2017 Domaine Clape Cornas

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Vinous Media: 94-95
James Suckling: 98-99
Jeb Dunnuck: 95+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
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"Saturated ruby color. Displays heady aromas of ripe blackberry, cherry liqueur, candied licorice and olive, plus a spicy nuance that builds as the wine opens up. At once weighty and energetic in style, offering densely packed black/blue fruit preserve flavors and hints of violet candy, allspice and smoky minerals. Finishes juicy and very long, with repeating spice, floral notes and steadily building tannins." (VM)

"Plenty of sexy graphite and dark stony aromas cast across showy dark fruits seen here, all presented in a vibrant and seductive form. Plenty of spices and fragrant lift, too. The palate is astonishingly rich, layered and seamlessly complete. The tannins are dense, compressed and commanding, whereas the tension is entrancing. Flavors run from red to darker fruits. The finish is already long and majestic. Exceptional wine. Barrel sample." (JS)

"Lastly, the 2017 Cornas showed incredibly well. A great vintage for the Northern Rhône, it has textbook aromas and flavors. Due to yields, no Renaissance cuvée was produced, so readers need to grab bottles of this while they can. Revealing a deep purple color as well a sweet nose of dark fruits, currants, ground pepper, bloody meat, and iron, the 2017 hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a powerful, dense mid-palate, huge minerality, and enough tannins to warrant 7-8 years of bottle age.

Pierre-Marie Clape and his son Olivier continue to make some of the most impressive (as well as singular) wines in the world from their tiny cellar in Cornas. This is a bastion of traditional winemaking and the wines are not destemmed, see long fermentations, and aging in ancient barrels and casks. While they didn’t release a Renaissance cuvée in 2017 due to tiny yields, their Cornas is stunning stuff not far off what was achieved in 2010 and 2015. I suspect the 2018 will match, or exceed, the 2017." (JD)