Tasting the 2009 Cornas reminds me of a lyric from the great Who anthem, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” As close to perfect as a Cornas can be, this is the single greatest Cornas I have ever tasted. Its black/purple color is accompanied by notes of blueberry liqueur, blackberries, charcoal, incense, licorice and a subtle notion of smoke. This seamless, full-bodied, exquisitely pure, complex, savory blockbuster is the most remarkable Cornas I have ever tasted. It will hit full maturity in 5-7 years, and should last for 25-30 years thereafter.
This historic reference point for the wines of Cornas is one of the world’s most enviable small estates. Long run by Auguste Clape, who has slowly moved into retirement, turning the reins over to his talented son, Pierre-Marie, the quality of the Clape wines has been brilliant since I began visiting the estate over 30 years ago. I believe the 2009 and 2010 Cornas are the finest wines they have yet produced ... and that’s saying something. Robert Parker
From old vines (close to a century in age) in Sabarotte: Pungent aromas of licorice and cassis, with a sexy floral quality and a hint of licorice pastille. Very good clarity on the powerful, clinging finish. From 50-year-old vines in La Cote: Deeply pitched cassis and plum aromas, with pungent floral and herb qualities. Lush and expansive dark fruit compote flavors and intense spiciness. Seriously long and chewy. From 80+ year-old vines in Reynard: Hypnotically perfumed bouquet of red and dark berries, with a sexy floral quality. Very rich but lively as well; shows great depth and richness, with intense raspberry and mulberry character. Josh Raynolds
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