Clusel-Roch Cote-Rotie 2015 should be a real treat, but I am nervous about it.
I have bought and enjoyed Clusel-Roch Cote-Roties since the early nineties. Some of these wines have been amazing. The 95 Grands Places was a nigh-peerless expression of Cote Rotie terroir.
When I first started tasting them, Clusel-Roch Cote-Roties were supremely minimalist wines. Elegant, compact, swirling with understated complexity. They never clocked in at over 12.5% alcohol but lacked nothing in terms of depth of flavour. To my mind, the perfect Cote-Roties.
My perturbation about tasting this is because things have changed at Domaine Clusel-Roch. Since those early days of minimalist beauty, Guillaime Clusel, the son of the couple who founded the Domaine, has taken over vineyard and winery duties.
Alcohol levels have risen; this is 13%. The wines are more extracted; some I have tried have been distinctly tough and chewy. Clusel-Roch Cote-Rotie has become a different animal.
Animal is most appropriate, as a couple of his wines I have had were poxed by the dreaded Brett and stank of cow shit. They had no redeeming features at all. What a fall from grace for Clusel-Roch Cote-Rotie!
However, 2015 was a ripe and sanitary vintage. Every other 2015 Cote-Rotie I have tried has been lovely. Has Guillaime continued to fling turds at the great name of Clusel-Roch Cote-Rotie? Will this be a vintage where his talents have blossomed? Do I feel lucky, punk?
Let us cross our fingers, get tasting and find out!
Shit! Bloody shit! There is a distinct aroma of feculence to this. It is disgustingly Brett-y.
I am severely vexed; I do not mind telling you.
I thought for a moment there was a shade of nice blackberry fruit skirting around the edges of the shit, but a quick swirl has made them melt into the excreta. The earthiness I had hoped would be there is compost mixed with dogs’ eggs.
That which does not smell of turds has the aroma of putrefaction. It is utterly disgusting.
I will have a taste for the purposes of this note…
It tastes filthy.
I will never buy a Clusel-Roch Cote-Rotie again and I suggest you avoid them like dysentery. That is what they smell like with Guillaime Clusel at the helm.
He is a terrible person to have done this to the great family Domaine. His parents must weep themselves to sleep every night.