Guillaume Gilles, Syrah, Les Rieux, Cornas, Northern Rhone 2018
Les Rieux, a vineyard situated up above the main amphitheater of Cornas at a lofty 450 meters altitude. Guillaume acquired acreage here in 2010, immediately planting vines on its soils of white granite which had never before borne wine. Whereas before the turn of the century there was really nothing planted above 300 meters in Cornas, today’s warmer climate allows for wines from plots like this one to reach full maturity at modest alcohol levels. The purity of fruit here—its brightness and its spice-saturated red character—provides a fascinating contrast to Gilles’ more brooding and black-fruited flagship Cornas.
Guillaume Gilles is a winemaker imbued with humility and passion who embodies the elite of the young guard of the northern Rhône Valley. Trained by great winegrowers such as Jean-Louis Chave, the master of the Hermitage, and by Robert Michel, one of the pioneers of Cornas, Guillaume Gilles has been established since 2002 on one of the great granite terroirs of Cornas: Les Chaillots. Today, he follows in the footsteps of his masters by magnificently highlighting the expression of the great wines of the northern Rhône valley, on a complex terroir that he masters with his fingertips. His Cornas are nectars of remarkable depth that deliciously combine power and finesse all in an enveloping flesh.
Guillaume Gilles devotes a lot of effort and time to the vineyard where he knows that great wines are shaped by healthy and balanced vines and grapes. The work is done manually apart from the plowing of the soil which is done with a crawler. On these terraces with very steep slopes, Guillaume Gilles is one of the rare winegrowers to plow his soils, an arduous task.
Region: Northern Rhône