|Vineyard||Les Grandes Places|
Dark purple. Highly expressive blackberry, potpourri and licorice aromas show outstanding clarity and minerally lift. Palate-staining, expansive dark berry, floral pastille and fruitcake flavors are firmed by a spine of juicy minerality that adds back-end cut. Gains energy on the impressively persistent finish, which repeats the dark berry quality and leaves a vibrant echo of minerality behind. Drinking range: 2022 - 2029 Rating: 93 Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Jul 2017)
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(aged in 25% new oak): Bright purple. Intensely perfumed aromas of dark berry preserves, cherry compote, pipe tobacco, licorice and vanilla show very good focus. Stains the palate with intense, gently sweet blueberry and bitter cherry flavors that become deeper and spicier with air. Packs a solid punch but comes off graceful and precise, finishing with wonderful persistence and velvety, slowly emerging tannins. Rating: 92-94 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com(Mar 2016)
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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