2011 Domaine Auguste Clape, Cotes du Rhone, France.
Made from Syrah vines just a stones throw away from Cornas this Cotes du Rhone from Clape is a drink young version of his fabled Cornas. While Clape’s Le Vin des Amis is pretty and elegant, his 2011 Cotes du Rhone is a meatier and more forceful Syrah with medium to full body, richer palate and deeper complexities. I must admit I might enjoy the Le Vin des Amis a bit more, but there is no denying this wine has more of everything, with the exception of the heightened floral perfume and white pepper of the Le Vin des Amis at this stage. The 2011 Clape Cotes du Rhone fills the mouth with boysenberry, blueberry and plum fruits with cassis, kirsch and touches of game, stems and brambly earth notes. This Syrah is edgy and intense, but the tannins are refined and smooth and the finish is fruity, lengthy and lush making for a wine to enjoy sooner rather than later, even if it might gain somewhat over the next year in bottle, I suggest drinking in the next 3-5 years for the most pleasure and reward. I must add here that while 2009 and 2010 continue to all the rage, these 2011 wines are really fantastic and I can’t wait to enjoy the more serious 2011 releases to come.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive
Avail at www.sfwtc.com ($37.95)