Vincent Paris "Granit 30" Cornas 2019
Syrah｜Rhône Valley, France
Syrah, beautiful Syrah, in all its power and glory is on full display!
Grown throughout the world, Syrah is a chimerical grape, able to reflect the subtlety and grace of Pinot Noir, combined with the heft and weight of Cabernet Sauvignon. In the Rhône valley it's arguably more at home than anywhere, and Cornas specifically is where you can find Syrah built for the ages.
Enter Vincent "Vinny" Paris, a multi-generational Cornas native who possesses some of the finest plots in the appellation. "Granit 30" takes its name from the soil (granite), the slope of the steep vineyards (30) and average vine age, also 30 years. His vineyards all hug the slope at vertigo-inducing grades and are biodynamically farmed. No chemicals, no machines: a natural, true labor of love.
Fermented naturally in big, old 500-liter barrels, this is cool-climate Syrah at its very best. An inky ruby color in the glass, with grilled meat, wild blue fruit, smoky minerals, cracked pepper, violets, and delicate, soft-flowing fruit wrapped around a smoky, herbal, mineral core. My mouth waters just writing this.
The Cornas appellation lies in the northern part of the Rhône valley; the narrow channel, the steep slopes, and the granite bedrock all make for a challenging climate to grow grapes. Syrah loves the challenge and produces some the finest iterations here. The terraced slopes have been cultivated since the Roman ages. And the region is tiny, naturally limited to just about 100 hectares of precious real estate on the western slope of the Rhône river – a ridiculously minuscule amount. (For comparison, Saint-Joseph, its neighbor to the north, has about twenty times the amount of land under vine.)
Rhône Syrah, Cornas specifically, is notoriously long-lived; the best can age for twenty years or more. This beauty is singing right now, especially after an hour's decanting, but will continue to evolve flawlessly for another decade. I urge you to acquire a few bottles; some for now and some for much, much later. Cheers!