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Loss of an Icon

Earlier this month the wine world lost a marvelous man, Auguste Clape. He was 93 years old. Auguste came from a family of winemakers that decided to move from the Languedoc to the Northern Rhône in 1907. They painstakingly rebuilt the terraces of their tiny estate in Cornas and eventually bottling their 100% Syrah Cornas wines. They were making Cornas before Cornas was cool. The Clape wines are some of the purest expressions of Syrah. Everything is done by hand, the hard way. Their Cornas and Cornas “Renaissance” bottlings are highly sought after and are becoming harder to find. The entry level Côtes du Rhône and Le Vin des Amis are lower priced and more approachable at a younger age. They even make a delicious Saint Péray Blanc from 100% Marsanne. The Le Vin des Amis is from 1 hectare of Syrah vines on round river stones soil. Not the typical granite of Cornas. It is aged for 6 months in cement and 6 months in oak foudres. It has classic notes of black pepper, smoked meat and game. Deep and rich but not syrupy or overly alcoholic. Bring on the lamb! The beauty of French generational wine making will continue with this domaine. Auguste’s son, Pierre-Marie and his grandson, Olivier have been working at the domaine for sometime and will continues the traditions of this iconic domaine.

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