Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Cornas, red wine appellation in the northern rhône (see map) with the potential to provide serious if rather earlier-maturing challengers to hermitage on the opposite bank to the north. Cornas was renowned in the era of charlemagne, and in the 18th century, but many of the terraced vineyards on its steep south-facing granite slopes fell into decline in the early 20th century. The appellation experienced a revival of interest in the late 1980s with the arrival of ambitious newcomers prepared to re-establish the terraces needed for high-quality vineyards, so that by 2013 there were 131 ha/324 acres of vineyards in production. Consultant oenologist Jean-Luc Colombo established a base here in the 1990s began making ultra-modern wine very unlike that of Auguste Clape, the standard-bearer during the lean years of the 1970s. Perhaps because Clape’s very traditional wines demand considerable bottle age, Cornas gained a reputation as a long-living wine, but the likes of Thierry Allemand, Domaine Courbis, Eric et Joël Durand, Mark Haisma, Vincent Paris, and Domaine du Tunnel are making a much more luscious style of Cornas.