Robert Parker – 95
The Rousseau 2006 Chambertin Clos Des Beze, while ” unlike their Chambertin ” hailed-on, is in a class by itself in this collection for sheer flavor intensity, as well as for obvious (but not obtrusively tannic) sense of structure and density. Ripe but tart blackberry, black cherry, and licorice are underlain by saline, meat stock, chalky, peaty undertones that carry into a multi-registered, reverberating, veritable organ chord of a finish. This fascinating contrast with its Chambertin sibling will no doubt be worth following for 12-15 years. Rousseau reports that the net yield after discarding fruit during harvest was a mere 15 hectoliters per hectare. 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
Anticipated maturity: 2009-2024
JancisRobinson.com – 16.5
Sweet start then very dry and rather tart. Very aggressive and just a bit too tarted up. Certainly very sweet. Start but then it dried up. The least sophisticated.
Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018
Vinous – 90+
Deep, bright red. Black raspberry, game and smoke on the nose. Fat and sweet on entry, then quite dry and backward in the middle, with a distinctly medicinal quality currently dominating the wine’s underlying fruit. This boasts impressive volume but I’m troubled by its rather dry-edged tannins. Hard to taste today. I note that a year ago Eric Rousseau pointed out that the wine began its life quite disjointed.