The tiny Domaine Clusel was established in 1969 by Rene Clusel. In 1989 his son Gilbert changed the name to Clusel-Roch, Roch being his wife's family name. Today the propery is still tiny (even by Burgundy standards!) with just 3.5 hectares of Cote-Rotie and 0.5 hectares in Condrieu. The domaine also has vines in the Coteaux de Lyonnais. The vines are planted on terraces along the steep slopes of 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, most work in the vineyards is done manually, without the use of any chemical fertilizers.
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 are less productive and give more complex aromas than available modern selections. When harvest time comes, the grapes are manually selected, and fermented with indigenous yeasts, furthering the site purity in each wine. With annual production of about 1250 cases per year, Domaine Clusel-Roch is able to focus all their attention on each aspect of the winemaking, from vine to bottle, and it shows! The wines are extremely well reviewed. The problem is finding them!
Last night I opened a bottle of the Cote-Rotie Vialliere 2009. What a delightful wine. The colour was still purple! The nose was inviting yet brilliantly restrained at the same time. There were dark berries, spice, flowers and lots of minerals. The palate was poised and focused, intense in the same way a great Burgundy presents. I was very impressed. This is Shiraz of a very different style to almost all new world versions.
We are pleased to present a new Pre Arrival offer for Clusel-Roch. We have both the 2012 and 2013 vintage available and you are welcome to mix and match.
Here's just two of the wines...
Cote-Rotie Les Grandes Places 2012
1500ml Magnum Normally $459.95
Pre Arrival Price $390.95
750ml Bottle Normally $223.95
Pre Arrival Price $190.50
From vines planted in the 1930's.
Vinous - Josh Raynolds: Opaque ruby. Blackberry, candied plum, cassis, licorice, bitter chocolate and potpourri on the complex, intensely perfumed nose. Dense, concentrated and seamless on the palate, offering primary black and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors and a smoky mineral accent that adds back-end vivacity. Finishes with broad, supple tannins, an echo of licorice and outstanding mineral-driven persistence. 94 Points
Cote-Rotie Vialliere 2012
1500ml Magnum Normally $369.95
Pre Arrival Price $314.50
750ml Bottle $171.95
Pre Arrival Price $145.95
95% Syrah (1958, some 1985), 5% Viognier from site of same name with schist soils, part destemmed, crushed, 3-4 week vinification, cap punching, aged 30% new, 70% 1-year oak 24 months, unfined, unfiltered, a revival, but first recent wine 2009.
Vinous - Josh Raynolds: Inky ruby. Complex aromas of fresh red berries, cherry compote, smoky minerals and potpourri, with spicecake and anise nuances emerging with aeration. Smooth, sappy and sweet, displaying very good focus to its intense red fruit preserve, violet pastille and allspice flavors. Shows excellent energy and lift on the floral finish, which is firmed by supple, harmonious tannins. 93 Points
To view the wines available and order on line click here.
You may also order by email at email@example.com or by telephoning (03) 9326 5737 from 4 January 2016.