One of the world’s true winemaking icons is Noel Verset of Cornas. His Cornas was a profound, eccentric red wine which truly was like NO other.
On this night we tried a 1993 magnum of the Verset Cornas. It was a superb treat & a reminder of why he is so highly revered.
The wine displayed a roasted-ness with smells of smoke, andouille sausage, roasted green peppercorns, bay leaf, dry aged game with a tang one gets from fresh raspberries early in the season. After 19 years in the bottle, this wine also was very harmonious with superb texture & balance. The other thing which I have learned to re-appreciate is the youthful vigor still present in the core of this wine & how it still impacts the palate. There is not doubt…..I will definitely remember this wine for the rest of my life.
Sadly, Verset is today retired. having no heirs willing to take over his domaine he sold his old vine Les Sabarottes parcel to August Clape & Vincent Paris.
Having visited Verset a couple of times, I had always assumed that the wildness & rusticity which his wines innately displayed was due in part to his old school winemaking & his rather humble, rustic winemaking “garage” with its earthen floor.
In 2009, however, during a visit to Clape & tasting through their various cuvees, we clearly recognized the Sabarottes one, as it has the same kind of character displayed in the Verset wine. Then trekking up to the Cornas hillside & walking around with Olivier Clape, one could better understand the different parcels that Clape, Paris & Allemand use, which created a much better understanding of why their wines are so different.
Having said that however, there is really is only one Noel Verset.