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  • Country ranking ?

    851
  • Producer ranking ?

    56
  • Decanting time

    -
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Salads

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The Story

The monks of the Abbey of Bèze owned the Clos de Bèze in Gevrey-Chambertin, given to them in 630 by Amalgaire, Duke of Basse Bourgogne. They cleared the land and planted of the vines in what  later became the "Clos de  Bèze", a true Clos surrounded by walls.

The fruit comes from the Petit Clos de Bèze as well as from the Clos de Bèze, most of whiwh is located on the upper level of the appellation.

The soil is composed of scree particularly rich in limestone. The plot is located mid-slope on limestones from lower Bajocien and Maris Bajociennes. At the top of the slope, the vines grow from the loamy limestone of Bathonien. Gravel is uneven and the soil is less rich in phosphorous acid at the summit than at the base of the slope. The Clos de Bèze is often described as being the feminine alter ego of Chambertin. It has the elegance and the finesse of Gevrey-Chambertin.

It is a complex and tannic wine, deep in colour and long in the mouth. The aromatic palette is very rich and delicate with a strong presence of red fruits and oriental spices..It is older than Chambertin, but both are of great renown. It has more of a touch of subtlety, more elegant minerality than the Chambertin which is fuller and more powerful.

 

The Rousseau Domaine was started at the beginning of the 20th century by Armand Rousseau who, at his majority, inherited several plots of vineyards in Gevrey Chambertin. The Domaine premises with the living house, the storing places, the cellars and the winery, are situated in the oldest part of the village, near the 13th century church.

From 1959, after Armand Rousseau's death, Charles Rousseau was at the head of a Domaine of 6 ha which he continued developing rapidly thanks to his great knowledge in oenology, and his experience, by acquiring new vineyards, especially in "Grands Crus" areas. He decided to turn principally towards export, and, after the USA where his father had already starting to sell his wines right after prohibition at the end of the 30's, he developed the exchanges first with Great-Britain, Germany, Switzerland, soon afterwards to all European countries, then to Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, Brazil, etc. and lastly Asia in the 1970’s.

His son Eric joined him at the beginning of the 1980's to take care more especially of the vineyards and the vinification. In 1993, Corinne, Charles's elder daughter, after many years of professional experience in export abroad and in France, came back to the Domaine and in her turn took in charge the commercial relationship with customers.

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Vintage 2001

2001 VINTAGE in Burgundy

A promising start to the new millennium...
 

Growing season and weather conditions

The winter, during which the vines lay dormant, was a mild one.

The first signs of bud-burst came early but wintry conditions in April accompanied by frosts in the most exposed vineyards slowed down the start of the growing season.

Spring, from May onwards, was marked by periods of fine sunny weather.

The first flowers appeared, precociously, at the beginning of June, but the process was then slowed by a recurrence of low temperatures. Flowering was thus spread out over a period of some two weeks and the resulting unevenness in the progress of maturation persisted until harvest-time.

The natural weight of the crop burden led many growers to resort to green thinning ("vendanges en vert") - cutting out superfluous grape bunches at an early stage to ensure a harvest lower in volume but higher in quality.

Maturation and harvest
July was cool and rainy. Summer only really arrived in August with sometimes scorching heat and high levels of recorded sunshine. Violent rain- and hail-storms caused significant damage to the vines in some localities.

Maturation proceeded under favourable circumstances and the physical condition of the grapes remained good.

A slight drop in temperature at the beginning of September together with some light rain meant that in choosing the right moment to begin picking, growers needed to be alert and exercise great judgement (given uneven maturation and changeable weather conditions), and to make the best use of dry and sunny periods.

The need to wait, in some cases, for the moment of optimum ripeness meant that the harvest period was prolonged. Maturity was variable with sugar levels ranging from moderate to very good, good levels of acidity, and variable polyphenol levels in the red wines.

Estimated yield totals 1.5 million hectolitres, a slightly lower volume than the 2000 and 2001 harvests.

Vinification and character of the wines
Vinification of the white wines proceded in a lesisurely manner and without incident. The red wines demanded more attention in order to extract the maximum potential from their colouring matter and tannins.

As of mid-November, the white wines are fine and straightforward, well-balanced with good concentration and well-developed fruit backed by firm acidity.

The reds are vividly and intensely coloured. They have a well-defined structure thanks to firm tannins and a good level of acidity. They are meaty, with agreeable and expressive fruit.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

11 tasting notes

Tasting note

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Written Notes

Curiously, this most recent bottle was not at all like the one that I tried in 2006 because while there was a trace of wood, it was not displaying nearly as much as the prior bottle. The stylish and still astonishingly complex nose reflects all of the elegance and broad-ranging spice that is typical of a classic Rousseau Bèze. The middle weight flavors remain marvelously intense with a sappy and quite beautifully detailed finish that is still moderately yet finely structured. As originally noted, this is more of a medium weight effort underpinned by sophisticated tannins and impressive length. While it will age for years on its balance, after an hour of air, it certainly becomes enjoyable though both of the most recent bottles suggest that a few more years of cellar time would be warranted. Mostly consistent notes. Drink 2019+

  • 93p

Thrilling purity: focused and a bit spicy, showing subtle oak notes. Beautifully textured and quite dense with rich, spicy dark cherry and plum fruit. Very fine with good acidity, lively fruit and structure. 95/100

  • 95p

Tasted recently in a famous German Restaurant. Perfect bottle with French tax capsule.

Healthy dark red colour. Clean, precise, well-defined Pinot Noir bouquet which confirmed that this could be anything else than a Grand Cru. Lots of minerality, underbrush, dark cherries. Not the sweetness of truly great vintages like 1999, 2002 or 2005 but a real classic with excellent structure. Although it gained body with air it always stayed on the tight side with significant edges. A Pinot Noir to think about and not for pure pleasure. Every sip asked for your attention, a real classic for connoisseurs. My guess is that it will easily keep for another two decades but I doubt it will ever be softer. Finesse and elegance yes, charme and seduction no.           

  • 95p

Very good colour. Full rich and concentrated on the nose. Quite a step up after the two above. Ripe, fullish body. Lots of depth. This is very fine. A lovely example.

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Information

Origin

Beaune, Burgundy

Other wines from this producer

Chambertin

Charmes-Chambertin

Clos de la Roche

Gevrey-Chambertin

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St Jacques

Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques

Gevrey Chambertin Les Cazetiers 1er cru

Mazy Chambertin

Ruchottes-Chambertin Clos des Ruchottes

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