Well, this was a fascinating evening. I have to admit to being disappointed overall with Vincent Paris' wines - and others might be harsher than that. We drank several wines that should have been really singing from good vintages but they all seemed to miss a beat and to lack the core of true Cornas. Since Vincent Paris has access to fruit from top vineyards this can only be a problem with the quality of the winemaking. I've drunk enough Cornas over the years to know that something is wrong at this address. The wines are too brittle, too acidic, and too naturalish to be satisfying - much like Thierry Allemand to be honest. They are not outright failures in most cases, but they are just not up to the quality level that the prices and the competition demand. Mark Haisma's 2011 was also a bit of a sorry mess. On the other hand, the old-school wines of Robert Michel were the real deal with the 2000 hitting ***** for me - and that was from a merely good vintage. I'm pulling no punches here, but the emperor was left in skimpy underwear if not totally naked. Cornas Granit 30 Vincent Paris 2007*** Ripe nose with a touch of tart cranberry fruit, a hint of dusty soil and after time a slightly irritatingly resinous note comes through. High-toned on the palate with drying tannins. Not the vin de plaisir that most N. Rhone 2007s present. A naturalish wine that seems to exhibit stage fright in the glass. Cornas Granit 60 Vincent Paris 2007*** A darker colour than the Granit 30, a touch of volatility here with some freshness, decent balance and a little grip at the finish. Solid, but not in any way outperforming the vintage. Shows better with the food. Cornas La Geynale Vincent Paris 2007***1/2 The first vintage of la Geynale from the vines taken over from Robert Michel. A darker colour in the glass then either the Granit 30 or 60. Long on the palate with real Cornas grip and good acidity. Drinking well now. Edgier than the Michel wines from the same vineyard. Edited to add that the first bottle opened was very corked, but that was the only out of condition wine on the night. Cornas Granit 60 Vincent Paris 2005*** Quite an explosive, sexy nose, one where fruit trumps volatility and edginess. Good length here with 2005's grippy tannins. High acidity for a 2005 though and there's a naturalish sourness to the fruit. Overall OK. Cornas la Geynale Robert Michel 2005***(*) A strange nose with an almost butterscotch-like element to it, vastly better on the palate, this is a large-scale, ambitious wine with a gummy texture, good length and complex fruit that is not yet at its peak. I’d back this to show even better in five to ten years, but the nose needs to improve to hit ****. Cornas Les Vieilles Fontaines Domaine Alain Voge 2006*** Jean-Luc Colombo eat your heart out – this is an oaky, modern rendition or Cornas with the wood element too dominant on the nose and palate. Perhaps the oak will integrate with more time since the fruit underneath is elegant, savoury, long, and well-balanced. All they need to do is dispose of the new barrels and this would be a top wine. Cornas Granit 60 Vincent Paris 2004*** A muddled nose which shows some brett, savoury fruit, and an unwelcome piney, resinous note. Edgy on the palate, but better with food. Misses a beat for a 2004. Cornas La Geynale Robert Michel 2000***** At last – vrai Cornas in the glass. This has a sexy nose that draws you in combining complex red fruit with a low-level herbal element. Long on the palate with a superb texture that could only come from old vine fruit. Outstanding. Cornas La Geynale Robert Michel 2003*** What a difference a vintage can make. While the 2000 is full of savoury mystery the 2003 shows baked, very ripe fruit on the nose and ripe, gummy, slightly monolithic, roti fruit on the palate. This does not have the breadth and depth of the 2000. Not a bad wine at all, but it shows the limitations of the 2003 vintage in Cornas. Cornas Granit 60 Vincent Paris 2009**1/2 This has quite an attractive nose of cherry and damson, which leads on to a wine that has a sense of purity but also lean-ness on the palate. Naturalish in character once again. Some tannins still at the finish but the overall effect is of dullness. Poor for the vintage. Cornas La Geynale Vincent Paris 2009**1/2 This has a smoky, sexy nose and plenty of deep fruit which sadly leans towards heaviness and a brewed, monolithic character. Another miss for the vintage. Cornas Les Combes Mark Haisma 2011** Oh dear. This has an herbal nose displaying edgy, under-ripe fruit with a bell-pepper element that suggests Loire cabernet franc rather than syrah. Light and inconsequential on the palate. A big miss. I’ve generally been sceptical about Haisma Cornas, but this is the worst vintage I’ve drunk. Other vintages have shown decent N. Rhone syrah character in a lightweight format, but not the true character of Cornas. Cornas Courbis 1985*** Mature, soft, gentle and savoury with decent balance. Softening into old age.