100% new oak. Intense, splendidly purple somehow nose. Black fruits and liqueur-like. Lots of structure and very embryonic. The oak is still pretty obvious. Great framework. Energy.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2040
Robert Parker 95-97
The 2014 Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru has a seductive bouquet with pure raspberry and wild strawberry fruit, woodland scents and a touch of something sweet deep down underneath…white chocolate maybe? The palate is medium-bodied with very refined, supple tannin. The acidity cuts through the red berry fruit and then a healthy dose of black pepper comes towards the finish that has a slight biter cherry edge. This is superb and yet the 2014 Chambertin just moves it to one side this year and says…I’m the daddy. Apparently Charles Rousseau is 92-years-old now. He no longer occupies the cabin on the right-hand side by the gate and remains at his home just a stone’s throw away from the domaine. Even though this legend is no longer there to greet visitors, give them the once over, his legacy continues with his wines. As usual, I was accompanied by the ever congenial Frédéric Robert. He accompanied me around the barrels and he was as candid as ever. He told me that they only had minor skirmishes with the drosophila suzukii, in particular at some of the row ends close to the forest. Interestingly, he told me that they could not find any rationale to where they located, for example not necessarily in warm humid spots. Anyway, he said that they were easy to sort out. The harvest took place from September 12 until September 21, starting with the Gevrey Villages and finishing with the Lavaux and Clos Saint-Jacques in cooler microclimates. He also allowed me to taste the “Clos du Château” from the vines owned by the Ng family that Rousseau are managing. Frédéric told me that no firm decision has been made whether to bottle it (they declined in 2013 and blended it with the Village Cru). However, it seems that 2014 may mark its debut and I can’t see why not. It is light and uncomplicated, but contains that transparency and tension that gives it Rousseau’s signature style. As for the rest of the 2014s, well, there are some absolute beauties. Perhaps to quibble, their Gevrey Cazetiers did not quite create sparks like other growers’ that I tasted, however, I adored the Clos de la Roche Grand Cru. Funny to think that in the 1990s it was regarded as the domaine’s weakest link. I have a preference for the Chambertin over the Clos-de-Bèze. The difference is fairly marked this year, though if I was to spend my shillings on one, it would be the fabulous Gevrey Clos Saint-Jacques that leaves you feeling elated. I think Charles Rousseau would be rightly proud of these latest additions.
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2045