As we drift into Autumn, I am excited to bring you the latest vintages of Philippe Alliet, the 2019 & 2020 wines from his well tended vineyards. Much like my own family's domaine, Domaine Philippe Alliet is a family affair, under the guidance of Claude, Philippe and their son Pierre. The Domaine lies in the Cabernet Franc red wine heartland in Cravant-Les-Côteaux, next to Chinon, beside the Vienne River.
In 1983, Claude and Philippe took over the Domaine from Philippe’s father, with a clear mission to extend the Domaine and get the best out of their vineyards. The Alliet family continues that endeavour today. 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.
Yet, the Alliet family know better than to ignore how others are growing and learning with their winemaking. Philippe's passion to continue to learn every year has led him to take yearly visits to Bordeaux vineyards such as Château Margaux in an effort to further understand the structure and power that differentiates their blends. With these trips Philippe initially purchased old barrels from Margaux to age his wines in. More recently, he has acquired new barrels directly from coopers, but the influence of the Margaux style has lingered allowing a differentiation from all other Chinon wines.
The “Tradition” and “Vieilles Vignes” Chinon wines come from lieu-dit “La Pinnetrie”, located on the commune of Cravant les Côteaux. The terroir consists of alluvial deposits where the old vines represent almost half of the plot. As Philippe's reputation was heavily built in the “Vieilles Vignes” wine, he further amplified his name when, in 1989, he purchased 3 hectares from a prestigious lieu-dit “Noiré” on the commune of Chinon, producing the famous "Coteau de Noiré".
The "Côteau de Noiré" plot is set on a steep clayey-limestone slope facing south, and the lieu-dit “L'Huisserie”, a terroir of clay-siliceous soils with flintstones (locally known as “Péruche”).
In 2005, Domaine Alliet consolidated it 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 the fermentation of 3-4 weeks. For the Chenin Blanc varietal Philippe cycles it 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.
As the years have gone on, to encourage the Cabernet Franc and the terroir to express even more of their characteristics, Philippe has decided to switch to only using 500 litre oak barrels instead of the traditional Bordeaux 225 litre. Additionally, there is less new oak used during the ageing of the wine "Côteau de Noiré" and since the 2012 vintage, he has also ceased using oak barrels for the cuvée "Vieilles Vignes". Depending on the wines they will be aged in oak barrels for 12 to 14 months. For the “Côteau de Noiré” wine, barrels are transferred to the “Noiré” site for ageing in an old underground limestone cellar that was built in the hillside. This provides ideal conditions with very little temperature and hygrometric variations. Finally, the wines are estate bottled without filtration.
“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
The new vintages are ready for purchase, contact me today to find out how you can purchase some.