2011GillesCornas2011 Guillaume Gilles, Cornas, Rhone Red, France.
The first vintage I tried was the Gilles Cornas 2007, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since, this is a fantastic Domaine, making some of the most exciting Syrah you can get your hands on. Guillaume Gilles was the longtime protege of Robert Michel, a classic vigneron that guided Guillaume and transitioned into retirement by gifting his vines and cellar to the young winemaker, who has taken full advantage and who has honored his mentor by raising the quality and turning out some lovely and mind-blowing wines. This handcrafted Cornas is maybe the best red I’ve tasted this year of the hundreds of new releases I’ve been getting through, it is farmed and made by hand using natural/organic methods, these are wondrous wines of terroir, pureness and passion. The 2011 coming after the 2009 and 2010 vintages had a lot to live up to, and wow, it completely blew me away, if you like Syrah, you must find a few bottles of this glorious Cornas… I could just leave it at that, you MUST try this wine. The 2011 Guillaume Gilles Cornas comes from small mostly old vine parcels including some Chaillot (one of Cornas’ best and cherished sites/crus), so you know it has it’s sense of place and pedigree starting with beautiful floral detail, violets and incense, wild minty herbs, pipe tobacco, meat, iron and fine pepper leading to a palate of boysenberry, blueberry, plum, cassis/currant and mulberry fruits along with truffle, game, graphite/embers, black licorice and sticky lavender all come through in layers in this magical and deeply purple/black/garnet hued Syrah. Hints of cedar, new leather and kirsch come through on the super sexy long finish that lifts the blue and black fruits back to the forefront of your mind. This young wine is firm, but very textural and sensual with finessed tannins, balanced acidity and at 13.5% alcohol it is deftly focused, generous and full of heightened pleasure, drink from 2015 to 2024.
($76 Est.) 95-97+ Points, grapelive

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