2012 Auguste Clape "Renaissance" Cornas

SKU #1191722 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The entry level Cornas that gets some young vines, the 2012 Cornas Renaissance is just like the straight Cornas, only slightly softer and more approachable. Cassis, black raspberry, leather, crushed rock and liquid mineral-like qualities all give way to a full-bodied, concentrated, yet elegant and thrillingly pure Cornas that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming decade or more. While it doesn't get any more Cornas than Clape, these wines also speak just as loudly of the domaine as they do of the steep granite slopes of the appellation. There's always something unique in these wines, something bloody, meaty and iron-like, and I've yet to find something similar in other wines. In my opinion, these wines are the epitome of Cornas. (JD)  (12/2014)

90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Tasted in components, from three foudres: #1, from Patou vines that range from 12 to 20 years of age: Intense cherry and red berries on the nose and palate, with a hint of white pepper adding lift. Lively and precise, displaying distinct elegance and finishing cut. #2, from young vines in Reynard: Ripe cherry, candied violet and licorice aromas, with a smoky topnote. Chewy and sharply focused, offering bitter cherry and cassis flavors and a hint of Indian spices. A meaty note creeps in on the firm, taut, long finish. #3, from a section of La Cote that the Clapes call "Petite Cote": Deeply perfumed aromas and flavors of smoky cherry and blackcurrant , with a peppery nuance and a hint of candied flowers. Supple tannins provide shape and grip, then fade slowly into the fruit on the finish.  (3/2014)

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Price: $59.99
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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Alcohol Content (%): 13