Tuesday, July 8, 2008

WBW #47- Paul Jaboulet Aîné Cornas 1996

Appellation Cornas Controlee
Northern Rhone
13% Alcohol
$39.98 in Indianapolis, IN

Wine Blogging Wednesday is brought to you this month by the letter "S," as is "Syrah." Today's wine is made with 100% Syrah grapes. Today's very clever subject was hosted by Erin and Michelle of grape Juice. This Syrah, known as "Shiraz" in Australia, may surprise (another "S") you if you expected a big jammy fruit bomb. This older Cornas is about as far as you could get from a Parkerized jelly jar.

The first thing I noticed about this wine was the length of the cork. Here is a picture of it next to an average-sized cork:

The age showed in the color. It was brick red, but with no hint yet of brown, or even orange at the rim.

A bottle of mixed olives greet your nose, even before it gets all the way to the glass. There is some spice, too, but not sweet spices. There is salt, a lot of salt, then pepper and the tarragon sneaks through. Keep digging, get past the olives, because there is a flower hiding under there somewhere. It is an old flower past its prime, but strong, perhaps magnolia.

Olives also greet you on the palate, salty olives. Then the midpalate starts to develop and roses, fresh fragrant roses, join the show, with a side of extra peppery bacon and the tarragon from the nose. Tannins are silky mouth feel is full and rich. The finish is long, with leather, roses and salt.

Will fruit show tomorrow? Will the salt mellow? Join me and we will find out.


Nope, no better. Get a bottle of green olives, remover the olives, put one old rose petal in it, and drink. Or don't. I vote "don't."


Anonymous said...

Sounds like your Syrah isn't a soulmate to mine. Love the idea of drinking a magnolia (my prize lawn ornament is our 100-year-old magnolia tree).

Sonadora said...

I can't say I've ever found olives in a wine before. Salt a few times though!

David McDuff said...

Sounds pretty good to me, d, though maybe a tad dried out if I'm reading you correctly. Olives (black and green) and dark flowers (I usually think or irises and violets) are typical aroma/flavor profiles of Northern Rhone Syrah. You might look to a younger example, or perhaps to St. Joseph instead of Cornas, to find something a little less austere.

dhonig said...

David, thanks for the input. It might just not be my cup of tea. I think I would have liked it more if I had not had to search so hard for the flowers. The olives and salt, though, were completely overwhelming. I guess I'll just avoid these in the future. Heck, that's what tasting something new is all about, right?

Anonymous said...

Interesting observation about cork length. Corks actually do come in multiple grades and lengths (with more money buying better grade and longer cork).

I find that a slight change in ambient temperature and humidity as well as decanting can really liven up a wine.

Anonymous said...

That's a hell of a cork!

Unknown said...

Just bought a couple of these bottles from a sommelier in Tain l'Hermitage. He said the piece of land was sold by Jaboulet to an investment company so the wine was sold off cheaper than normal to get rid of the stock as it was no longer part of the company. I guess it was sold because they felt it tarneshed their name (no idea really though). I normally love Cornas so bought a rew.

Anyways, he also said DO NOT DECANT!! though it looks like you didn't anyway. Be very careful pouring, have standing still, opened for at least one hour before serving and pour slowly.

So maybe these could influence. Though your experience probably wouldn't have changed much really. Not looking forward to it so much anymore... :(

Might I suggest Cave de Tain's 2005 Cornas. Lovely and very stong fruits. Needs a few years yet though... :)