We are delighted to present the exciting dual release of the 2019 and 2020 vintages from Domaine Alain Voge. Having held back from offering the excellent 2019s during the COVID pandemic, we felt that now was a good opportunity to offer both of these exciting, but very different vintages. The 2019’s are serious, powerful wines with beautiful concentration and with great capacity to age, the 2020’s are more about elegance and finesse and will drink earlier. For those not familiar with these wines, an overview of the estate, its wines and the vintages are included below. For those of you who are familiar with Voge, these are two great vintages from one of the very best Domaine’s in Cornas and the wines still seem undervalued in comparison to some other names in the village. Finally, I must point out the Cotes du Rhone Syrah ‘Les Peyrouses’, which is consistently one of the best value wines in our portfolio and never disappoints.
Before passing away in 2020 at the age of 81, Alain Voge played a leading role in putting the wines of Cornas and Saint-Péray on the map. Having taken over the Domaine at an early age during the 1960s, when much of the vineyards were neglected or used for fruit production, he strove to elevate the family estate to one of the strongest in the Northern Rhône. With 70 plots split over 7 hectares (plus 6 hectares in St Péray), this small Domaine places a focus on producing authentic, aromatic wines. Alongside compatriots Pierre-Auguste Clape, Noël Verset and later Thierry Allemand, Voge did much for the profile and quality of Cornas’s reds during his life. While his three peers have taken on more of a “cult status” when it comes to popularity and pricing, Voge remains remarkably well positioned in the fine wine market given its quality, history, and reputation. This is a must have producer in your cellar.
Cornas, one of the smallest appellations in the region, is arguably the Rhône’s most overlooked source of Syrah. The steep-sloping vineyards share the same granitic soil and hours of sun as Hermitage and Côte Rôtie to the north. Situated on the western bank of the Rhône river, the area under vine here is barely a twentieth of neighbouring Saint-Joseph. This lower output results in a greater level of consistency and quality, with a handful of growers making age worthy and powerful wines rich with black fruit, wild herbs, pepper and smoky aromas. With bottle age, these wines take on an appealing meaty, leathery, sous bois character.
Voge's three Cornas wines are all blends and categorised by the age of their vines, ‘Les Chailles’, ‘Les Vielles Vignes’ and, in very special vintages, ‘Les Vieilles Fontaines’. Just a mile away, on a cooler alluvial limestone and clay plateau, Voge produces lively barrel-aged Saint Péray from 100% Marsanne. Both whites and reds should not be overlooked.
The estate achieved full organic and biodynamic certification in 2016.
The Vintages: 2019 & 2020
The Rhône is on a run of marvellous vintages from 2015-2020. In 2019 the whites are rich and luxurious with ripe fruit while the best producers maintained fine freshness. The reds are deep and opulent with fantastic depth and an incredible intensity of flavour all of which are balanced by grippy tannins and rasping acidity. Josh Raynolds of Vinous.com believed the vintage to be one of “extremely high quality” and considers it “the most impressive of this recent run of great years”.
Of the 2020 vintage, Joe Czerwinski (Robertparker.com) sees it as “very successful”, where the wines can be enjoyed in their youth as they are “more fluid and charming”. Rhône specialist, Jeb Dunnuck, felt that the 2020 wines show “more elegance and finesse compared to the 2019s” despite it being another heatwave vintage. The wines are polished and opulent, so offer a great comparison to the 2019s.
The 2019s are immediately available for delivery or transfer to your reserves, while the 2020s will arrive later this year.
Please let us know if you would like a case or two for your cellar.