Reynard, Geynale, Chaillot, Patou, Les Rieux, Saint-Pierre…, la liste des lieux-dits est longue. Ils figurent de plus en plus sur les étiquettes. Selon vous, à juste titre ?
Erosion has formed this natural amphitheatre with slopes facing more to the South-East, others more towards the East and others more towards the North-East. This diversity of micro-climates often only concerns one plot or a small group of plots. In my opinion, all these areas therefore really deserve this distinction of named locality. Making wine by complying with this plot selection concept is becoming totally logical, as it is in Burgundy with the climats.
How does this distinction manifest itself in the wine?
There are quite a few of us who are convinced by “geo-sensorial” wine tasting, one that takes into account this idea of “the feel on the palate”. It enables us to differentiate a Cornas from high-ground, where the winegrowing area of this natural amphitheatre has developed a little more towards the West. The ripening of the grapes is slower here, the texture of tannins airier and less concentrated. It also allows us to pick out Cornas wines from the middle of slopes, the fine, traditional Cornas; these wines have richer, more tightly-knit tannins, but today, thanks to viticulture that protects the ecosystem, they are now very pleasant and delicious.
Finally, Cornas wines from the piedmont plateau, that is to say the lower part of the winegrowing area, a lot richer in deep earth, which gives easy-drinking, lighter wines.
This feel on the palate you mention seems linked to minerality, a very trendy term at present?
In Cornas, minerality is anything but a sham! It really is perceptible and linked to this granite substratum I mentioned previously, very rich in potassium, iron, magnesium and with a little manganese too. It gives a sensation of taste that is very different to acidity.