Domaine J Despesse, AOC Cornas, Ardeche, Northern Rhone, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France, 2011
This wine: lot No. 01-11, varietal syrah, unfiltered, coated natural cork closure, 13% abv, Gauntleys, €29.68 (09/18)
Consumer tasting note: a Cornas in the modern style, initially quite fruity on the nose, with stewed red cherry, black berry and lesser blackcurrant, then a little spicy, edged with black pepper and liquorice; medium bodied, more black fruits on the palate with a rich liquorice-cedary-savoury ending. Finishes long.
Drink now – RTD, but will keep – Wait. Double decant for an hour or more.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears [and a tiny quantity of fine sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of stewed red cherry with a lactic edge, a spicy edge, black berry, black liquorice, a hint of blackcurrant jam, leaf humus, black pepper, beeswax, a hint of roasted nuts, touch of oak, then cedar.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a sense of sweetness in mid-palate aka sucrosity, with flavours of blackcurrant boiled sweets, black cherry, a little smoky, black liquorice, a touch savoury and touches of oak and cedar. A long length with a clean black blackcurrant-black cherry dominated, liquorice edged, lightly lactic-edged finish, a touch savoury on the end.
Quality: very good, well-balanced acidity and ripe moderate yet firm, as opposed to soft tannins, with alcohol; a better than moderate intensity throughout, with slightly lesser concentration, showing moderate-high complexity, with evidence of time in well-integrated not new oak (cedar, oak, smoke and spice – no toast) and bottle (beeswax, leaf humus, and slightly oxidative nuts); finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will hold for 1-3 years – a sound structure and balance, with an interesting developed complexity, a nice balance of dark berries and tertiary notes, and whilst delivering a long length, is a little lacking in intensity and concentration departments, all in all probably peaking now.