2016 Domaine Lionnet, Cornas, “Terre Brûlée” Northern Rhone, France.
This 2016 is still youthful and deeply colored Syrah with gorgeous layers of black and blue fruits along with a nice savory crunch, spice and floral details, making this Domaine Lionnet one of the most beautiful versions to date. A sexy mix of violets, peppercorns, herbs de Provence and blackberry coulis get things started here on the nose and the smoothly textured medium/full palate with fresh acidity and ripe tannins adding to the complexity and balance, adding damson plum, blueberry, tapenade, cinnamon and subtle earthy tones, lingering on and on with creme de cassis, cedary wood, anise and hint of graphite. This wine is just about perfect and expressive with the utmost purity of varietal and a sense of place, it rivals wines from the Northern Rhone that cost twice if not three times to place, if you’ve not had this outstanding small family producer, you should do your best to find a few bottles. This is absolutely one of my favorite wines and producers, Domaine Lionnet makes an incredible, transparent and authentic Cornas that never disappoints this Syrah geek!
As mentioned here at Grapelive, Corinne Lionnet’s family has been here in the region and wine growing since back in 1575, and for countless generations, with her husband Ludovic Izerable, who originally come from the tiny university town of Grenoble up in the alps, making the wines here, the two of them have run this winery since Corinne took the estate over in 2003. Ludovic has really stamped his style on the wine at Domaine Lionnet, with 100% whole cluster, 100% stems and all organic farming, he ferments native and uses long maceration (three weeks) in cement vats before malos in neutral, well used large casks without any additions. Each parcel for this Cornas is between 40 and 100 years old, they include four great Lieu-Dit sites in Cornas, Chaillot, Combes, Brugeres and Mazards with each hand picked and fermented individually. These highly regarded Crus add to the whole and give this wine it’s depth and structure, especially in vintages like this one. Domaine Lionnet’s attention to detail really shows in the bottle, these are electric and thrilling wines that have great aging potential, with this 2016 looking pretty legendary. A few years back, I got to meet Ludovic and Corinne and taste through a mini vertical of their glorious Cornas bottlings from 2012 to 2015, all of which were fantastic, but this 2016 feels like a step up, I highly recommend it.
($70 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive