I am surprised that JLL didn’t report on this, but starting in 2018, the Clusels begin a new chapter in their single parcel crus, from the high plateau vineyard known as le Champon. The Clusels have two main parcels that they farm up there in the lieu dit Champon, with one of the two being from 65+ year old vines, from a stable long term lease that they have farmed since 1984!…..The writing on the barrel that I tasted read, “Paul”, as that is the name of the gentleman from whom they rent it; he is apparently more of a cereal/vegetable grower. It is this portion of the Champon, the old vine Paul barrel, that will be this new cru; the rest of the Champon will go into the blended Schistes bottling. When tasting it, it was self-evident why they had chosen to bottle it separately, as its sense of depth and complexity are quite distinct. I would put it moreso in the camp of the Grandes Places’ compact schistic intensity, moreso than the intense florals of the Viallière; it wouldn’t be the worst analogy to call it a “baby Grandes Places”. I thought it was a knockout, and would score right in line with the others in the range, a more than worthy first vintage……..a little * awarded here.
“Vibrant blackberry and cherry aromas are complemented by hints of incense, cracked pepper and exotic spices. Taut and focused on entry, then fleshier in the midpalate, offering intense dark fruit and floral flavors and a hint of spiciness. Shows impressive energy on the sappy, mineral-dominated finish, which features harmonious tannins and a suave floral quality. This is the first vintage for this bottling here.” 94-95 Josh Raynolds