2015 Eric & Joël Durand "Premice" Cornas

SKU #1337140 95 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The 2015 Cornas Premices comes from a mix of granite terroirs and was mostly destemmed (75%) and aged in 20% new barrels. It offers an incredibly rich, opulent style in its plum, blackberry liqueur, lavender and peppery herb aromas and flavors. Thick, unctuous, and incredibly broad and expansive on the palate, with sweet tannin, it's the largest production cuvée from this estate and is going to be an incredible value! Don't miss it. One of my favorite Cornas estate is that of brothers Eric and Joël Durand, who took over the running of this family estate in 1991. The winemaking is a mix of modern and traditional, with some destemming when needed, fermentations occurring in tank and concrete, and aging mostly in used barrels, with just a tiny amount being new. Their 2015s are certainly on par with what was produced in 2009 and 2010, and these are terrific, character filled wines I’d be happy to have in my cellar.  (1/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator

 A warm, ripe, fleshy style, with layers of fig paste, raspberry pâte de fruit and blackberry confiture tumbling over each other. A racy and well-buried graphite spine keeps this honest, with mouthwatering anise and sweet tapenade details lining the finish. Best from 2020 through 2035. 1,500 cases made. (JM)  (10/2017)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Cornas Premices (from young vines) offers authentic Cornas notes like blood, red plums and crushed stone, plus some firm tannins on the finish. This will need a couple of years of cellaring, but don’t put it away too long, as it lacks the richness and concentration of the top cuvées. (JC)  (12/2017)

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Price: $31.99

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


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- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.