August Clape Cuvee Renaissance Cornas 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Cornas, Rhone, France
Inky/purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of licorice, white chocolate, black cherries, cassis, and a hint of damp earth. It is richly fruity with sweet tannins and zesty acidity. Given the world-wide reputation of Clape, it is sometimes hard to realize that father Auguste and son Pierre-Marie only farm about 11 acres of Cornas.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Cornas Renaissance is deep, full-bodied, fat, and fleshy with fig, leather, meat, and blackberry characteristics. Pure, multidimensional, layered, and easy to appreciate (even for newcomers to the wines of this appellation), it will drink well for 15 years. 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 - "Bright ruby. Intriguingly perfumed, complex bouquet of fresh red berries, potpourri, minerals and black tea. Zesty redcurrant and raspberry flavors are pinot-like in weight but deeply concentrated. Bright and sweet on the finish, which features silky tannins and a late note of smoky minerals. This powerful yet elegant wine is graceful enough to enjoy right now but I'd defer gratification for at least another five or six years. "
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.