Domaine: Vinous writer Josh Raynolds calls the Domaine du Tunnel “among the top producers of Cornas.” Star winemaker Stephane Robert farms an envious collection of old syrah vines around the tiny appellation, and his wines very much live up to the hype. He’s humble and quiet in person, but his wines are bold, assertive, and charming.
Appellation: Cornas is the southernmost appellation in the Northern Rhône. Its rules are northern: pure, unblended Syrah that ages for decades. But Cornas (which means “scorched earth” in Celtic) harvests a week earlier than Hermitage (just 20 minutes north), and the vertiginous slopes produce wines with a southern, sunbaked character.
Wine: Tunnel’s 2017 Cornas is a classic — the warm year produced lots of ripeness, making it juicy and approachable today. But there’s plenty of Cornas’s traditional sturdy foundation. Vinous and Wine Advocate both awarded 92 points, finding it “loaded with blackberries, cassis and plums,” with “very good depth as well as energy” alongside “supple tannins.”
Tunnel Cornas 2017
bottle price: $59
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