Confounding Preconceived Notions, Part II: 2008 Allemand Cornas Reynard

Posted by Ian McFadden

Confounding Preconceived
Notions - Part II
2008 Allemand Cornas Reynard

Flash back three months ago when I was poured a 2008 Northern Rhone wine, honestly I wasn't very excited. To put it lightly, 2008 was a challenging vintage.

The wine - Allemand's Cornas Chaillots - was stunning.

It prompted me to buy all the 2008 Allemand I could find.

Allemand only has 4.5ha and has a huge following, so there wasn't a ton, especially because 2008 is a short year.

On my search, I set my sights on not only on Chaillots, but also on Allemand's top wine, Reynards. Finally, I've been able to secure enough Reynard for an offering. The scope of this offering has to be very small - quantities are just that tiny. If you're receiving this it means that you've supported our Rhone program.

In reality, it doesn't exactly make sense to offer these out, but I feel a need to share. It is stunning wine. Compared to Chaillots, Reynard always shows an extra dimension of complexity and structure.

For me, there is simply no better Cornas being made than those that Allemand crafts and Reynard is the pinnacle. The appellation has no shortage of very good to great producers (Auguste Clape being the most obvious), but if there is an heir to the throne of Noël Verset, it is Thierry Allemand.

And the 2008 vintage dramatizes why Allemand enjoys this status. When you speak to people who've spent time with Allemand, everyone tells you how obsessive he is about vineyard work, about cleanliness in the cellar.

It's this obsessiveness that allowed Allemand to produce such stunning 2008s. 2008 was a demanding vintage to say the least. Only the most dedicated producers, the most focused on quality before all else, could hit a home run, which is exactly what Allemand did.

What's striking about Allemand's 2008s is that, unlike many from the vintage, they don't come off as being anemic at all. They have good concentration and an elegance and brilliance to them that's just thrilling.

To be fair, I'm not the only person who's been taken by Allemand's 2008s. Josh Raynolds of Stephen Tanzer, ranks 2008 Reynard ahead of the recent strong vintages of 2006 and 2007.

Allemand's 2008 Reynard is a potent reminder that when you're dealing with top producers, wines can't be reduced to one-liner vintage reports.

It's a wine that speaks for itself and needs to be listened to. I wish there were more to go around, but sadly there's not. Please give us your ideal order and we'll do our best.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits