2020 Clusel Côte Rôtie le Champon

2020 Clusel Côte Rôtie le Champon




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. (my impression of the 2018, NOT THE 2020 OFFERED HERE)

“Quite a dark red colour. The nose is clear toned, has airs of neat cherries, hints of dusty trails, sandy beaches, an intricate violet line. The palate sets off with a clear and crisp debut, runs with a good underpin of red berry fruit, delves into the schist for its iron on the finish, a note of violets there. It carries spicing, cut, tang, will be good from 2027. It has more style than the deeper 2019. 2052-54 July 2021” 4.5 Stars John Livingstone Learmonth

“Mineral- and smoke-accented dark berry preserve and cherry aromas are complemented by a spicy nuance that builds with air. Densely packed, impressively concentrated blackberry and bitter cherry flavors show serious depth and sharp detail. Finishes broad and emphatically spicy, with chewy tannins lending shape to impressively persistent blue fruit and floral notes.” 94-96 Josh Raynolds for the 2019, NOT THE 2020 OFFERED HERE