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!
Those who attended our Rhone Revolution Dinners in Melbourne in Sydney saw just how smart these wines are. We served the the two top cuvees - Les Grandes Places and Vialliere. Both had laser-like precision; incredibly intense and very mineral. These are not souped up, oaky wines. They are classic, fine and built to age. They will incredibly stylish and complex with some time in the bottle. Dare I say it, they are a little reminiscent of fine Burgundy.
New reviews from the Wine Spectator have just been published. The reviews are exceptional for Cote-Rotie. As suggested earlier availability is the problem and quantities available are very low.
Here are two of the Clusel-Roch wines we have available. Click here to view the full range.
Cote-Rotie Les Grandes Places 2010
1500ml Magnum Normally $406.95
Pre Arrival Price $345.95
Only available in Magnum of which we have just 12 left. From vines planted in the 1930's.
Wine Spectator: Displays the energetic, juicy, brambly feel of the vintage, with a minerally spine that lets the black cherry, blood orange, plum skin, dark olive and tobacco leaf notes fan out. Perfumy alder and violet accents fill in the background. A beauty that should age wonderfully. Best from 2015 through 2025. 170 cases made. 95 Points
Cote-Rotie Vialliere 2010
1500ml Magnum Normally $335.00
Pre Arrival Price $285.00
23 Magnums left. 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.
Wine Spectator: A bright, juicy, engaging style, with lots of red currant, damson plum and cherry fruit lined with plum pit, blood orange and roasted sandalwood notes. The mineral-driven finish shows lovely persistence, while an intense briary edge blossoms with aeration. Best from 2015 through 2025. 230 cases made. 93 Points
To view the wines available and order on line click here.
You may also order by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning (03) 9326 5737. Wines are on the way and will be here in February.