Cuvee Mère Michel was first introduced in 2016 and is not produced every year. This wine is a tribute to Johann Michel' wife, Emmanuelle, and a nod to the French song, La Mere Michel. This wines comes from Selection Massale (replanting new vineyards with cuttings from exceptional old vines from the same property) cuttings of Serine off the 1947 Yves Cuilleron vineyard at Chavanay. The vineyards are located in the lieu-dit "Les Cotes" at an altitude of 230 meters and benefiting from a southern sun exposure.
"Made as a tribute to Johann's wife and a play on the song “La Mere Michelle,” the tiny production 2020 Cornas Mère Michel comes from decomposed granite soils and is raised in demi-muids. It's another inky hued beauty from this talented vigneron that has incredible aromatics of smoked black fruits, iron, liquid violets, and peppered meat. Dense, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, it stays focused and precise on the palate, with a powerful yet weightless style. It's a gorgeous wine that's going to flirt with perfection at maturity."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2020s and 2021s, December 15th 2022), 97+ pts
"Opaque ruby. Ripe blackberry and cherry liqueur aromas are complicated by suggestions of black pepper, olive, licorice, roasted coffee and pungent flowers. Sappy, appealingly sweet and mineral-driven black and blue fruit, candied violet and mocha flavors show outstanding clarity and turn spicier as the wine opens up. Polished, well-judged tannins add grip to an
impressively long, floral-driven finish that leaves a vibrant, spicy note behind. This is 100% Serine, from relatively young vines by the standard of the appellation. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2022), 95 pts
"Lastly, the 2019 Cornas Mère Michel is one of the finest Syrahs in the report. Dense purple-hued, with a brilliant, powerful nose of ripe blackberries, graphite, charcoal, ground pepper, and barbecued meats, this thrill-a-second wine is full-bodied and has incredible purity of fruit, building tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and one heck of a great finish. It will probably merit a perfect rating in 5-7 years and have 30 years of longevity."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: 2019s From Bottle, February 16th 2022), 98+ pts
"This is a showstopper red made from 100% Sérine, the aromatic and uniquely Northern Rhône variance of Syrah. It's a haunting, complex wine marked by hints of violet, ore, blood and steel, but also a core of luscious blueberry and preserved-plum flavors. Vinified in whole-grape clusters, it maintains freshness and cut despite massive ripeness. Delicious young, the wine will gain depth with age. At peak from 2025 through 2040, it likely will hold further. Anna LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (February/March 2022), 97 pts
"Ripe, lushly styled waves of blackberry and black currant preserves are backed by singed alder and tobacco leaf notes and a strong tug of burly tar through the finish. The combination makes for an impressive rendering of Syrah. 15 cases imported. — James MOLESWORTH"
- Wine Spectator, 94 pts
"Only made in top vintages, the 2018 Cornas Mère Michel is a tribute to Johann's wife and a play on the French song "La Mere Michelle." Brought up in a new demi-muid, it's a richer, broader wine compared to the Cuvée Jana yet still has incredible Cornas style in its red, black, and blue fruits as well as notes of toasted spice, roasted meat, chocolate, and wild herbs. Rich, full-bodied, and opulent, it has a touch more upfront appeal and should be drinkable in just 4-5 years yet also evolve for two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2018s and 2019s, November 19th 2020), 98 pts
"This is a serious wine, it's powerful and full bodied but not excessive, very ripe but not overripe without relying on extraction. It’s fresh, deeply saline and mineral with elaborate, detailed aromatics. The fruit is intense, matching the oak without being swamped by it, underpinned by serrated, edgy tannins and a very long finish. Selection massale planted in 2011 on lieu-dit Les Côtes, south-facing at 230m altitude. No destemming, aged in new demi-muids for 16 months. Drinking Window 2026 - 2036."
- Decanter (October 2019), 96 pts
"A new cuvée (at least for me), the 2017 Cornas Mere Michel comes from sandy, granite-laced soils and was brought up in new demi-muids. It's largely in the same mold as the traditional cuvée yet has another level of richness, depth, and texture. Blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, burning embers, and a kiss of bloody meat all flow to a rich, powerful Cornas that has ultra-fine tannins, beautiful mid-palate depth, and a great, great finish. It's unquestionably a candidate for the wine of the vintage in Cornas. Bravo!"
- Jeb Dunnuck (December 12th 2019), 98 pts
"Shades of crushed granite, cacao and leather lend earthen, savory complexities to this gorgeously raw, rustic Cornas. Black plum and cherry flavors are ripe and concentrated, edged by firm, fiery tannins. It needs a bit of time to soften and meld but should improve well through 2037. - Anna LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (June/July 2020), 94 pts + Cellar Selection
"Inky ruby. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, licorice, exotic spices and incense, along with a strong, smoky mineral overtone. Stains the palate with sweet, sharply delineated black raspberry, boysenberry, violet pastille and spicecake flavors that become more lively with air. Displays a compelling marriage of richness and finesse and finishes extremely long, seamless and precise, with smooth tannins coming in late. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (April 2018), 94 pts
Go To Johann Michel Cornas Mere Michel
Johann Michel is a self-taught winemaker who discovered his passion while tasting old bottles of wine with his grandfather. His first vintage was 1997. He works alongside his wife Emmanuelle, ...