Cornas Vieilles Vignes 2016
2016 is a very mature year, but due to the strong day / night differences it has a very high acidity. Accordingly, the pH values are very low. The acidity and freshness is again significantly higher than 2010. However, the tannin and alcohol levels are the same as in 2010. Expressed in numbers: the south is around 14.5% - 15% alcohol, the north at 13%. The decisive factor for the balance, however, is this freshness and high acidity, which both father and son Tardieu have never seen before. Accordingly, the Rhone Bordeaux follows, because everything also impresses with this fantastic balance and absolute harmony. The other special feature, which also existed in Bordeaux and on the Rhone, is that red and white wines are sensational. Actually logical, because if the alcohol gradation has not exploded and the acid has been preserved, then of course the white wines benefit to the same extent. Analogies to previous years: Tardieu compares 2016 with 1990 with the highest possible agreement. That applies to the southern Rhône. The North Rhone is more like 1991. Of course, 20 years have passed, higher re-aging and even better and more organic work in the vineyards. So base 1990 and 1991 with a small turbocharger in the development. Despite this large class of the 2016 vintage, the same applies on the Rhone as in Bordeaux: the quantities are absolutely satisfactory. So there was no scarce harvest. Outstanding "best ever" qualities in both regions with good quantities at the same time. The winemaker is particularly pleased about this. All in all for the Rhone it can be said that it is a very good year for the Syrah, but an extremely good year for the Grenache. Accordingly, the South Rhône is clearly “best ever” and the North Rhône at a level that is close to 2015. But the year 2015 does not exceed it. The southern Rhône has never been as good as it was in 2016. The majority of the vines are over 100 years old and come from the locations Le Eygats and Patou. Famous locations like those used by Ferraton. Cornas grows entirely on granite. 100% serine, also called Petit Syrah. They are smaller, thick-skinned berries that go more with the red fruit and have significantly more acid than the normal Syrah. The alcohol is 13.5%. 50% are not de-stacked. It is fermented spontaneously in the wood, aging in the used and new barrique, but in the second year also in the wood Tonneau and Fuder. This Vieilles Vignes is actually always the tightest allocation amount at Tardieu, there is very little. 2016 is a year of amazement. A vintage in which the styles run like a red thread through Germany, Bordeaux and now through the Rhone. It is unbelievable what the weather can conjure up with the same structure. We have an incredibly long growing season everywhere due to the fantastic autumn. And we have very big day / night differences. Cool nights and warm dry days in autumn. That is what makes this vintage so delicious. The balance of the vintage. Nevertheless, the tannin masses are as high as in 2015, sometimes even higher than in 2010. The acidity is completely high and the wines are still delicious. 2015 was a noisy year in the North Rhone, a year in which all amplitudes were extremely high, too much fruit, too much acid, too much tannin, and everything was so present. A loud year, a huge year, which almost kills consumers. In contrast, in 2016 this is the total integration of silky tannins. Nothing crashes, and yet the level is just as high. The acidity is sometimes even higher than in 2015, and yet it is not present, but is perfectly integrated into this terrific balance. And the discussion can be held as in Bordeaux. What is the bigger year? For me, 2016 is also much more delicious, elegant, delicate on the North Rhone than in 2015. Before 2015 you have to kneel down. In 2016 you can drink with joy, and yet they will last forever. I think this total harmony year 2016 is also very big in the north. And so this Cornas Vieilles Vignes captivates with incredible delicacy for the first time in a long time. A style that is also practiced at Voge. I almost flashed in the nose. We have black fruit and sable, licorice, charcoal, a little cassis, a lot of smoke and very long Assam tea. This is so stylishly woven and yet it doesn't crack like 2015, it comes fine, comes gently, comes into the nose like a beautifully elegant Pomerol from 2016. And that continues in the mouth. What an extremely refined and fine cornas. God this wine is beautiful. And yet so intense. The tannins are palpable, it's the fist in the velvet glove. But it's so silky, so woven. It's so playfully easy. Cornas are rarely found in this delicacy, in this grandiose finesse.