Andrew Guard

2014 Côte-Rôtie 'La Germine', Benjamin et David Duclaux

(casks) shiny dark robe. The nose presents a tight-knit cassis fruit aroma, a note of grilling in behind. The palate holds stylish black berry fruit with a clear tang about it. The tannins are direct, well done. This stretches out well, the fruit washing along enjoyably. Stylish, serene Côte-Rôtie, connects to Burgundy. From mid-2018. 15,000 b. 2027-28

Many consider Côte Rôtie as the finest wine of the Rhône Valley. They are certainly wines for the long haul - from a good vintage many will be at their best when fifteen or twenty years old. Côte Rôtie Whilst young they are elegant, perfumed and have an attractive aromatic finesse about them and with age the perfume turns wild, with hints of game, sous-bois, mushrooms and hints of tar.

Domaine Duclaux, run by David, president of the growers' syndicate and his younger brother Benjamin, has rapidly improved over the last ten years. They put in immense work in the vineyards, with six full time employees for 5½ hectares of vines, battling against unrelenting erosion to produce an average of just 19000 bottles a year. Their compensation for all this effort is that they produce some of the finest, most elegant terroir driven wines emanating from France today