2013gillescombe2013 Guillaume Gilles, Cornas “La Combe de Chaillot” Rhone, France.
The La Combe de Chaillot 2013 is pure Cornas heaven with beauty, detail, intensity and is stylishly spicy with 100% whole cluster Syrah from the bottom portion of the famed Chaillot vineyard. Guillaume Gilles is right up there with Clape and Allemand, these are amazing wines, I have tasted his regular/top Cornas cuvee, which comes from old vine plots in the upper part of Chaillot, many times and it remains one of my all time favorites, but this was my first experience with his second wine, La Combe de Chaillot, and I adore it as well, plus I was able to try the rare 100 year old vine Cotes du Rhone Les Peyrouses that maybe the first vineyard planted post Phylloxera in the Cornas region, though not in the AOC, hence the Cotes du Rhone tag, a 100% old vine Syrah that is worth looking of as well. The exciting wines of Guillaume Gilles offer an amazing thrill for the money and this 2013 La Combe de Chaillot really stood out with layers of stem infused goodness showing blueberry, wild lavender, minty black licorice, damson plum, raw meat/game and camphor along with plenty of cracked pepper, cinnamon, cedar and kirsch. With air the palate unfolds with sappy herbs, boysenberry fruit, flinty mineral notes, violets and black olive as well as allowing a beautiful texture to shine through, the tannins add a firmness that adds to the feeling of vigor and control while nice acidity makes every pop, this is a naturally balanced and graceful Syrah with deep color and a wonderful play of ripe black and blue fruit along with the earthy/savory counterweight that can only be from the northern Rhone terroir. Rosenthal’s Northern Rhone guys, Lionnet, Levet and Guillaume Gilles, just to name a few are making some killer wines and offer solid choices other than Kermit Lynch’s stars, Allemand, Clape, Perret and Faury, and for me Guillaume Gilles is the guy to look for. Check out these 2013 Gilles, both Cornas will continue to develop over the next 5 to 7 years, but can be admired even now!
($56 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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