Wines by Producer


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Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

Founded by Frédéric Caillet, the great-grandfather of brothers Benjamin and David, in 1928, and then developed by their father Edmond, the domaine consists of 5.8 hectares of vines above Tupin et Semons, in the southern end of the Côte Rôtie appellation, where the bedrock is gneiss and granite. Production is limited to a total of around 2000 cases a year for the whole domaine.

The brothers are aiming to make the elegant style of wine which this rocky vineyard produces - and they certainly succeed. The Chana (Syrah with 7% Viognier) is a cuvée that is simply a 'gourmandise', supple, aromatic, fresh, pure. The Germine (Syrah with 3% Viognier) and the Maison Rouge (100% Syrah) are more structured, and while they can be drunk young, they will give their best with some age. The Domaine has also produced a small volume of Condrieu since 2014.

The wine-making is gentle, there is 20% whole-bunch in the Germine, but otherwise the grapes are de-stemmed. The Chana is aged in demi-muids, the others in smaller barrels - the Maison Rouge getting 40% new wood.

2018 CONDRIEU Les Caillets Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

2018 CONDRIEU Les Caillets Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

Brothers Benjamin & David are two of the smartest operators in the norther Rhône, the purity they manage in their Côte Rôtie are really something, the same can be said of their tiny plot of CondrieuBrothers Benjamin & David are two of the smartest operators in the norther Rhône, the purity they manage in their Côte Rôtie are really something, the same can be said of their tiny plot of Condrieu Les Caillets. Everything is hand picked and de-stemmed before stainless steel fermentation and ageing in a mixture of tank and barrel. The 2018 is really focused, bright floral and citrus peel on the nose, it pushes through in the mouth with aromatic minerality, peach and apricot, not an ounce of fatness, really well done and just spot on Condrieu. I think best drunk over the next 2-5 years, as they do too. Drinking range: 2020 - 2024L&S(May 2020)

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

2017 CÔTE RÔTIE La Chana Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

2017 CÔTE RÔTIE La Chana Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

2017 La Chana is a relatively new cuvee from Duclaux, an early drinking style. Made with about 7% Viognier in the blend and from 5 sites in the south of the around Tupin. 80% de-stemmed and no new2017 La Chana is a relatively new cuvee from Duclaux, an early drinking style. Made with about 7% Viognier in the blend and from 5 sites in the south of the around Tupin. 80% de-stemmed and no new oak. Bright fruits on the nice with a touch of spice, a core of fresh raspberry and black cherry, soft silky tannins, very precise and elegant, a joy to taste and drinkL&S(May 2020)

Magnums, case of 3

In Bond

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

2017 CÔTE RÔTIE La Germine Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

2017 CÔTE RÔTIE La Germine Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

2017 La Germine 3% Viognier. Sweet violets on the nose, sweet vibrant raspberry and hints of rose, black cherry, a touch of roasted herbs too,elegance and purity in abundance, this is an exercise in2017 La Germine 3% Viognier. Sweet violets on the nose, sweet vibrant raspberry and hints of rose, black cherry, a touch of roasted herbs too,elegance and purity in abundance, this is an exercise in Côte Rôtie finesse. Drinking range: 2022 - 2031L&S(May 2020)

Jeroboam, case of 1

In Bond

Magnums, case of 3

In Bond

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

2017 CÔTE RÔTIE Maison Rouge Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

2017 CÔTE RÔTIE Maison Rouge Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux

100% Syrah and a single vineyard selection on an incredibly steep slope above the winery. Slightly closed on the nose, but showing a touch of sweet violet and raspberry. slightly denser with a100% Syrah and a single vineyard selection on an incredibly steep slope above the winery. Slightly closed on the nose, but showing a touch of sweet violet and raspberry. slightly denser with a texture mouthfeel, sweet spice and mineral, very pure and elegant, very, very smart indeed.L&S(May 2020)

Jeroboam, case of 1

In Bond

Magnums, case of 3

In Bond

75cl bottles, case of 6

In Bond

Domaine Clusel-Roch

From the 1950s to 1980 René and Josephine Clusel grew fruit and vegetables as well as Côte Rôtie. Their son, Gilbert, with his wife Brigitte Roch, stopped farming fruit and vegetables alongside, and expanded the domaine a little. Brigitte and Gilbert's son Guillaume, who joined the domaine in 2009, has added significantly to the vineyard area, mostly with with the addition of Gamay in the Coteaux du Lyonnais. Guillaume has now taken over the running of the estate, and also buys in grapes from a few other other organic vine growers, notably for the Saint Joseph.

Today the property is around 13 hectares, but they still have only five hectares in Côte Rôtie and just half a hectare in Condrieu. The vines are planted on terraces along the Côte Rôtie, with two wooden stakes tied above each vine to help protect against the region's occasionally howling winds.

Having officially converted to organic farming practices in 2002 (and now fully certified organic), most work in the vineyards is done manually, without the use of any chemical fertilisers.

In order to even better express the tradition of the vineyard, the domaine only uses vines from their own selection of Syrah plantings, which are grafted in their own small nursery. According to Gilbert, these traditional Ampuis vines (vieilles serines) are less productive and give more complex aromas than available modern selections. The grapes are all hand-picked, backbreaking work on these perilous hills and left to naturally ferment with wild yeasts. This approach furthers the site purity in each of their wines.

Annual production here still hovers at about 1250 cases per year, these are beautifully made wines with a very pure expression of place from this great region.

Domaine G&J Bott

NEW PRODUCER

We first encountered the young Kiwi, Graeme Bott, in the days when he and Julie were both working for the great Stéphane Ogier. We have kept in touch and 8 years later we are delighted that he and Julie are now married and have set up on their own. 2018 is their second vintage release and we could not be more excited.

Graeme's talents as a winemaker were never in doubt. To have become Chef de Cave for Stéphane Ogier is no mean feat, especially for someone from the 'outside' and New Zealand is a long way from Ampuis! This natural ability combined with relentless energy and creativity from them both has resulted in Domaine Bott.

'Les Kiwis d'Ampuis' have been resourceful in finding plots for vineyards. As newcomers they were never really in the market for buying existing, established vineyards. Prices here are now stratospheric. So, they got creative. First of all, their garden! This plot of land is within the Condrieu appellation, so they quickly planted vines and have a parcel here. In other zones they have studied the geology and history of the slopes in the northern Rhone. Identifying areas of rough land that were once vineyards, pre-phylloxera, but have since never been replanted. These plots were affordable, so the couple planted all the vines themselves and rebuilt the old stone walls. Today the estate has grown to 6HA through this resourcefulness and sheer hard work.

Their vineyards are now spread between Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Seyssuel - and they have recently moved production from their two garages to a winery in Ampuis.

They want to make wines they want to drink and love finesse and poise. This means early picking of the white grapes to retain brightness and acidity and only 3 or 4-year-old barrels are used for the élévage.

Vineyard work on the reds is intensive - Graeme believes that wines are mostly 'made' before the harvest, on the vines. For the Botts, it’s all about the purity of the fruit and transmitting that sense of place. In the cellar they have an artisan approach, very gentle maceration - more of an infusion with a gentle single pump over each day, no punching down or effort to extract more grip or colour or flavour. The wines are a delight. There is a sleek feel and a softness that belies the smart intensity. They have lift and poise. Never over-bearing but they make you sit up and take note.

On this first UK release of these wines you can see the sheer class of what they are doing here. These are impressive, very likeable wines made on a small scale by a passionate and very skilled couple - it is no wonder they are already turning heads.

Domaine Gaylord Machon

Domaine Gaylord Machon is in Beaumont-Monteux, in the heart of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation, on 'les châssis' a name which derives from the numerous large stones found in this area, which make for a particularly free-draining soil. 5% of the domaine is Marsanne and Roussanne, from which a tiny amount of white is made, the rest being all Syrah for the two cuvées of red.

All the work in the vines is manual, including the harvest. Gaylord took over 5 hectares of family vines in 2002, the produce of which he took to the co-op, like his forbears, until 2008, when he began to sell the grapes of what was then an enlarged 8.5 hectares to Paul Jaboulet Ainé. In 2011 he made his first wine. He is a qualified winemaker, and had trained with Luc Tardy and Laurent Combier, among others.

Gaylord built his own vinification cellar in 2014, and today vinifies about half his red production and all the white.

Gaylord is slow to put his wines on the market, and so the new Cuvée Lhony is only 2016.

Domaine Gilles Robin

Gilles Robin took over the running of this vineyard in 1996, with the freedom to produce his own wines. With a history of winegrowing spanning four generations, Gilles' aim was to realise the potential of the 35 year old vines. He immediately used only natural fertilizers and reduced yields to just 40 hectolitres per hectare (8/10 bunches per vine) to give a richer concentration of fruit and quality. A new winery was built into the ground to allow the wines to be moved delicately by gravity, rather than being pumped. Gilles' vineyard now extends to Saint Joseph (where he makes a tiny volume) and Hermitage, the core vineyard averages forty years old, and the wines gain in subtlety and balance with every vintage.

Gilles says of his wines, 'there is not a unique Syrah but rather a full spectrum of characteristics and potential expressed by Syrah varieties', to which might be added 'the spectrum of flavours of Syrah on different terroirs' as well, because his vineyards encompass the range of styles the appellation can produce. The 'Rochas' vineyard has deep soils which make for big wines with rustic tannins which take time to soften. It always produces tiny grapes which need fairly strong extraction to get the best of their deep, wild black fruit and spice notes. The 'Monico' vineyard is made up of broken-up rock and little pebbles and a deep clay. The clay retains water well and this is perfect for hot summers. A higher-toned red and black fruit character, ripe blackcurrant and blackberry, with elegant rather than massive tannins. Finally the 'Terres Rouges' vineyard is made of gravels and red clay, typical of the 'Terrasse des Châssis'. The Syrah here displays finesse, elegance and aromatic complexity. The strong iron monoxide content of this plot enables a maximum phenolic maturity. Intense colour, with purple highlights, aromas of violets, black fruits, sweet spices (pepper, nutmeg) and slightly smokiness. On the palate, this Syrah has silky tannins and fine minerality.

All of these styles together make for beautifully balanced wines, the different cuvées emphasising the differing characteristics of primal fruit and sophisticated and complex depth.

The vineyard has been organic since 2009.

Domaine Lionnet

NEW PRODUCER

Ludovic Izerable came to this domaine by marriage to Corinne, the daughter of Pierre and grand-daughter of Michel Lionnet. She took the reins in 2003. The Izerables immediately converted the domaine to organic farming and have been certified since 2009.

The word 'Cornas' derives from the Celtic word for 'burnt earth' and so is the origine of the name of the Domaine's flagship cuvée 'Terre Brûlée'. The domaine is a mere 4 hectares, in Cornas and Saint Joseph (where their vines are in Chateaubourg, the southernmost village of the appellation, at 300m altitude). In Cornas, they have 7 parcels of vines, mostly between 40 and over 100 years old, with one parcel of young vines planted in 2008. No pesticides, herbicides or commercial fertilisers are used, and the soil is worked by horse and a small caterpillar-tracked machine.

The grapes are handpicked and vinified as whole bunches - nothing is added at any stage and the vinification is by naturally occurring yeasts - the harvest has to be ultra-clean to allow for this, and that contributes to the aromatic purity of the wines. After the alcoholic fermentation with pigeage the freerun wine is drawn off and the marc is pressed gently in a vertical press from the 19th century. The malolactic fermentations are in resin or stainless steel vats, and only once completed do the wines get racked and transferred to barrel for two winters - a total of 18 months - half in 225l and half in demi-muids of 600l. No new wood is used. The wines are then bottles without fining or filtration.

Domaine Patrick & Christophe Bonnefond

Christophe and Patrick took over this family domaine in 1990. It extends to ten hectares, with small amounts of IGP 'Collines Rhodaniennes' Viognier (0.5 hectare) and Syrah (1 hectare) as well as the Condrieu and the three cuvées of Côte-Rôtie.

The Condrieu (1 hectare) comes from the granite soils of the Côte Chatillon. It is fermented in 440l barrels (with 30% new wood) at 18C and aged on the lees for ten months.

The 'Colline de Couzou' Côte-Rôtie comes from several plots in the north and south of the appellation, on schist and granite, about six hectares in total. All the reds are fermented in stainless steel with around 20% whole bunches. The Couzou is then aged in 400l barrels for eighteen months, with 20% new wood. Production hovers just above 2000 cases a year.

The Côte Rozier (0.5 hectare) is in the north of the appellation, on schist and mica-schist. The vinification is the same, but the percentage of new wood for this and the Rochains goes up to 30% and the élevage in barrel is extended to 20 months. Only about 160 cases a year. The Rochains (1 hectare), a slightly bigger cuvée at 300 cases a year, is also in the north of the appellation, the other side of La Landonne, on a soil of schist with lots of iron oxide. These are the oldest vines of the domaine.

Domaine Pierre Gaillard

Pierre Gaillard's passion for wine-making developed at an early age when he was discovered ploughing in the vineyard with a plough horse when only twelve years old. After studying oenology at Montpelier he went on to work for a large estate in Côte Rôtie where he steeped himself in the 'terroirs' and traditions of this famous vineyard. In 1981 he bought his own vines in St Joseph and revived the 'Clos de Cuminaille', an ancient vineyard dating back to Roman times. Since then he has bought vines in both Côte Rôtie and Condrieu, and his family have continued to develop the business.
Domaine-Pierre-Gaillard

Domaine Rémi Niero

The smart and charming Rémi started to work alongside his father in 2004 and today is in charge of the domaine along with his wife Krystel. They are the 3rd generation of winemakers and continue the tradition of the estate's refined and pure wines from Viognier and Syrah working from their cellars in Condrieu. The domaine has recently fully converted to organic farming, the wines much like the estate are pristine and pure.

This is one of the original domaines of the Condrieu appellation, and centred on the oldest vineyard, above Condrieu itself and with a decent holding in the Coteau du Chéry, which, with the Coteau du Vernon, is considered one of the best sites.

The domaine existed 45 years ago when the whole appellation was just 8 hectares of vines (it's now 160 hectares), under the name Pinchon. Rémi's father Robert married the Pinchon daughter, so now, having been Domaine Niero-Pinchon for a bit, it has been shortened to simply Niero when Rémi took over.

The Condrieus come from just over 4 hectares of vines, all in the commune of Condrieu itself, in the parcels Coteau de Chéry, La Roncharde, Côte Chatillon, La Caille, Vergelas and Corbéry. The Condrieus are aged in tank (60%) and barrel (40%) for a year.

The Côte-Rôties come from two sites, La Viallière and Le Coteau de Bassenon, from the southern end of the appellation, a total of nearly 2 hectares. They are aged for 16 months in barrel, with 20% new wood.