The 2015 Cornas Renaissance is sensational, and in the same league as the 2010, although it's made in much more forward, sexy and seamless style. While from the younger vines of the estate, we're still talking about 40- to 50-year-old vines, primarily in the Les Sabarotte and Geynale lieux-dits, made in the exact same way as the grand vin. Offering full-bodied richness, moderate acidity, and incredibly polished tannin, it's as drinkable as it gets, yet has plenty of muscle and fat. Huge notes of black cherries, blueberries, scorched earth, pepper, and game literally soar from the glass of this opaque purple/ruby colored gem that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 20 years or more.
This tiny, yet undeniable reference-point estate in Cornas produces one of the most singular, distinct wines in the world. Run over the past few decades by Pierre-Marie Clape, the estate is slowly transitioning over the young, talented Olivier Clape. This is a bastion of traditional winemaking and the wines are not destemmed, see long fermentations, and are aged in ancient barrels and casks. The 2015s are certainly on par with what was accomplished in 2009 and 2010, and these are incredible, legendary wines in the making.
Bright purple. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of boysenberry, cherry cola, violet and olive paste; a smoky nuance expands in the glass. Palate-staining black and blue fruit flavors pick up notes of star anise and candied flowers as the wine stretches out. Powerful but surprisingly energetic, finishing with excellent clarity and sneaky tannins that emerge slowly.
- By Josh Raynolds on February 2018
The 2015 Cornas Renaissance is a blend of two young-vine (under 25 years of age) parcels with a bit of Sabarotte to bind them together. It’s fruit-forward and verging on jammy in this hot vintage, but it has a base of crushed stone and iron to ground it. It should drink well young.
Some of the most singular wines in the world emerge from the dark, barely-lit cellars of Pierre-Marie Clape and his son, Olivier. This is a bastion of traditional winemaking and these wines are not destemmed, see long fermentations, and are aged in ancient barrels and casks. As Robert Parker wrote at one time, “There is nothing wrong with a case of Clape!” I agree wholeheartedly!
A visit to these ancient cellars in the heart of Cornas is a trip back in time, with a ride on the tiny 1950s-era freight elevator almost the only concession to modernity. Most of the magic takes place in the cellar’s ancient foudres, which add their own sense of mystery and history to the wines. Pierre-Auguste Clape took time out from his retirement to taste me through an array of wines, as his son was at another appointment. According to Pierre-August, “It’s too soon to call 2015 the vintage of the century.” That said, the 2015 Cornas is not to be missed.
Published: Dec 29, 2017