TN; 2014 Domaine Auguste Clape Cornas

Bright blueberry fruit, a sense of sweetness and low pH viscosity, some oak evident. Lacks excitement and feels rather generic. Not really my thing but these wines have a big reputation so I guess I have just seen it too young to get the wow factor. Revisit in a decade and cross fingers.Close to $A200 in our market and I am struggling to justify its QPR.

Hi Kent, I totally get your comments. I bought and cellared Clape Cornas for a long time (20+ years). I no longer buy it and I sold off the majority of my holdings. I enjoy it but as you say, at that price point, nothing exciting or special. When I compare it to the Gonon St Joseph at half the price, I know which one I think is the much better wine!


For sure if you can buy Gonon at half the price of Clape that’s a no-brainer. It just seems that in Europe the price of Clape’s Cornas has remained stable while Gonon goes up every year. It is now getting tough to find Gonon below 75% of Clape’s price and I think soon they will be pretty much identical in price.

I would not judge Clape on the 2014 vintage alone, but yes, like many of these renown Northern Rhones, they have all become pricey. I am no longer buying Allemand or Jamet either. I bought their 2013s but would not pay the fare for the 2014s, and then 2015 went bonkers.

As a counter-point, two board members that I follow on Northern Rhone, A So and Alan Rath, appear to have liked this wine quite a bit. I have not tried the 2014, heck, I have not even popped my 2009s or 2010s. Bummer your’s did not show well given the cost.

I have quite a bit of both Gonon and Clape. I do not think one is the substitute for the other. They are different wines from different appellations, granted with some similar profiles. I find Clape more dark fruited and historically more rustic, and Gonon expressing a vein of reds more than Clape. And when they are both on point from a killer vintage, I would give the nod to Clape. I’m lucky to get Gonon at true release prices, I doubt I would be paying the $150 that I am seeing in the after-market. Now the Gonon VV, I’d do naughty things to get that.

If you want a true QPR, try Clape’s Vin des Amis. A tremendous everyday Rhone. As is Gonon’s Iles de Feray.

I had a great Clape years ago in a restaurant–must have been one from the 80’s served in the early aught’s. I bought a bunch of the '05’s, they were almost but a quarter of the price of your wine, Kent. The one I have opened did not show much; I’m still waiting.

Try it in 30 years; even the 1990 and 1991 are still backward; the 1982 otoh is drinking well.


Not to detract from what Ian already said, but I’ll even go as far a saying that late 90s Clape Cornas have already been pleasurable for me (although, I also enjoyed a recent 2004 that was recently served in an offline).

Clape use only neutral oak (in so far as any container can be “neutral”), so I suspect what you are picking up here is a touch of “creaminess” from volatile acidity!

I would say, as others have already been saying, that to “get” Clape, you need to try something with more age: ideally, say 1999, 1997 or 1994 or 1990, but at a pinch a 2006 (which is showing well)—or even just a more demonstrative vintage such as 2015, which hadn’t shut down when I had it just over a year ago. That is especially true of the more acid-driven vintages.

I have the 2014 in magnums as it’s a wedding anniversary wine but I will not be looking at it until 2034 or so, perhaps longer.

Of course, it is perfectly possible to just not like this producer; but the reason would be that is characterful and thus polarizing, not that it “lacks excitement” or that it’s “generic”—that simply sounds like a totally shut down bottle.

I guess the 2014 Clape Cornas is not their best vintage, but I had it and liked it quite a bit–I would certainly put it above Gonon, although its Old World backwardness means it needs quite a few years to come around.

I predict you will be happy with this. A lot of 14s were pretty backward, even austere (in my experience). Clape, in particular, was like that. I tried a Renaissance more recently, and was actually quite impressed with the material there. Really, I think 14 is one of those vintages that has enough stuffing, but is backward and brooding enough on release, that it has the potential to be a sleeper vintage that blossoms into something truly amazing 20+ years from now. If I was younger, I’d be stocking up on this wine. As an aside, 2016 Clape is off the charts good.

I am still buying a few bottles of Clape in most years, but for some reason I did not get the 2014. Price rises in Europe have been significant but not out of control; I think I paid 75 euros lately.

I tried the 2011 recently:

Still dark, opaque black-purple. Dark plum, blackberry, pepper, smoke, cherry cough syrup. Dense, really well-integrated structure. High tannin and acidity but they are harmonious. Has hardly started to develop any age-related complexity, dense and feels like it still wants to unfold. Probably a decade from prime drinking still.

Opened a 2004 tonight and thought it was in a really good spot. A little tannic but pretty well resolved and drinking great