Region: Cornas, Rhone Valley, France
Producer: Domaine Auguste Clape
Type: Red Wine
The Auguste Clape estate were built at the start of the 19th century around a few plots of arable land. The Frugier peasant family set out to cultivate from vines to cereals and fruit during the phylloxera crisis and then the First World War. In 1925, Antoinette Frugier inherited the estate and resumed the wine production. Ariette Frugier, daughter of Antoinette, and her husband, Auguste Clape continued the wine making and transformed it as one of the best in Cornas.
“... the passionate guardian of a tradition that in many ways he defined … the reference point for the appellation.” - Robert Parker
“As for ageing casks, here you need neutral wood with no tannin in it. The Syrah must breathe.”
Cornas Renaissance 2016 was launched since 1998. It’s made from 20 to 25-year-old vines on the Domaine’s best slopes as well as older vines from the lower slopes. An earlier maturing wine than the classique, it should develop for two decades.
Clape Cornas is the very essence of traditionally made Northern Rhône Syrah, born of the ancient clone, “la Petite Syrah,” planted in the village’s best sites, and considered by many to be the true Syrah—which creates a stunningly deep and complex wine that will develop for decades.
The family harvests only when the fruit is fully ripe, and the old vine fruit is not de-stemmed. The primary fermentation takes place in concrete tanks for six to seven days, followed by three to seven days of maceration to extract fine tannins.
After malolactic, ageing is in old demi-muids and piéces; there is no new oak. As Auguste Clape told author John Livingston-Learmonth, “as for ageing casks, here you need neutral wood with no tannin in it. The Syrah must breathe.”
Nose: Ripe and complex, mysterious: with an intense core of steeped black currant, bitter plum and warm fig fruit flavors, backed by a range of charcoal, singed alder, bay leaf, cast iron and dark olive notes.
Palate: An extraordinarily deep and velvety texture, on flavors of black fruits, charcoal and cocoa. Exceptional length, integrated, revealing a steady, precise finish.
Food-wine pairing: Beef tataki with sesame, steaks, lamb, Black pudding or mature cheese.