Cornas From On High: 2016 Gilles Cornas "Nouvelle R" Les Rieux

Posted by Joe Salamone

Guillaume Gilles is one of the most exciting young, traditionally oriented producers in the entire Northern Rhône.

Gilles worked at Chave and Robert Michel. The latter is one of the grand old legends of the Northern Rhône and where Thierry Allemand began his winemaking career.

The domaine is tiny. When it comes to the "Nouvelle R", allocations tend to be handed out in 3-6 bottle quantities. The wines never stay in the market for very long. Currently, you'll find 3 other listings in the country.

The heart and soul of Gilles' domaine is the parcel of the great Chaillot vineyard that he received from Robert Michel. His Chaillot is deep, soaring and powerful. In short, classic Cornas. The Nouvelle R is a totally different expression.

The "R" stands for Les Rieux, a vineyard that Gilles planted in 2010 that sits at 450 meters high, above the amphitheater of Cornas. It's a vineyard of white granite soils that had never been planted before because historically people worried about the grape achieving proper ripeness. Now, for many growers, ripeness doesn't seem like a godsend, but something to battle against. Working a vineyard like Les Rieux starts making a lot of sense.

The 2016 "Nouvelle R" clocks in at a very modest 12.5% alcohol (compared to 13.5% for the regular Cornas). Gilles says that Robert Michel remarked that the wine reminded him of Cornas from the 70s and 80s.

Here you find a bright and nimble expression of Cornas. There's a purity to the layers of berry fruit and spice that really amazes. Drinking a second glass of this is really, really easy.

I should warn you from the outset that this is a bottle that people hunt down both because of rarity and because of how fun it is to drink. Please be warned that this will likely sell out quickly and will need to be allocated.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits