Work Worth Doing

Making wine in the Northern Rhône is a commitment to hard work, but as Teddy Roosevelt once said ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” The results speak for themselves. Guillaume Clusel represents the 3rd generation of the Clusel family working the vertiginous slopes of the Côte-Rôtie. Work in the vineyard is labour intensive, made even more so by their commitment to organic viticulture (certified since 2002) and exclusively propagating their vineyards with Serine, an ancient, low yielding clone of Syrah.

2009 saw Guillaume expand operations north into the Côteaux du Lyonnais AOC. The vineyards are bordered by the Monts du Lyonnais to the west and Lyon to the east. This area bears more than a passing resemblance to its northerly neighbour Beaujolais, but with a stronger mediterranean influence.

We are so excited to offer our annual allocation of these fantastic wines (slightly delayed by the whims of global shipping)!

2019 ‘Les Schistes’, Côte-Rôtie
Sourced predominantly from lieu-dit Viallière, this elegant Syrah includes a small portion of Viognier for an aromatic lift. Farmed and harvested by hand, fermentation is allowed to proceed spontaneously before 2 years maturation in French oak barrels (15% new).

The 2019 Côte Rôtie Les Schistes has a classic Côte Rôtie bouquet of both red and black fruits supported by subtle, meaty, iron, and spicy nuances that develop more intensity with time in the glass along with some peppery, floral notes. Coming from a blend of the three lieux-dits owned by the family, this peppery, complex, seamless Côte Rôtie is medium-bodied, has a supple, elegant mouthfeel, and a gorgeous finish. You can’t go wrong with this wine, and it would be an incredible cellar saver, as it will drink spectacularly well any time over the coming 10-15 years.
– 93 points, Jeb Dunnuck

Retail $114.95 / btl (case of 6)
Only 5 cases available!

2020 ‘Traboules’ Rouge, Côteaux du Lyonnais
100% Gamay from the low slopes of the Monts du Lyonnais. A third of this wine undergoes semi carbonic maceration, with the alcoholic fermentation being allowed to proceed spontaneously prior to 6 months maturation in stainless steel.

Lurid violet color. A high-pitched, incisive bouquet evokes fresh red and blue fruits, candied rose and white pepper. Lively and focused on the palate, offering mineral-tinged bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors that slowly become sweeter with air. Delivers a solid punch of flavor and shows zero fat, finishing very long and juicy, with no obvious tannins and a strong floral echo. This is one of those wines that should be bottled in a single-portion format, meaning magnums.
– 91 points, Josh Raynolds for Vinous

Retail $36.95 / btl (case of 6)
Only 15 cases available!

Wines are sold in cases of 12 bottles unless otherwise indicated. Delivery charges may apply. Some quantities are limited, and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.


About Maison Clusel-Roch

René and Joséphine Clusel began the business in the 1950s when farmers in and around the village of Ampuis typically farmed many things – vegetables, fruit trees and vines. The infamous Côte-Rôtie did not enjoy the fame and reputation that it currently does. Indeed, much of the land had been left untended since the end of the First World War.

Despite the lack of notoriety for the region, René and Josephine’s son, Gilbert, joined the estate in 1980 once he had completed his studies. He set about restoring many of the abandoned vineyard sites and he produced the first wine from the vines of the Grandes-Place ‘lieux-dit’ vineyard under the name Clusel-Roch. (His wife was Brigitte Roch).

In the 1990s, the developments continued. The focus was on the vineyards with plantings of mass selections from the Grandes-Place vineyard, the resumption of plowing, discontinuing the use of chemical treatments, the building of a modern gravity-flow winery and ultimately in the 2000s the organic certification process.

In 2009, Guillaume, Gilbert, and Brigitte’s son, joined the estate. At the time he introduced the Coteaux de Lyonnais appellation to the business but always with an eye that everything must meet the organic criteria.