A Frenchman Returns -on his wine tasting notes
Now here is something to think about when considering the impact of time and travel on wine tasting notes. I am a Frenchman who has been away from his home country for some 15 years and whilst I travel back regularly especially for wine tasting, which is my chosen profession, I recently noticed something very interesting in my wine tasting notes.
I was travelling to the Rhone and I decided to take the opportunity to taste some older vintages. Here I encountered the first problem. In the region this is, of course, a local wine and the French have a tendency to drink their wines very young and in my opinion bordering on the infant level of its potential development. So the first issue was to find the wine on which to write about and the second was to note a change in my own drinking tastes.
The importance of tasting notes
Wine tasting is a journey which is why the wine tasting notes are so important. The record of the wines tasted and recorded over the years provides an opportunity to note the changes in both the wines as well as your own palate and abilities to taste the subtle differences. My wine tasting notes have thus given me the ability to notice how time away from France has changed my tasting choices.
As a Frenchman I would also have indulged in tasting the wines-well, drinking them as they were my local tipple- when the wines were still young. I was that local person! After 15 years overseas and as a professional sommelier, I have observed a changed in taste and I now consider the locals are simply drinking the wine before it has reached an age at which it has sufficient maturity to bring out its best. This particular wine tasting note demonstrates how each journey is personal and dynamic.
Wine tasting notes on Cornas Granit 30
Vincent has an unusual technique of pruning his vines to 4 grape bunches per vine which is considerably less than the normal 5-7. Oak barrels hold the wine for up to 12 months and Vincent also uses relatively low temperatures in the fermentation process. Perhaps I should note that Vincent makes both a Granit 60 and a Granit 30 Cornas. The former is made from the grapes grown on the higher slopes with a 60 degree slope (no prizes for seeing the connections here) and the latter comes from the lower slopes with a 30 degree inclination and younger vines.
2005 is one of Vincent’s first vintages and is considered within the village to be fantastic and is surely a wonderful start for a wine maker who shows passion and the commitment to build a new generation of Cornas wines. The wine proved to be an irresistible blend of old and young vines. The colour was deep ruby with an even darker core. There was a high viscosity running on the walls of my wine glass, giving a hint of the joy to follow.
My wine tasting notes record the nose as bright, focused and fresh with hints of black olive tapenade, smoke, savoury, bacon and wet soils followed through immediately with flavours of minerals. Such classic tastes for a Cornas wine! The palate was as juicy as it was intense. There were ripe blackberries and cherries, with olives, roasting juices in the palate followed on by forest floor (earthy scents) adding to the nose format. The mid palate was full and ripe with a great lift of acid and minerals that kept the juiciness going! The savoury flavours took control of the long finish with just a touch of spice from the oak barrels. Delicious, vivid and sexy!
Whilst it may prove nigh on impossible to locate a 2005 vintage we have taken a look on the website and were interested to note that a wine importer Throman Hunt & Co Ltd loves the wine made by Vincent so much that they have invested in the vineyard! Like our sommelier they are exhibiting good taste.
Our research shows that Vincent has already made an impact in the UK and can be found in the wine cellars of Fortum & Mason, Berry Bothers and Waitrose, as well as in the cellars of independent merchants such as Thorman Hunt and Christopher Piper. We really recommend looking at Vincent now and monitoring his development in your wine tasting notes over decades to come. You will be an earlier follower if you start now!