Château de la Gardine
Brunel de la Gardine Cornas 2016
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"Cornas" means scorched earth, a brusque name for unforgivingly steep slopes baked in exceptionally strong sun due to the South / South-Eastern exposure of the vineyards. All vineyard work in Cornas is done by hand and powered by sweat, as tractors and other machines simply cannot make it up these steep slopes. Tiny production, get in while you can.
Tasting notes: Deep garnet wine, yielding intense aromas of fresh blackberries, white pepper, liquorice underlaid by chocolate. Has an animalic quality that's difficult to describe, it's more accurately sensed. Bottle ageing reveals notes of leather and undergrowth.
Drink with: Beef anyway - yakiniku, grilled, stewed, carpaccio, tartare, burger, however. Also great with mushrooms, especially the funkier ones like ceps (porcini), morels, chanterelles, hen of the woods. Serve at 18C. Drink now, can hold till 2036.
Winemaking notes: Extremely steep, South-Eastern facing slopes at an altitude of 250 - 300 metres. Brutal territory, with lower rainfall and more sunshine hours than the rest of the Northern Rhône, and constantly beleaguered by the strong mistral winds from the North. Produces grapes of substance and character!