2011CluselRochCoteRotie2011 Domaine Clusel-Roch, Côte-Rôtie, Rhone Red, France.
Clusel-Roch is a traditional Domaine producing a fine and beautiful example of Côte-Rôtie, they employ certified organic farming with biodynamic style, or holistic principals to ensure life, vigor and health of the vines, they use only native/natural yeast and for the Côte-Rôtie long fermentations with a two year elevage in mostly used Burgundy barrels. The domaine vinifies the Syrah (only about 4% inter planted Viognier goes in) with some whole cluster, but de-stemming is done when necessary to give more elegance and grace, and the 2011 has it all, one of the best I’ve had from the vintage with clear Syrah energy, depth and length, this is a wonderful Côte-Rôtie (Roasted Slope) expression from their tiny parcels in the Côte Brun. The soil is Schist with faded black mica, hence the name, as it now looks brown and the vines are laid out on steep terraces facing mostly south looking down on the Rhône River, this is one of the world’s great terroirs. The 2011 Côte-Rôtie from Clusel-Roch starts with violets, earth, graphite, dark berry and peppercorns leading to a supple palate of creme de cassis, a mix of green and black olives, white pepper, flinty mineral, boysenberry, cherry and damson plum as well as hints of lavender, licorice, cedar and saline. There is great harmony in the layers of flavors, a solid core structure with refined tannin, a lift of acidity and wonderful sense of texture, focus and a gorgeous long finish, in other words there is impeccable balance and detail, and while not a a flamboyant or lavish offering, it is the better for it and it should deliver sensual pleasure for years to come, there is a real charm and radiant beauty here in this stylish Rhône from Clusel-Roch, I highly recommend searching it out, imported by Charles Neal on the west coast, this is old school and natural Côte-Rôtie at it’s best, drink from 2016 to 2026.
($60 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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