Legendary Cornas from Renowned Growers

Retail Team | May 22, 2024

This tiny but mighty Northern Rhône appellation was once well-hidden within the shadows of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. Inspired by the efforts of early pioneers like Auguste Clape and Noël Verset, a generational cohort of Cornas winemakers are crafting Syrah with gamey and gutsy characteristics.

Sotheby’s Wine has assembled several exemplars of the modern Cornas style that speak volumes about the chiseled beauty that buyers can find throughout this region’s steep, rocky hills.

Though Auguste passed away in 2018, succeeded by his son Pierre-Marie and his grandson Olivier, the legend of Domaine Clape continues to grow. As the estate’s peerless assembly of vineyards has aged, the wines have put on even greater complexity and weight. With bold structures cut from granitic slopes and preserved by traditional vinification, these are wines charged with meaty power and mysterious depths.

Vincent Paris is another estate with deep roots in Cornas’s history—Vincent’s uncle, Robert Michel, is one of the appellation’s most renowned growers. The production from Vincent’s eight hectares of old-vine plots, surrounded by wild forests, is small but coveted for its density, freshness, and classic Cornas profile.

Thiérry Allemand is a Cornas legend in the making, tutored by local masters Noël Verset and Joseph Michel. A traditionalist who is nonetheless unafraid to break with orthodoxy, his releases are studies in purity and have acquired a level of cult fandom few other producers can boast.