Robert Parker 93-95
"The fabulous 2011 Cornas Granite 30 is one of the great wines of the vintage. Elegant, with a black/blue color, sweet tannin and loads of spring flowers, crushed rocks, smoked game and blackberry fruit, this textured, loaded, supple, accessible 2011 should drink nicely for 15 or more years. Vincent Paris is a child of Cornas and his biodynamically run estate now encompasses around 17-18 acres, from which he fashions three remarkable cuvees, the Granite 30, Granite 60 Vieilles Vignes and an offering from the well-known parcel of La Geynale. Paris has enjoyed three consecutive remarkable vintages (as have a number of the finest Cornas producers), 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Granite 30 generally comes from the lower hillside parcels of a lieu-dit called Mazards with soils that are mostly decomposed granite. These are also his youngest vines. You would never know that by tasting what Paris has produced in 2011 and 2010. The Granite 60 comes from three separate parcels of a lieu-dit called Sauman, which is opposite of another famous lieu-dit called Reynard. As Paris says, this is an area that gives more body as well as freshness than other terroirs in Cornas. Vines planted in these three parcels are 20, 60 and 100 years of age."
Vincent ParisView all from Vincent Paris
"Vincent Paris, whose first vintage was 1997, is as shy as his wines are bold. In his early 30's, he has retro sideburns, but not much else in the Cornas appellation's new star is "retro". Vincent's uncle is Robert Michel, one of Cornas' finest growers. He made his two first wines with his uncle then, seeking autonomy, rented facilities for the vinification of his most recent wines. He is in the process of building his own winemaking facilities with a courtyard that holds his apricot plantation.
Vincent Paris, co-president of the appellation of Cornas with Jacques Lemencier, owns 6 hectares of vineyards and produces about 2,500cs per year of which 1,600cs are Cornas. He inherited most of his own vines from his grandfather (some of which are 90 years old) and has also rented some vines from his uncle. Vincent's total rented and owned holdings amount to 8 hectares. They are located at different places primarily along the southeast facing Cornas slope and a small lot in St. Joseph.
He prunes to only four bunches of grapes per vine (the norm is between five and seven) which concentrates the vines' growing power and cuts down on the need for green harvests. He ferments at relatively low temperatures and matures his wine in oak barrels for up to 12 months.
Four years ago he planted Viognier and Roussanne in AOC Cornas, on north-facing slopes he considers better suited for white than reds, despite the fact that in so doing he must sell the wine as Côtes du Rhône since there is no AC Cornas for white. The cuvée is 2/3 viognier and 1/3 Roussanne. 20% of the cuvée is vinified in new barrels, the rest in tank.
The Cornas Granit 30 and 60 designations refer to the soil, the approximate age of the vines, and the slope on which they are planted. The Granit 30 is concentrated black fruit in a relatively "consumer friendly"style – perhaps a bit more Syrah-ish than Cornas-ish, whereas the 60 is classic Cornas – dense, aromas of kidney and iron, with a terrific mineral underpinning. His St Joseph red is made from 10 and 20 year old vines, and is vinfied 2/3 in barrel and 1/3 in tank."