Allemand Triumphs in an Old-School Vintage

For those who yearn for “throwback ... dark, traditional, robust Cornas”—in the words of John Livingstone-Learmonth—2013 could be your year. But to get the real deal, he suggests the specific doors to knock on: Clape and Allemand.

Having been mentored three decades ago by the likes of Verset and Michel, Thiérry Allemand agrees with JLL’s assessment of 2013, calling it “a true Cornas vintage.” And you’ll get no argument from his old-school rival, Pierre-Marie Clape, who said “I rate 2013 as a classic Cornas vintage,” comparing it to the best 1998s, with its concentrated power and structure.

That Allemand would make great wine in 2013 was pre-ordained, as he’s been on a hot streak since 2009. With each passing vintage, his wines reach a new level of purity and complexity. And so in 2013, with his Cuvées Reynard and Chaillot, he made not one, but two, candidates for Wine of the Vintage in Cornas.

Such a performance is to be expected for Allemand’s Reynard, which many believe is the single greatest Cornas of our time. But, in recent vintages, Reynard has had to share center stage with Chaillot.

Taking advantage of a late harvest and a painfully small crop—yields were reduced by 50%—Allemand’s 2013 Chaillot ultimately rivals the great 2012. Taken together, these two vintages offer further evidence that his Chaillot is every bit the equal of its more famous stablemate ... and why some other winemakers actually prefer it to the more coveted Reynard.

You pick ’em
We’re pleased to offer these two great cuvées in a mixed 6-pack, containing three bottles each of 2013 Reynard and Chaillot.

Or we can also offer the two wines in a fabulous 6-pack of the 2013s, 2012s and 2011s—one bottle each of Reynard and Chaillot in each vintage. 

With Thiérry’s star today higher than ever—and rumors rampant that he may be on the verge of retirement—there is strong demand for the small amount of wine he made in 2013. And this has in turn put pressure on whatever older Allemand remains in the market.

The wines:

2013 Allemand Cornas Reynard
Josh Raynolds: “95 rating ... explosively perfumed, sharply focused nose. Stains the palate with intense, deeply concentrated blackberry, boysenberry and floral pastille flavors, gaining weight and spiciness with aeration. Rich but energetic and graceful as well, finishing with superb clarity, power and mineral-driven persistence. This wine is destined for a very long, slow and positive evolution.”

John Livingstone-Learmonth: “5 stars ... dark robe ... a beckoning aroma of blackberry fruit, rose and peony, has a stylish depth. The palate picks up on the floral theme, casts an elegant run of dark fruit, with sweet-noted moments ... Handsome wine: it has a proper frame, and well-toned content. The juice is dense; that density comes from within.”

2013 Allemand Cornas Chaillot
Jeb Dunnuck: “94 rating ... Assertive, mineral- and spice-accented aromas of black and blue fruit, candied flowers and licorice, accented by slowly building smoky notes. Sappy, focused and pure, offering intense blackberry and boysenberry flavors that put on weight and become spicier with aeration. Shows outstanding vivacity and power on the penetrating finish, which features building tannins and an emphatic mineral quality.”

John Livingstone-Learmonth: “4 stars ... the nose gives a brisk wave of black cherry fruit, some sweep spice—it is well filled. This is tasty on the palate: the attack is supple, and there is a coated feel to the black fruit. There is a note of licorice. The finale is smoky. This is well sustained. Has a grilled aroma, an air of red meat ... The finale is crunchy—it stokes up strength on the finish.”

2012 Allemand Cornas Reynard
Jeb Dunnuck: “98 rating. Coming from the oldest vines of the estate and one of the best vineyards in the world for Syrah, the 2012 Cornas Reynard is a massive, thick and unctuous effort that's bursting at the seams with notions of crème de cassis, crushed violets, smoked game and incredible minerality. Just a sensational Cornas ....”

Josh Raynolds: “96 rating ... Broad, fleshy and concentrated, offering palate-staining, deeply concentrated cherry, boysenberry and floral pastille flavors accented by Indian spices and minerals. Rich and fleshy ... one of the great wines of this vintage and a must-buy for fans of Allemand, Cornas, Syrah, or just wine in general.”

2012 Allemand Cornas Chaillot
Josh Raynolds: “95 rating ... Deeply pitched black and blue fruit aromas ... Broad, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering palate-coating boysenberry and violet pastille flavors and suggestions of spicecake and cola. Clings with superb tenacity and focus on the floral finish, which is framed by silky, even tannins.”

Jeb Dunnuck: “95 rating ... an incredible Cornas that checks in near the top of the hierarchy. Possessing an almost Clape-like iron, beef blood, tapenade and ground pepper laced bouquet, as well as a core of sweet cassis and black raspberry fruit, this rocking effort has full-bodied richness, solid mid-palate concentration and perfectly integrated acidity ....”

2011 Allemand Cornas Reynard
John Livingstone-Learmonth: “5 stars ... a big floral presence with a gleaming blackberry fruit alongside it ... racy fruit, has a full couch of tannins with crunchy definition and smoked, bacon-style moments. There is good gras here, and a deep note of beef stock. Fresh and abundant wine.”

Josh Raynolds: “93-94 rating. Spicy, highly perfumed aromas of cassis, blueberry, candied violet and smoky minerals. Densely packed, fresh and delineated, offering energetic flavors of black and blue fruits and floral pastilles. Shows a restrained sweetness on the finish, which features slow-building tannins and a strong echo of minerality.”

2011 Allemand Cornas Chaillot
John Livingstone-Learmonth: “4(5) stars ... several layers of depth, gives licorice, raspberry, black cherry, violet ... has a fine mineral content, primrose and pot-pourri dried flowers influences, with running tannins ... long wine ... shaping up around elegance for the palate and interest for the mind, subtle corners possible, and gracious fruit along the palate.”

Josh Raynolds: “93 rating. Sexy, mineral-laced black and blue fruit aromas are complemented by notes of licorice, violet and black tea. Juicy and precise, offering intense boysenberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of spicecake that gains strength with aeration. The floral note comes back strong on the strikingly persistent finish, which is firmed by dusty, fine-grained tannins ....”

Wines available from this offer:

Description Notes Avail/
2011 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot JLL****(*) 1 $359.00 add
2011 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard JLL*****
10 $365.00 add
2013 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard JR95
3 $395.00 add

Other available vintages:

Description Notes Avail/
1998 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot ST92 1 $545.00 add
2014 Thierry Allemand Cornas Chaillot 1.5 L JR93-95
2 $675.00 add
2001 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard JLL**** 1 $625.00 add
2010 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard JLL****** 1 $545.00 add
2016 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard JR96-98 2 $435.00 add
2016 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard 1.5 L JR96-98 1 $899.00 add

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