Powerful, mineral-driven aromas of ripe black/blue fruits, candied flowers, olive, musky earth and exotic spices. Densely packed and animated on the palate, offering bitter cherry, blueberry and spicecake flavors that unwind slowly with air and show fine delineation. The blue fruit and floral notes drive an impressively long, spice-laced finish that's given shape by fine-grained, slowly building tannins. (JR)
Moving to the Cornas releases, all of which were tasted from foudre and tank, the 2018 Cornas Renaissance will be a mix of different terroirs and young and older vines. All the samples had distinct yet certainly classic Clape character, with vibrant blue and black fruits, pepper, and ample gaminess. There are enough tannins here to warrant short-term cellaring, but it should keep for 15+ years. Pierre-Marie Clape and his son Olivier continue to make some of the most impressive (as well as singular) wines in the world from their tiny cellar in Cornas. This is a bastion of traditional winemaking and the wines are not destemmed, see long fermentations, and aging in ancient barrels and casks. While they didn’t release a Renaissance cuvée in 2017 due to tiny yields, their Cornas is stunning stuff not far off what was achieved in 2010 and 2015. I suspect the 2018 will match, or exceed, the 2017.
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