2018 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas Renaissance
Auguste Clape first came to Cornas in 1949 to marry his wife Henriette whose family owned 5 hectares of vineyards in the appellation. Today his son, Pierre-Marie and grandson Olivier Clape run the estate, which is considered to be the benchmark producer in the region. They farm 5.38 acres of Cornas including a resounding 3 hectares on the granitic soils of what is the finest plot in Cornas - Reynards. An “old-style” producer with no destemming, wild yeast ferments that take place in concrete vats and aging in older, neutral foudres for 20 months before bottling without filtration. If you seek a traditional Syrah from the sun-drenched, terraced slopes of the Northern Rhône, the stunning wines of Auguste Clape should be at the top of your list.
The 2018 Cornas Renaissance shows less of the vintage's sunbaked character than you might expect, boasting floral notes and fresh red plum fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, silky in feel and even a touch crisp on the long finish. It should be reasonably long lived, drinking well through at least 2035. Drink 2023 - 2035.
Joe Czerwinski - Wine Advocate (Jan 2022)
Powerful, mineral-driven aromas of ripe black/blue fruits, candied flowers, olive, musky earth and exotic spices. Densely packed and animated on the palate, offering bitter cherry, blueberry and spicecake flavors that unwind slowly with air and show fine delineation. The blue fruit and floral notes drive an impressively long, spice-laced finish that's given shape by fine-grained, slowly building tannins.
Josh Raynolds - Vinous
Moving to the Cornas releases, all of which were tasted from foudre and tank, the 2018 Cornas Renaissance will be a mix of different terroirs and young and older vines. All the samples had distinct yet certainly classic Clape character, with vibrant blue and black fruits, pepper, and ample gaminess. There are enough tannins here to warrant short-term cellaring, but it should keep for 15+ years.