Back in the groove


At last, a joint wine tasting! The old routine – five pm Sunday with Saturday’s Times crossword. Not to mention a decanted red wine to be tasted blind. Opened 45 minutes earlier.

Colour: dense, opaque red, almost black, with a purply red rim. Some legs, but not particularly obvious. Bottle had a fine sediment which you can see in the photo.

Nose: slight menthol whiffs (Syrah?), some high notes, not really obvious. Changed into a more farmyard smell after twenty minutes. (effect of oxidising?)

Palate: really sweet, delicate, feminine, wine with a more-ish dry fade. Good length and complexity. Certainly soft tannins with medium acidity. A refined wine. Richard “some heat”.

Put ‘on the spot’, I declared Syrah and the refinement suggested French? Correct. Northern Rhone? Correct. St Joseph? Wrong. Hermitage? Wrong. It was a 2006 Cornas Granit 30. (13% ABV) Wine Society £19.

There you have it – the bones of the tasting.  We love these northern Rhones, and how often do they defy the Rhone caricature of big wines with the sweet finish. They’re delicate wines, in many ways quite lean but very inviting. It’s great to be back.

[Richard: a lovely wine and the rare thing, a comparatively low in alcohol Rhone. Perfect for Sunday night with (in our case), ribollita. I think the wines of Cornas are generally under-appreciated and I prefer them to St Joseph or Crozes Hermitage.]


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