Guillaume Gilles in Cornas continues to raise the bar each vintage. A visit with him in July 2018 was a great opportunity to learn more about the young vigneron who highlights Northern Rhone's new generation. Gilles trained under Jean-Louis Chave and the now retired Cornas legend, Robert Michel.

Gilles leases 2.5 hectares of the famed Chaillot Vineyard from Michel. His traditional approach means zero de-stemming, aging in large neutral barrels, and no fining or filtering. If Michel's wines were known for their uncommon transparency and light-handed touch, Gilles is darker, ferocious, and packed with concentration. Still, they have that undeniable sense of pure granite and 100% whole cluster.

Since Thierry Allemand's Cornas wines easily fetch for $250+ per bottle, I've set my eyes on today's more under-the-radar producers. There's simply no producer more deserving of attention than Guillaume Gilles. That quintessential combination of roasted meats, violets, blackberries, smoke, black pepper, and scorched earth that Cornas derives its name from is always front and center.

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