Gilles Robin Cornas 2016

Dark purple. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of dark fruit preserves, smoky minerals, exotic spices and bacon fat. Chewy and sweet on the palate, offering concentrated blackberry, cherry preserve and spicecake flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Shows excellent clarity on the impressively persistent finish, which leaves cherry liqueur and smoked meat notes behind. Drink 2024-2032.
— 92 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous, September 2019.

The Robin family have grown grapes in Crozes-Hermitage for generations, but until 1995 they were always sold to the local cooperative in Tain l'Hermitage. Today, Gilles estate bottles his entire production and consistently produces some of the very best wines of this appellation. Gilles has just 15 hectares, however most of those vineyards are fully mature at more than 40 years old.

The estate has several plots of land in the favoured ‘Les Chassis’ district just south of the Hermitage hill. The soils in this area consist of large amounts of smooth pudding stones ‘galets’ and red clay from the route the Rhône river once flowed. These richer clay based soils give a wine that is typically rounder and more generous than from some other areas of the appellation.

Owing to the large amount of mature old vines at this estate most of the wine produced is of the premium “Alberic Bouvet” cuvee. This cuvee is produced from vines averaging 40 years age. Picking is done by hand and yields are kept low at around 38 hl/ha. In the ripest years a small percentage of stems are allowed in the ferment and the wine is aged in barriques (and increasingly in larger 450 litre barrels) for about 15 months with about 15% new barrels used each year.

2016 Crozes-Hermitage blanc “Les Marelles
Produced from 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne planted on limestone soils and cropped very low at less than 25 hl/ha to give a very intense “old-school white” according to Gilles. Vinified naturally with its own yeast and aged half in used barrels and half in tank, this wine is kept on lees for just over 6 months then bottled to retain its freshness and perfume. “ is pretty full and also graceful.”

2016 Cotes du Rhone “Terroir de Bramarel”
60% Grenache and 40% Syrah from a vineyard at Bramarel (near the truffle town of Richerenche), just outside Grignan on the border of the Grignan-les-Adhemar AOC, the most northerly appellation in the Southern Rhône. With more Syrah than an average Côtes du Rhône, this is a dark fruited, sumptuous easy-drinking wine, enlivened by savoury garrigue-accented highlights derived from its cooler northerly site. A new winner for Gilles. Delicious!'

2017 Crozes-Hermitage “cuvee du Papillon”
Produced from vines aged less than 20 years old. The wine is de-stemmed and matured in stainless steel tanks and is designed for earlier drinking for it’s freshness and perfumed black raspberry fruit with anise and spice notes that linger for ages. For enjoying in its youth, great in the warmer seasons.

2015 Crozes-Hermitage “cuvee Alberic Bouvet”
Produced from vines in 3 sites averaging more than 40 years old which are located on the best red clay soils close to the Hermitage hill. “Dark red. Mulled raspberry, mulberry fruit combines with oak, toasting on the nose. It holds its depth. The palate offers juicy, on the instant red fruits with a touch of spicing and a dryness from the oak towards the close. It’s quietly muscular, and needs until 2018 to get together. It has the potential to be interesting, nuanced. 2023-24” October 2016

2015 Crozes-Hermitage ‘1920 vines’ - VERY LIMITED
Just 2000 bottles produced from the oldest vines of the estate planted in 1956 by Gilles grandfather in Les Chassis. Aged in demi-muids, only produced in the best years. “Deep robe. The nose gives a sleek, refined air of black cherry fruit that appeals via its precision. There is light oaking. The oak is more prominent on the palate, where the black fruit retains a neat, stylish nature. This is polished, very modern Crozes, all very trim. It floats along well. From late 2017 – oak infusion is required. 2023-24 .” October 2016

2015 Saint Joseph rouge “Andre Peleat”
From vines planted 1966 on granite soil at about 300 metres altitude near Tournon. De-stemmed and vinified gently and aged in 600L barrel. Only 1000 bottles made. (casks) dark robe, a full black tinted do. The nose is broad, chunky, reduced, has a keen line of blueberry fruit with licorice touches, some oaking. There’s a slight sense of extraction. The palate starts on bountiful, fleshy, firm content, delivers an open hand of black berry fruit, with slightly coarse tannin and their tar spots behind, meaning it finishes drily. The tannins are direct, sustained, and if they meld, all is well. The feel of exertion rather runs through it, so wait until spring 2019. 2027-29 Oct 2016Johnathon Livingstone-Learmonth October 2016

2016 Saint Joseph rouge “St Epine” NEW
From this famous little vineyard north of Tournon, the soils here are schist and gneiss over granite with the wines typically have a finer fresher profile that those from the famed hillside above Tournon. Vinified with 100% whole-bunches the resulting wine is more Burgundian with striking floral aromatics and super fine tannins. Just 1000 bottles produced.

2016 Cornas
From vines located at the top of the Cornas hill in the famed lieu-dit of St Pierre.