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2004 Domaine Thierry Allemand Cornas
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91-95 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - January/February 2006

Cuvee #1, from vines in Chaillot planted in 1988: Bright purple. Highly aromatic spice notes on top of vibrant blackberry and cassis aromas. Firm on entry, then explosive in the middle, with nervy berry and cherry fruit and firm but giving tannins. Cuvee #2, from 35-year-old Chaillot vines: Dark red. Remarkably exotic, floral bouquet of raspberry, wild strawberry, pepper and pungent violet and rose. Then silky and Burgundian in the mouth, like a wine Dujac would have made a decade ago-which is not so surprising in light of the fact that Allemand does no de-stemming of his fruit. The exotic spicebox and fruitcake qualities linger on the finish. Cuvee #3, from 40-year-old vines in the granitic Reynard: Wilder, pungent aromas of spices and meat. Solid in texture, with good weight and extract. Darker in character than the samples from Chaillot. Cuvee #4, from 40-year-old vines in Le Pigeonnier: Bright, pure aromas of raspberry and wild strawberry. Bright and crisp on the palate, with a stunningly silky, suave texture and lingering red berry flavors. This tastes like pure berry juice today. Cuvee #5, another barrel of old-vines Pigeonnier: Wilder, meatier nose, with darker fruit character and an earthy tone. This gained freshness and energy with aeration. It's also denser and more tannic. These were the best components of 2004 Cornas that I tasted in the north, and among the standouts of the entire Rhone Valley.

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About the Rhone Valley

Along with Bordeaux and Burgundy, Rhone Valley wines are some of the world's greatest red wines. But keep in mind that the Rhone Valley is really two distinct regions. The Northern Rhone produces powerful, aromatically complex ...
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While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape...
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