Domaine Auguste Clape is the benchmark producer from Cornas and one of the most influential figures in the region, responsible for shining a light on how fantastic these Northern Rhone wines can be. We were lucky enough to visit here a few years ago, and it was a very memorable experience tasting there amid winter. The cellar felt like a step back in time, and the wines we tasted in bottle and barrel were truly magical. So captivated by the wines, we found a little restaurant with a bottle of '99 Clape Cornas on the list, which was fantastic.
Clape's Cornas is sourced from the best and oldest vines on the property, with a portion going into this Cuvee over 100 years old. Clape still is one of the pioneers who gave the region a good name and has since been one of the most prolific winemakers in Cornas, sticking to their traditional methods, unchanged since inception. 2019 is the latest release, and it looks to be one of the most outstanding wines ever made at this iconic estate. Today we have some of the only bottles available in the USA, and it is not a vintage to miss for Cornas and Clape fans.
Vinous (Josh Raynolds) 96-98 points! "A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe black/blue fruits, candied flowers, olive paste, smoked meat, incense and potpourri, and mineral and earth notes appear as the wine opens up. Stains the palate with intense, spice- and mineral-accented bitter cherry, dark chocolate and violet pastille flavors that show wonderful definition and back-end cut. Velvety, slow-building tannins add shape to an extremely long, subtly chewy finish that delivers real power and mineral drive.
Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 points! "More blue fruits, candied violets, iron, smoked meats, and truffly notes emerge from the 2019 Cornas. A bigger, richer wine, offering full-bodied richness, building, beautiful tannins, and just about flawless balance, it almost reminds me of the 2010, which is just now starting to drink brilliantly."
Wine Advocate (Joe Czerwinski) 95-97 points! "Tremendously dense and powerful, the 2019 Cornas is a dazzling, dark-fruited beast that's loaded with mint, cassis and licorice notes. Full-bodied and almost overflowing with intensity, it somehow manages to pull all that impressive richness and extract into a silky, fine-grained finish of amazing length and elegance. Unless you are hell-bent on trying it on release, give it some time in the cellar—it should be peaking around 2035 or so."