Alain Voge Cornas Vieilles Vignes 2018
Situated on slopes at an altitude of approximately 200 metres, facing South-South-East, the vines of our classic wine are on average 60 years old. Their roots delve deep down into old, worn granite rock, called gores locally.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
While not submitted to my tasting (and it wasn't presented from barrel last year), it would be hard to imagine there won't be a Les Vieilles Fontaines cuvée. Don't miss a chance to buy a bottle if you find one. Moving to the 2018 Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes, this beauty is cut from the same cloth as the Les Chailles yet is deeper and richer, with another level of concentration. Black and blue fruits, ground pepper, violets, smoked game, and loads of spring flower notes define the bouquet, and it has a vibrant, almost old school vibe that carries plenty of power yet still stays light and elegant on the palate. This beautiful, singular wine is open and enjoyable today, yet I wouldn't be surprised to see it close down with a year or two of bottle age. It should see its 20th birthday in fine form.
The 2018 Cornas Vieilles Vignes blends fruit from some of the top lieux-dits of the appellation: Combe, Patou, La Côte, Les Mazards and Chaillot. Aged 20 months in approximately 15% new oak, it's a dark, inky-hued wine, but one that retains bright, fresh fruit notes of red raspberries and plums alongside hints of cedar and menthol. It's full-bodied and concentrated on the palate, with a firm, granitic structure and sense of restraint, fine-grained, almost silky tannins and tremendous length.
Dark and winey, with lots of steeped black cherry, plum and blackberry fruit forming the core while light sweet tapenade, rosemary and mineral notes streak through on the finish. Vivid, energetic Cornas. Best from 2022 through 2036.
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.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”