Domaine Clusel-Roch 'Les Schistes' Côte-Rôtie AOC 2018

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Domaine Clusel-Roch 'Les Schistes' Côte-Rôtie AOC 2018
Country France
Region Rhône Valley
Appellation/Sub-Region Côte-Rôtie AOC
Grapes Syrah, Viognier
Vineyard/Cellar Practices Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine, Vegan

The Clusel-Roch family was among the first producers in the Côte-Rôtie area to adopt organic farming practices, when Gilbert Clusel’s grandfather planted the core vineyard of the winery in 1935. They became pioneers of the organic farming movement and converted officially to organic in 2002. The estate is well known for their cuvées of serine, the low-yielding syrah clone that they carefully cultivate on the steep slopes of Vérenay, at the northernmost end of the Northern Rhône region. In recent years, Guillaume Clusel, son of Gilbert and Brigitte Roch, has been gradually taking over management of the estate from his parents and expanding their offerings to other grapes and appellations. This classic Côte-Rôtie is the domaine’s signature release, constituting 80% of their annual production. As is traditional for Côte-Rôtie, the blend includes around 4% viognier, in this case co-planted with the serine. Drawn from the domaine’s own vineyards in Vérenay—including from the lieux-dits Viallière, Le Champon, and Le Plomb—the grapes are harvested and sorted by hand before being partially destemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts. Clusel-Roch’s chai, attached to their house in Vérenay, takes advantage of the slope to treat their harvest gently and naturally via gravity. Aging takes place in French oak barrels (of which 15% are new) for two years. Fruity and accessible while retaining the seriousness of a Côte-Rôtie, it is packed with red fruit and spice with an aromatic lift from the touch of viognier, followed by a long, complex finish. Certified organic, low-intervention/natural wine, vegan.