Thierry Allemand is a leading producer in the Cornas appellation of the northern Rhône, making wines from the Syrah grape. These wines, known for their varietal expression and velvety texture, have a devoted following, and with only 500 cases made of the top Les Chaillots and Reynard cuvées, demand always outstrips supply.
Allemand began to form his estate in the 1980s by buying small abandoned plots in great areas. Throughout the 1980s, Allemand worked at Domaine Robert Michel during the day and spent evenings helping Noël Verset. Verset did not have an heir, and when he retired, he sold Allemand some of his vines which did not need renovation. After working as an electrician for a while, Allemand finally had the capital to begin working on his own vineyards. Nowadays, the Allemand estate is still under 5 hectares (12 acres) in size.
The Allemand portfolio consists of just three wines. The standard Cornas is one of the most expensive wines from the appellation. The Les Chaillots wine is made from the younger vines on the estate, while the Reynaud comes from the older vines. All three are highly regarded.
The winemaking at Allemand is broadly traditional – the fruit is not de-stemmed and there is little in the way of new oak. The vineyard parcels are fermented separately in stainless steel and open-topped wooden vats, with punch-downs carried out by foot. Allemand uses minimal sulphur, and the wines are not racked during their 18-24 month period of aging on their lees. Allemand's finished wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Thierry Allemand pictures