Cornas: Domaine Clape 2018

"The 2018 Cornas is a classic wine from this renowned estate that's 100% Syrah, mostly from the Reynard lieu-dit, brought up all in ancient foudre and casks. This is as classic and old school as they come, and the 2018 is as Clape as it gets with its bloody blue fruits, liquid violet, smoked game, pepper, bay leaf, and iron-like aromas and flavors. More medium to full-bodied on the palate, it doesn't have the sheer richness of the 2015 or 2017, and if anything, reminds me slightly of the 2016 with its incredible purity, balance, and finesse. The structure and tannins, which were more up-front and present from barrel, have a more round, seamless feel that gives this some up-front appeal. Granted, I followed this bottle for multiple days, and it certainly benefited from lots of air. This is a vintage that could certainly continue to offer pleasure over the coming decade and never really shut down, yet I suspect this will firm up quickly over the coming 2-4 years and require at least a decade of bottle age to really show its true potential. I promise, you will not be disappointed to have this in your cellar. 97+/100."
Jeb Dunnuck -

Bottle (Case)
Magnum (Case)
Tasting Notes

The principal bottling of Domaine Clape's Cornas is made from an assemblage of 5 or 6 different parcels of vines whose grapes are vinified separately and raised in large oak foudres for at least 12 months before blending.

Often impenetrable when young, it is a quintessential Northern Rhône Syrah that can take a decade to come into its own, but then reveals an alluring bouquet of briary, hedgerow berries preceding a persistent palate of red and black fruit, spices, minerals, game, leather and minerals.

It is a great food wine ideally suited to grills and daubes - venison or wild boar both being classic accompaniments.

About this wine
StyleRed Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling
Wine RegionRhône, Cornas
Grape Variety (Cépage)Syrah
Food & Wine MatchingBeef, Casserole, Mushrooms, Pheasant and Game
CellarageAn unashamed Vin de Garde that will age well for 5 to 20+ years.
VinificationThe grapes are picked at optimum ripeness from 25 to 60 year old vines, grown on the south west facing granite hillside. Circa seven days of fermentation (with stems) at up to 34 degrees C., is followed by 3 to 7 days maceration to extract optimum tannins. Malolactic fermentation then takes place in wood followed by an 18 month élevage. Each lieu-dit is vinified separately and assemblage takes place just prior to bottling to produce the complex and distinctive house style.
Alcohol By Volume (%)13.5

Domaine Clape

The Clapes farm 5.38 hectares of vines at Cornas with further parcels classed as Côtes du Rhône and Saint-Péray. Although there have been Clapes at Cornas for at least 250 years, Auguste (1925-2018) was a first generation vigneron, having acquired his vines through marriage to his wife Henriette. His first vintage was in 1949 and he was the first independent vigneron in Cornas to begin domaine bottling his own wines in the early 1950s. Auguste was joined by his (then 40 year-old) son Pierre in 1989 and grandson Olivier in 2002. The entire Clape operation is infused with a sense of cautious modesty and genial simplicity – they have secured a profound international reputation by consistently producing top quality wine.


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