This Cornas is a blend from 2 different vineyard sites:
- 60% of the final blend is from vineyards located on a hillside (16 year old vines on the "coteau"), planted on sandy soils, decomposed granite and some rocks, giving the structure, spiciness and licorice flavors to the blend.
- the other 40% of the final blend comes from the bottom of the slope (40 years old vines on the "pied de coteau"), planted on sandy soils, bringing acidity and balance to the wine.
Expressive, deep, rich, silky and juicy. Well structured and round, it displays red fruit, leather, black cherry, liquorice and black berry aromas.
"Bright and intense both in color and in aroma. Hyper-fresh, searching berry fruits, this is electric. Rounded, with plump berry fruits that are concentrated and fresh. The tannins are intense too, grippy and strict on the long finish. This is almost painful to taste at this stage, but should be excellent in time. Vines with an average of 35 years of age, from lieux-dits Saveaux, Patou and Les Côtes, all destemmed and then aged in two- to five-year-old demi-muids. - Matt WALLS"
- Decanter (Rhone 2021 en primeur, October 1st 2022), 96 pts
"Readers who love classic, old school, yet clean and impeccably made Cornas should jump on the 2020 Cornas from Johann Michel. Sporting a deep purple hue as well as killer notes of black cherries, scorched earth, iron, graphite, and violets, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a focused, firm, yet layered mouthfeel, a good sense of freshness, and enough tannins to allow it to evolve for 15+ years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2020s and 2021s, December 15th 2022), 94+ pts
"Deep violet color. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes smoke-accented cherry, blackberry, incense, candied violet and exotic spices, along with mineral and olive notes in the background. Offers appealingly sweet dark fruit preserve, floral pastille, espresso and cola flavors that are supported by an undercurrent of juicy acidity. Round, well-judged tannins come up steadily on a very long, energetic finish that echoes the floral and spice notes. Made with 20% whole clusters. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's VInous (December 2022), 94 pts
"A wine readers should snatch up is the 2019 Cornas from Johan Michel, a majestic, full-bodied, incredibly seamless beauty that does everything right. It certainly shows the ripe, sunny style of the vintage and brings ample fruit, richness, and power, yet it still has incredible focus as well as purity and freshness. Black raspberries, cassis, blueberries, violets, bacon fat, and peppery notes all emerge from the glass, and it has no hard edges and a sensational mouthfeel that keeps you coming back to the glass. It will evolve for 15 years or more, and I doubt it will ever close down. Those who like ripe, sexy, yet still pure, focused, and flawlessly balanced Cornas should back up the truck for this sensational wine."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: 2019s From Bottle, February 16th 2022), 95+ pts
"Sourced from two different plots, this inky, ripe wine highlights the variability of terroir within Cornas and the plushness of Syrah vinified with 100% destemmed grapes. The palate pulsates with rich, almost syrupy, flavors of black-cherry preserves spiked with granite, iron and olive tapenade. Levitated by black-currant acidity and framed with firm, furry tannins, this luscious, violet-scented sip should hit peak from 2024 through2040. - Anna LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (March 1st 2022), 95 pts & Editor's Choice
"This bursts forth with a torrent of dark plum, boysenberry and blackberry preserve flavors. Vivid, racy and energetic throughout, with extra sweet bay leaf, violet and black olive elements chiming through repeatedly, while a mouthwatering chalky minerality courses underneath it all. Best from 2024 through 2038. —J.M.
- Wine Spectator (Insider December 1st 2021), 94 pts
"Moving to the three Cornas releases, the 2018 Cornas is brilliant and certainly in the same ballpark as the 2016 and 2017. Lots of red and blue fruits, smoked earth, graphite, iron, violets, and gamey notes define this full-bodied Cornas. With ample tannins, fabulous balance, and a big finish, it's going to need 4-5 years of bottle age at a minimum yet should drink fabulously well over the following 15 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (Northern Rhône: The 2018s and 2019s, November 19th 2020), 94 pts
"Sun-baked brush, sage and smoked meat perfume crisp cassis in this ripe but freshly postured Syrah. Black-fruit flavors are glossy and penetrating but backed by a zippy spine of acidity and tense, fine-grained tannins. The wine drinks well already but should improve through 2030 and hold further still. - Anna LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (June/July 2020), 94 pts
"The 2017 Cornas comes from more sandy soils and was brought up in 3- to 5-year-old demi-muids. It's an elegant, complex Cornas with lots of ripe red and black fruits and plenty of loamy earth, truffle, and spice incense aromas. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, balanced, incredibly classy, elegant Cornas that has terrific tannins, loads of upfront charm, and a great finish."
- Jeb Dunnuck (December 12th 2019), 93+ pts
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (November 2019), 90 pts
YEAR'S BEST NORTHERN RHONE
"The base 2016 Cornas from Michel is brilliant and a match for just about anything out there. Completely destemmed and brought up in 2- to 4-year-old barrels, its deep purple color is followed by a monster nose of black fruits, olives, cured meats, and wild herbs. Deep, full-bodied, and incredibly pure on the palate, it shows the classic style of the vintage yet also packs plenty of depth and richness. It’s a thrilling Cornas to drink over the coming 15-20 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 95 pts
"Whiffs of horse saddle, smoke and anise lend complexity to rich but restrained black plum and cherry on the nose of this wine. The palate is surprisingly riper, ruddy and voluptuous in texture, but balanced by firm, penetrating tannins. Moderately full bodied and solidly framed, it should drink well through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (December 2019), 92 pts
"Whiffs of truffle, leather and violet introduce this deft, nuanced Syrah. Blackberry and plum flavors are intensely ripe but muted by savory notes of spice and earth. Freshly balanced and supple on the palate, it finishes with a firm, penetrating grip of tannins. Lovely already it should soften and meld from 2021 and continue to improve through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (September 2018), 94 pts + Editor's Choice
"the 2015 Cornas looks to be a brilliant wine. Blackberries, wild herbs, pepper and black olives all emerge from this full-bodied, rich, unctuous and tannic 2015 that's going to require 2-4 years of cellaring and keep for 15-20 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #228, December 2016), 92-94 pts
"Opaque ruby. Heady dark berry, incense, olive and Indian spice aromas show excellent clarity and pick up a smoky mineral nuance with air. Broad, sappy and appealingly sweet, offering intense black and blue fruit and spicecake flavors and a suggestion of candied licorice. Tightens up on the impressively persistent finish, which features blueberry and cracked pepper notes and building tannins. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (July 2017), 92 pts
"Distinctive, featuring a gorgeous frame of loam and roasted alder around a core of macerated dark currant, plum and blackberry fruit, this nonetheless stays vibrant and racy, with a blaze of iron defining the finish, backed by a mouthwatering white pepper note. Youthfully tight, so let this unfurl in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2029. 150 cases made."
- Wine Spectator (October 2016), 93 pts
"Opaque ruby. Ripe blueberry, cassis, licorice and olive on the highly perfumed nose, along with a smoky bacon nuance. Broad, spicy and concentrated, offering dark berry flavors complemented by hints of peppery spices and bitter chocolate. Dusty tannins and an echo of licorice join the very long, spicy finish. - Josh Raynolds"
- Vinous (March 2016), 91 pts
"About as polished and elegant as they come from the appellation, Michel's 2012 Cornas offers rocking crème de cassis, raspberry, spice, toasted bread and licorice to go with an elegant, medium to full-bodied profile. Possessing no hard edges and slightly hidden, sweet tannin, this is an awesome wine that will have 15+ years of sexy drinking. - Jeb Dunnuck"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #216, December 2014), 95 pts
"Moving to the reds and a locked and loaded barrel sample, the 2012 Cornas exhibits gorgeous black and blue fruits, lavender, violets, crushed rock and assorted background meatiness. This medium to full-bodied, supple and voluptuously textured Cornas has good mid-palate depth, juicy acidity and an overall, pure, nicely focused profile. Enjoy it over the coming 10-12 years.- JD"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #210, December 2013), 91-94 pts
"The 2011 Cornas reveals supple, silky tannins as well as the essence of blackberry and licorice notes intermixed with hints of beef blood and flowers. It is fruit-forward, soft and impressive. These are both impressive vintages from this up-and-coming young Cornas producer."
Wine Advocate (Robert Parker, issue #204, December 2012), 90-93 pts
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, ...