auguste clape, cornas 2016
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Marked by hints of tar and black pepper on the nose, Clape's 2016 Cornas is earthy and savory, loaded with notes of black olives but with enough blueberries and blackberries to satisfy fans of fruit as well. It's full-bodied, rich and tannic but not tough or hard, with incredible balance. It's so harmonious that it's not overly difficult to drink now, yet it should age gracefully for a couple of decades.
No destemming as usual, fermented in concrete and aged in large, old oak barrels. A tasting of the four main component parts (La Petite Côte, Sabarotte, La Côte and Reynards) reveals a more classic expression than the very ripe 2015 vintage. Though still ripe, the Cornas terroir is in sharper focus this year, with each terroir clearly showing its character. Fresh, defined and floral aromatics abound, with ripe but chiselled, saline tannins and relatively high acidity. An elegant vintage with good Cornas typicality. Drinking Window 2024 - 2036
The 2016 Cornas is cut from the same cloth yet has slightly more density as well as structure. Crazy notes of incense, beef blood, plums, ground pepper, and blueberries all emerge from this perfumed, massively concentrated Cornas that has building tannins, a tight, chiseled mouthfeel, and a great, great finish. Hide bottles for 5-7 years and it will keep for 2+ decades.
This has deep, smoky notes and a quite tarry edge, too. The dark plums and black fruit pastilles are assertive here. Very succulent and long with freshness and composure. This is a very elegant Cornas. Excellent length. Try from 2023.
This is brimming with steeped plum, blackberry and cassis notes, inlaid liberally with licorice root, singed juniper, tar and tobacco accents. A lingering echo of smoldering cast iron emerges on the grippy finish, along with a swath of warm humus details, giving this a dense and chewy feel. The core of fruit is massive, but this will require patience. Best from 2022 through 2045.