Éric Texier > The Wines > Southern Rhône > Chusclan

CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
Chusclan

Chusclan has a long and prestigious wine making history, tracing at least back to the Romans and later to the Benedictine monks who were known to make wines from Chusclan. Much later, in the 17th century, the wines from Chusclan were quite fashionable thanks to the local aristocratic family, the Counts of Grignan, who being savy marketers, managed to have their estate wines served at the royal table and even named one of their vineyards the "Kings Garden."

Chusclan, 11 km west of Orange and north of Laudun, is one of the original four Côtes du Rhône Villages. The Chusclan vineyards run north south on a narrow plane between the west bank of the Rhône and the Laudun hills as far as Bagnols-sur-Céze.
Until the beginning of the 1960's, Chusclan was famous for its Rosé, but today red wine makes up 80% of its production

  Chusclan

-50% Grenache 50% Syrah
-Harvest is usually in mid September
-Received Villages appellation in 1974
-162 HA in production
-Syrah is sandy (silica) soil

-Vines are on average 25 years old
-Located on flats between the Cèze and the Rhône
-Grenache is red clay soil of decomposed limestone

Vintage Notes

 

Wines  Éric's Chusclan, made from 25 year old Grenache and Syrah vines, is a beautiful ruby-red color. It is a fragrant wine offering stone-fruit and leather aromas. This is a well-balanced but powerful and lively wine that can easily age from 2-5 years.
 
Barrels    
 

Vineyards   Éric's Chusclan vineyards are located on the flat sandy soils between the rivers Cèze and Rhône. They are planted 4000 vines per hectare.

Terroir  Located in the Gard département, 11 km west of Orange, Chusclan is located on the River Cèze just west of the Rhône. The red clay soil consists of decomposed limestone from the Mesozoic era as well as gravel.

With the Ardèche to the north and the two rivers so close by, the Mediterranean mesoclimate of the vineyard is moderated so that during the summer the vineyards are cooler than normal for the Southern Rhône which results in a later than average harvest. This is similar to the terroir of Saint Gervais but it is not as cool.

Côtes du Rhône Villages  In 1953 four villages in the Southern Rhône were making wines considered to be of higher quality than those usually produced under the generic Côtes du Rhône label. These four villages - Cairanne, Laudun, Chusclan and Gigondas were not considered to be ready for full appellation status (like those of Châteauneuf du Pape, Côte Rotie, Hermitage, etc.) but were certainly superior to the many Côtes du Rhône wines produced. Therefore the INAO (National Institute of Appellations of Origin) decided that if these villages followed agreed upon rules they would create a new status to identify their higher quality wines. Rules were laid out that governed grape varieties, yields per hectare and the minimum alcohol strength of their red wines raised from 11% to 12.5%. Producers following these rules were then allowed to market their wine as Côtes du Rhône - "Cairanne" for example and therefore to promote the distinctive characteristics of their local terroir. After two additional villages joined this illustrious group (Vacqueyras in 1955 and Vinsobres in 1957) a common title was created in 1967 to apply to all of the wines: Côtes du Rhône Villages. Today there are 16 villages with this status

 

CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
Chusclan 2001

2001 began with a mild winter that was followed by a warm and wet spring with above average temperatures. Flowering started towards the beginning of May and June and July continued to be warm with heavy rainfall in July. August was hot and dry with temperatures reaching 33°C resulting in the grapes reaching a good maturity. September brought le mistral, which continued for nearly 2 weeks. Harvest commenced in early September with the Syrah and finished in late September with the Grenache.

 
 

Blend: 50% Grenache 50% Syrah
Alcohol: 13% by volume

 

Suggested Aging: 2 to 4 years
Cases Produced: 2,650

 

 

© 2003 Éric Texier