Robert Parker 93
Rousseau’s 2006 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.-Jacques ” which received 75% new barrels this year, rather than 100% as in 2005 ” is strikingly pungent and bracing even in the nose, mingling fresh sour cherry, cherry pit, bitter-sweet herbal concentrate, iodine, peat, and hints of game. This attacks the palate as its aromas anticipated, and hints of black pepper and chalk add to the invigorating sense of grip. Even (as this was when I tasted it) prior bottling ” which at Rousseau involves pumping and bottling ” the overall impression here is relatively spare and delicate. But this offers a fine example of how this need not preclude sheer flavor intensity or energy, present in spades here. The finish is impressively pungent and piquant, and one can safely assume at least a decade of fascination is in store for the owners of bottles. Since Eric Rousseau ” as mentioned in my issue 170 run-down of his methodology ” does not on principle utilize a sorting table, I imagined the aftermath of hail in 2006 presenting a special challenge to his pickers and to bottled quality, but it was one he and his team clearly surmounted. Clos de Beze, Griotte-, and Chapelle-Chambertin were the worst-effected, relates Rousseau, along with numerous of his village-level parcels. Potential alcohol levels are closer to 2003’s record highs than they are to those of 2005, but the finished 2006s ” while hardly as successful as their immediate predecessors ” do not suffer any spirituous roughness or heat, and are thus free to effectively make their relatively light, bright, and in the best instances distinctive statements. Rousseau reports ” and my limited opportunities for comparison confirm ” that the initially rather austere and even brittle, disjointed personalities of these wines were ameliorated in the course of elevage, and the best of them have blossomed beautifully. (I was unable to taste several top wines here after bottling, so my notes on those are based on a representative sampling and blending from cask shortly before bottling.) Importer: Frederic Wildman & Sons, New York, NY; tel. (212) 355-0700
Mid transparent crimson. Low-key nose. Then wonderful purity on the palate. Tucked in for a long and glorious life.. Wonderful line through it. Great balance and lots of density.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020
Good bright, dark red. Captivating aromas of red cherry liqueur, rose petal and smoky oak. Fine-grained and suave in the mouth, displaying more energy and finesse than the foregoing grand crus. The sharply delineated red fruit and spice flavors are nicely lifted by a floral topnote. Very intensely flavored wine with a broad, subtle finish and a serious tannic spine for aging.