Dumien-Serrette's Classic Old-Vine Cornas Shows Off Top Rhône Terroir
It’s very bonny—John Livingston-Learmonth, DrinkRhone.com
We don't speak British, so we can't directly translate what JLL meant by "bonny," but we do know it's a very good thing. After all, this was a glowing review (a rare five stars) from our favorite Rhône critic, which described the wine (in addition to having "pretty," "sympa," "tasty" aromas, flavors and elegance) as being a "Burgundian, high appeal Cornas."
Tasting the 2021 vintage of Dumien-Serrette's Cornas clarified everything in JLL's review, including his excitement about the wine and the producer. The old vine 'Patou' has the special kind of refinement that expresses itself by showing you inviting flavors up front, with terroir-specific notes (here, JLL's iron and tea leaves) unfolding slowly, revealing themselves discretely and mostly on the finish. It's the magic trick of making a Cornas that is both friendly and profoundly, essentially, Cornas.
It's the kind of wine you can only make on a tiny scale like the Serrette family is: they have just 2.2 hectares in Cornas, mostly very old and planted in the incredibly steep "Patou" vineyard — so steep it can only be farmed by hand. That farming is organic and the winemaking is done by hand, down to the old-fashioned basket press and the hand-labelling of the bottles.
We couldn't be happier to share this gorgeous, old-school gem with you today. With just 2.2 ha to satisfy world-wide demand, we expect it won't be around for very long.
Dumien-Serrette, Cornas Vieilles Vignes "Patou", 2021 $61.99
"Sound, quite dark red; pretty red fruit shows on the early nose, raspberry notably, with herbal tones, a coulis style that is inviting. The palate offers sympa engagement on the attack, carries appealing red berry fruit with mild tannins tucked in on the mid-palate. A cooler tone develops late on. It’s a good example of Cornas comme il faut, not too weather-led, the fruit tasty, really welcoming. It’s very bonny, a spherical wine in the making, with Pinote touches, so elegance. Its late iron, tea leaves notes are very authentic. It’s Burgundian, high appeal Cornas." (JLL, Drink Rhone)
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