Verset A&E Cornas 2020


Sixth generation vigneronne Emmanuelle Verset is one of only two women at the helm of a Cornas domaine. The village she calls home bears little resemblance to the Cornas of the first half of the 20th century. By the late seventies, the appellation had just fifty hectares of vines and even fewer vignerons. Phylloxera and two World Wars had taken their toll. Noël Verset, Emmanuelle’s great-uncle, was among the few that stayed. He joined his father in 1931 at age 12 and worked his family vineyards for more than seven decades. He upheld the Cornas tradition of producing a single wine by blending his now famed lieux-dits. This hefty arsenal of pure, balanced, terroir transparent wines not only helped save Cornas, it set the standard for the region and secured Cornas’s place in the pantheon of France’s most exalted terroirs and age worthy wines. Emmanuelle proudly continues the traditions of her father and her great-uncle, while making improvements to address today’s climate challenges. She has transitioned the holdings to organic viticulture, adjusted trellising to leave as much vegetation as possible during the growing season and began seeding cover crops in the lower plain vineyards. She also built a new cellar, introduced temperature control, and bought a pneumatic press. But she hasn’t changed everything, still opting to use whole bunches, eschew new oak, and to blend her five lieux-dits (Les Mazards, Champelrose, La Cote, Les Cotes, and a small part of Reynard) to produce a flagship Cornas.

The flagship Cornas from Emmanuelle Verset has a complex nose of blackberries and cherries, with toasty, smoky and floral aromas. The mouth is marked by the presence of tannins with a lovely freshness.