2012CluselRochCR2012 Clusel-Roch, Cote Rôtie “Classique” Rhone, France.
After having some of the 2011 recently, the 2012 Closel-Roch seems leaner, lighter and more tart, but that being said, it is a fine effort with deep garnet/purple color and very pleasing, especially with air and food. The Domaine Clusel-Roch Cote Rotie is all organic and comes from the Cote Brun, an area with schist and dark mica soils, these wines are rustic for the region and while usually almost 100% Syrah, there is an inter planting of about 4% Viognier which is co-fermented and thrown in as well with native yeasts and lots of stems, everything here is holistic in approach and the wines tend to take time to show well. The 2012 is meaty to start, though not big, with layers of bacon, earthy notes, blueberry, tart plum, cherry/kirsch and boysenberry leading the way, taught on the palate, with extra moments in the glass there is mineral and floral dimension with flinty stones, violets and spicing lavender, all of this is backed up with peppercorns and black olive along with light cedar, cinnamon and cassis/currant. This vintage is a bit tight, lighter in body and racy still with stem tannin and a touch of greeness, though I think it will fill out some and drink better, more complex and complete in a few years, so if you have the 2009 or 2011 versions, drink them now, and this 2012 in maybe 3 to 5 years time, it will never be a blockbuster, but there is plenty of beauty inside to surprise and reward the patient Rhone enthusiast. I love the wines of Clusel-Roch, these are soulful terroir wines and have old world charm, from their Galets Gamay to their top Cote Rotie and Condrieu these are lovely offerings.
($60+ Est.) 91-93 Points, grapelive

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