2018 Domaine Vincent Paris, Cornas “Granit 60” Northern Rhone, France.
Vincent Paris, as I’ve noted here in prior reviews, is a Cornas native whose first vintage was 1997, and while known to be a bit media shy, is the co-president of the Cornas AOC appellation and puts his total heart and soul into this region. Paris is not only making fantastic wines, such as this gorgeous Granit 60 Cornas, but also strives to help save the region’s traditions, honor the history to keep Cornas one of the most prestigious growing areas in the Northern Rhone. I’m a big fan of these wines, and this 2018 Garnet 60, named for the steep angle of sloping vines, is an outrageously brilliant wine with chiseled detailing, mineral charm and a generous core of black fruits, spice and exceptional purity, highlighting the vintage and the essence of place in the glass. Tasted blind in a recent Rhône panel of wines, I was instantly captivated by this Paris 60, it started with crushed violets, graphite, peppercorns and cool toned boysenberry, tangy blueberry, damson plum and currant fruits, along with chalky stones, minty herbs, black olive skin, fig and anise. There was such an authentic transparency, I was immediately convinced it was an old world Northern Rhone, but was leaning towards Saint-Joseph and or Crozes-Hermitage, thinking it was maybe Graillot, though I was happy surprised when it was revealed to be a Cornas and by Vincent Paris, who’s really become a favorite of mine. There’s the natural tension, deep purply hue and intensity you’d expect from a fine Cornas, but an elegance and less aggressive stemmy or crunchy personality here and the structure and length make it highly seductive now, though it should aged graciously for another decade.
In recent years, Vincent Paris, who’s proven himself be in the same league as the iconic producers in Cornas, and surely has made his own uncle the famous Robert Michael proud with a stellar collection of wines from the region, like this Granit 60, his signature La Geynole, which has some of the fabled Reynard fruit from vines planted in 1910, the Granit 30, plus a lovely Saint-Joseph and a bargain Syrah bottling that is an incredible and savvy buy for Rhône lovers. Paris owns and farms 6 hectares of vineyards, all farmed using organic methods, and produces mostly all of his wines from the Cornas region, though he did, as mentioned, add a small plot of vines in Saint-Joseph, which is also a fabulous wine. In cellar, Paris makes his wines pretty much inline with classic methods with fermentation at low temps, and with small lots being vinfied in a combination of barrel and in tank with this one getting two thirds in wood and one third in vat/tank with the finished blend seeing about a year in mostly neutral French oak. These Vincent Paris wines are thrilling without being showy or blockbusters and provide loads of pleasure, with wonderful balance, freshness and the aromatics are so pretty you’ll not want the glass to empty. It should be noted too, that Paris uses about 15 to 20% whole cluster on this Syrah offerings with minimal stem inclusion, but enough to add some pop to the wine, as they do here in this 2018 Granit 60 to perfection, helping adding texture, heightened the mentioned floral aromatics and giving just the right amount of umami notes. While Hermitage and Côte-Rotie are getting pricer these days, it’s nice to have such appealing Syrahs (from Cornas) available at reasonable prices, which is especially true with the Vincent Paris wines, which are fantastic values, I highly recommend them and I buy them for myself.
($55 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive