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Alain Voge Cornas Vieilles Vignes 2011

Syrah/Shiraz from Cornas, Rhone, France
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13.5% ABV
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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 deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

WWH131681_2011 Item# 134869