Robert Parker 89.5
New leather, black tea, and bright cherry and plum scent Rousseau’s 2008 Clos de La Roche, which comes to the palate bright and with tart chew of fruit skins and smokiness of black tea serving for invigoration in a finish of impressive persistence. Less exuberant and multi-faceted today than the corresponding Mazy, this also displays more aggressive ” faintly gum-numbing ” tannins than the several wines that preceded it in the present line-up. Eric Rousseau did not begin harvesting until September 28, but was finished already on October 4, with ” as usual ” the entire burden of selection placed on his pickers. The resultant wines prove that, as he puts it â€œthey know what they’re doingâ€ and sorting tables are unnecessary. Grapes came in between around 12% and 13.2%, were virtually all destemmed, and were only lightly chaptalized. Levels of malic acid were however higher even than in 2004, reports Rousseau, who compares the fruit with that of 1996, but does not finger the wines as strong candidates for long-term aging (â€œlong termâ€ ” bear in mind ” meaning upwards of 20 years in the context of a Rousseau track-record). When I tasted his 2008s in late February, Rousseau was planning to bottle them in March or April, a bit earlier than usual, although several struck me as relatively unformed. But then, his malos had finished by July ” not late in terms of the vintage. (Unfortunately, I had only one chance to taste Rousseau 2007s: fleetingly, selectively, at a stage too early to merit reporting on in detail, although the trend was promising and Rousseau is keen on the results.) Importer: Frederic Wildman & Sons, New York, NY; tel. (212) 355-0700
Pale-medium red. Musky cherry, fresh herbs, brown spices and menthol on the nose and palate; more primary than the Mazy-Chambertin. Then sweeter and larger-scaled but backward today and showing a medicinal austerity. I like this wine’s intensity of flavor and palate presence. Finishes with a broad, fine dusting of tannins that spread out to saturate the palate and leave the taste buds vibrating.
More tannin and minerality than the Gevreys. Sweet fruitcake aroma but without any raisining, it is just a light spiciness. Not sure this bottle it is totally clean on the palate – a little bit hard, so this score may be a on the mean side if you get a better bottle. Certainly firmer and more savoury tannin structure but very fine grained. (JH)
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020