Perhaps the most overlooked sign of a world-class domaine is its ability to undergo smooth successions. Occasionally, we’ve watched a producer of phenomenal wines hand the reins to the next generation only for the heir to fumble the hand-off for one reason or another. A truly outstanding family domaine, by contrast, is one in which there is continuity and harmony in the wines from one generation to the next. Take Domaine Clape, for example. Following the passing of Auguste Clape in 2018, at the age of 93, we never had any doubt that this legendary vigneron’s legacy and life’s work rested in good hands—those of his son, Pierre-Marie, who started working with his father in 1989, and grandson, Olivier, who joined the domaine in 2002. During that time, they gleaned as much wisdom as they could from Auguste, who had tended his vines manually on the incredibly steep slopes of Cornas for decades before this northern Rhône appellation finally earned its deserved acclaim. Today, under Olivier, the domaine produces wines—among the most soulful you’ll taste in your lifetime—that are as stirring and tradition-bound as ever. From the vibrant and juicy Vin des Amis to the appellation-defining, age-worthy Cornas, the four Syrahs below all offer stunning expressions of this tiny slice of the Rhône valley. The white Saint-Péray, meanwhile, comes from just south of Cornas, and displays all the magic that Marsanne can conjure in these parts. If you value purity, honesty, and soul in your wines, look no further than Domaine Clape.
Few wines pair better with grilled foods than a savory, smoky expression of Syrah. Additionally, its characteristic spice and assertive flavor make it a great partner to many dishes in Indian, Pakistani, Persian, North African, and eastern Mediterranean cuisines, without forgetting its affinity to rustic French cooking.
Many of our best values, all in one place for your browsing pleasure: bargain whites, rosés, reds, and even a couple of sparklers, made by real people and reefer-shipped so they arrive in your hands in nothing less than perfect condition.
Her wonderfully complex terroir of schist, granite, and galets roulés (alluvial riverbed stones) produces some of the most ethereal rosés you’ll ever taste. And the olive oil—well, it isn’t easy for us to get as excited about olive oil as about wine, but when you taste these, you’ll understand why they have become Corsica’s pride and joy.
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