Cornas and I have not always seen eye to eye. Seven years ago I was so unmoved by a tasting of some of supposedly smart wines from this famous appellation that I wrote Cornas – an old but sorry tale in the Financial Times. But things have moved on and today there are perhaps a dozen really exciting producers in this favoured corner of the northern Rhône. I even chose no fewer than two Cornas's as wines of the week in late 2004 for example, Dom Joel et Eric Durand 2000 Cornas and Dom Vincent Paris, Granit 60 2000 Cornas.
But even if you were unmoved by the now fleshy, often even velvety charms of Syrah grown on the granitic slopes of the river's right bank, you would surely be upset by recently revived plans to build on 3.4 ha (9 acres) of some of the appellation's best vineyards including Les Chaillots, La Côte and the famous Mazards. The plan, first proposed in October 2005 when it met with strenuous opposition from the INAO and the departmental Chamber of Agriculture, is to replace the vines with a housing estate.
Needless to say, all of Cornas' vignerons are doing their best to stop this eradication of some of the appellation's noblest terroir and are being mobilised by the Syndicat's co-presidents Vincent Paris and Jacques Lemenicier. Should you feel similarly inspired, please send an email to email@example.com saying
Sauvez Les Mazards! Comme amateur de vin, je suis contre le project d'urbanisation à Cornas
And append your name, address, email address and, optionally, your profession.