned to open three bottles of Cornas when Peter and John visited last night, turns out Peter brought along two bottles of Cornas as well. They were all quite cleaned up examples of the style.

Cornas ‘Domaine de Rochepertuis’ 2004, Jean Lionnet

There is plenty of fruit to this nose, it seems just ripe. There is a vague hint of greenness as well, but that works quite well with the earthy and fruity aromas. I find this quite an attractive nose, it is understated rather than opulent but the characters are all in good harmony. On the palate the tannins are a little rough, but hey this is Cornas! The fruit is there on the palate and it has good length. I think this is more than complex enough, an attractive little number.

Cornas 2003, Joel et Eric Durand

A massive nose of ripe fruit and alcohol, it is a bruiser alright. This is a very polished and round nose, opulent in a way the first wine was not. It is also very clean. Attractive as this nose is I am not sure it bursts with complexity. The palate is very ripe and round with a warm alcohol finish. It is generous, giving and fun. Very clean too. 2003 made some crazy wines, hard to make a decent assessment of producer style from a 2003.

Cornas ‘Domaine de Rochepertuis’ 2003, Jean Lionnet

The fruit here is getting perilously close to being jammy, this is another big, opulent nose. I think there is complexity here as well, though, so this does seem good. The palate is bursting with ripe fruit, but those tannins seem a bit tough to me. Bitter, almost. When it came to the first quick taste everyone else said this was their favourite wine out of the first three, I didn’t see that myself.

Cornas ‘Domaine Saint Pierre’ 1996, Paul Jaboulet Aine

Crivens, what a nose! Soft, mature fruit, earthy complexity and a real sense of class. This smells very pure, focussed and refined for a Cornas, really cleaned up. Really classy too, the elegant refinement is just so pleasing. Much like La Chapelle 1996 this seems to have avoided 1996 syndrome, the acidity is just fine. There is also real elegance on the palate. This is soft and mature, but complex and classy, a brilliant Cornas.

Cornas ‘Domaine Saint Pierre’ 1995, Paul Jaboulet Aine

This smells complex, profound, deep and classy. Ripe certainly, but everything is in total balance. This is really masculine. I am totally compelled and beguiled, when we get to smell wines this good our feeling of privilege can only be enhanced by drinking the wine. And now I have had a sip I feel great. This is an amazing wine. Up for drinking I’d say, but no real rush.