2015 La Viallière Domaine Clusel-Roch
Vivid, with lovely energy throughout thanks to a light bramble edge amid the mix of black currant, raspberry and plum compote flavors. Light anise and black tea hints score the finish. Best from 2020 through 2031.— Drinking range: 2020 - 2031 Rating: 94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Feb 2018)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2015 Cote Rotie Vialliere combines haunting aromas and flavors of intense, super ripe cassis and plum with firm tannins and a dry, astringent finish. In the end, the fruit should prevail, but give this medium to full-bodied wine awhile in the cellar to round into form. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 95 Joe Czerwinski, www.robertparker.com(Dec 2017)
Opaque ruby. Expansive aromas of ripe blueberry, blackberry, incense and candied flowers are sharpened by cracked pepper and mineral flourishes. Sweet, seamless and concentrated in style, offering intense dark fruit liqueur and spicecake flavors and suggestions of licorice and olive that build with air. Lush and broad, in the style of the vintage, but there's very good structure here as well. Sneaky tannins shape the plush dark fruit on the extremely long, juicy finish. Rating: 93-95 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com(Apr 2017)
The roughly 200-case 2015 Côte Rôtie Viallière is more floral and fresh, with pretty notes of blueberries, spring flowers, violets and pepper giving way to a medium to full-bodied, elegant, yet still concentrated Côte Rôtie that will be more approachable than the Les Grandes Places. This cuvée is 100% Syrah, was 60% destemmed and will see two years in 25% new French oak. Rating: 91-93 Jeb Dunnuck - www.robertparker.com(Dec 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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