One of the wines of the vintage for 2020 Cornas, we were able to get a bit more of this fantastic effort from Clape at this friendly pricing. Another top example from Clape and a bar setting Cornas ranking among the best examples ever. Vibrant, intense, and mineral-driven, this is so layered and concentrated yet always precise and balanced. This is not a wine to miss this vintage from Cornas, and we have a limited amount arriving tomorrow.
Domaine Auguste Clape is a 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 tasting there was a very memorable experience amid winter. The cellar felt like a step back in time, and the wines we tasted in bottle and barrel were truly magical.
Clape's Cornas is sourced from the best and oldest vines of 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. 2020 is the latest release, and it looks to be another fantastic wine from this iconic estate. This is one of the first offers of this new release for the USA, available at similar to the 2019. Right now, these are the only bottles of the 2020 vintage in the USA, and it is another not to miss vintage for Cornas and Clape fans.
Vinous (Josh Raynolds) 97-98 points! "Glass-staining ruby. Intensely perfumed dark berry preserve, violet oil, olive, cured meat and woodsmoke scents show fine definition and vibrant spice- and mineral-driven lift. Offers palate-staining, spice-laced blackberry, bitter cherry, fruitcake and violet pastille flavors that deepen and open up steadily through the midpalate, while maintaining energy. The strikingly long, penetrating finish features youthfully chewy tannins, a sweet touch of cola and lingering floral and exotic spice qualities. All whole clusters and no new oak, as usual."
Decanter 97 points! "A vibrant, focused and intense style of Cornas, a return to a classic style after the richness of 2018 and the power of 2019. Their Renaissance will be made this year, so both wines will need to be bottled before a more precise evaluation of each blend can be made, but the outlook is good. Whole-bunch fermented in unlined concrete tanks, matured in small old foudres."
Wine Advocate (Joe Czerwinski) 95-97+ points! "I tasted four different components of the 2020 Cornas from foudre. From 40-year-old vines in La Côte, a medium to full-bodied sample with attractive menthol, red plum and violet notes, ample structure but a bit short (92 - 94). From 50- to 60-year-old vines in La Sabarotte, an earthier, more savory example, with a rich, velvety texture and crisp acids (93 - 95). From 60- to 70-year-old vines in La Côte, a wine that seems to have it all: intense cassis, crushed stone, licorice and black olives, plus amazing richness and length (97 - 99). And finally, from old vines in Reynard, a breathtaking, hauntingly floral rendition marked by purple raspberries and fantastic concentration (98 - 100). The blend should be terrific."
Jeb Dunnuck 95-97 points! "As with the Renaissance, the 2020 Cornas was tasted from a handful of ancient foudres, and this cuvée gets the older vines of the estate as well as a good portion from the Reynard lieu-dit. This always tends to be more structured, concentrated, and tannic, yet all of the 2020s appear to be elegant and more finesse-driven, while certainly not lacking in structure. These are pure, classic, textbook Clape Cornas in the making."