Login | Subscribe

The Wines

1985-1992 Syrah on Geynale, Tézier, plus old Syrah Mazards, Patou, Pied la Vigne or Sabarotte (varies according to conditions), whole bunch fermentation, 12 day vinification at up to 30-33°C, pumping overs, twice daily foot cap punching, aged used 10-12 hl barrels 17 months, fined with 1 egg white for 400 litres, unfiltered, first wine 1997, 4,500-5,000 b


(Patou, sugars finished) dark red; the nose is broad, on reduction, shows lots of red fruits, a copious bundle of them. The palate comes with direct delivery of red fruit, freshness, holds discreet gras, nice filling, a fine finish. This is joli, appealing. 28 years Dec 2019


1) (Patou, the youngest vines, very slow to ferment, until the summer of 2019) ***(*) bright, dark red; black cherry, black fruit jam a close together aroma leads the nose. The palate bears sound freshness, with spine in evidence, the fruit engaging early on. It becomes compressed, tight, a bit dry, is a wine of two halves. The fruit is racy. 24-26 years 2) (the middle of Reynard, young vines from 1986, 1989, a lot going into Renaissance) **** close to ****(*) dark robe. Iodine, crushed rocks, iron – there is good spring in the nose, which pounces on you, has verve. The palate is also freshly tuned, gives a bracing run of mineral, dark red fruits which really move, carries good spine, is a true Cornas, the tannins have crunch. This has proper structure, is very good. If the vines were double the age, it would be sensational.   The spring rain really helped – there’s no sense of 2018 heat here. “It’s frank, quite clear, pure,” Olivier Clape. 2047-49 Dec 2019

2017 No Rating



dark red, full robe. Cherry fruits feature, sleek fruiting, some grilling, tar, vegetal airs on a nose that has good life, carries a little acetate. The palate presents a very juicy, open arms kick-off, an expressive run of lively fruit that goes up, down and across – it’s a free spirit, carries tannins with good fit, well judged ripeness. The nose isn’t there yet – the palate is more exuberant. The tannins develop from deep within. This is balanced, Rock n’Roll Cornas, a wine of gusto, that drinks great now. It will give more variety from 2021, though. 13.5°. Bottled 20 July 2018. 2038-41 Dec 2018 Previously Nov 2017 ***(*) 1) (Patou, 1997, 2002 Syrah, 2 year 12 hl barrel) ***(*) dark red. Cassis-blackberry, an intense dart of fruit on the nose, a hint of red fruit, raspberry. The palate has a smoky, crunchy start on black berries with quite tenacious tannins that rule the close. This is direct, straight down the line. It holds quietly concentrated juice. 20 years 2) (Reynard, 1986, a bit of 1989 Syrah, 12 hl barrel, a bit for Renaissance, most for the main Cornas) **** dark red. Has a raspberry, bosky air, a hint of acetate, red cherry, kirsch on the inside. The palate is a mineral carrier, with a middle of good red fruits, is spiced, smoked. The juice is fine; it bears firm tannins, is a true Cornas from those tannins and their vegetal-mineral crunch. It is intricate, has good length. 24 years. Nov 2017


shiny, dark robe. The nose is just starting to emerge, has a quiet red fruit air, an aroma of grapey essence, some prune ripeness and vegetal notes. The palate gives red berries, clear-cut delivery of them, travels well on its flow of tannins that are beau. There is 33% of La Sabarotte in this, and that provides gras for the second half. It’s a fresh, never static Cornas, with an interesting build into the finale. After the intensity of the juice and the tannic crunch, there is mild gras once more on the aftertaste. Bottled end July 2017. “It will be more established in six months,” Pierre Clape. From mid-2019. 2035-37 Nov 2017 Previously April 2016 **** two main components tasted, 80% of the final wine. 1) (Tézier, Syrah 20 years old, 18 hl barrel, going into the Renaissance Cornas) **** dark red. Has a big, outward nose, with game, blackberry, reduction, is well filled. The palate is on acetate, dark berries, sleek black cherry, comes with late cut, violets, is long. Its grainy close is well inset. 24 years. 2) (Reynards, young Syrah, going into the Renaissance Cornas) **** dark robe. Violets, smooth fruit airs such as plump blackberry show on the nose. This is stylish, holds very beau fruit, a finesse of tannin. It is tasty, especially on the finish – there is real juice there. Very good, has charm and depth. 23 years. From 2019-20. 2039-41 April 2016

2014 ()

(close to the final blend, bottling end July 2016) red robe. Fresh styling on the nose, direct blackberry fruits, some smokiness. There are date, prune notes, with black berries on the palate. Fine-boned wine that holds quiet juice, surrounded by tannins, has late structure. From 2019. 2032-34 April 2016 Previously June 2015 ***(*) two main components tasted - 1) Patou, young vines, 15 years old, 10 hl barrel ***(*) bright red. Has a primeur raspberry aroma, a light note of brioche within, a hint of violet and licorice. The palate offers easy to like red berry fruit with a sprinkle of powdery tannin along the second half. The attack is tasty. There are detailed tannins on the finish, nice and precise. 14 years. 2) Reynards, 12 hl barrel 20 year vines **** dark red. Has a blackberry aroma, a good spot of intensity, with licorice – the nose is fresh and presents young promise. The palate gives a firm handshake on the attack. This is grainy wine with attitude, some fire in its belly. It ends solidly, with a firm couch. Plenty of scope, a lot of mineral in this. 16 years. OVERALL certainly ***(*) there will be sound depth for what is a young vines wine. The tannins may take a little time to fuse into the wine – drink from 2018-19, perhaps. 2029-31  Jun 2015

2013 ()

a bottle served chez Oustalet Restaurant, Gigondas, Oct 2019 was not good: dark, full red; the nose shows acetate, but there are concerted dark berry fruit within, grainy and animal notes. The palate is tough, no other word for it - grippy, backward, varnish with demanding tannins, could not drink it Oct 2019 Previously Dec 2015 ***(*) this is the bottling for the USA, bottled July 2015: shiny, quite dark red. Has a prune, date first air, a compact setting for the nose, with jam notes and a dense raspberry aroma. The palate gives southern, ripe instincts on the attack with a little pocket of tannin. This is quite a swell Cornas with freshness. There are dark dabs in its flavour of black berry. It crunches lightly on the finish. 13°. From 2018. 2030-32  Dec 2015 Previously Jun 2015 **** (10 hl barrel, assembled 15 April 2015, bottling Aug 2015) shiny red robe. The nose is rather forceful, gives a firm front of raspberry, cooked plum. The tone is clear, and there are suggestions of spice. The palate attacks on sinewed red berry fruit, is lithe, and mixes its gras with an upright frame around it. The red fruit continues well. The close is dentelle, well lifted. This is more profound than the 2012. It has a rocky sign-off, and shows good Cornas character. “It has more depth and more rustic than the 2012,” Pierre Clape. 2029-31  Jun 2015

2012 ()

dark red robe, legs visible. There is an appealing intensity in the nose, cassis fruit, blackberry, acetate also present, with a smoky hover, a hint of violet. The palate runs smoothly, its gras richness suave; it reaches out well. Tar and a black raisin depth come through on the finish. This is orderly from start to finish, is well delineated. It is a cool wine, clear and consecutive; the fruit rewards the gums on the second half, and develops in tasty fashion. From spring 2017. “It is starting to close – it was more gourmand last winter until April 2015. Renaissance can be chaotic to start with, but this vintage was up and running right away,” Pierre Clape. 2027-29  Jun 2015 Previously Dec 2013 ***(*) two casks that make up the wine: 1) Patou, Tézier (1991-2002 Syrah, barrel no 30, 700 litres) ***(*) attractive, full red. Cherry liqueur base to the bouquet, airs of kirsch with the grain dust from rocky soils. This is all very clear, including on the palate, which bears the Patou elegance, a good nerve emerging at the end, where it is fresh and savoury. A true Patou wine, not demanding. 16 years. 2) Reynards (barrel, 1989-90 vines, most of this destined for Renaissance) ***(*) dark red. Toffee, macerated red berry air, lardon ham chunks, has smoke and mineral swirls. The palate presents red cherry fruit with a wave of gras until it bumps into entrenched tannins. There are gummy, near jam late moments, bringing a lip smack exit. A wine of some scale. There is still some Cornas spark of the granite as it ends on those gummy points. 18 years. “This vineyard is just moving to another level as it matures; its tannins can be vigorous, so it tends to go into Renaissance”, Olivier Clape. 2029-31  Dec 2013

2011 ()

dark red robe, good heart. Open, bonny nose – mulberry coulis aroma that is nice and thick, comes with primrose touches around it, a few flinty, black raisin undernotes. This is open-fronted Cornas, made up of wavy, square fruit until its midpoint, when grainy tannins with lift in them come forward. Its fruit will extend over time. This will be very good with lamb. It will go along OK. Decant this, allowing it plenty of air to breathe. From 2016. 13°. The 2012 has more flesh around it. Bottled July 2013. “The end August high heat blocked the young vines’ ripening; the end of July rain got them going, the result being very big grapes. The August heat halted their ripening, which is where the jam style fruit comes from. Our yield went to 40 hl/ha this year,” Olivier Clape. 2025-27  Dec 2013


dark, inky robe. The first nose runs on black fruit jam, but is swiftly overtaken by a swirling, dense air that summons nut, peanut, grilling, leather, mocha, then a violet splash. It is more a mass than a symphony of parts. The palate is wide, deep, sustained with a flourish on the finish. It is more airborne, just, than the 2009. It is like travelling through the night on the early to mid-palate, then dawn breaks swiftly (the finish). The end is complex. A lot going on here, an interesting wine. The fruit and the flavour have a mix of lightness and depth, a winning combination. From 2017. “The acidity was truly belle in 2010, and the nose here is dense. It is more fine than the 2009,” Pierre Clape. 14°. Bottled July 2012. 2032-34  Oct 2012

2009 ()

dark robe. Oily, rolling, sustained blackberry air, with a hint of acetate, tea and beef gravy, light grilling. The palate has a honeyed debut from its youth and raising; it has a ripe and sunny style, is compact and woven. Richness travels through it. This is a weighty Renaissance, a deep wine. Its tannins are bold, evident. It is a drink at night time wine for the moment. The finish is dark, bears black raisin, has south of France associations. A big wine, a bit obvious. From mid-2015. “One of the most grand Renaissances, with a lot of matter,” Pierre Clape. 14°. 2030-32  Oct 2012  Previously Nov 2010 ***(*) the different contributors 1) Patou, Tézier (1991-2002 Syrah, the first site picked in 2009, the last in 2008) *** full robe. Reductive, but still prominent berry fruit aroma. Attractive fruit, a tasty palate with not very deep jam flavour. Shows freshness after half way. 2) Reynards (1989-90 vines) ***(*) full robe. Spiced, very authentic nose of licorice and blackberry. The palate starts to show Cornas ahead of Syrah, ends on pepper and mineral notes. Has a good lining of tannin, is structured wine, STGT. “Some days I find a trace of cooked fruit with behind it the jam that I associate with 2003,” Pierre Clape. 20-22 years life. Dec 2009

2008 ()

quite a bright red, some purple – it is not that deep. Red cherry fruits, like a coulis, are a bit oily in the aroma, which has toasted, grilled, tobacco-smoke sides. The palate sets off with a free run of direct red fruit, but can deliver more gras and weight in time. The fruit is live, clear and tasty, ends on mineral.It will be softer by spring 2011, but can run on over time. Bottled early July 2010. 2022-24 Nov 2010 Previously Dec 2009 ** 1) Patou, Tézier ** mid+red; red cherry coulis aroma, baked airs. Simpley fruited, sympa, as usual a pocket of late tannin, grain. Not bad little richness here. 2) Reynards (1989-90) ** fair red robe. Reductive, baked red fruits aroma. Nicely sweet palate – light red jam flavour, it is ripe, but doesn`t offer a lot beyond that. Low key, round, limited. 2021-22 Dec 2009 Previously Dec 2008 the 2 different sites ** 1) Patou, Tézier, malo done * even red-purple robe; not especially profound aroma – is peppery, grainy, direct red fruit under that top air. Easy drinking red fruit on palate, not that full, ends on a rather muddled note, has some chew and content. 13.1° 2) Reynards, younger 1989-90 vines ** mid-depth red-purple; three-quarter depth nose – this will be floating, a child of the air more than the ground. The palate fruit has charm, open access, the length is fair. Stops a little short, is found to be astringent by A.C. Is in a very raw state. 13.1° Dec 2008

2007 ()

dark red. Attractive, smoky, supple blackberry aroma that mixes depth and grace. Also very much present is a Cornas granite-flint stone cut and dust, with light floral airs. The palate is long – it keeps moving past its rather animal, dark berry intensity and its tannins are still raw, cutting, and certainly mean business. Big marks for a sense of place and origin in this; the senior Clape Cornas has more gras richness – this is more racy. The finish is good, very clear. From 2014 to allow the tannins to ease, tannins which have cool notes, floral tones. 13°. 2022-24  July 2012  Previously Dec 2009 **(*) cherry red, fair depth of colour. Reticent, mineral-tinted nose, traces of game and gummy notes alongside the red cherry. Tight, pesky red fruit briefly shows up on the palate. This bottle is more clear and fine on the finish than the last one tasted. From mid-2011. 2020-23 “After bottling it was good, then it shut down. Now it seems rather ripe and evolved, evolved quite quickly. We also used 1 younger 3 year old barrel this year, 1 of the 6, so that comes through in the vanilla notes on the nose,” Pierre Clape. Dec 2009 Previously the two different sites Dec 2008 1) young vines (1993-2002) on Patou, a bit of Tézier ** pretty full red; violet, rather silken fruit aroma. The fruit has a direct run on the attack – a definite Cornas nature here, the end is mineral, pebbly. “The last crop we picked this year – the grapes becoming mottled, withered,” P Clape. I like its clarity – it could have a minor extra fruit content. 2) * Reynards (1989, 2 year barrel) sound red colour; pretty aroma – red jam. The palate starts on an acetate, red fruit note – the acetate from its yeasts. It ends rather austerely, dry – is tough, not open today. Dec 2008


“this was not hanging together at first, then it regained that association, but now it is closed again,” Pierre Clape Dec 2009. Dec 2008 tasting:even depth of red in the robe; has an oily, slightly high tone aroma – black fruits such as cherries here, a spot of kirsch, is a touch smoky. The palate fruit is rather intense – but it is open and runs right along, with some mineral infusion. The tannins are live, a bit square at the end for now. Could be drunk now by those who like a young vigour in their wine. From late 2010 for the rest of the drinkers. Red fruit emerges on the finish. Bottled late June 2008. “This was a bit chaotic at first in the bottle, since we used some young casks, but the influence of Sabarotte is coming through and it is emerging with fruit on the nose - where it is clearer than it was, while the palate is more harmonious. It is quite an evident wine, especially on the palate,” Pierre Clape. 2022-24 Dec 2008


mulled, oily fruits – a generous blackberry, a crackly fruit and honey also on the nose. The palate leads with very pretty fruit, lots of life in it, and an appealing quite late richness, a savoury touch. The fruit is exuberant, the length sound, the tannins present. May close around 2009. 2022-24. Bottled June 2007. Dec 2007 Previously June 2007 **** (6 weeks as the assembled final wine, 1 month before bottling) full robe, with some red jam colouring. Ripe, rounded, quite oily bouquet. Rich attack on the palate, tannins appear at half way. There is plenty of content and dash about it, the flow is good. Rich for a Renaissance. Lots of body, and good grip. Drink from 2009-10, but there is bounty in the glass here with its rich core. 2023-26 due for bottling in July 2007. Tasted June 2007 This year is 50% Sabarotte, plus the young vines.

2004 ()

bright, quite purple robe; tarry touches in the black fruits on the nose – smoke and a sprinkle of pepper to pep it up. Upright, tight black stone fruits on the palate, with the scent of violets present. A touch of damp earth late on, near the finish. The texture is clear, the finish also. Some graininess in it, as if the ripening wasn`t ample. 2017-20 Dec 2006 Previously April 2006 *** mulberry, plum jamaroma that is open and a little smoky. Live blackcurrant fruit at the start, gains weight, and its tannins bounce around. Bonny black berry fruit flavour, facile in effect, but given a kick by a peppery tannin on the finish. Esp 2009 on. 2020-23 April 2006

2003 ()

prune tart, black fruits - cassis and raspberry jam, with a tiny burnt side. Fruits baked in the oven flavour - has a solid paste that coats the mouth. Its tannins are prominent, though there is full matter around them. Full rather than rich wine - doesn't have a suave side. Solid. Esp 2008 on. 2018-21 April 2006


peppered, grainy, red fruit bouquet. Refined fruit wine, sound cut. Fresh, pretty, wine for barbecues when young. Length OK, some tannins here, has some gras for the future. Esp 2006/09. 2014/16


bright, live bouquet – stone fruit that is well cut, has a touch of gibier or game as well. This is a sinew, energy wine, with some rather burnt fruit, but it is clear and pretty. There is lots to like about it – I go for the slightly funky, cool granite black fruit. Pretty, handsome wine. 2016-18 Nov 2004, California Previously Dec 2003 ** violet/cassis liqueur, quite ripe nose; clear black fruit, tightens up. Live wine. Esp 2005 on. 2011-13


open, strawberry jam nose; quite pretty stewed red fruits, some warmth, touch short. Esp 2004/05 on. 2010/12

1997 No Rating

“This was its first vintage, but 80% of the wine was corked, so it didn’t really exist!” Olivier Clape