2016 Domaine Clape Cornas Renaissance

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 91-94
Vinous Media: 93-95
James Suckling: 95-96
Jeb Dunnuck: 94+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"I tasted from several foudres earmarked for the 2016 Cornas Renaissance. All showed good ripeness and richness allied to ample fruit and balanced tannins.

A visit to these ancient cellars in the heart of Cornas is a trip back in time, with a ride on the tiny 1950s-era freight elevator almost the only concession to modernity. Most of the magic takes place in the cellar’s ancient foudres, which add their own sense of mystery and history to the wines. Pierre-Auguste Clape took time out from his retirement to taste me through an array of wines, as his son was at another appointment. According to Pierre-August, “It’s too soon to call 2015 the vintage of the century.” That said, the 2015 Cornas is not to be missed." (WA)

"Shown as four single-vineyard components: #1) Patou: high-pitched black raspberry, cherry and violet scents, backed by a smoky nuance. Juicy and lithe in the mouth, offering bitter cherry and dark berry flavors and a sweetening hint of cola. Tightens up on the finish, which is framed by supple, even tannins. #2) Tezier: suave, expressive aromas of ripe blue fruits, potpourri and smoky Indian spices. Smooth and broad on the palate, offering sweet blueberry, licorice and candied violet flavors and a touch of spicecake. #3) young vines in Reynard: Gorgeous, sharply focused floral and dark berry scents that pick up a minerally aspect with air. Silky and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated cassis and boysenberry flavors that tighten up on the back half. Very long and focused; smooth tannins make a cameo appearance. #4) Petite Côte: deep-pitched dark fruit preserve, licorice, cracked pepper and espresso scents, joined by a slowly emerging hint of olive. Stains the palate with bitter cherry and cassis flavors that take a sweeter turn on the back half. Surprisingly lively for its heft, showing strong closing grip and resonating spiciness." (VM)

"Dark, spicy and stony aromas with a smoky and intense mineral edge, some garrigue herbs, blackberries and ripe plum fruits. A sense of deep-set tension in a succulent array of black-fruit flavors with a long driving thread of tannins. Barrel sample." (JS)

"Starting with what could be considered the younger vine cuvée, the 2016 Cornas Renaissance boasts a saturated purple color as well as a heady, intense bouquet of black plums, cedarwood, iron, and incense. It’s a wild, exotic Cornas (and that’s Clape) that has full-bodied richness, a big mid-palate, and building tannins. It’s certainly more approachable than the grand vin, yet it needs a solid 4-5 years of bottle age to be drinkable." (JD)