No Chaillots, No Reynard, JUST CORNAS: 2002 Allemand REVISITED

Posted by Joe Salamone

No Chaillots, No Reynard...
2002 Allemand Cornas

In March we sent an offer on Allemand's 2002 Cornas, a wine that we love from an unheralded vintage.

Within hours, it was oversold and we were trying to figure out allocations.

Today, we're happy to re-offer Allemand's 2002 at the same price as our March offer, $73.95. Just like in March, our parcel isn't all that sizeable and it will likely sell out. There are no other bottles available in the U.S.

For us, Allemand's are some of the purest expressions of Syrah on planet Earth. He is one of the most skilled wine makers working today.

It's in vintages like 2002 and 2008 that Allemand's craft enters center stage. The wines seem to confound vintage generalizations.

It's true that Cornas didn't see the full havoc that the cool and rainy 2002 vintage brought to the Southern Rhône. However, Allemand's 2002 Cornas is on another level from his peers. What really stands out is the wine's brilliance and transparency. There's an emphatic granite minerality with finely etched red fruits and very expressive flowers and spice.

In 2002, Allemand declassified all his juice from Chaillots and Reynard and did just one bottling, this bottling. That certainly helps to explain why this bottle is so impressive.

Please see below for March's offer. Before wrapping up, I should say that Northern Rhône pricing has been on a steep climb. It's unlikely that you'll see pricing on ten year old Allemand like this again.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits


March 2013 Offer

By now, our obsession with the wines of Thierry Allemand is well documented - we've penned no fewer than eight offers in the past year alone.

There is a reason for this: We believe these are some of the purest expressions of Syrah on planet Earth and we want it all.

However, this was one of the most curious Allemand parcels we'd ever found: a small cache of the overlooked, misunderstood 2002.

While it's true that Cornas was spared the full extent of the havoc that the cool and rainy 2002 vintage brought to the Rhône, it is just as obviously not a trophy vintage. That said, 2008 has a comparably lack-luster reputation and Allemand's rendition is nothing less than STUNNING (click here for more).

It's funny that while people speak more and more about purity and transparency and finesse and lift in wines, we all seem surprised when more moderately-sized vintages produce wines we really, really like.

This was the context with which we approached the parcel and while this would have probably been enough (there's so little wine and it's priced so well), two other factors pushed us over the edge.

First, it so happened that a customer/friend mentioned that on a recent trip to the Northern Rhône, not only did he visit with Allemand but he tasted the 2002 and he thought it was gorgeous.

Second, in 2002 Allemand declassified his entire crop. He produced no Chaillots, no Reynard - everything from these two hallowed sites went into one bottling... this bottling.

So today we present, only for those of you who have supported our traditional Rhône program, a very small parcel of 2002 Allemand Cornas at $73.95. This wine is a ghost - there is only one other store in the world with any of this wine and it is $25 more expensive.

Anyone who has been watching this market for the last few years has noted a seismic shift in how the northern Rhône is generally perceived. Essentially ignored for the last few decades, the traditionalists of Cornas and Côte-Rotie have all of a sudden become very, very coveted.

Gentaz is the most obvious example - wines that could be had for under $100 just a few years ago now command four-digit prices. It is not hard to imagine who is next.

The days when one could find 10+ year-old Cornas from Allemand for under $100 are very close to over. But for today at least, we're still in the golden era.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits