This is simply the most beautiful Cornalin I have ever had and ever expect to taste, a wine for the others to aim to replicate. There was no label on the bottle. We had only a small amount in our glasses, with none left for refills at the end.
It seems a little unfair to add a tasting note, since only make 50 bottles a year are made of this “Rouge du Pays”. Today we know the grape as Cornalin, a difficult grape that when it is in good hands gives a wine that from vines that are 80 to 100 years old. Stéfano Délitroz is the winemaker who has the know-how to listen to these grapes and let them do their work, but the wine isn’t sold commercially, so I’ll have to recommend a couple other Cornalins soon in this space.
We were lucky to have this one bottle for a special tasting of nine wines from grapevines that were never touched by Phylloxera, the disease that basically wiped out Europe’s old grapevines and, in the process, pre-clone versions of grapes. The tasting session was organized by José Vouillamoz, grape DNA specialist and one of the authors of the magnificent “Wine Grapes” reference work.
The group of a dozen of us agreed that if this tiny vineyard can be helped to reproduce the world will be a better place for it.
Note: I corrected the name of the grape variety to Rouge du Pays; Petit Rouge, which I put earlier, is a grape from the nearby Aosta Valley in Italy – a parent of this grape.
- Flanthey, Valais
- Deep rich cherry red with purple shadows
- Grandmother's best: black cherries and raspberries gently stewed down to their essence, very rich fruits
- Rich and velvety from the first touch, extraordinary fruit with great depth, silky tannins and a very pleasing slightly sour finish. Surprisingly complex given the fruit and that it is only three years old.
- Not commercially available
- ✭✭✭ a special wine, out of the ordinary