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Red Burgundy - 2018 - Chambertin - Rousseau


  • Region: Red Burgundy
  • Producer: Rousseau
  • Vintage: 2018
  • Rating: 97
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Tasting Notes

Grand Cru Red 750 ml
Score: 97
Tasted: Jan 10, 2021
Drink: 2038+
Issue: 81
Note: 2.55 ha; 100% new wood
Producer note: Eric Rousseau's daughter Cyrielle, who is gradually assuming control of day-to-day operations and is overseeing an expansion of the cuverie, briefly described the 2019 growing season as "yet another one that was so hot and dry that we again thought, wrongly as it turned out, that we would have baked fruit and heavy wines. Happily, despite the heat and drought-like conditions, the vines didn't really suffer much, or at least not enough to shut down their photosynthetic processes. These conditions also keep disease pressure at bay so the fruit couldn't have been any cleaner and the only sorting required was to eliminate a few sunburned berries. We chose to begin picking on the 12th of September and brought in very ripe yet balanced fruit as there was good acidity thanks to the relatively cool nights. The berries were relatively tiny with thick skins and potential alcohols ranged from 13.2 to a high of 14.5%. We vinified softly as we always do and there were no problems with the primary fermentations though some of the malos were slow to finish. As to the wines, I personally adore the 2019s for their freshness, verve and transparency. They're balanced and so refreshing that they're already irresistible. I wouldn't necessarily call them better than our 2018s, but they are certainly different styles and I prefer the 2019s, at least for now." As to the domaine 2018s, four of which are revisited below, were bottled in March and April 2020. As I reported previously, the domaine is now using bottles where the bottom of it is embossed with the name of the domaine. (Frederick Wildman, www.frederickwildman.com, NY, USA; Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, Fields, Morris & Verdin, www.fmvwines.com The Wine Society, www.thewinesociety.com, Tanners Wine, www.tanners-wines.co.uk, Laytons, www.laytons.co.uk, The Rare & Fine Wine Company Limited, www.therareandfinewinecompany.com and Justerini & Brooks, www.justerini.com, all UK; Altaya Wines, www.altayawines.com, Hong Kong).
Tasting note: There is barely enough wood to mention on the wonderfully fresh and airy aromas of red cherry, pomegranate, earth and a hint of the sauvage. The seductively textured yet well-delineated big-bodied flavors possess an abundance of energy on the intensely mineral-inflected, sappy and impeccably well-balanced finale that reflects a touch of youthful austerity. The sheer level of complexity is stunning, and this knockout of a Chambertin should age for a very, very long time yet it's not so backward and it couldn't be approached after a decade or so of aging.