Jeb Dunnuck 98, 2020-2038,
While not submitted to my tasting (and it wasn't presented from barrel last year), it would be hard to imagine there won't be a Les Vieilles Fontaines cuvée. Don't miss a chance to buy a bottle if you find one. Moving to the 2018 Cornas Les Vieilles Vignes, this beauty is cut from the same cloth as the Les Chailles yet is deeper and richer, with another level of concentration. Black and blue fruits, ground pepper, violets, smoked game, and loads of spring flower notes define the bouquet, and it has a vibrant, almost old school vibe that carries plenty of power yet still stays light and elegant on the palate. This beautiful, singular wine is open and enjoyable today, yet I wouldn't be surprised to see it close down with a year or two of bottle age. It should see its 20th birthday in fine form.
Parker-Czerwinski (92-96) Punkte:
Fraisse expects to bottle the 2018 Cornas Vieilles Vignes in June 2020, after approximately 20 months of élevage. A fifth of the wine was vinified with whole clusters; 15% new oak is being utilized. Painfully young and estery, this is lifted and perfumed—spicy, but loaded with black cherries and plums. Medium to full-bodied, it's silky-ripe and almost lush in texture, yet it has a firm-enough backbone to sustain it through 15 years of longevity.
While the diminutive octogenarian Alain Voge still lives in a small home attached to the premises (he stopped in on the occasion of my visit), day-to-day operations are under the supervision of Lionel Fraisse, who succeeded Albéric Mazoyer as general manager in October 2018. As Fraisse has been with the domaine since 2012, gradually assuming more and more responsibility, the change seems to have been relatively smooth. Although prior to 2012 he was working in Paris, his family does have roots in the region, as it was Fraisse's uncle who provided Voge with some Saint-Péray vineyards. Fraisse is a notable fan of these wines. "My definition of Saint-Péray is freshness without acidity." He prefers having those wines go through malolactic fermentation "to stabilize the wines and allow for aging." Today, the domaine encompasses 13 hectares of vineyards: eight in Cornas, four in Saint-Péray, and one in Saint-Joseph. At the top level, these remain compelling wines, admittedly in a slightly more modern style (largely destemmed and mostly aged in Burgundy pièces of 228 liters).
Galloni 95 Punkte: Opaque ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet displays powerful aromas of black and blue fruit preserves, incense, peony and olive paste. Palate-staining blackberry, boysenberry, fruitcake and floral pastille flavors deepen steadily on the back half. Gains weight and sweetness with air, finishing with a jolt of smoky minerality, sneaky tannins and outstanding persistence.