My first Rousseau experience but unfortunately rather disappointing. Two lessons learnt : 1. Give old, good wines a lot of air. 2. Guessing the outlier as the best wine is a poor guessing strategy.
1999 Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Bought in the 1970s and split between Rousseau, Bonnefond and Mugneret (now Mugneret-Gibourg). Unsurprisingly Eric Rousseau kept the best plot, the Clos for himself.
Popped and poured, which was a big mistake. By far the oldest tasting out of the five wines, rather musky without anything showing on the nose or on the palate at first. No delineation of flavours, reminded me of a Potel GC actually. Left it for an hour or so in my glass and it got a little sappier, but still only showed glimpses of its potential. Apparently it was absolutely singing towards the end of the night, but unfortunately I didn’t get to taste that pour.
1999 Domaine Maume Mazis-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru
Drank similarly to the Rousseau, but a little more meaty and sauvage which led me to Mazis. Definitely the most old-school of all the wines. Bold fruit that suggested a very good vintage, just a little fuzzy, rustic and farmer-like (not necessarily a slight, by the way) for a GC.
2008 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St. Jacques - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru
Lovely rendition of CSJ. Very fresh, cool red fruit, a little acid kick and sweetness on the finish. Again, another wine that was much better after a couple of hours of air as it put on depth and weight.
2008 Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru
Opened in the morning for dinner before putting the cork back in. Still brooding with a lot of tannins, some even said this might have been a Barolo. Less elegance and darker-fruited than the CSJ but had that acidity of 08s, this actually smelled a lot better on opening. Too young.
2006 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
A ringer but based on the stark difference with everything else that came before, we thought this was the Rousseau. A little VA on the nose, very attractive high-pitched fruit, some autumnal notes. Lighter and more elegant in nature, when the person who brought it said it was a MSD GC I went to CSD or Lambrays. This was better on first pour than towards the end when I felt it became a little thin and alcoholic.
Some additional wines:
2014 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou - France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien (15/8/2021)
Rather hedonistic with rich, dense dark fruit. Slightly green and herbaceous finish. Didn’t know that Ducru moved to the dark side. Still impressive nonetheless.
2017 Domaine Nicolas Faure Bourgogne-Aligoté La Corvee de Bully - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne-Aligoté (15/8/2021)
More advanced than my previous bottle in colour and taste, but still very impressive weight and structure for a lowly Bourgogne.