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Dark and brooding, this has a deep well of black currant, fig and bitter plum fruit in reserve, shrouded for now in smoldering charcoal, bay leaf and alder notes. Tapenade and tar details hang in the background. Offers a steel beam of a finish. Tuck this away in the back corner of your cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035.
Probably the wine of the vintage is Clape’s 2013 Cornas. Coming from some of the prime terroirs in this incredible appellation, it’s always 100% Syrah (Cornas is always 100% Syrah) that saw no destemming and spent 22 months in mostly ancient foudre. This wine offers up classic Clape notes of beef blood, cold steel, liquid rock, pepper and saddle leather (there’s fruit in there as well) to go with a medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, rich, textured 2013 that has an awesome mid-palate, ripe tannin and clean, lengthy finish. It won’t be as long lived as some of the more blockbuster-styled years, but it will dish out incredible pleasure over the coming 10-15 years.
Located in the Cornas appellation of Northern Rhône, Domaine Auguste Clape is considered among the world’s most recognized producer for Syrah wines. Although the estate is only 20 acres, it is composed of predominately old vines on steep and sunny terraced vineyards on the western banks of the Rhône River. The estate was founded by Auguste’s grandfather who was a grower in Languedoc but was forced to move due to the strikes of 1905.
Clape’s pièce de résistance is, of course, the classic Cornas wine which is a blend of five to six cuvees of the oldest vines from the best sites on the estate. The producer also provides a slightly more approachable expression that is made with younger vines called the Clape Cornas Cuvée Renaissance. All grapes are picked as late as possible for optimum ripeness, which is a gamble with the weather in the Rhône every year. Clape’s wine has been the essence of Rhone Syrah since what seems like the beginning of time. Thanks to the granite soils, the dark wines are able to develop with astonishing depth and exude a velvety texture with age.
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