- 100% Syrah
Back in 1763 the village priest in Cornas recorded: “The mountain of this village is most entirely planted with vines which produce a very good black wine. This wine is much sought out by merchants and is very heady.” Indeed there is evidence that wine from Cornas was being enjoyed by Charlemagne in 840AD.
Situated away from the cooling breezes of the Rhône valley the climate of the area allows good ripening, but the underlying soils that are closer related to the Centrale Massif than the Rhône, being granite, giving a harder edge and character to the wines. The wines of Cornas were forgotten over the years, maybe due to being just off the main trade route of the Rhône valley and particularly after the two wars in the 20th century. The appellation itself was only created in 1936 but was the last frontier of the Northern Rhône until the late 1980’s.
Only one grape variety is allowed: Syrah planted in restricted areas and with yields strictly limited. The situation, soils and individual micro-climate make the wines of Cornas more precocious.
<b>About Pierre Gaillard:</b>
When Pierre Gaillard was 12 years old he was caught ploughing a nearby vineyard with a horse. Since then he has gone on, naturally, to study oenology, viticulture, and work as vineyard manager for Marcel Guigal before establishing his own domain based in St Joseph.
Pierre Gaillard has slowly built up a portfolio of vineyards since 1981 when he bought his first plot: Clos de Cuminailles in Malleval. His prize vineyard plots cover the best parts of the Northern Rhône in Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Cornas, and Crozes-Hermitage as well as his treasured vineyards in St Joseph.
In 1987, he established his business in the upper part of the medieval town of Malleval and in 2002, he created the estate of Madeloc in Banyuls-sur-Mer. Finally, in 2007, he created the estate of Cottebrune in Faugères. Today, Pierre manages a total of 77 hectares.
Pierre’s wife and three children: Jeanne, Elise and Pierre Antoine help him to manage the estate and take part of the winemaking process. Jeanne in particular has studied oenology is a rising star and makes her own range of wines as well as assisting her father with his. Elise has also graduated and is in charge of the domaine in Roussillon at Madeloc. Pierre has also graduated in winemaking in 2010 and has been working in vineyards in New Zealand since. There is a buzz about the domain!
So good are Pierre Gaillard’s wines that Jancis Robinson MW has said that upon tasting his top St Joseph Les Pierres that she, “could almost have taken it for a Côte Rôtie”. This is praise indeed for an appellation that has long been overlooked.
Pierre has not look backwards and has worked alongside François Villard and Yves Cuilleron with the Vins de Vienne project and has also branched out to Faugeres and Banyuls/Collioure.
The Gaillard’s have gone from strength to strength and are this year’s hottest tip for value and quality. Every wine from the Vin de Pays (AOP) to their top Côte Rôtie and Condrieu are exemplary and will excite any lover of good wine.
The Pierre Gaillard range of wines is available in limited quantities only. The red wines are available in Ireland now and the whites are due to be bottled in June.