Whenever Cornas comes to mind so does Clape. This is the most famous estate in Cornas...indeed it is the estate that single-handedly built a reputation for the whole appellation. This is a no-frills operation : no sign on the door, no fancy modern winery equipment, no new oak, no 'reserve' cuvées, just great vineyards and experienced, non-interventionist winemaking.
Clape's Cornas is deeply coloured, full-bodied, with a powerful tannic structure and great natural richness. Uncompromising when young, it develops surprising charm with age, as well as outstanding complexity and intensity.
For the 2016 Cornas, a couple of the foudres I tasted from were truly amazing, like the Sabarotte, which is imbued with the bloody-meaty essence of Cornas,
velvety tannins and the Reynards Vieilles Vignes, replanted after phylloxera, which showed incredible perfumes and complexity. Drink: 2021-2040; Issue 234; Date Tasted: Dec 2017, Rating: 93-97 Points; Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This has deep, smoky notes and a quite tarry edge, too. The dark plums and black fruit pastilles are assertive here. Very succulent and long with freshness and composure. This is a very elegant Cornas. Excellent length. Try from 2023. Rating: 98 Points; James Suckling
This is brimming with steeped plum, blackberry and cassis notes, inlaid liberally with licorice root, singed juniper, tar and tobacco accents. A lingering echo of smoldering cast iron emerges on the grippy finish, along with a swath of warm humus details, giving this a dense and chewy feel. The core of fruit is massive, but this will require patience. Best from 2022 through 2045. Rating: 98 Points; Wine Spectator
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