1999 Stephane Robert Cornas “Cuvee Prestige” (2/02)

Better luck with our finale, the ’99 Stephane Robert Cornas “Cuvee Prestige”. Some background: Robert took over Marcel Juge’s old vineyards when Juge retired. Though he has followed Juge’s work in the vineyard, the vinification and elevage are quite different- a rather hot fermentation in stainless steel tanks, elevage in small barrels, with a low percentage of new wood. The winery is quite a bit cleaner and more modern than Juge. All this shows in the wine, which has more muscularity, but retains Cornas typicity and a signal elegance. The ’99 Prestige sports a massive blueberry nose, with a startling minerality. A real mouthful without even a hint of being overblown. Stunningly good, easily the finest young Cornas I’ve ever had. Not only did it stand up to the tomatoes in the gnocchi dish, the tomatoes actually helped integrate the young, raw flavors. Moe Double Curly.

SY (2/02)