Cornas: Domaine Clape 'Renaissance' 2016
'Renaissance' is a slightly lighter, more forward and approachable wine than the Clapes' classic Cornas but it still displays all the signature characteristics of this domaine - a bouquet of dark hedgerow berries, a core of complex black fruit tastes with a grainy texture and a fine structure of tannins.
Auguste, Pierre and Olivier Clape's Cornas 'Cuvée Renaissance' hails from their younger vines (albeit averaging over thirty years of age) and represents about a third of their total output.
It is surprisingly approachable within 2 years of bottling, with its youthful black fruit to the fore but thereafter it repays at least 5 years cellaring, whereby its robust tannins can soften with age and intermingle with its complex, dark, stone-fruit flavours and cooler granitic undertones.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Cornas|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Syrah|
|Cellarage||Best drunk between 3 and 12 years of vintage.|
|Vinification||The grapes are picked at optimum ripeness from 20+ year-old vines, grown on the climats of Geynale, Tézier, Mazards, Patou and Pied la Vigne. Circa seven days of fermentation (with stems) at up to 34 degrees C., is followed by 3-7 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|
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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