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Day April 16, 2005

1988 Clape Cornas

Whew…kicked back a bit last night, and opened a decent bottle of wine and put on Miles Davis (My Funny Valentine and Bye Bye Blackbird both seem to be able to just melt the stress away…). After finishing the last quarter glass from a bottle of the Servin 2003 Chablis (previously mentioned here), I bypassed the open Tempier Rose (rainy here today) and grabbed something red. Found a bottle of the 1988 Clape Cornas, knocking about in my bag since not opening it at a recent tasting.

It’s funny how older Cornas can completely shed the stereotype of a big, massive, almost brutish wine; I suspect it’s the magic of Syrah when grown near the limits of its ability to ripen. Young, the Cornas wines are blocky, and tannic almost in a “chalky” way. Fully mature Cornas, on the other hand, has a refinement completely lacking in the young version. The 1985, for example, combines depth with delicacy. The 1988 Clape lacks a bit of that depth, and is merely delicate. Spicy blackberries with just a hint of coffee and floral aromas burst out of the glass just after opening the bottle. Over the next hour or two, the wine didn’t go over the cliff quickly but the coffee becomes slightly more pronounced. The wine is definitely mature, and possibly a bit over mature at this point, so drink up…