Made from two parcels: one is Syrah planted within Saint-Péray AOC, which is classified as Côtes du Rhône; the second is at the bottom of a slope just beneath the boundary of Cornas AOC, level with the village of Cornas. In some years, a small amount (around 2%) of press wine from young-vine Cornas is added. Fermented and aged in cement tanks with part of the wine passing briefly in foudres.
In the world of wine, there are many good winegrowers. However, there are only a very select few who are truly great, and Auguste Clape will go down in history as one of the greats. A proud and uncompromising pioneer of fine winemaking in the Northern Rhône, his Syrahs from the cru of Cornas have earned their place among the most celebrated wines of France.
The Clapes have been vignerons for many generations, but the infamous grower strikes of 1906 and 1907 forced Auguste's grandfather out of the Languedoc and into the Northern Rhône to start anew from practically nothing. The Clapes rebuilt their fortunes, terrace by terrace, along the steep, western slopes of the Rhône River. For many years, the majority of growers in Cornas sold their fruit to négociants. Auguste was the first to bottle his own wine.
A no-nonsense man who never rested on his laurels and sought to better himself and his wines each year, Auguste sadly died in 2018, at the age of 93. Today, his son, Pierre-Marie, and grandson, Olivier, carry on his legacy with honour and integrity.
The Clape family farm only 8 hectares, all by hand. The vineyards sit on a granitic subsoil, with optimum sun exposure, and are comprised of several premium parcels, including Reynards, La Cote, Les Mazards, Chaillot, Sabarotte, as well as others.
The secret to the quality of the wines is picking the oldest fruit they can, and waiting until the very last minute to pick, resulting in perfect ripeness.
They are wines that have an incredible longevity, stunningly deep and complex, that will continue to develop for decades.
Smoked meats, orange peel and a touch of volatile acidity on the nose. Good energy, precision and an electric finish. Textured, with a massy mesh of tannins, tempered by a saline edge. Not complex, but authentic, and has the house style stamped firmly upon it.
JANCIS ROBINSON MW
100% Syrah.Baked black fruit, richly layered palate, feathery tannin, smooth texture. The acid makes itself felt on the finish. Excellent aromatic range. 17/20