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Alain Voge Cornas Vieilles Vignes 2011

Syrah/Shiraz from Cornas, Rhone, France
  • RP95
  • WS95
13.5% ABV
  • JS94
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  • RP93
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  • RP92
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  • RP93
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  • RP92
  • WS93
  • W&S93
  • RP90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Cornas "Les Vieilles Vignes" comes from syrah vineyards, more than 30 years old, on decomposed granite slopes, also called "gore".

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Slightly richer and more full-bodied, the 2011 Cornas Vieilles Vignes is certainly a standout in the vintage. Offering a sweet bouquet of black raspberry, cassis, forest floor, cracked pepper and assorted background meatiness, it flows onto the palate with awesome purity of fruit, vibrant acidity and ultra-fine tannin that gives plenty of cut and length on the finish. Spending 20 months in roughly 15% new French oak, this classic Cornas should be given a handful of years in the cellar and it will have two decades or more of ultimate longevity.

One of the leading estates in Cornas, Alain Voge, with more and more assistance from Alberic Mazoyer (formerly at Chapoutier), produces some of the most impressive, concentrated and rich wines of the appellation. Owning 17 acres in Cornas, spread across 12 different plots, and 15 acres in Saint Peray, this estate produces two whites from Saint Peray and up to three Cornas in any given vintage. In Cornas, the first cuvee is the Les Chailles, which comes from vines planted in the mid-1980s. Aged 18 months in neutral oak, it is the most forward and approachable of the releases. The old vine Vieilles Vignes cuvee sees more time in oak (some of which can be new) and comes from vines averaging 30 to90 years in age. Lastly, the tiny production and top wine, the Les Vieilles Fontaines, is a vineyard selection (normally from the Les Cotes and Chaillot lieux-dits) that sees up to 24 months in 15% new oak. Both the Vieilles Vignes and Les Vieilles Fontaines are serious, concentrated wines that will benefit from short-term cellaring. As a whole, vinification here is semi-modern, with plenty of destemming, and while the wines shows gorgeous polish and purity, they never lose their Cornas soul. These wines need to be on every reader’s short list.

WS 95
Wine Spectator
Vibrant, with chiseled cut to the range of briar, anise, blackberry compote, bay leaf, iron and sanguine notes, all wrapped with singed alder and juniper accents on the finish. Pure and driven. Best from 2016 through 2030.
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Alain Voge

Alain Voge

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Alain Voge, Cornas, Rhone, France
Since its inception, several generations ago, Domaine Alain Voge has always been a family domain located in Cornas. In 1958, Alain Voge joined his father to work on the small typical farm. He decided to specialise in wine.

At the time, it was an audacious decision: despite their history, the Cornas and Saint Peray appellations were forgotten sleeping beauties. Very quickly, he extended the vineyards in places which had remained uncultivated over the last 30 years and developed the sales of his bottled wines. Supported by his wife Eliane, he visited the best national and regional restaurants to make his wines known.

Thanks to their quality and to Alain Voge’s creative approach, the domain’s reputation has rapidly increased. Yesterday, as today and tomorrow, our philosophy is to practice a hand made viticulture on the slopes of the Rhône right bank, dedicated to Syrah and Marsanne. Our wines are the expression of their terroir, for the pleasure of lovers, all over the world.

Distinguished as a fine Syrah producing zone since the 18th century, Cornas, like Cote Rotie, is made up of vineyards covering steep and hard-to-work, granite terraces. As a result the region’s wines fell out of favor during the mid 20th century when the global market was more focused on bulk wines and vineyards that yielded high quantities. It wasn’t until the 1980s when a group of energetic young winemakers reestablished the integrity of these precipitous terraces and also began making an ultra-modern style of Syrah. The new style didn’t need a decade before it was drinkable and could reach the consumer faster than the region’s traditional wines. Given the new quality coming out of the zone, its popularity once again soared and today a good Cornas can easily challenge many of those from Hermitage. Characteristics of Syrah from Cornas include teeth-staining flavors of blackberry jam, plum, pepper, violets, smoked game, charcoal, chalk dust and smoke.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

WWH131681_2011 Item# 134869