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Romanee Conti (DRC) Richebourg 2008

A slightly less elegant but more complex nose that is intensely floral with a superb range of spice and fruit elements woven into the aromatic framework but the primary non-fruit nuance is a very distinctive rose petal character that gives way to detailed, pure and vibrant broad-shouldered flavors that drive home to an explosive, powerful, linear and tautly muscled finish where effects of the stem are quite evident. This is at present extremely backward and it's clear that not all of the structural elements are in sync. Tasted: Jan 01, 2011 Score: 94 Drink: 2028+ Issue 41 Allen Meadows; Burghound
 
Co-director Aubert de Villaine was away on a trip to the Far East during my visit though I discussed his view of the vintage during my 2008 trip, the impressions from which are included below. For the tastings and other details, I met instead with cellar master Bernard Noblet. M. de Villaine described the 2008 growing season as one where the "vegetative cycle started much later than in 2007 as April was both cooler and wetter. The weekend of Rameaux the wind came from the west, which told us that it was going to be a difficult year. [Rameaux is the Sunday before Easter (Palm Sunday) which celebrates Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. There is an old Burgundian saying that the direction of the wind, called the vent de Rameaux, will be the dominant wind of the vintage.] The silver lining in this however was that the poor weather created a high proportion of shot berries, which added a lot of concentration to the musts. The floraison was late compared with other recent vintages and was spread over almost three weeks, which typically, and unfortunately, means that the ripening of the berries would be heterogeneous. The prediction of the vent de Rameaux came true as the wind brought rain storm after rain storm from the west during the months of June, July and August. This of course put heavy pressure on our vineyard team to be out treating, leaf pulling and keeping the bunches well aerated. It was such a delicate balancing act that any missteps would have had severe consequences for the quality of the fruit, particularly from botrytis. By the beginning of September, we were becoming increasingly anxious. Mercifully, the rain stopped completely on the 13th of September and the next day the west wind was replaced by the north wind. The beneficial effects of this steady cool and dry wind served to dry out the vineyards, stopped the botrytis and evaporated excess water from the grapes all while accelerating the maturities. We began picking on the 27th in La Tâche because the vines had come to the end of their vegetative cycle and there was no more photosynthesis occurring. We finished with Echézeaux on the 6th of October. Sorting was seriously important, so much so that we threw out between 30 and 40% of the crop. What we kept though was perfectly ripe and had everything necessary to create wines that will age for years. Yields though were very low, even for us at between 15 and 19 hl/ha. Sugars ranged between 12.5 and 12.8% and we destemmed between 30 and 40% of the fruit. Because the weather was so cool at harvest time, so were the grapes when we deposited them into the fermenters and thus there was a natural cool maceration of 9 to 10 days. The extraction did not come easily so we let the grapes macerate tranquilly to accomplish the extraction by themselves. The total cuvaison lasted from 18 to 20 days, depending on the wine." Bernard Noblet added that at this early stage the '08s reminded him of the 1998s.
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Bottles in stock: 1
Romanee Conti (DRC) Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2007

An ultra elegant, pure and quite delicately fruited and spiced nose that is extremely fresh, floral and expansive that is more layered still as it introduces seductively textured, detailed and gorgeously delineated middle weight flavors that possess laser-like focus if less density than is usually seen with this wine. Indeed, this is rather like a ballerina with limited power and weight but the watch word here is purity, purity and purity. I quite like this but it will strike some as unduly light though I believe the underlying material is present such that it will add weight in bottle as it ages. Tasted: Jan 30, 2010 Score: 94 Points; Drink: 2019+ Issue 37 Burghound

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Price: $1399.99


Romanee Conti (DRC) Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2008

As one would reasonably expect, this is notably more elegant with a pure, delicate and layered nose of floral notes, in particular rose and violet, along with clove, anise and sandalwood nuances that gracefully introduce rich, forward and generous flavors that retain a wonderful sense of tension, detail and refinement on the precise, textured and focused finish that offers tremendous length. For all its considerable attributes however, this remains an understated wine of harmony, grace and impeccable balance. A stunner of a wine. Tasted: Jan 01, 2011 Score: 95 Drink: 2026+ Issue 41 Allen Meadows; Burghound
 
Co-director Aubert de Villaine was away on a trip to the Far East during my visit though I discussed his view of the vintage during my 2008 trip, the impressions from which are included below. For the tastings and other details, I met instead with cellar master Bernard Noblet. M. de Villaine described the 2008 growing season as one where the "vegetative cycle started much later than in 2007 as April was both cooler and wetter. The weekend of Rameaux the wind came from the west, which told us that it was going to be a difficult year. [Rameaux is the Sunday before Easter (Palm Sunday) which celebrates Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. There is an old Burgundian saying that the direction of the wind, called the vent de Rameaux, will be the dominant wind of the vintage.] The silver lining in this however was that the poor weather created a high proportion of shot berries, which added a lot of concentration to the musts. The floraison was late compared with other recent vintages and was spread over almost three weeks, which typically, and unfortunately, means that the ripening of the berries would be heterogeneous. The prediction of the vent de Rameaux came true as the wind brought rain storm after rain storm from the west during the months of June, July and August. This of course put heavy pressure on our vineyard team to be out treating, leaf pulling and keeping the bunches well aerated. It was such a delicate balancing act that any missteps would have had severe consequences for the quality of the fruit, particularly from botrytis. By the beginning of September, we were becoming increasingly anxious. Mercifully, the rain stopped completely on the 13th of September and the next day the west wind was replaced by the north wind. The beneficial effects of this steady cool and dry wind served to dry out the vineyards, stopped the botrytis and evaporated excess water from the grapes all while accelerating the maturities. We began picking on the 27th in La Tâche because the vines had come to the end of their vegetative cycle and there was no more photosynthesis occurring. We finished with Echézeaux on the 6th of October. Sorting was seriously important, so much so that we threw out between 30 and 40% of the crop. What we kept though was perfectly ripe and had everything necessary to create wines that will age for years. Yields though were very low, even for us at between 15 and 19 hl/ha. Sugars ranged between 12.5 and 12.8% and we destemmed between 30 and 40% of the fruit. Because the weather was so cool at harvest time, so were the grapes when we deposited them into the fermenters and thus there was a natural cool maceration of 9 to 10 days. The extraction did not come easily so we let the grapes macerate tranquilly to accomplish the extraction by themselves. The total cuvaison lasted from 18 to 20 days, depending on the wine." Bernard Noblet added that at this early stage the '08s reminded him of the 1998s.
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Price: $1699.99


Romanee Conti (DRC) Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2010

An airy and very cool nose of ultra-elegant spice, floral and herbal nuances add plenty of attractive nuances to the highly layered red currant and plum suffused aromas. This is, not surprisingly, much more refined than the Grands Ech as the supporting tannins on silky middle weight flavors are extremely fine-grained yet notably dense as the explosive finish is especially firm yet the overall impression of the mouth feel is one of delicacy. This should be a particularly excellent vintage for what has become one of the stars of this gorgeously deep portfolio of wines. Score: 93-96 Tasted: Jan 10, 2012 Drink: 2028+ Issue: 45 Don't miss!. Allen Meadows; Burghound

Co-director Aubert de Villaine trenchantly observed about 2010 that "it is rare for a vintage to flirt with so many potential forms of disaster yet in the end manage to pull the rabbit out of the hat and deliver excellent quality. As was the case in 2008, on the weekend of Rameaux the wind came from the west, which told us that it was going to be a difficult year. [Rameaux is the Sunday before Easter (Palm Sunday) which celebrates Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. There is an old Burgundian saying that the direction of the wind, called the vent de Rameaux, will be the dominant wind of the vintage.] The flowering always has a primordial and determinative role in the construction of a vintage because it establishes just how much fruit it will produce. In this case the news wasn't positive as the weather was cool and wet which led to an extended and uneven flowering. This of course meant that maturities were disparate, sometimes even in the same bunch. The silver lining in all of this however was that the poor weather created a high proportion of shot berries, which added significant concentration to the musts. The reduced yields also permitted the vines to bring their fruit to a superb level of maturity, which never would have been the case with the cool growing season if we had had a full crop. June and July were at times humid and quite warm, even hot but never very hot. This kind of weather of course favors the development of mildew and oidium. By contrast, August, which saw the véraison, was cold and wet and our spirits about the potential quality of the harvest were apprehensive. We were helped in this though by the thick skins as they proved resistant to the botrytis pressure. On September 12th there was a violent hail storm which hit Santenay and from the same storm our vineyard in Montrachet was heavily rained on. This saw a heavy attack of botrytis on the chardonnay. Thankfully Vosne was spared and because the summer had been relatively cool and wet we didn't have any end-of-season hydric stress. We began the harvest on the 22nd of September with our new vineyards in Corton followed on the 23rd in Montrachet and Richebourg. There was rain on the 24th so nothing was picked that morning but in the afternoon we recommenced with Richebourg. Romanée-Conti was picked on the 25th, La Tâche on the 26th and 27th, Romanée St. Vivant between the 27th and 29th, Grands Echézeaux on the 29th and 30th and we finished with Echézeaux between the 30th of September and the 2nd of October. The fruit was relatively clean but even so there was plenty of sorting required though less than in 2008 or 2011. Potential alcohols ranged between 12.5 and 13%. Yields are never very high at the domaine but they were definitely low in 2010, ranging between 22 and 23 hl/ha. Because of the cool harvest conditions, the wines had a slightly longer than normal cool maceration. In terms of the vinification we used between 50 and 70% whole clusters and there were no problems with the wines finishing their sugars. Overall, 2010 was a gift from heaven as it's much better than we ever expected that it would be. The wines are fresh, intense and beautifully transparent and perhaps best of all, superbly well-balanced. Indeed, it would be fair to say that 2010 is a vintage of elegance rather than power." I was able to taste the DRC '10s twice almost one month apart and while my ranges varied a little they were actually remarkably consistent. Thus I have a high degree of confidence that my scores and comments will very likely prove to be reasonably accurate descriptions of the finished wines. In sum, 2010 is a stunning vintage chez DRC and if it's ultimately to prove not quite as good as 2009, it will be very, very close.

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Roulot Bourgogne Blanc 2004

Jean-Marc Roulot noted that he was "extremely worried because we suffered the biggest attack of oidium I have ever seen. Véraison normally works wonders with oidium but it literally was too late to help. As a result, we went through the longest harvest ever because it was necessary to sort so meticulously. To give you an idea, it normally takes 9 days to harvest but in 2004, it required fully 14 days versus only 6 in 2003. Sugars were strong though, coming in between 12.5 and 13% and interestingly, despite all the problems, I believe it's the best vintage since 1996. It's incredibly transparent and very terroir and the wines should be real vins de garde (long keeping wines)." I have to agree with Roulot that he has made some seriously good wines here and wines that will absolutely age well.

Tasting note: A wonderfully fresh and interesting nose of straw, pain grillé and melon notes combines with rich, full and punchy flavors that possess good mid-palate fat and lovely finishing intensity. An excellent Bourgogne and recommended. It would be a great house white. Tasted: Jul 01, 2006 Score: 86 Drink: 2007+. Comments: Outstanding! Top value ; Burghound.

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Bottles in stock: 12
Roulot Bourgogne Blanc 2006

Jean-Marc Roulot noted that 2006 was "not an easy vintage. I was basically worried from the beginning of the growing season and while there were good periods, August was really ugly and the ban de vendange (officially mandated harvest date) was declared much too late. The alternating extremes of weather and temperature had made the grapes extremely fragile and you essentially had a very, very short window to get things exactly right. Moreover, by after the 10th of September, the maturities were rising at an astonishing rate, which of course only added pressure to get organized and get picking! Along with Dominique Lafon and Arnaud Ente, I petitioned to begin picking early, which was granted and so we began harvesting on the 14th. Sugar and ripeness levels were strong as was concentration and thus I did almost no lees stirring for fear of creating unduly heavy wines, which I abhor. The '06s are relatively open and accessible and they remind more than a little of the 2000's." Roulot has done a lot of thinking about the premature oxidation issue and while he, like most of his colleagues, certainly has his theories, until proved otherwise he views it as prudent to take what precautions he can. To this end, he has gone to an almost 100% coating of paraffin and has raised his free SO2 target to between 30 and 35 ppm.

A very bright and clean nose that is ripe but well short of exotic leads to crisp and nicely plump middle weight flavors that possess fine energy if not excellent depth, all wrapped in a solidly long finish. There is a touch of sulfur on the finish as well but this should be absorbed quickly. Tasted: Jul 01, 2008 Score: 85 Drink: now+ Issue 31 Allen Meadows; Burghound

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Roulot Bourgogne Blanc 2007

The white burgundies of Jean-Marc Roulot are world famous but relatively few people know that he also produces two reds, which even though they are from relatively modest appellations can sometimes be quite good. A fruity and very fresh nose of straw, citrus and a hint of hazelnut leads to rich, full and nicely voluminous with good concentration and reasonably fine depth, all wrapped in a delicious and lingering finish. Lovely. Tasted: Jul 01, 2009 Score: 86 Drink: 2010+ Comments: Outstanding Top value Issue 35 Allen Meadows; Burghound

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Roulot Bourgogne Rouge 2006

The white burgundies of Jean-Marc Roulot are world famous but relatively few people know that he also produces two reds, which even though they are from relatively modest appellations can sometimes be quite good. Burghound

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Roulot Bourgogne Rouge 2007

The white burgundies of Jean-Marc Roulot are world famous but relatively few people know that he also produces two reds, which even though they are from relatively modest appellations can sometimes be quite good.

A pretty and very fresh nose of red berry fruit and cranberries leads to supple, detailed and mildly rustic flavors that possess good punch and relatively good finish concentration and length if not great depth. Tasted: Apr 01, 2009 Score: 84 Drink: 2011+ Issue 34 Burghound

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Roulot Meursault Les Tillets 2006

This is often the second best villages in Roulot's range and so it is again in 2006 with its seductive, expressive and relatively cool nose that blends floral, pear and green apple notes into precise, minerally and racy flavors that are long, linear and wonderfully vibrant as there is an underlying tension present. Score 89 Points - Burghoundmore
Price: $179.99


Bottles in stock: 2
Roumier Morey St. Denis Clos de la Bussiere 1er 2007

There is also a mild touch of reduction but a bit of earth and red berry fruit can be discerned under the funk. The flavors however are fresh, intense, detailed and relatively refined as the tannins avoid any sense of rusticity and the finish is not only energetic but explosive and impressively persistent. Lovely. Tasted: Jan 01, 2009 Score: 89-91 Drink: 2013+ Issue 33 Allen Meadows; Burghound

Christophe Roumier describes the 2007 vintage as "one where I was agreeably surprised by the maturity we achieved. Undoubtedly part of it was because unlike a normal vintage where it's about 100 days, we had approximately 115 days pass between the date of the flowering and the date of the harvest. However, it was necessary to pick very slowly as we had various levels of rot pressure in the vineyards from June all the way to the middle of August and that took its toll in certain sectors. By contrast, sugars were actually quite good at between 12 and 12.5%, which is all the more surprising given how cool and damp much of the summer was. The other side of that coin though is that we had almost no chaptalization. We did plenty of sorting and ultimately threw out quite a bit of under ripe berries, which means that 2007 will be a very small crop for us. I elected to go with a normal vinification and I definitely used more whole bunches than in 2006 where I used very little, indeed almost none. In 2007, the percentage depended on the vineyard but it was up to 50% for the grands crus. There was a lot of malic acid, which has played a central role in shaping the wines. And because there was so much of it, the malos were slow and long and indeed some wines have still not finished 100% of it though at this point not much remains. What was interesting though was to watch how the wines transformed from being a bit on the skinny and edgy side to full, rich and ripe as the malos progressed." And fans of the domaine will be impressed by what Roumier told me next; I was in any event when he observed, "as to the wines themselves, they are pure expressions of the terroir, exquisitely balanced and harmonious. The more I look at these wines, the more I wonder whether they are the best that I have ever made? They remind me a great deal of my 1999s, which is another vintage that I love. We'll see in time as there is no rush to judge them but I believe that the '07s could potentially be wonderful wines." I pointed out that he had made the same observation about his fantastic 2005s and he modestly noted that "sometimes, even winemakers have differing views of what is really the correct definition of the best. To say that the '05s are different from the '07s says everything and nothing. But I can say that I like both vintages a great deal but for very different reasons. The '05s are wines of drama, size, weight, power, concentration and they will live for decades. By contrast the '07s are wines of elegance, finesse, purity, transparency, terroir expression and superb detail. Picking the best is your job but I can tell you that I am very happy with both vintages." While it's very early, I don't see quite the same seeds of greatness in the Roumier '07s that I saw at the same stage in his '05s. However, his '07s are in fact superb wines and may very well be the second best vintage for this storied domaine since 2000. As to the bottled '06s, they are certainly very good but clearly are not in the same league as the brilliant '05s or the exceptional '07s.

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Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2006

Interestingly this is almost like a hypothetical blend of the Charmes and Mazis with the elegance of the Charmes allayed with the power and punch of the Mazis as this too evidences red and blue fruit with an earthy spiciness that slides into rich, full and relatively powerful flavors that possess obvious finishing minerality on the solidly long and palate staining finale. Good stuff here and worth a look. Tasted: Jan 01, 2008 Score: 89-92 Drink: 2014+ Issue 29 Allen Meadows; Burghoundmore
Price: $349.99


Bottles in stock: 10
Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2007

A notably riper nose features more classic aromas of red and blue pinot fruit, violets, underbrush and this too offers a hint of jerky that complements the lightly spiced, rich, full and delicious medium weight plus flavors that possess an appealing textured quality to the energetic, sappy and mouth coating finish that is both balanced and impressively long. Excellent quality here and while not ultra powerful, this is certainly a step up in muscle compared to the Charmes and Mazis. (90-93)/2015+ Allen Meadows; Burghound

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Bottles in stock: 4
Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2008

A surprisingly high-toned nose of cranberry and raspberry trimmed in a bit of warm earth introduces very forward yet precise flavors that are quite round and supple yet deliver excellent authority and impressive depth on the balanced and lingering finish. This is not a big example or even especially muscular but it's harmonious and should age well. Tasted: Jan 30, 2010 Score: 90-93 Drink: 2018+ Issue 37 Allen Meadows; Burghound

Eric Rousseau was away the day of my visit and thus I discussed the 2008 vintage and tasted with his assistant Frédéric Robert. Robert's take on the vintage is that "we had a good flowering but things degraded shortly thereafter and August was just terrible. In fact, by the beginning of September, we were beginning to wonder if we would even have a harvest as the véraison was not even finished! After the 12th of September however, things improved markedly, especially because the north wind concentrated the grapes, dried up the rot and seemed to galvanize the maturation process. Moreover, there was excellent luminosity even if not necessarily a lot of heat. We began picking on the 25th and brought in fruit with an average potential alcohol of about 12.5%. Eric elected to do a normal vinification of around an 18 day cuvaison. The colors and extractions came easily and we were able to treat the musts very gently, which was probably a very good idea in a vintage where the ripeness levels were uneven and thus it would have been easy to extract harsh or bitter tannins.

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Bottles in stock: 6
Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2010

Discreet and well-integrated wood frames wonderfully fresh, airy, refined and beautifully complex aromas of red currant, warm earth, stone, crushed herbs and spice hints. The excellent depth of the nose continues onto the equally cool and brilliantly refined mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that possess outstanding depth of material and simply stunning length. While there have been many great vintages of Clos St. Jacques since 1955, it's at least possible the 2010 version could match some of the very best of them. I stress however that lots of patience will be required because even though the nose is presently still expressive, even after a few minutes in the glass this appears to be already shutting down. A well-layered and dense nose features notes of anise, earth, underbrush, violets and both red and blue pinot fruit aromas. There is very good volume to the large-scaled and dense yet quite supple flavors that possess excellent length. This is impeccably well-balanced and should require 15 years or so to arrive at its peak. Tasted: Jan 10, 2012 Score: 92-94 Points; Drink: 2025+ Issue 49 Allen Meadows; Burghound

Eric Rousseau's take on the 2010 vintage was "almost every aspect was marked by the weather and most of it wasn't favorable. The night of the 19th of December 2009 had a 15° C drop in just a few hours that caused the sap in the vines to freeze, expand and ultimately kill many vines. We certainly had some of our villages vineyards hit relatively hard. Then the weather was cool and wet during the flowering which caused a lot of shot berries to materialize, which of course was the major driver of the lower yields. In fact we had the lowest yields in 2010 that we have had during the entire decade and I include 2003 in that comparison. Our yields varied between 20 and 30 hl/ha but on the other hand, it is almost a certainty that without the low crop levels we never would have had sufficiently ripe fruit. I didn't wait very long to begin picking and began on the 22nd of September and picked until October 2nd. There was some sorting work for under ripe berries but really no more than usual. Sugars were very good and ranged from 12 to 13.5%. The harvest weather was also very cool and it took a bit longer to get the fermentations to begin but after that I did my normal vinification. Right after the fermentations were finished the temperatures fell even further which means that the cellars cooled off earlier than usual. This had the effect of delaying the onset of the malos and since there was a lot of malic acid, the malos were long and slow. I don't know about elsewhere but here at the domaine 2010 is a really beautiful vintage. There is tension and verve to the wines and they make me think of the 2008s but with better density and riper tannins. And unlike the 2008s, I don't think that the 2010s will close up once they're in bottle." As to the now in-bottle '09s, they confirmed the seriously impressive quality that they displayed at this time last year. But as good as they are, and they are sensational, the Rousseau '10s are also amazing, in particular the Chambertin which is utterly brilliant. Rousseau noted that he used no new wood at all except for the Clos St. Jacques, Chambertin and Clos de Bèze. 

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Bottles in stock: 2
Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2011

Eric Rousseau's take on the 2011 vintage was that "we had almost the same metrological conditions as in 2007. It was not quite as hot but otherwise similar, particularly in that the spring was very dry. The summer weather was not great either and it required a lot of work in the vineyards to ensure good aeration to avoid undue problems with rot. We began picking on the 31st of August and there was a fair amount of sorting necessary though not so much that I was worried about how clean my lees would be. Potential alcohols were in the 12 to 13.2% range, which is perfectly acceptable if not truly excellent. Yields however were down considerable and while they were a bit higher than 2010, the total was still off 25 to 30%. I did our normal vinification where I lowered the temperature to between 13 and 16° C (55 and 61° F) and then allowed the musts to climb when and as they wanted. The malos were all over the place with some of them ending early and others terminating much later. As to the wines, there is more underlying material than we had in 2007, and to my taste, the quality is definitely higher as well. I think that the 2011s should age well, not because they are necessarily all that firmly structured so much as that they are very well-balanced." 2011 is a vintage chez Rousseau where the big boys definitely shined and while the lower level wines are more than respectable, they don't necessarily transcend the vintage. That said, the Chambertin, Bèze, Ruchottes, Clos St. Jacques and Clos de la Roche are all very impressive

An overtly spicy and very earth nose of red currant, plum and wet stone scents. There is lovely richness to the round, full-bodied and highly energetic medium-bodied flavors that exhibit firm tannins on the saline-infused finish. This is excellent and should reward mid to longer-term cellaring. Score: 91-94 Points; Tasted: Jan 14, 2013; Drink: 2023+ Issue: 49, Allen Meadows; Burghound
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Bottles in stock: 14
Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin 2010 375ml

Domaine Armand Rousseau produces this village level wine from 6 acres of vines located throughout the appellation. Grapes are meticulously sorted as they arrive in the winery. Following a cool maceration lasting 5-7 days the must travels by gravity into barrel where it will stay for the entire vinification process lasting typically 18-24 months. Each Armand Rousseau wine is blended unfiltered.

The 2010 Gevrey-Chambertin is weightless, elegant and totally refined. It reveals striking purity in its sweet red berries, mint, spices and flowers, with fabulous intensity and balance at the villages level. This is an impressive wine from Eric Rousseau and his team. I loved it. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022. Score: 88-90. —Antonio Galloni, February 2012. Wine Advocate

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Bottles in stock: 6
Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques 1er 2006

Here too there is a gentle touch of wood spice framing the more elegant and ultra refined high-toned red pinot fruit nose that also evidences ample minerality that continues onto the rich, sweet and sappy middle weight flavors that are almost delicate yet focused, pure and sneaky long as the flavor impact is really impressive. A strikingly intense wine of finesse and understatement in 2006. Tasted: Jan 01, 2009 Score: 93 Drink: 2016+ Issue 33 Allen Meadows; Burghound

Charles Rousseau's son Eric, who makes the wines, calls 2006 "one of those vintages where the growing season is going along fine and then wham, something goes seriously wrong and the excitement begins. July had been extremely hot, in fact hotter than in 2003 and on the 27th a huge hailstorm hit most of Gevrey but especially Clos de Bèze, Chapelle and Griotte. Worse, I had just finished a green harvest in Clos de Bèze and thus yields there were nothing compared to what we usually realize. It was a mess but we treated immediately, assessed the damage and continued on. August in Gevrey was cloudy and somber but we had less rain here than further south, which helped actually. By contrast, September was essentially perfect and pushed the ripeness to excellent levels throughout. I began picking on the 21st of September and between the hail and severe sorting, losses were between 10 and 20%, which is to say that we had yields from 17 hl/ha to Clos de Bèze to about 35 hl/ha in the Gevrey villages. Sugars were quite good too at between 12.5 and 13%. During the vinification I treated the musts a bit more gently and did a little less punching down than usual but otherwise, everything was pretty much normal though with respect to the Clos de Bèze, it's the first time that I have ever vinified grapes that were so badly hit as these. As to the wines, I love the '06s as they're pleasant, very fresh and have very fine tannins. For me the wines are like the 1992s or the 2000s, which people loved when they actually tasted them." I have to agree with Rousseau that his '06s are indeed extremely fresh, vibrant, balanced and attractive wines built for the medium term and should deliver a great deal of pleasure. As to the Rousseau '05s, they are simply unbelievable, particularly the Cham and Bèze and they should be on your shortest of short lists to find, cellar and enjoy some years hence as they really are brilliant.

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Price: $499.99


Bottles in stock: 1
Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er 2006 375ml

From a .5 ha parcel of 40 to 45 year old vines). Here the aromatic profile is more deeply pitched with earthy dark berry fruit aromas that project a muted but noticeable sauvage note that merge into rich and supple medium-bodied flavors that also reflect this subtle sauvage character, all wrapped in fine length if not quite the finesse and elegance of the Lavaut. (88-90)/2012+ Allen Meadows; Burghound
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Bottles in stock: 6
Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er 2011

Reduction. This also possesses a relatively elegant mouth feel thanks to the presence of both a discreet minerality as well as very fine-grained tannins that add refinement to the otherwise powerful, intense and solidly complex flavors that exhibit a touch of the sauvage on the impressively persistent finale. Textbook Cazetiers. Score: 90-92 Points; Tasted: Jan 14, 2013; Drink: 2021+ Issue: 49, Allen Meadows; Burghound

Eric Rousseau's take on the 2011 vintage was that "we had almost the same metrological conditions as in 2007. It was not quite as hot but otherwise similar, particularly in that the spring was very dry. The summer weather was not great either and it required a lot of work in the vineyards to ensure good aeration to avoid undue problems with rot. We began picking on the 31st of August and there was a fair amount of sorting necessary though not so much that I was worried about how clean my lees would be. Potential alcohols were in the 12 to 13.2% range, which is perfectly acceptable if not truly excellent. Yields however were down considerable and while they were a bit higher than 2010, the total was still off 25 to 30%. I did our normal vinification where I lowered the temperature to between 13 and 16° C (55 and 61° F) and then allowed the musts to climb when and as they wanted. The malos were all over the place with some of them ending early and others terminating much later. As to the wines, there is more underlying material than we had in 2007, and to my taste, the quality is definitely higher as well. I think that the 2011s should age well, not because they are necessarily all that firmly structured so much as that they are very well-balanced." 2011 is a vintage chez Rousseau where the big boys definitely shined and while the lower level wines are more than respectable, they don't necessarily transcend the vintage. That said, the Chambertin, Bèze, Ruchottes, Clos St. Jacques and Clos de la Roche are all very impressive

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Price: $199.99


Bottles in stock: 10
Taupenot Merme Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2006

This is a clear step up in aromatic purity and elegance, which is saying something as the Pruliers is gifted too in this regard with an elegant, pure and complex nose that is both seductive and complete while dissolving into serious yet extremely pretty medium-bodied flavors that also coat the mouth with extract, which confers a real sense of volume and focused muscle. Lovely and very long. (90-93)/2014+ Burghound

A little more savoury. Rich and juicy on the palate but combined with a savoury dense texture that promises well. Already quite silky. 17.5/20 Jancis Robinson MW

Romain Taupenot calls 2006 a ‘blend of 2000 and 2002’! It has the tenderness, ripeness and round accessibility of 2000 with the vibrancy, structure and acidity of 2002! The growing season had its fair share of challenges as there was some rot and, in certain sectors, hail damage, which was worse in Gevrey and Morey. “We began picking on September 21st and there was moderate sorting necessary to separate out the substandard fruit. By the time we finished, we actually had lower yields than in 2005 but the fruit that we kept had excellent sugars at between 12 and 13.4% as well as ideal acidities. Frankly, the ripeness levels were an excellent surprise because even after a terrific September, August was still so poor that we didn’t expect it. I decided to do a slightly softer vinification than normal as I wanted to be sure that bitter seed tannins were being inadvertently extracted, which would risk unbalancing the wines in a highly transparent vintage like 2006. The malos were mixed but most finished relatively early and overall, the wines have improved in barrel every month. In late November the wines were racked and assembled in mass to allow them time to marry well before the bottling.”

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Price: $229.99


Taupenot Merme Gevrey-Chambertin Bel-Air 1er 2006

A little known 1er that sits directly above Chambertin-Clos de Bèze made from vines planted in 1973. A very discreet touch of wood spice sets off equally high-toned but cooler red berry fruit aromas that possess only a dash of Gevrey earth that merge into pure, balanced and slightly more complex middle weight flavors that possess real finishing punch as this does a slow build from the sappy mid-palate to the long finale. This is definitely worth a look and recommended. (89-92)/2013+ Burghound

Lots of sweet oak spice and blueberry sweetness on the palate but combined with freshness and smooth tannins. Easy pleasure but with the structure for the mid term. 17/20 Jancis Robinson MW

Romain Taupenot calls 2006 a ‘blend of 2000 and 2002’! It has the tenderness, ripeness and round accessibility of 2000 with the vibrancy, structure and acidity of 2002! The growing season had its fair share of challenges as there was some rot and, in certain sectors, hail damage, which was worse in Gevrey and Morey. “We began picking on September 21st and there was moderate sorting necessary to separate out the substandard fruit. By the time we finished, we actually had lower yields than in 2005 but the fruit that we kept had excellent sugars at between 12 and 13.4% as well as ideal acidities. Frankly, the ripeness levels were an excellent surprise because even after a terrific September, August was still so poor that we didn’t expect it. I decided to do a slightly softer vinification than normal as I wanted to be sure that bitter seed tannins were being inadvertently extracted, which would risk unbalancing the wines in a highly transparent vintage like 2006. The malos were mixed but most finished relatively early and overall, the wines have improved in barrel every month. In late November the wines were racked and assembled in mass to allow them time to marry well before the bottling.”

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Price: $149.99


Taupenot Merme Mazoyères-Chambertin 2005

Since this vineyard was purchased by the domaine several years ago, it has established itself as the consistent out performer among their 1ers with its enveloping nose of spicy and earthy dark berry fruit liberally laced with Nuits animale notes where the latter is picked up by the rich, full, sweet and mouth coating flavors that are ripe and blessed with ample dry extract on the admirably lengthy finish. Also recommended. (90-92)/2013+ Burghound - (Burghound.com’s  70 “Sweet Spot” Wines from the 2006 vintage)

Quite pale. Very round and smoky – almost smells of Pinot Gris! Seductive and quite rich, though certainly not big.  17.5/20 Jancis Robinson MW

Romain Taupenot calls 2006 a ‘blend of 2000 and 2002’! It has the tenderness, ripeness and round accessibility of 2000 with the vibrancy, structure and acidity of 2002! The growing season had its fair share of challenges as there was some rot and, in certain sectors, hail damage, which was worse in Gevrey and Morey. “We began picking on September 21st and there was moderate sorting necessary to separate out the substandard fruit. By the time we finished, we actually had lower yields than in 2005 but the fruit that we kept had excellent sugars at between 12 and 13.4% as well as ideal acidities. Frankly, the ripeness levels were an excellent surprise because even after a terrific September, August was still so poor that we didn’t expect it. I decided to do a slightly softer vinification than normal as I wanted to be sure that bitter seed tannins were being inadvertently extracted, which would risk unbalancing the wines in a highly transparent vintage like 2006. The malos were mixed but most finished relatively early and overall, the wines have improved in barrel every month. In late November the wines were racked and assembled in mass to allow them time to marry well before the bottling.”

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Price: $229.99


Taupenot Merme Mazoyères-Chambertin 2006

As is virtually always the case, this is bigger and more robust though at the price of less elegance with a much earthier and more obviously sauvage character on the red and dark berry fruit nose that introduces rich, full and more serious big-bodied flavors underpinned by more robust and rustic tannins though not any more depth or length. A qualitative choice but note that the respective characters are miles apart. (90-93)/2014+ Burghound

For those who like their burgundy rich and seductive. VERY gorgeous. And not a ridiculous price for the quality. Lovely, layered and complex. Great balance. A real jewel. 18/20 Jancis Robinson MW

Romain Taupenot calls 2006 a ‘blend of 2000 and 2002’! It has the tenderness, ripeness and round accessibility of 2000 with the vibrancy, structure and acidity of 2002! The growing season had its fair share of challenges as there was some rot and, in certain sectors, hail damage, which was worse in Gevrey and Morey. “We began picking on September 21st and there was moderate sorting necessary to separate out the substandard fruit. By the time we finished, we actually had lower yields than in 2005 but the fruit that we kept had excellent sugars at between 12 and 13.4% as well as ideal acidities. Frankly, the ripeness levels were an excellent surprise because even after a terrific September, August was still so poor that we didn’t expect it. I decided to do a slightly softer vinification than normal as I wanted to be sure that bitter seed tannins were being inadvertently extracted, which would risk unbalancing the wines in a highly transparent vintage like 2006. The malos were mixed but most finished relatively early and overall, the wines have improved in barrel every month. In late November the wines were racked and assembled in mass to allow them time to marry well before the bottling.”

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Price: $229.99


Taupenot Merme Nuits St.-Georges Les Pruliers 1er 2006

A little known 1er that sits directly above Chambertin-Clos de Bèze made from vines planted in 1973. A very discreet touch of wood spice sets off equally high-toned but cooler red berry fruit aromas that possess only a dash of Gevrey earth that merge into pure, balanced and slightly more complex middle weight flavors that possess real finishing punch as this does a slow build from the sappy mid-palate to the long finale. This is definitely worth a look and recommended. (89-92)/2013+ Burghound

Lots of sweet oak spice and blueberry sweetness on the palate but combined with freshness and smooth tannins. Easy pleasure but with the structure for the mid term. 17/20 Jancis Robinson MW

Romain Taupenot calls 2006 a ‘blend of 2000 and 2002’! It has the tenderness, ripeness and round accessibility of 2000 with the vibrancy, structure and acidity of 2002! The growing season had its fair share of challenges as there was some rot and, in certain sectors, hail damage, which was worse in Gevrey and Morey. “We began picking on September 21st and there was moderate sorting necessary to separate out the substandard fruit. By the time we finished, we actually had lower yields than in 2005 but the fruit that we kept had excellent sugars at between 12 and 13.4% as well as ideal acidities. Frankly, the ripeness levels were an excellent surprise because even after a terrific September, August was still so poor that we didn’t expect it. I decided to do a slightly softer vinification than normal as I wanted to be sure that bitter seed tannins were being inadvertently extracted, which would risk unbalancing the wines in a highly transparent vintage like 2006. The malos were mixed but most finished relatively early and overall, the wines have improved in barrel every month. In late November the wines were racked and assembled in mass to allow them time to marry well before the bottling.”

more
Price: $149.99


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