Wine of the Day November 26, 2014

2013CluselGamay2013 Domaine Clusel-Roch, Traboules, Coteaux du Lyonnais, France.
Guillaume Clusel’s Traboules is 100% Gamay from just outside of Lyon, but made at Ampuis, Northern Rhone, not too far away, made from 20 plus year old organic vines. This almost Rhone Gamay shows the influence of place and tradition, it is a little rough around the edges, but is a nicely detailed wine with it’s own charms and beauty. While most people know Domaine Clusel-Roch for their Cote-Rotie and Condrieu the winery also does a few Gamay wines, including a rose even, and this Traboules is a delicious, almost Rhone like, example of this Beaujolais varietal. While a bit weird, this intriguing wine is wickedly cool and has lots of interesting character, especially alluring to many a wine geek, at a quite easily affordable price. This Gamay, which the Clusel’s say is mostly destemmed, feels a bit Cornas like with spice, skin tannin and dusty/stony with grip and a slightly rustic nature, but with a good fruit core, admirable grace and impressive length. This Coteaux du Lyonnaise opens up to reveal, hints of wild flowers, blueberry, poached plum, dark cherry and strawberry fruits along with herb/tea notes, celery root, minty basil, walnut and melted black licorice. Fermented with native yeasts and aged in vats of stainless (no wood) the Traboules cuvee is a fresh and dynamic wine, it has surprising complexity, it certainly gives some appealing layers and is distinct wine, without question more Rhone than Beaujolais. Imported by Charles Neal a hero of the “country wine” and made in tiny amounts, the Clusel-Roch Coteaux du Lyonnaise are not going to be easy to find, but are worth the quest. This wine grew on me over the course of the evening, and it is wonderful with food, it is fruity, spicy, savory and earthy with good vigor, depth and playfulness, I really dig it, drink from 2014 to 2019.
($17 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive