- Domaine Clusel-Roch
- Côtes du Rhône
- Syrah / Grenache
- 2022 - 2026
- Case size
- En Primeur
Goedhuis, November 2021
First made in 2019, this straight Côtes du Rhône from one of the region’s top Côte Rôtie producers is incredibly rewarding. Les Vergers hails from a 4.5 hectare plot situated north of Ampuis and just outside the Côte Rôtie appellation. The vines were planted in the early 2000s and sit on schist-sanded soils. This 2020 sees 30% whole bunch fruit and 24 months ageing in oak (15% new). Brimming with pretty red fruit, it is reminiscent of a Côte Rôtie with its elegant perfume of violets, rose, smoke and iron. Soft, gentle tannins and sweeping acidity makes this so light-footed and elegant on the palate. A silky wonder with a wealth of fruit, it offers earlier drinking Côte Rôtie finesse at a keen price.
John Livingstone-Learmonth, November 2021
dark red robe; this has a bold, iron-blood filled bouquet, intensity in the red fruit, smoky fissures, rose petals on the premises. The palate presents an appealing flow of red cherry fruits, has flair, and a tight line of tannin, clear tannin. It finishes with a lightly floral precision, is most harmonious, gives cool, crystalline drinking, on the naked side, very pure. There are notes of the scented Lapsang Souchong tea on the palate. “I judged the harvest date just right this year,” Guillaume Clusel. From 2024. 2035
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.’
Côtes du Rhône
The largest of the Rhône appellations, it is also has the most breadth and variety in its styles. Its hierarchy ranges from the fruity and ultra light Côtes du Rhône Primeur (made by carbonic maceration), to the standard Côtes du Rhône, to the more concentrated versions of Côtes du Rhône Villages and Côtes du Rhône Villages with 1 of 16 specified villages attached to the label. It is generally known for its fruit forwardness and easy drinkability. Most of the vineyards are found in the southern valley whose main variety is Grenache; however, there are smaller areas in the northern valley that uniquely grow Syrah, therefore producing a very different wine.