August Clape Cornas 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Cornas, Rhone, France
Monsieur Clape's Cornas is systematically considered the best in the appellation, constantly attaining the most amazing levels of excellence. There is always a extremely deep purple, almost black color that exudes a never ending array of rich complex aromas of dried fruits, liquorice, spice and pepper. The sheer power and concentration of the wine on the palate is overwhelming. The attack is sensational, followed with an incredible volume of extract that saturates the palate in rich, concentrated fruity tannins that last through a magnificently long, stunning finish. These wines need at least 5 or 6 years in bottle before they will open up, but are at their best after 10 years.
Wine Spectator - "Rock-solid, with a terrifically built core of black Mission fig, macerated currant and warm fig paste supported by iron-clad tannins. The background is filled with iron, tar and espresso, but this stays racy and pure, despite the dark profile. Just a step behind the 2005, with superb grip and density. Best from 2011 through 2021."
The Wine Advocate - "Clape’s 2006 Cornas reveals notions of scorched earth, smoked meats, blackberries, camphor, figs, cassis, and licorice. It is full-bodied with macho power as well as serious depth. This concentrated yet surprisingly velvety-textured wine should be cellared for 1-2 years, and consumed over the following two decades. It appears that Pierre-Marie Clape is getting more tannic sweetness than his father did. The master of Cornas, this estate continues to fashion a beautiful array of wines. With his son, Pierre-Marie, in charge, Auguste Clape enjoys a well-deserved retirement. In addition to outstanding Cornas, Clape also produces a very good Cotes du Rhone and Vin de Pays, both made from fruit grown just outside the Cornas appellation. 2007 is a slightly lighter vintage in Cornas than 2006, but the sweetness of the tannins, and the precociousness of the wines make the 2007 Cornas much more approachable than usual. "
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated ruby. Deep, youthfully brooding aromas of cassis, cherry compote, plum, olive tapenade, roasted coffee and burning incense. Dense and sappy in the mouth, displaying sweet black raspberry and cherry pit qualities, with chewy tannins adding grip and gaining power with air. Really takes over the palate, eventually finishing with superb sweet length and a bitter cherry bite. "
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August Clape Winery
Auguste Clape is the mayor of Cornas, and the same is said about his public service as his winemaking: solidity and consistency. He makes no fancy bottlings or vineyard designated wines, just a simple Clape Cornas. His only secrets, he will tell you when asked, are ripe fruit and old vines. Auguste and son Pierre-Marie try to harvest late each year, a risk considering the possibility of rain close to harvest time. No new wood is used; the wine is raised for 18 months in older barrels and foudres. The key to complexity, according to the Clapes, is vinification of each vineyard separately. Before bottling, a blend is decided upon which harmonizes the separate components while keeping a unified overall impression.
Despite lack of conscious marketing, Clape Cornas had become one of the most reputable names in the northern Rhone, due not only to his consistency from vintage to vintage, but also because it has become the hallmark style of Cornas Syrah, a style now emulated elsewhere in the world. View all August Clape Wines
Notable FactsAll Syrah, all the time. No whites from this appellation. The Syrah grapes are sun-drenched and well-protected from the Mistral winds on the super steep hills where the vineyards are terraced. The wines have got power and punch, and are perhaps a bit rougher around the edges than an Hermitage. Flavors coming from wines of Cornas are big and powerful, with lots of leather, earth & spice, yet backed by the typical black fruit of a Syrah.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.