Rooted in geological strata, the vines of Chusclan make use of every cranny in their terroir to draw up the sap that makes its wines delicate and smooth.Christophe Tassan
A charming little town on the right bank of the Rhone, Chusclan produces wines with Côtes du Rhône Villages status. Wines with a long and distinguished history: they were already fashionable in the days of Louis XIV, thanks to a recipe for rabbit invented by the Maréchal de Grammont – lapin d’Arbousset –, which is still part of the local culinary heritage. Chusclan wines were granted special privileges a century later. From the riverside port of Roquemaure, they were shipped in barrels branded with the letters C.D.R. (Côtes du Rhône) to grace the tables of the royal courts of Europe.
Over the centuries, Chusclan wines have lost nothing of their appeal, for the wine-growers of this small area (250 hectares) are committed to quality. They have colonised slopes and terraces of rolled pebbles to plant vines of the Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre varieties, the three main constituents of the Chusclan appellation. This combination yields deep red wines which are well-rounded, smooth and full-bodied, with notes of red and black-berry fruits and spices. Less powerful than some of their neighbours, they can be drunk young or after ageing for two or three years, depending on the vintage. They will appeal to lovers of sun-drenched, easy-drinking wines.
The area is also reputed for its rosés, which account for only a small part of total production but are nonetheless distinguished. It is in fact to them that the vineyard owes its reputation. Grown in sandy/clayey soils, they are wines of surprising boldness: pink in colour with a spicy bouquet of red-berry fruits, they explode on the palate with an intense freshness.
Just some of the treasures of these vineyards tucked away in a secluded part of the Gard.
Comprising a minimum of 50% Grenache grapes, plus at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre, Chusclan red wines have a relatively high alcohol content and are a fine deep red in colour. They may contain up to 20% of the other varieties permitted by the appellation. They are heady wines, with flavours of red-berry fruits and spices.
Made using the “saignée” method (i.e. with pink juice drawn off during the production of red wine), Chusclan rosés taste of grapefruit and woodland fruits. They must contain a minimum of 50% Grenache grapes, and 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. Other permitted varieties may not exceed 20%. White grape varieties (Grenache, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier) must not account for more than 20% of the mix.
The prescribed alcohol content for the red wines is at least 12.5%, with a minimum of 12% for the rosés. These wines will keep for a few years but are generally best drunk before their fifth birthday.
There was a very early settlement on this site: Bronze Age swords, bracelets and a tumulus have been found in the area. In the 17th century, the village was a dependency of the Viguerie (administrative court) of Uzès, which was entitled to use the “Côte du Rhône” name.
Chusclan wines have a long-standing reputation. They were praised in the 17th century by Olivier de Serres. Their gay, sunny character delighted the friends of Mme de Sévigné, who commented in a letter to her daughter: “the good abbé wanted to drink this wine, convinced it would add ten years to his life; this thought cheered him up, both the idea of Chusclan wine and the idea of rediscovering his youth…”.
The wines of this area were accorded the title of Côtes du Rhône Chusclan in 1947. They were granted Côtes du Rhône Villages status in 1967 (rosés) and 1971 (reds).
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1967Birth of AOC Chusclan
The growing area extends over the communes of Chusclan, Codolet, Orsan, Saint Etienne des Sorts and Bagnols sur Cèze, in the département of Gard.
Mediterranean type, influenced by the mistral.
The growing area includes stony slopes and terraces, and some sandy areas. The geology is varied: marly limestone, sandstone, alluvial material…
surface area260 hectares
Total production10 543 hl
- 96% Red
- 4% rosé
Average yield achieved40 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016