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.
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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... more
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... more
#29 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008
A dense, racy red, with a terrific beam of raspberry and red currant fruit laced with a taut, chalky spine. Tightly drawn for now, with the structure dominant, but the core and balance are evident. A great tug of war between the minerality and the racy fruit... more
The inky/blue/purple-tinged 2003 Cornas has shut down since bottling, revealing tightly wound blueberry, blackberry, scorched earth, and smoky notes, stunning density, atypically crisp acidity, and a huge, full-bodied, powerful finish. This should be a fabulous Cornas, but it is not as showy and... more
Deep inky ruby. Rich and ripe on the nose, with notes of dark berries, plum jam, espresso, bitter chocolate and fresh rose. Powerful and dense on the palate, showing great ripeness but also a complicating mineral lift. Finishes ripe, concentrated and long.-IWC more