2015 La Germine Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux
This is the Duclaux bothers main cuvée of Côte Rôtie, 97% Syrah with just 3% Viognier, made from several parcels of vines all over the property. While sharing the harmonious and delicate tread on the palate of the 'Chana', there's a bit more depth and seriousness here, more intensity and a little more tannic grip, but still the delicately-expressed black berry fruit and the fine refreshing acidity drawing out the length. Drinking range: 2018 - 2033 L&S (Jan 2018)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
From 30-year-old vines, the wine (20% whole-bunch fruit) spends 20 months in demi-muids and barriques, 20% new. Rich, fulsome blackberry palate with integrated new oak, good acidity and polished tannins. Needs time for the oak to settle. (MW) Drinking range: 2021 - 2026 Rating: 94-94 Decanter Magazine(Mar 2019)
Slightly deeper and darker and sweeter and more spicy than Chana. But also delicious. Tannins curve a fine, carved parenthesis around sweet-spiced red fruit. Less vitality and a tad more weight, but also long and built for the long term. Drinking range: 2020 - 2028 Rating: 17 Tamlyn Currin - www.JancisRobinson.com(May 2018)
Restrained berries on the nose, yet a good expression on the palate of intense fresh berry fruit, bright acidity and very fine tannins. This will take some time to come round, but will be good in time as there is a lovely sense of harmony and finesse. (Matt Walls) Drinking range: 2020 - 2028 Rating: 93 Decanter Magazine(Feb 2018)
Duclaux's 2015 Cote Rotie La Germine is another powerhouse Cote Rotie from this blockbuster vintage. Plum and cassis fruit is framed by hints of vanilla, while the velvety tannins are given focus and length on the finish by crisp acids. The overall effect is one of harmony and balance. Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 93-93 Joe Czerwinski, www.robertparker.com(Dec 2017)
Some reductive, meaty and ripe blackberry fruits with a wealth of sweet and spicy complexity. There's an attractive graphite-like dark stony edge, too. The palate has a wealth of sweetly succulent mulberry and red plum fruit. Fine pastry-like tannins. Drink now. Rating: 92-92 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com(Sep 2017)
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.
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