This afternoon we drink in honour of top chap Roy, whose generous loan has allowed payment of the rent for Elitistreview Towers and so prevented the team from being unceremoniously evicted. Considering the problems associated with reporting on dissolute larks when based in the gutter we unreservedly appreciate your help, Roy.
Readers may recall that in my rant about Northern Rhone producers I picked out Clusel-Roch as my favourite Cote-Rotie producer – this bottle of 2005 reaffirms my view. If you want masculine power go to Hermitage, Cornas provides a bit of rough whereas top Cote-Rotie, like this bottle, should be serving up stylish elegance.
Cote-Rotie 2005, Domaine Clusel-Roch
The polished, pure expression of ripe fruit and earthiness that this nose displays is distinctly alluring for a lover of under-stated beauty. It doesn’t try to hard too overwhelm or impress, rather flashing cool sophistication with serene self-assurance. Considering this is quite a warm vintage the alcohol level is delightfully restrained. I’m also pleased there is no overt new oak or similar oenological devilments to distract from the very refined Syrah aromas which articulate their origins perspicuously. It seems to me that the polished character is also present on the palate. The tannic structure is seductively silky and interlaced with intricate earthy flavours and drop-dead gorgeous fruit. Acidity levels are completely harmonious and there is a fresh grind of Syrah pepper here as well. It is a deliciously foxy little number that does the whole ‘enchanting’ thing with pizazz. Clearly classy with no rush to drink. Clusel-Roch’s single vineyard Cote-Rotie ‘Les Grandes Places’ is even better.