2015 Domaine Clusel-Roch
Some bold, rich and chewy fruit here. The tannins are assertive and there’s a core of dark fruit, swathed in dark-spice and mineral complexity. A blend of three parcels. Needs some time. Try in 2023. Rating: 93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Aug 2018)
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Beautifully ripe and vivid, offering a torrent of plum, blackberry and anise flavors coursing through, carried by a bold graphite edge. The long finish shows drive and cut. Drinking range: 2020 - 2031 Rating: 93-93 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Feb 2018)
Enticing blackberry, plum and star anise dance around the nose, while in the mouth it is ripe and flowing. Slightly over-extracted perhaps, but a good intensity of fruit and ripe tannins. (Matt Walls) Drinking range: 2019 - 2028 Rating: 94 Decanter Magazine(Feb 2018)
The 2015 Cote Rotie Classique is a bit chewy and tough but offers some classic Côte Rôtie notes of espresso, black olive and road tar. Leather and cassis round out the array of flavors in this medium to full-bodied effort that needs a few years to shed its appreciable tannin load. Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 90 Joe Czerwinski, www.robertparker.com(Dec 2017)
Deep ruby. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of cherry cola, cassis and olive are complemented by a sexy floral quality that expands as the wine opens up. Juicy, appealingly sweet black and blue fruit flavors show very good clarity and thrust, and a late suggestion of cracked pepper lends spicy bite. Offers a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes with lingering sweetness and velvety, building tannins. Rating: 91-93 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com(Apr 2017)
Moving to the reds, the classic 2015 Côte Rôtie Classique incorporates 4% Viognier and is brought up in 15% new barrels. Its inky purple color is followed by straight up smokin’ good notes of black olives, spring flowers, black raspberries and graphite. It has full-bodied richness, building tannin and a great texture, all pointing to an outstanding wine that will evolve gracefully. Rating: 92-94 Jeb Dunnuck - www.robertparker.com(Dec 2016)
Cask sample. Tasted blind. Mid crimson. Much more open on the nose than many 2015 Côte Rôties. Intense and well sculpted with marked tannins on the end but it could do with just a tiny bit more freshness and vitality. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Nov 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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