Johann Michel organically farms 4.17 hectares in the tiny Cornas AOC (288 hectares) in the Northern Rhone Valley of France. He is self taught beginning in the late 1990s, but was influenced by his grandfather and uncle, the Cornas legendary winemaker Robert Michel.
100% Syrah as required by the AOC. Manual harvest. 100% destemming, 3 weeks tank fermentation, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in 2-4-year old barrels. 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.
40% comes from the bottom of the slope (40-year-old vines on the “pied de coteau”), planted on sandy soils, bringing acidity and balance to the wine.
“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