Clape Cornas vertical

Clape Cornas Vertical

Restaurant: Firtzroy Town hall, Melbourne
Terrine de porc et vis de veau
Poitrine de porc confite et choux frise
Pithivier de caille et champignon
Pigeonneau roti au coin et courge
Bavaroi a la vanilla garnie mangue et framboises

Great food. Top notch.

1990 Bollinger Grande Annee
Yellowish, quite developed. Baked custard and slightly drying on the back palate. The group opinion was that it would have been drinking at its best decade ago and now in slow decline.

All Wines tasted blind

Bracket #1
Clape Cornas 1976
Clape Cornas 1985
Clape Cornas 1978
Clape Cornas 1986

1978 was the undisputed star of this bracket and indeed one on the best wines of the night.
It really had a gorgeous nose with great delineation of fruit and supple tannins. It is still quite rich and had an extraordinary length. It was such a complex wine and had great nose. Felt like coming back to it all the time. Whilst fully mature the tasting suggested that well kept bottles could easily drink quite well for another decade. The 1985 and 1976 both had a touch of VA. They were fully mature with old leather and mahogany but with quite rustic tannins. All of us felt that while they were agreeable none of us thought we would go out of our way to buy those wines now if offered. 1986 was the least pointed wine of the bracket with some showing of rotting vegetables and bit of brett. Unpleasant to say the least.

Bracket #2
Clape Cornas 2003
Clape Cornas 1997
Clape Cornas 2006

The 1997 was again made in the old style in contrast to the 2003 and 2006. It had a whiff of brett and old leather and rusticity. It was still drinking quite well and a marked improvement from the really rustic aged bottles from earlier bracket it was not a patch on the 2003 and 2007. The ’03 was very rich with blood plums, violets and sweet fruit. It came from a hot year but showed no heat whatsoever. A terrific wine. The 2006 showed intense purple fruit that was plush and deep. Amazing wine with great freshness. Vibrant and firing on all cylinders. The unanimous WOTN.

Bracket #3
Clape Cornas 2009
Clape Cornas 2010
Clape Cornas 2008
Clape Cote du Rhone 2015 (ringer)

The surprise winner of this bracket was the 2008. Top most pointed wine by all of us in contrast to the 2009 or 2010 (when unmasked). When asked to pair the vintages to the blinded wines most assumed that wine would be the 2010 based on the reputation of the vintage. Firstly, all wines were extremely young and barely nascent. Hence, probably 2008 being the more mature example (and vintage effect) could be showing the best. These are extremely plush wines. There is no Brett, VA and to some extent they look too polished and rich. Whilst they appear to be bereft of faults that plagued older wines I hope they lose the baby fat and acquire the Clape character of the 2006.
The cote du rhone had a similar signature but looked a bit different. That became apparent when unblinded. Shows the potential of the 2015 vintage

1980 Suduiraut
Bit lean and lacking botrytis effect. Has acid but not much richness to balance it. Pleasant but not complex or expansive. Drying on the mid and back palate. Based on how this particular bottle was showing -best to drink up.

Sounds like a great tasting. Really interesting to see the '08 won that bracket.

Thanks for the detailed impressions, what a cool tasting.

I cut my teeth on Clape, it’s the wine that put Northern Rhône Syrah on the map for me. I’ve had some killer bottles back to the 1988 vintage. I have wondered about the 2009 and 2010 vintages, whether they moved a bit glossy. Certainly the high critic scores create such an impression. I have each buried in storage, so have no personal impression just yet. The 2010 Renaissance I had shortly after release, to check in, was so shut down and monolithic that I got no impression. Certainly the Vin Des Amis bottlings, which I have had through the 2015 vintage, have shown old school to me. I was happy with 2008. Have not had any recent bottling.

Great notes. Have a small handful stewing in the cellar, given that i started collecting well after the prices exploded for Clape and Allemand, but none that i’m ready to break out yet…

2006 is drinking quite well for a lot of northern rhones at the moment, still more to come, but they show a lovely vibrant freshness and very good balance in the selection that I have tried recently


Have you had the 2007? It’s even better than the 2006?

(It’s also Pierre-Marie Clape’s opinion.)


Off hand I cannot recall having the 2007. I did not purchase it and have none in the cellar. But, I will troll through old notes or scribbles to look in to it.

All of us were surprised. Such is the beauty of blind tasting. I will look out for it now as it will be much cheaper than those other vintages.

The rise of Allemand was more spectacular. I have not purchased Clape for few years. i will have to see what 2015 costs

Good report here, Sanjay, thank you. FWIW, the 2008 Clape Cornas has been drinking well for several years. I believe that Alan Rath has posted about it. The same holds true for the the 2008 Levet Cote Rotie cuvees. These vintages with less concentration have much to offer.

Same as 08 allemand!

For me the style changed with the 1998, or at least that’s where I noticed it (at the time, I said an Australian must have been loose in the cellar). The 1988 was a great wine (all of 1988-91 for that matter). I don’t have any more Clape in the cellar other than a bottle of 2013 that someone gave me as a gift. All that being said, I’ve always loved Allemand (some people consider those wines glossy) and never really glommed to Juge (the wines could be very dirty for a long time), so take it FWIW.

I read 94 or 95 is when the style changed, I think for the better.