“Thoughtful & Savory in Style”: 2015 Côte-Rôtie from an Understated Master

Posted on: 10/9/18 12:01 PM


Look, I’ll be honest. We don’t sell enough Northern Rhône here. Some of the blame rests with me, I suppose. But, to be frank, you all just do not buy enough Northern Rhône. We sell oceans of Burgundy and Bordeaux; Barolo, Barbaresco and Tuscan wines also sell briskly, but not at the same pace as Burgundy and Bordeaux. California Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot all have a strong following, as do Germany and Spain. But Northern Rhône barely registers on the sales records at the end of the year.

Simply put, this is madness and you all should be buying much, much more Northern Rhône for your cellars. There are many compelling reasons, but the most attractive aspect of these wines is that they are simply profound, exceptional and sit comfortably alongside the greatest wines wine the world, often at a fraction of the price of their peers.

Take today’s offer – Duclaux’s 2015 Côtes-Rôties. These are exceptional wines each, offering complexity, ageability and simple deliciousness that almost no other region in the world can equal. The savory seductive qualities on display in Côte-Rôtie is like nothing else in the world of wine.

“Now one of the leading names in Côte-Rôtie.” – Jonathan Livingston-Learmonth

And Benjamin and David Duclaux are understated masters in the appellation. Their efforts are mostly focused on the vines, which are tended organically. In the cellar, things are more or less traditional – destemming, a mixture of barrique and foudre with a limited amount of new oak 20-40%. The wines have a sultry, rich feel, while also retaining a coiled, mineral intensity that promises something profound with time.

What’s more, pricing on these wines is still reasonable. The most expensive wine here doesn’t come close to the top wines from Burgundy or Bordeaux, and yet these wines offer just as much complexity and ageability.

You really should be collecting more Northern Rhône and Duclaux in particular. I can’t make it any plainer than that. Plus, these are from the legendary 2015 vintage. You can’t go wrong here.

2015 Duclaux Côte-Rôtie ‘La Chana’

93 points: “The blended cuvée, the 2015 Cote Rotie La Chana, is the lightest and most immediately complex of the three Duclaux bottlings. It’s still reasonably full and plush, but it shows floral and herbal nuances, concentrated raspberry and blackberry fruit and notably lush, supple tannins.” The Wine Advocate

2015 Duclaux Côte-Rôtie ‘La Germine’

dark robe with a good sheen. The nose is promising, with a good mingle of blackberry, blueberry fruit and rather sturdy oaking. There is a suggestion of red blood. The palate is well-knit, travels with a definite sense of purpose, providing sustained juice, inky depth and a fresh, well extended length. The tannins have some bite, the oak is also on the case. Long and full-blooded it is. Good potential here: drink from mid-2019. 13°. 25,000 b. 2033-36 Oct 2016. Jonathan Livingston-Learmonth

2015 Duclaux Côte-Rôtie ‘Maison Rouge’

full, dark red. The nose is deep, with a Bovril, meat stock lead, backed by blackberry fruit with some neatness. The palate is spiced, rests on a firm couch of red berry fruit and for now evident oaking-charcoal towards the finish. It’s hardly got going, and needs leaving until mid-2019 to come together and settle. The finish is clear, and its structure certain. 13°. 4,000 b. 2033-36 Oct 2016. Jonathan Livingston-Learmonth

Posted in Daily Flash By Ian Halbert