Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas 2018

$279.00

| /

The Wine

The inconspicuous cellars of Northern Rhône icon, Domaine Auguste Clape lie on the main N86 road that runs through the village of Cornas, hidden away behind a grey garage door. Their Cornas vineyards (7.5 hectares total, comprised of 5.5 ha of AOC Cornas and 1 hectare each of Côtes du Rhône and Vin de Table) are planted on a variety of the best hillside sites in the appellation - Coteau de Tezier, Les Renards, Les Mazards and Chaillot. The Cornas vines are situated on classic crumbly granite-based soils with a favourable clay content. 

Prime vineyards, unhurried winemaking. It has always been whole bunch, with old oak small barrels of around 12 hl used for the raising. The wines show the depth and energy of Cornas' granite base, their lithe fruit and sinewed tannins coming together only after some years. The best vintages can live for 30 years or more: the 2015 will run into the 2050s, for example, while the 2005 is still on its tight mineral grip at 15 years.

The Reviews

Spice- and mineral- accented dark berry, smoky bacon and floral pastille scents show excellent delineation and pick up deeper licorice and olive paste notes with air. Sappy and expansive in the mouth, offering juicy boysenberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that show outstanding depth and are lifted by a potent mineral flourish. Powerful yet lively in character, delivering solid finishing thrust and closing with noteworthy tenacity and youthfully chewy tannins that build steadily.

96-97 points
Josh Raynolds - Vinous

A tasting of the various lieu-dits suggest a fairly classic vintage, on the riper side but not as ripe as 2015, with well-balanced acidity and ripe tannins that are relatively approachable for this domain. Some tanks showed a little raised volatile acidity, which may show up in the final blend. They will make Renaissance this year; tanks yet to be selected at this stage, so the score is very much just an early indication. Some rain in May had Pierre Clape worried about mildew, but a few treatments with copper did the trick - there was a little on his whites but not his reds. A relaxed harvest started on the 12th of September, fermentations were long with no destemming as usual, fermented in concrete, aged in large old oak barrels.

97 points
Matt Walls - Decanter