Alain Voge is one of the famous names in Cornas. The domaine rose to prominence when Alain joined his father’s smallholding in the late 1950s, moving it from polyculture to focusing exclusively on wine. He became the Cornas appellation’s greatest advocate, championing its reputation internationally as well as at home. Until his death in ’20, he was regarded as the godfather of this portion of the Rhône.
In his five decades at the domaine, Alain worked meticulously: replanting abandoned slopes, regenerating old-vine Syrah and using traditional winemaking techniques to produce increasingly noteworthy wines. Following Alain’s retirement ’04, Chapoutier alumnus Albéric Mazoyer took over as co-owner and winemaker, moving the domaine to biodynamic practices. Since ’18, Lionel Fraisse has been at the helm who continues to champion the sustainable winemaking of his predecessors.
Today, the domaine spans more than 12 hectares: eight in Cornas and four in St Péray. Farmed organically and biodynamically, the wines are vinified traditionally, with the grapes largely de-stemmed and oak influence kept to a minimum in the reds. Despite burgeoning interest and price appreciation in the Northern Rhône, these wines still offer outstanding value.
Lionel is very pleased with his ’20s, describing them as a “grand millésime”. The wines show intense, sweet fruit to complement the grippy core of tannins and graphite. While most famous for his Cornas, his wines from the oft-neglected Saint-Péray sit nicely alongside. The wines are made in a variety of styles: from oaked, to less-oaked, through to sparkling, though Alain himself was most proud of his oaked cuvées.
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