Auguste Clape: The cornerstone of Cornas

Auguste Clape

The cornerstone of Cornas

'Cornas is an appellation that's loved – occasionally feared – for Syrahs with massive structures and serrated tannins.' – Decanter

Auguste Clape is considered one of the Northern Rhône's all-time greats. Robert Parker described Auguste as 'the passionate guardian of a tradition that in many ways he defined… the reference point for the appellation (of Cornas).' His son, Pierre-Marie, and grandson, Olivier, now carry on his legacy.

The 2018 Clape Cornas is 'approachable for Clape but still very Cornas,' as Decanter puts it. 'Talking about aging when it comes to our wines is amusing, and interesting, because even in a lighter year Cornas is good for at least 20 years, and most of the time it isn't ready to go before it is 10 years old.' – Pierre-Marie Clape

Auguste Clape

The 2018 Clape Cornas Renaissance is their highest scoring Renaissance in more than a decade and if the 2016 is anything to go by, one can't afford to miss out on it (none was made in 2017 due to low yields). Made from 25-year-old vines, it has the trademark concentration and meaty tannins of a Clape Cornas with a long, focused and delicate finish. Ever so slightly more approachable than the Cornas, but with potential to age for another 15 years.

'The white from this estate is underrated, and readers should snatch up bottles if given a chance,' writes Jeb Dunnuck of the 2018 Clape Saint-Péray. Made from 80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne, it is exquisite. Gunflinty and pure fruit, it has incredible length and finesse. Clape's Vin des Amis 2019 is at it sounds – an irresistible charmer, floral with wild dark fruit, to be shared among good friends. The quality to price ratio is exceptional.

As part of our three-part Northern Rhône Privé series, including the wines from Auguste Clape, Jean-Paul Jamet and Alain Graillot, we ask to please send us your request by next Wednesday, the 26th of January.

In our previous tasting of the Northern Rhône reds, Clape's Cornas 2016 stole the show with its powerful structure, complexity and great length. After an icy winter, and rainy spring, summer was hot in 2018. The resulting wines are intense, powerful yet vibrant.

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