2009 Les Grandes Places Domaine Clusel-Roch
|Vineyard||Les Grandes Places|
Still in barrel when last seen, and oaky notes were rather to the fore on the nose but track record of the wines of this exceptional vineyard suggests the fruit will soon take the upper hand. Delicate and precise and detailed despite obvious power. Real density and length. L&S (Sep 2011)
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Opaque ruby. Aromas of blackberry, cherry-cola and incense, with a spicy topnote that builds with aeration. Rich and expansive but lively too, offering dark berry, bitter cherry and licorice flavors and a subtle violet pastille quality. For a big wine this shows impressive nuance. Closes on a floral note, with superb clarity and supple texture. Rating: 93 Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Mar 2012)
Substantial nose, full and lucid. Finesse on the palate: velevet-textured fruit and fresh tannins; complex and pure. Drink 2016-2029 (Decanter April 2011) Rating: *****19 John Livingstone-Learmonth (Sep 2011)
Mid crimson. Very subtle. Very dense. Reverberant. Nervier than the regular bottling. Bit neurotic but I'm sure it will ultimately be rewarding. Drink 2014-2022 Rating: 17.5+ Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Sep 2011)
Glass-staining ruby. Cherry and dark berry preserves on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice and violet. Lively, tightly focused cherry and blackberry flavors stain the palate and show very good clarity, complemented by zesty minerality that gains power with air. This nervy wine finishes with strong cut and sweet persistence. I find this more discreet and more refined than the La Vialliere. Rating: 92-94 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Jan 2011)
Founded by René Clusel in 1969, the winery is now run by his son, Gilbert and wife Brigitte Roch with their son now Guillaume taking more and more on when not working on his own wine-project nearer Lyon. Today the property is still tiny: despite the addition of a small parcel in St Joseph they retain just 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 fertilizers. 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.
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