"Father-and-son team, Philippe and Pierre Alliet, have raised the bar for what’s possible with Loire Cabernet Franc. In the 1980s, father Philippe Alliet bought his barriques from Château Margaux and produced a liberally oaked style. The love affair with small, oak barrels has since fizzled out. In 2011, the 500-liter barrels were ushered in, and in 2014, the estate said a final farewell to their Bordeaux barriques. In line with current fashions, cement tanks have also been introduced, creating much more balanced styles that focus on their fruit, which is sourced from across the appellation. The domaine has its feet in some of the Chinon’s best sites: L’Huisserie, which sits at the end of the coteaux and the steep Côteau de Noiré. These top wines spend a year in 500-liter barrels followed with maturation in concrete. Bottling takes place after 24 months. The estate also produces a Chenin Blanc from Chinon." - Rebecca Gibb, Vinous.
I present to you Excellent and Resolved Cabernet Francs from the stunning Domaine Philippe Alliet, who have graced us with 2020 and 2021 vintages of all their classic cuvees. Cravant-Les-Côteaux hosts this top tier Cabernet Franc producer and I am always excited to discover how this trio of winemakers have crafted the terroir into liquid gold, with 2021 being no exception.
Since 2011, Claude and Philippe began involving their son, Pierre, in the entire winemaking process. The three of them spend all year in the vineyards, cultivating the vines precisely to get low yields of grapes and concentrated flavours. Together they work hard to find the optimal fruit ripeness through their fastidious vineyard management. As a bonus level of commitment they grow their entire 17 hectares of vineyard organically.
In 2005, Domaine Alliet consolidated its production to a brand new cellar, “La Pennetrie”, rather than the 3 different cellars across the appellations. Philippe's plot by plot approach needed the added space for more vats, primarily concrete. To take care of every grape, they are all handpicked with little to no green harvest. Once in the cellar, the Cabernet Franc grapes are destemmed before fermentation of 3 - 4 weeks. Philippe cycles the Chenin Blanc varietal through pre-fermentation skin-macerations with the fermentations taking place in large oak barrels, lasting several weeks or months depending on the cellar and must conditions.
Philippe is a very fine taster and Pierre’s palate is equally impressive. Together in the cellar, they craft wines of great depth, elegance, complexity, refinement, precision, and concentration. Vintage after vintage these wines maintain an effortless seductiveness, ensuring their position among the top Cabernet Franc of the country (even rivalling that of the great Bordeaux selections).
“The cuvées Vieilles Vignes, L’Huisserie and Coteau de Noiré have seduced lovers of Cabernet Franc with their dark colour and incredible density" - Revue du Vin de France