An annual favorite running almost a decade for now, Alain Verset continues to be one of the most undervalued producers in this famous appellation. Few producers can match the price-quality of Verset, and with Alain's daughter Emmanuelle now leading the domaine, the wines are more spectacular than ever with stricter sorting. Alain Inherited a single plot of Cornas from his legendary uncle Noel Verset, with an average of 500 cases produced annually (though they have acquired a few more vines in recent years).
Emmanuelle fully took over in 2016 and has continued to make fantastic wines under the Verset name. The label has changed to accept the inclusion of Emmanuelle and is now Domaine Verset A&E. While These don't quite get to Alain's uncle's level, they are one of the few in the appellation that remains entirely classic with a traditional approach in the cellar for pennies compared so some of their peers.
2021, like most of France, was not an easy year for the Rhone, and while it wasn't as wet as places like Burgundy at the start, the frosts eventually came in and slashed yields. The fruit was also very slow to ripen but gained a nice sophistication from the extra hang time. The resulting wines were ripe but with a slightly cooler influence, contributing to the purity and freshness of the wines. 2021 is another knockout for Verset and, once again, one of the top buys for Cornas, and at this special pricing, it's a no-brainer.
Decanter (Matt Walls) 94 points! "Hot tarmac and bonfire ash aromas - decidedly smoky, with herbal undertones. Medium- to full-bodied, there's no lack of ripeness, it's concentrated too, if not massive in size, so quite a compact style of Cornas. The tannins are vibrant, intense, textural and classic for the appellation - so you'll need to wait for them to settle. Fresh, intense, well balanced and will last. (Drink between 2027-2035)"