2012 Les Grandes Places Domaine Clusel-Roch
|Vineyard||Les Grandes Places|
Roasted meat, spice, blackberry, lovely aromatics on the palate with spice, ripe blackberry, cherry fruitiness, great acidity, ripe full tannins with mineral grip on the finish. Drinking range: 2019 - 2030 L&S (Nov 2015)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
Opaque ruby. Blackberry, candied plum, cassis, licorice, bitter chocolate and potpourri on the complex, intensely perfumed nose. Dense, concentrated and seamless on the palate, offering primary black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors and a smoky mineral accent that adds back-end vivacity. Finishes with broad, supple tannins, an echo of licorice and outstanding mineral-driven persistence. Drinking range: 2018 - 2032 Rating: 94-94 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Feb 2016)
Youthful purple. A complex bouquet offers fresh blackberry, cherry pit, violet and spicecake complemented by smoky minerality. Intense black and blue fruit flavors are accented by suggestions of allspice and licorice and given cut and lift by juicy acidity. Fine-grained tannins provide shape to the very long, sappy, spice-dominated finish, which shows excellent focus. Rating: 92-94 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Apr 2014)
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.
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