Domaine Durand, Empreintes, Cornas, Rhône 2018
I got this Cornas lately, not knowing what to expect. But from the very first sip I was pleasantly surprised. You read ‘Cornas’ on the label and the first thing that comes to mind is baked fruit. However, there is some thoughtful work done in producing this Syrah that turned it into a sleek and pleasant wine.
At first, this wine gives a delicate hint of spice, and a burst of black fruits, blackberries, and plums. A subtle whiff of smoke and pepper makes food pairing choices pretty clear: BBQ!
Despite the perception that Cornas is the place for producing sun-baked Syrah wines, Empreintes Cornas by Domaine Durand has just the right level of ripeness without a jammy mouthfeel. When you taste it, you will savor a full-bodied wine, that will smoothly and gracefully blanket your palate with balanced acidity.
Tannins are gently present, rounded and refined, making this Syrah from Cornas a gracious companion for well-seasoned steak and grilled meats. If you let it breathe a bit longer, you might encounter hints of granite and almost metal-like taste –a tribute to the soil that produced it. Bottom line, this wine is a bargain for the price ($40), and will make a nice addition to any wine selection.
How I Enjoy This Wine
I opened this Empreintes Cornas, 2018 over the weekend to go with grilled steak and sautéed mushrooms, and the leftover wine was perfectly enjoyable a couple of days later with homemade hamburgers.
Food Pairing Suggestions
Truly delicious with salty foods, aged hard cheese (like gouda and pecorino), mushrooms and certainly roast lamb leg.
On a Personal Note
What I loved about Empreintes Cornas is how this wine is made. The Syrah grapes were allowed to express their flavors, while oak aging was introduced in a polished and restrained approach. If this style is something you look for in wines, let me know your thoughts here.
When to Drink
This wine is ready to drink and enjoy now, although expected to develop more complexity with age.
Region: CORNAS AOC Rhône Valley, France
A steep, south easting-facing terrace slope on the right side of Rhône River (warm area).
The appellation makes wines made from 100% Syrah.
Domaine Durand is a 20-hectare, steep hill, syrah-only vineyard owned by Eric and Joël. The two brothers took over the family estate and started making and bottling wine in 1991.
This grapes are manually harvested from thirty-year-old vines and aged in 20% new oak, 75% de-stemmed.