2011AllemandSansSoufre2011 Thierry Allemand, Cornas “Sans Soufre” Northern Rhone, France.
The No Sulphur (added) Allemand Cornas is an interesting wine, it was great to taste such a rare and unique offering, there has been much said about low or no sulphur bottlings as of late and the whole “Natural Wine” debate, but after this beautiful Cornas, I doubt there will be any absolute resolution, nor will it have pushed the needle in either direction, though it certainly is a gorgeous and intriguing wine. The 2011 Allemand Sans Soufre, 100% Syrah, whole cluster with full stem inclusion, is a remarkable wine, it does, yes, taste different than the normal bottlings, it is more Gamay like, open knit, less austere, it hides the stemmy elements better, I would suggest it is both younger tasting and older tasting at the same time, fresh fruity upfront, and with more mature integration of all the pieces. To be honest, I don’t believe it is any better, or worse, though I would think with proper cellaring the no sulphur and regular wines would find a place where they were on par, though it would seem longer term aging would be a risk. As to the 2011 Sans Soufre, it starts with a mix of red and dark flowers with violets and spring floral tones, blackberry, light pepper notes, loamy earth, mineral and meat. Judged totally on it’s own, the Sans Soufre is lovely from start to finish, it is charming, poised and pleasing, you couldn’t ask for much more. The palate is vivid and mouth filling with boysenberry, dusty plum, blueberry and currant/cassis along with iron ore, red pepper, minty or basil like herbs, cedar and walnut oil, fig paste and black olive. The tannins are there, some acidity which shows up as juicy, but over all the feel is round, plush and stylish, much less edgy and nervy than the sulphur added wines, it is about what you expect or like on a personal level, in my opinion there seems little difference in quality or class, even though I really liked the non sulphur version very much, and would love to try it again 10 years on, I may opt for the normal bottling and save a few dollars. Allemand makes fantastic, character filled wines, all are worth every penny and while stupidly hard to get, they are treasures to search out. I would in all prudence suggest you drink the Sans Soufre from 2016 to 2021.
($169+ Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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