|Vineyard||Les Grandes Places|
Very rich dense colour, slightly muted on the nose for now. Lots of dense black fruits, blackcurrant, violets and rich minerality, but the sheer density makes it hard to taste. Judging purely on the other 17’s it should shape up very nicely but will need time. Drinking range: 2020 - 2033 L&S (Jan 2019)
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Deep, dark violet. Primary dark fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of incense, candied flowers and exotic spices, along with subtle cracked pepper and cola nuances. Deeply concentrated blueberry, bitter cherry and violet pastille flavors slowly turn sweeter as the wine opens up. Shows outstanding energy and mineral thrust on an extremely long, focused finish that features fine-grained tannins and repeating blue fruit and floral character. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 94 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Apr 2020)
Tasted blind. Almost jammy black fruit on the nose, plus sweet vanilla spice. Excellent peppery character to the palate with savoury black cherry fruit and a moderate floral finish. Covers all the classic Côte Rôtie checkpoints. Stylish, balanced, relatively light. Drinking range: 2020 - 2032 Rating: 17 Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Feb 2019)
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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