Browse Tag


One hand

Clape 2002 Cornas (Rhône) – From a local store’s closeout bin, at a low-for-Cornas price. That’s still way too high for this wine, which is basically fully mature, and tastes of a good aged Côtes-du-Rhône (syrah-based, of course): sepia fruit on a warm bed of brown soil and faded herb. There’s nothing about it that speaks of Cornas, which is why even the closeout price is too high. (5/12)

Cornas game hen

Clape 1990 Cornas (Rhône) – Smoked beef, licorice. Hard and edgy, yet with plenty of complex elaborations around the perimeter; baroque in design, maybe, but a more rough-hewn country interpretation than the overly-precious, cherubic norm. Mature? It’s hard to say, but probably not. Time and time again, in the company of Rhônes (and Rhônish cousins) of greater alleged repute, the Cornas outperforms them all. There’s a lesson there, but – alas – one I should have learned back when the wines weren’t eyeing triple-digit prices with only a minor tilt of the head. (3/09)