Beyond The Rhône

We’ve all admired someone who is multi-talented and able to achieve impressive levels of success in myriad endeavours. In the wine world, Guillaume Clusel is that individual, and lucky for us, the fruits of his talent and success are now ours to enjoy in more ways than we have before!

Based in Verenay, the northernmost village in Côte Rôtie, the tiny domaine of Maison Clusel-Roch boasts a reputation for Côte Rôtie and Condrieu that has been synonymous with excellence since the winery began producing in the 1950’s. In the early 2000’s, third-generation winemaker Guillaume Clusel decided to expand the winery’s reach in the appellation of Coteaux du Lyonnais, a region with roots in winemaking dating back to 45 BC but that only received its official designation in 1984, and which is rapidly gaining attention with winemakers and wine drinkers.

Despite being just 20km away from the winery’s home, the terroir in Coteaux du Lyonnais could not be more different. Far from the steep slopes of the Rhône with vineyards terraced on granite and schist soils producing long-lived wines that often need decades to show their full character, the relatively flat valley of this appellation with glacial moraines (large stones) that keep the heat in the soil, offer the perfect conditions for making ripe and expressive Gamay and Chardonnay. In this new land, Guillaume set his mind to creating vastly different wines but of the same outstanding quality for which Clusel-Roch is already known. Vineyards are farmed organically (Clusel-Roch’s standard in Côte Rôtie as well) and most of the harvesting is done by hand to ensure the best quality fruit. In the winery, the wines are fermented using indigenous yeasts and aged in steel vessels to allow the regional and varietal characteristics to be showcased.

Although these wines diverge in nature from their Rhône cousins – being fresh and bright and meant to be enjoyed young – the same attention to quality and authenticity is evident in every sip. We are thrilled to add these wines to our portfolio. They are a welcome bonus to our tiny allocation of Maison Clusel-Roch’s Rhône wines and they clearly express the winery’s commitment to excellence in everything they do.

Maison Clusel-Roch 2020 ‘Traboules’ Blanc, Coteaux du Lyonnais
Retail: $29.95 / btl (6btl / cs)

Maison Clusel-Roch 2020 ‘Traboules’ Rouge, Coteaux du Lyonnais
Retail: $29.95 / btl (6btl / cs)

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The Wines

Maison Clusel-Roch 2020 ‘Traboules’ Blanc, Coteaux du Lyonnais
Grapes were hand-harvested, naturally fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged for six months in stainless steel tanks, resulting in a lively and fresh wine with aromas of citrus fruit and delicate spring flowers. A mineral-accented structure with bright acidity ensures length and vibrancy. Pair with shellfish, fresh goat cheese or as serve as an aperitif.





Maison Clusel-Roch 2020 ‘Traboules’ Rouge, Coteaux du Lyonnais
From 30 year-old vines, grapes were carefully chosen and hand-picked before fermentation, 30% of which is whole cluster, with indigenous yeasts and aged for six months in stainless steel. The wine is highly perfumed with red berries, summer flowers and potpourri. The palate is juicy with raspberry and red currant and a strong undercurrent of mineral and spice. Serve slightly chilled with cheese and charcuterie or grilled steak.

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About Maison Clusel-Roch

In the 1950’s René and Joséphine Clusel began cultivating vegetables, fruit trees and vineyards, like many other farmers in the Ampuis region. The Clusels made a small amount of wine from their Côte-Rôtie vines and quickly developed a following.

Even though the vineyard was not well-known at the time, the Clusels’ son Gilbert decided that the farm’s future lay with Côte-Rôtie wines. As soon as he had completed his education, Gilbert joined the family estate and began clearing and revamping old abandoned vineyards.

When René Clusel retired, the estate had three and a half hectares of vineyards and the Grandes-Places vineyard, which had been planted by René’s parents, Baptiste and Marguerite Clusel, was in full production. At that time, the winery’s name was changed to “Clusel-Roch” with the partnership of Gilbert Clusel and Brigitte Roch.

The vineyard evolved considerably in the 1990’s with the planting of “massales” selection (the practice of replanting new vineyards with cuttings from exceptional old vines) from the vineyard of Grandes Places, discontinuing use of chemical treatments and the construction of a new modern and gravity-flow cellar. The estate became organic certified in the early 2000’s.

Since 2009, the next generation, Gilbert and Brigitte’s son Guillaume, has been involved in most of the operations of the winery, including the extension of the estate through renting vineyards in the villages of Millery and Grigny, which are situated in the well-known, classified region AOC Coteaux du Lyonnais. In 2014 Guillaume became a “negociant-vinificateur” sourcing grapes from other like-minded and organic growers in the AOC Coteaux du Lyonnais and AOC Saint Joseph appellations.

All the wines at Maison Clusel-Roch are made with extreme care including small batch hand-harvesting and sorting, gentle, gravity flow methods, indigenous yeasts and the combination of barrel and stainless steel aging to allow the wines to best express their unique characters.


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Maison Clusel-Roch’s wines are represented in Ontario by The Vine Agency.

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