2006 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas- France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (5/11/2020)
Decanted at 3pm and slowly consumed over the evening, with the last glass at about 11pm. This got better, fuller, rounder and more complex the more air it got. By the end, it had a really interesting mix of crushed/wet bricks and subtle black plum fruits on the nose. The finish turned into an all-out onslaught of black tea notes. Tannins were velvety and the mouthfeel was plush and suave. Persistent finish that kept my attention all night long. Really enjoyed this one.
For me, Clape is in the trinity of Cornas greatness in my Cornas-drinking experience and have enjoyed pretty much all the ones that I was able to sample.
A quick (and potentially long and possibly board-disrupting) question here: I’ve not had any Clape Cornas after his 2004 vintage. Am wondering if you or any one can chime in on whether his style had differed at any point in the last or current decade.
Ramon - I’m not ignoring your question, I just have very limited experience with the Clape wines ('98, '06, '13 per CT and few others at random tastings with friends) so cannot authoritatively comment on any change in style. Did something happen at the domaine to trigger the question, or is it simply a matter of you haven’t had any since '04 and are curious if things have changed at all?
I used to get to try them almost every year on the Kermit trip. I think the '12 was the last one I tasted at the domaine, and haven’t tried anything newer, but I didn’t detect any style change in that time. I tried a 2005 recently that was initially still shut down pretty hard, but opened up a bit with airing. It definitely needs another 10 years or more, IMO.
Here’s a pic of the three generations of the Clape family from 2009.
I’ve tasted most vintages going back to 1994, and I don’t think there’s any stylistic change. If anything, they are consistently honest representations of the vintage. Of course, Auguste passed away in 2018, but I don’t think the transition from him to the next generation was abrupt.
Thanks to those who offered their impressions on Clape’s Cornas in the last 2 decades. Good to note about his retention of style, I was more curious and not looking to buy, given the escalation in costs of his wines.
Fwiw, I continued to be impressed with his 2004, which iirc, we had with our local Northern Rhone geeks last year.
The one on March 9, not last year? (It does seem like a long time ago.) My view ultimately was the ‘04 was just grumpy and not ready to be opened yet. That bottle at least. I don’t know if there’s variation. It was best after a good -3 hours in decanter, when I think only Greg and I were left at the restaurant.
I remember now that this was in the March dinner at Racines (this prolonged stay@home has some dis-orienting effects on past events). While obviously quite young I still liked it then, as it showed the Cornas structure that’s in my wheelhouse and it’s also within the Clape mold that I know.