Coteaux Lyonnais, Traboules, 2016

  Clusel Roch

The Traboules Coteaux du Lyonnais (the area west of Lyon) comes from the southern part of the appellation, not far from the River Rhône, centred around two villages, Millery and Orliénas. The slopes are south-east facing. The soils are granitic in the latter village and in the former sandy with large galet stones that serve to warm the soil and aid ripening of the Gamay grapes. After handpicking and fermentation with indigenous yeasts the wine is aged in steel tank before bottling. A joy-filled wine, pure pleasure. Soft but crystalline red forest berry fruits flecked with notes of rock salt. Precise fruity, digest, supple and juicy this is gratifying, light and mouth-watering.

Contains Sulphites.

About Clusel Roch

This small artisanal Domaine, run by Brigitte Roch, Gilbert Clusel and their son Guillaume, only employs organic methods to work its vineyards and for some time have consistently had some of the lowest yields in the region. Such low yields and excellent vineyard sites help to produce excellent wines that are made in a gentle, pure and refined style. There is little new oak; depending on the vintage a large proportion of whole bunches may be included in fermentations and extractions are soft resulting in elegant, refined and characterful Côte Rôtie that age seamlessly. The standard cuvée is aged in one- and two-year-old barriques for a year, whilst wine from the old vines of Les Grandes Places require ageing in a proportion of new oak barriques, rarely more than 30-40%.

Appellation: Rhone

France’s wine growing “Rhone Valley” in reality covers two very distinct wine growing regions, separated by a vine-free gap of approximately 30 miles.

Whilst the A.O.C. Cotes de Rhone can in theory come from both the North and the South, in practice the two zones producer remarkably distinct wines. By far the greatest volume of wine comes from the flatter rolling hills of the south, home to Chateauneuf-du-Pape and other old favourites like Gigondas, Vacqueras and Lirac, as well as the majority of the ever popular ‘Cotes du Rhone’ . Blending is the order of the day in the South with Grenache forming the backbone of many cuvees. The late ripening Mourvedre is also common, alongside increasing amounts of Syrah and Cinsaut (and a few others!). The whites are dominated by Marsanne and Roussanne. In the Northern Rhone the landscape is distinctly different, the valley being far steeper and the vineyards more perilous. Here, at least for the reds, Syrah is the undisputed King producing wines of spice, pepper and dark fruits that have the potential to age as long as almost anything out there. When it comes to whites, Marsanne and Roussanne are the most common, but there is also the aromatic delights of Viognier to consider, found at its very finest in the northern vineyards of Condrieu.

Up and down the quality scale the Rhone stands out today for offering serious wines made by small quality conscious growers at very reasonable prices. A stellar run of recent vintages (barring the obvious 2002) and a wider pool of quality wine making talent than ever before has see the Rhone in recent years very much regaining its position front of mind for many of the world’s great wine collectors.

Grape Type: Gamay

Gamay is found in the Beaujolais where, on granite slopes, it makes wine that cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world. Thanks to poor winemaking over the last decade and the Beaujolais Nouveau stigma, Gamay has experienced a dip in popularity of late. Unjustly so, for it can produce wines brimming with juicy fruit, and is perfect slightly chilled and drunk alfresco. Gamay is also found in the Loire and in Burgundy, forming a partnership with Pinot Noir to make Bourgogne Passetoutgrains