2016 Domaine Clape Cornas

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 93-97
Vinous Media: 94-96
James Suckling: 98-99
Jeb Dunnuck: 97
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"For the 2016 Cornas, a couple of the foudres I tasted from were truly amazing, like the Sabarotte, which is imbued with the bloody-meaty essence of Cornas, velvety tannins and the Reynards Vieilles Vignes, replanted after phylloxera, which showed incredible perfumes and complexity.

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)

"Tasted as components: #1) La Côte: smoky, spicy and focused on the nose, displaying heady dark fruit preserve, olive and tobacco qualities and a sexy floral overtone. Sweet and energetic on the palate, showing impressively focused blackberry and cherry pie flavors and a touch of cracked pepper. Dusty tannins build slowly on the persistent finish. #2) Sabarotte: lively and sharply focused cherry and dark berry scents, with a sexy floral accent and building minerality. Concentrated but surprisingly lithe, offering powerful cassis and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of exotic spice. Seriously persistent, with solid tannic grip. #3) old vines in Reynard: vibrant black and blue fruit and floral scents, backed by smoky mineral, olive and cola nuances. Palate-staining boysenberry and cherry liqueur flavors show an unlikely delicate touch thanks to a core of zesty acidity. Displays outstanding energy and focus on a strikingly long, mineral-driven finish." (VM)

"Many layers of aromas, complex and spicy with a fragrant array of dark brambly berries, dark plums, dark chocolate. Spices and peppers, as well as graphite-like stony notes. There’s a silky core to the palate with extreme power, all delivered so precisely that appear light and elegant. Sweet spiced-fruit flavors run long and bright, exploding in a spectacular spicy finish. Spends two winters in the cellar to deliver finesse in terms of tannins. Barrel sample." (JS)

"The 2016 Cornas is cut from the same cloth yet has slightly more density as well as structure. Crazy notes of incense, beef blood, plums, ground pepper, and blueberries all emerge from this perfumed, massively concentrated Cornas that has building tannins, a tight, chiseled mouthfeel, and a great, great finish. Hide bottles for 5-7 years and it will keep for 2+ decades." (JD)