Weekend Vinopolpick – Domaine Alain Voge

June 7, 2014

Domaine Alain Voge

“Alain Voge’s wines more than any grower’s of this appellation, do indeed resemble fine Hermitage with their intense display of rich, smoky, black fruit… 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.” Robert Parker

In the Northern Rhone is the tiny apellation of Cornas.  Until recently, its wines were overlooked in favor of the more famous Hermitage wines.  This appellation covers only 270 acres of land.  Its winemakers offer high quality, robust wines at more affordable prices than those of its neighbor.  The vineyards are on similar soils and experience a similar climate to those of Hermitage.  The name Cornas means Burnt Land in the local dialect, and the climate fits its name.  The Syrah grapes are blasted by the sun yet kept from over-ripening by the cooling winds.  The wines are powerful and dark, with rich and supple tannins.

In 1958, Alain Voge began focusing his family’s farm on wine production.  He expanded family vineyards into formerly uncultivated land and today manages 17 acres in Cornas and 15 in Saint Peray.  He grows predominately Syrah with some Marsanne and Roussanne.  Depending upon the vintage, there are up to three Cornas cuvees produced, along with a 100% Syrah Cote du Rhone and two Saint Peray wines.  Alberic Mazoyer, formerly the vineyard and winemaking advisor to Chapoutier, has assisted Voge by directing the winemaking since 2004.  He is considered one of the most respected young wine producers in the northern Rhone.  Under his management, the wines have become more consistent and complex.

The Cornas vineyards are decomposed granite slopes, colloquially known as gore.  The vineyards are biodynamic and grapes are hand-harvested and completely destemmed.  The Cote du Rhone is 100% Syrah from granite parcels in the northern Rhone.  The wine is aged for 14 months in 2 to 3 year old casks.  Les Chailles comes from vines planted in the 1980s on granite and calcareous soil.  It is aged for 16 months in neutral oak casks.  The old vine (Vieilles Vignes) sees extended aging in oak.  The grapes are sourced from vines up to 90 years old.  The wine is serious and concentrated, and benefits from longer bottle aging.  The Domaine recommends pairing these wines with grilled meat or pork.

From his small vineyard holdings, Voge produces a total of about 2,000 cases a year.  These are extraordinary wines offering brilliant complexity, richness and value from the hidden gem that is Cornas.

Alan Voge wines arriving June 10th:

Domaine Alain Voge Cotes du Rhone Les Peyrouses 2012 ($24.95) $19 special, 3 cases available
Wine Advocate 90 points 
“Already in bottle and made from 100% Syrah, the 2012 Cotes du Rhone Les Peyrouses is a fresh, lively and supple effort that gives up ample plum, black raspberry and mineral notes to go with surprising depth and richness on the palate. Showing outstanding length, this smoking value should be purchased by the case and consumed over the coming 4-5 years.”

Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Les Chailles 2011 ($54.95) $43.50 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “There were only two cuvees produced, with no Les Vieilles Fontaines. The 2011 Cornas Les Chailles is totally thrilling and offers palate saturating liquid violets, sweet blackberry, cassis, mint and underbrush qualities to go with a medium to full-bodied, pure and seamless personality. Aged 18 months in neutral oak, this beauty is still youthfully primary, so give it another 2-3 years and enjoy it over the following decade.”

Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Vieilles Vignes 2011 ($89.95) $66 special, 3 cases available
Wine Advocate 95 points 
“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.”

Other Northern Rhone Wines Available Now:

Andre Perret Saint-Joseph 2010 ($39.95) $31.90 special, 1 bottle available

M. Chapoutier Cote Rotie La Mordoree 2010 ($179.95) $133 special, 36 bottles available
Wine Spectator 97 points

“Packed, with layers of charcoal and tar covering the well-endowed core of braised fig, blackberry pâte de fruit and pastis-soaked plum for now. Alder, olive and bay line the finish, with a terrific graphite spine lending support. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Meal Rouge 2010 ($319.95) $299 special, 4 bottles available
Robert Parker 99 points 
“From the warmest site of these three vineyards, the 2010 Ermitage Le Meal has sweet creme de cassis, blackberry, bacon fat and a meaty, bloody steak component to its richness. It has good acidity, but is clearly the most voluptuous and succulent of this quartet of monumental wines from one of the greatest appellations for wine in the world, Hermitage. This wine needs a good decade of cellaring and should continue to evolve for 40-50+ years.”

M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon 2010 ($399.95) $349 special, 18 bottles available
Robert Parker 100 points 
“Tasting like the concentrated blood from an aged and grilled strip steak, the 2010 Ermitage Le Pavillon boasts a black/purple color along with creme de cassis, camphor, pen ink, white flower and lead pencil shaving characteristics in its massive, full-bodied personality. It almost defies description because of its ethereal concentration and off-the-charts extract levels. This is not for the faint of heart, or those who lack patience, as it will require 10-15 years of bottle age, and, as previously stated, will keep for 50 or more. There are just over 1,000 cases of the 2010 Le Pavillon, another perfect wine in the constellation of profound wines produced by Michel Chapoutier.”

M. Chapoutier Ermitage l’Ermite Rouge 2005 ($499.95) $349 special, 2 bottles available
Robert Parker 99+ points 
“Lastly, from the very dome of the granite hill of Ermitage is the 2005 Ermitage l’Ermite. An extraordinarily powerful wine that probably needs 10-15 years in the bottle (last year I thought 20 was probably conservative), this is a 100-year wine and probably best appreciated by our descendants rather than anyone currently over the age of 30. Dense purple to the rim, with notes of crushed rock, charcoal, roasted meats, and enormous quantities of blue and black fruits, this wine is almost painfully rich and thick, with mouthsearing levels of tannin and zesty acidity. Monumental! Anticipated maturity: 2020-2080.”

M. Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne 2007 ($129.95) $99 special, 20 bottles available
Robert Parker 90-93 points “The 2007 Ermitage La Sizeranne displays a similar deep ruby/purple-tinged color in addition to sweet aromas of raspberries, black currants, smoke, gun flint, and spice. This full-bodied, well-made wine reveals outstanding richness, purity, and overall balance. Consume it over the next 15-20 years.”

Domaine du Colombier Hermitage Rouge 2009 ($89.95) $59 special, 18 bottles available
Robert Parker 94 points
 “There is not much of it, but the 2009 Hermitage is sensational. Abundant aromas of blackberry fruit, white chocolate, espresso roast and acacia flowers jump from the glass of this opulent, full-bodied, powerful Hermitage. With great intensity as well as silky tannins, this chewy, thick, well-endowed wine should evolve for 20-25+ years.”

Domaine Courbis Cornas Champelrose 2009 ($49.95) $39 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93-95 points 
“A prodigious Cornas possessing all the pepper, smoked game, blackberry, cassis, burning ember and scorched earth characteristics one could desire. This rich, full-bodied 2009 should be a singular Cornas to drink over the next 15+ years.”

Delas Freres Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron 2010 ($89.95) $69 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Spectator 94 points 
“Packed with lots of dark ganache, tapenade, tobacco, blackberry compote and freshly sliced plum fruit flavors, this really courses along with noticeable energy, while bramble, singed bay leaf and charcoal stud the finish dramatically. Best from 2015 through 2027.” WS
Robert Parker 91 points “The 2010 Cote Rotie Seigneur de Maugiron has fleshed out since last year offering notes of black olives, garrigue, licorice, forest floor, bacon fat, raspberries and black currants. This medium-bodied Cote Rotie veers more toward a Burgundy-styled wine than its Syrah-based peers in the Northern Rhone. Two extraordinary wines are the offerings Jacques Grange has fashioned from the Delas Freres holdings in the Cote Brune, the 2011 and 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne.”

Delas Freres Cote-Rotie La Landonne 2010 ($269.95) $219 special, 4 bottles available
Robert Parker 98+ points
 “Flirting with perfection, the 2010 Cote Rotie La Landonne offers up scents of black truffles, incense, smoked game, creosote, spring flowers and black fruits. Full-bodied with mouth-staining tannin as well as mouth-saturating extract and richness, this powerful, strikingly intense 2010 is young and unevolved, but it is filled with potential. Interestingly, Jacques Grange told me this cuvee was made from 100% destemmed fruit. Forget this wine for 4-5 years, and drink it over the following three decades.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards 2009 ($399.95) $299 special, 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 100 points
 “The most prodigious wine I have yet tasted from the Delas portfolio is the brilliant 2009 Hermitage Les Bessards. Its inky/purple color is followed by abundant notes of acacia flowers, blackberries, black currants, new saddle leather, roasted meats and graphite, amazing concentration, a skyscraper-like texture, supple but significant tannin and low acidity. The result is a perfect example of Syrah from this great vineyard site in Hermitage. It will offer immense pleasure for 40+ years.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards 2010 ($299.95) $249 special, 3 bottles available
Robert Parker 100 points 
“The uber-impressive 2010 Hermitage Les Bessards ranks alongside the perfect 2009. The strikingly intense powdered stone/granite minerality is apparent in this wine of great intensity, prodigious, almost skyscraper-like texture, massive body and high tannins. It is only for true connoisseurs who have a cold cellar as well as the patience to wait a minimum of a decade for it to round into drinking form. Filled with potential, it is one of the single greatest Hermitages I have ever tasted. There is no hint of its 100% new oak aging! ”

Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes 2009 ($149.95) $99 special, 26 bottles available
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes 2009 1.5L ($279.95) $219 special, 9 bottles available
Robert Parker 98 points
 “The magnificent 2009 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes boasts a black/purple color as well as a wonderful nose of creosote, incense, charcoal, blackberry jam, acacia flowers, white chocolate and a hint of espresso roast. Full-bodied and unctuously textured with low acidity and magnificent density, this 2009 can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 30-50 years.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes 2010 ($119.95) $99 special, 3+ cases available
Robert Parker 96 points 
“One of the finest Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes I have ever tasted is the 2010, which comes close to rivaling their prodigious 2009. A wine of great intensity, it possesses an inky/purple color, plenty of creme de cassis, licorice, lead pencil shavings, camphor, flint and barbecue smoke characteristics, and a thickness and viscosity that eclipse that of the 2009. Full-bodied and powerful with sweet tannins, a striking floral/mineral component in the mid-palate, and a huge, massive finish, this brilliant Hermitage should be consumed between 2018-2035.”

Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas 2010 ($349.95) $299 special, 3 bottles available
Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas 2010 1.5L ($699.95) $599 special, 1 magnum available
Robert Parker 100 points
 “Eclipsing even the 2009, the 2010 Cornas achieved one of the highest natural alcohol levels (14%) ever recorded at Clape. This complex, inky/purple-colored effort boasts abundant notes of charcoal, licorice, blackberries and blueberries intermixed with a hint of scorched earth (or is it charcoal embers?), a full-bodied mouthfeel, a seamless personality and a crushed rock-like minerality. The tannins are so sweet it will be drinkable in 2-3 years, and should keep for 25 or more. It is a tour de force in what Syrah can achieve in this hallowed appellation. Kudos to the Clape family, especially Pierre-Marie.”

Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie 2011 ($149.95) $119 special, 16 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “Looking at the 2011s from bottle, the straight Cote Rotie is a knockout effort that has soaring aromas of underbrush, herbed game, green coffee beans and white pepper to go with black cherry and blackberry-styled fruit. Medium to full-bodied, textured and layered, with fantastic precision and focus in the vintage, it should continue to shine through 2026.”

Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes 2011 ($37.95) $26 special, 11 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “Dark at the 2011s from bottle, the straight Cote Rotie is a knockout effort that has soaring aromas of underbrush, herbed game, green coffee beans and white pepper to go with black cherry and blackberry-styled fruit. Medium to full-bodied, textured and layered, with fantastic precision and focus in the vintage, it should continue to shine through 2026.”

Domaine Faury Cote Rotie 2009 ($79.95) $59 special, 24 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “(this includes 10% viognier, which Lionel Faury said was not typical for the northern part of the appellation, where the soils are mostly schist):  Vivid ruby.  Raspberry, cherry and violet on the sexy, perfumed nose.  Juicy and energetic, with very good depth and focus to its tangy red and dark berry flavors.  Becomes spicier with air and finishes with excellent clarity and lingering sweetness.  I find this wine quite approachable now but it has the depth and balance to age.”

Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage Le Meal 2004 ($99.95) $59 special, 10 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points 
“Lush and mouthfilling, with warm fig bread, molten chocolate, Port sauce, currant preserve and espresso notes that are rich and pure through the well-structured finish. Still has some tannins to absorb. Impressive for the vintage. Best from 2009 through 2020.”

E. Guigal Chateau d’Ampuis Cote Rotie 2009 ($219.95) $169 special, 2 bottles available
Robert Parker 95+ points
 “The spectacular 2009 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis boasts a dense purple color along with abundant aromas of incense, charcoal, lavender, black raspberries, lard/bacon fat, licorice and background toast. This rich, full-bodied, tannic, massive Cote Rotie begs for 2-4 years of bottle age, and should drink well for two decades thereafter. Marcel Guigal believes it is the finest Chateau d’Ampuis made to date (the debut was 1995).”

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 2008 1.5L ($449.95) $289 special, 5 magnums available
Wine Spectator 94 points 
“This is suave, with a smoldering tobacco note running from start to finish, while truffle, cocoa, braised fig and warm black currant confiture notes fill in the remaining space. Dense, but very silky along the edges, with remarkable harmony for the vintage.”

Domaine Jean-Michel Gerin Saint-Joseph 2009 ($34.95) $29 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “Taut and winey, almost Cabernet-like, with roasted cedar and vanilla notes ingrained in the dark currant, coffee and loam flavors. The roasted wood finish feels a touch shy on flesh now, but should soften enough with modest cellaring. Best from 2013 through 2018.”

Domaine Pascal Marthouret Saint-Joseph 2010 ($25.95) $21.90 special, 25 bottles available

Domaine Rene Rostaing Les Lezardes Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2011 ($39.95) $31.90 special, 7 bottles available

Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie Cuvee Classique Ampodium 2009 ($79.95) $69 special, 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points & Robert Parker 90 points “Dark ruby.  Ripe cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by notes of anise and allspice, with subtle smoke and black pepper nuances in the background.  Then brighter on the palate, offering vibrant cherry and bitter rhubarb flavors and a late note of candied licorice.  Shows very good energy and a touch of licorice on the intensely spicy, persistent finish.”

Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie Cuvee Classique Ampodium 2011 ($79.95) $69 special, 17 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Vivid ruby.  High-pitched red and dark berry aromas are complicated by licorice and candied violet.  Lithe and precise in the mouth, offering gently sweet black raspberry and floral pastille flavors that gain weight with air.  Smooth and floral on the insistent finish, which is framed by harmonious tannins.”

Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote Rotie – Cote Blonde 2011 ($199.95) $169 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “As in 2012, the 2011 Cote Rotie Cote Blonde has the most depth and class. More reserved than the La Landonne currently, it yields notions of raspberry, crushed flowers, licorice and spice to go with a full-bodied, backward and beautifully concentrated profile on the palate. Perfectly balanced, with integrated acidity and ample, fine tannin, it should be at its best from 2017-2032.”

Domaine Rene Rostaing Cote-Rotie La Landonne 2011 ($169.95) $139 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“More substantial, with a meaty, muscular feel, the 2011 Cote Rotie La Landonne exhibits lots of olive tapenade, underbrush, crushed rock and blackberry-styled fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, nicely concentrated (especially for a 2011) and yet voluptuously textured, with moderate, fine tannin, it will round into form relatively early, yet evolve gracefully for 15-20 years.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage 2010 ($29.95) $24 special, 11 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Vivid purple.  Dark berries, smoked meat and anise on the highly perfumed nose.  Spicy, suave, vibrant syrah, with sweet black raspberry, spice and pepper flavors that show impressive energy. Finishes pure and fresh, with a fine dusting of tannins and strong peppery persistence.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage 2011 ($29.95) $24 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “Coming all from hillside plots, the 2011 Crozes Hermitage is another outstanding effort from Barruol. More mineral-driven, with ample crushed rock, blackberry, creme de cassis, game and spice, it is up-front and fruit-loaded on the palate. Despite the up-front nature here, it has solid mid-palate concentration and fine tannin, as well as superb overall balance, all suggesting it should evolve gracefully too. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30 2008 ($44.95) $36 special, 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer
 “Ruby-red. Expressive aromas of dark berries, lavender, violet, tobacco and cracked pepper. Offers spicy blackberry and floral flavors, with brisk acidity adding energy and lift. Becomes more tangy with air and finishes with tight, minerally berry skin flavors and modest persistence.”

Cave Yves Cuilleron Cote Rotie Madiniere 2009 ($109.95) $89 special, 4 bottles available

Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:We offer flat rate shipping on any size single / single shipment order
-to Oregon for $17,
-Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California for $25For our friends east of the Rockies,
we are offering 3 day select shipping for the same price as ground.

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