2012 Auguste Clape, Cotes du Rhone Red, France.
Don’t be fooled by the Cotes du Rhone label, this is a pure Syrah that tastes like a baby Cornas and comes from vines between 30-50 years old on granite soils, this might be one of the great deals in the Rhone, certainly this 2012 edition is massively appealing and delicious. The Clape Cotes du Rhone is raised in cement vats (cuves) and large (seasoned oak) foudres, about 6 months in each, this cuvee is hand picked and whole cluster fermented with native yeast in the cement, then as in all the Clape reds, it goes through malo in the large foudres. This vintage shows violets, meat, garrigue and tangy black currant to start and feels more tense and detailed than the last few years, this wine is an exceptional young old world Syrah which shows plenty of Northern Rhone character and charm with a palate of plum, cherry, boysenberry and black mountain berry fruits with mineral, soy, pepper, camphor, lavender oil and salted licorice notes, plus hints of fig paste, game and earth. This is stunning wine from the historic and humble Clape family, drink this beauty now through 2020.
($36 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive
avail at www.sfwtc.com ($33.95)