- Domaine Clusel-Roch
- Côte Rôtie
- 2023 - 2036
- Case size
- Available Now
Goedhuis, November 2019
Selected from four different south easterly facing parcels in the northern section of the appellation, Les Schistes contains 5% Viognier. The Clusel Roch vineyards are co-planted with small amounts of Viognier which might explain the floral, aromatic nature of their Côte Rôtie wines. With a brilliant purple colour and pungent aromas of red fruits, this has striking purity and direction while its tannic tension and depth give great poise. A delightful expression of this appellation.
Over the past few vintages Guillaume Clusel has made his mark on his parents’ estate, which is nestled below the steep slopes of the Côte Brune. The style here has always been understated yet complex, where Burgundy-like finesse is combined with Syrah’s natural muscle. The domaine has some very old parcels of Syrah vines, and has been organically certified since 2002. The delicate handling in the vineyard and cellar results in wines with lower alcohol than many of their neighbours, and means they produce hugely pure, distinctive wines that avoid any over-extraction. Guillaume never employs a cold soak prior to fermentation and uses a high proportion of whole bunch fruit. As a result, the wines are often paler in colour than their neighbours. This is certainly the case in 2017. From 2016 onwards the estate no longer produces their young vine cuvée, ‘La Petite Feuille’, as the vines have reached sufficient maturity to be included in the main Côte Rôtie blend, ‘Les Schistes’ (formerly known as ‘Classique’. Keep up!). Rhône expert John Livingstone-Learmonth describes Les Grandes Places as ‘a formidable wine of challenging complexity and well worth the outlay.’
Only a red wine appellation, Côte Rôtie is the most northern of all Rhône appellations and is produced mostly from Syrah, although Viognier may contribute up to 20% of the blend. Its terroir is divided into two categories. Côte Brune's soil is comprised of iron-entrenched granite giving thesoil a rich red-brown colour. As a result, it creates wine of notable power and concentration that usually needs time in the cellar to soften and develop. Heading south down the slope towards Condrieu, one encounters Côte Blonde, an area comprised of decomposed schist and mica that is lighter in colour and tends to produce elegantly styled wine for earlier consumption (most of the area's Viognier is grown here). Many traditional producers of Côte Rôtie feel that their best wines are a blend of the two.