Guillaume Gilles, Syrah, Cornas, Northern Rhone 2018
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. Demain les vins opens the doors to this estate which produces a limited number of bottles each year.
In 2002, Guillaume Gilles inherited from his grandfather half a hectare of vines in the Cornas appellation. In order to perfect his knowledge of winemaking, he decided to start his career with Robert Michel, a Cornassian winemaker renowned for his famous La Geynale cuvée. He shares with him his passion for the different terroirs of Cornas, his knowledge of the vineyard and the cellar as well as his philosophy based on respect for the terroir, traditions and the environment.
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.
In the cellar, vinification and aging are done on a micro-plot. Within the Chaillots terroir itself, three cuvées are vinified and matured separately: the combe, the terraces and the large walls. Guillaume Gilles vinifies his wines in whole bunches (without destemming) which requires good maturity and perfect sanitary condition of the grapes. Ripe and balanced grapes are harvested manually with drastic sorting during complicated vintages. Fermentation takes place in concrete vats using only the natural yeasts of the grapes. The maceration lasts at least three weeks with some punching down and pumping over. Temperatures are controlled by general air conditioning in the cellar, but the harvest is neither heated nor cooled. At the end of maceration, the vats are drained and put directly into barrels after settling for a few days. The wines are aged for 18 months in oak barrels and 600-litre demi-muids. The wines are put in vats for 15 days to rest quietly before bottling where they are neither fined nor filtered.
Region: Northern Rhône