2011 Domaine Auguste Clape, Le Vin des Amis, Rhone Red, France.
This is flat out beautiful Syrah, think baby Cote-Rotie, and much credit to Pierre-Marie Clape for giving us a wonderful and easy on the wallet wine that delivers amazing quality and depth in a graceful package. There is no question, the talent of Clape is beyond any doubt and while collectors drool over his ultra Syrah from Cornas and the family plots, this little wine is amazing in it’s own right and much more easily available and so drinkable. While the Clape Cornas is a wine that is rewarded by lengthy cellar time, this Le Vin des Amis is a wine to drink now, and often for sure, with smooth tannins and remarkable refinement for a wine in it’s class and the vintage. The 2011 Le Vin des Amis opens with a parade of violets, pepper, lavender, anise and blue fruits giving beautiful a perfume and earthy elements which lead to boysenberry, blueberry and cherry fruits with tangy plum and truffle notes adding complexity and detail. There is a sharp cinnamon stick note that runs the length of this pretty Syrah and lingers on and on with the violets and a light berry fruit compote essence. Look for this gem to drink well over the next 2-5 years, filling out a bit and gaining maybe a more meaty component, though I would be hard pressed to not drink it up young.
($32 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive
Imported by Kermit Lynch
Avail at www.sfwtc ($29.95)