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Cros Parantoux is a premier cru situated in Vosne-Romanée and is now one of the most celebrated wines in all of Burgundy. Whether this is because of the world wide celebrity of Henri Jayer, or whether the quality of this site made the reputation of Henri Jayer is difficult to say but either way, it has been an extraordinary marriage for more than 50 years now. As a result, Cros Parantoux is on almost everyone’s very short list of premiers crus that merit elevation to grand cru status.
It is a small vineyard, measuring only 1.01 ha (2.5 acres) and there are only two owners, Domaines Méo- Camuzet and Henri Jayer, split 29.5 ares and 71.5, respectively. Jayer, who is now 82 years old, leases the majority of his portion to his nephew Emmanuel Rouget and since 1989, there have been 3 different versions of Cros Parantoux produced
1988 VINTAGE in Burgundy / 1988 has been a good vintage in Burgundy, with enough quantity to offset the revived demand of our foreign and home customers.
Good summer weather meant an early harvest of excellent quality for the reds. Rich and well structured, these wines which were a little rough in their youth today offer a wonderful opportunity to drink quality mature Pinot Noir, the best will continue to improve. The great whites can be put in the same category as the reds : full, round, well balanced and are very good to drink now.
The nearly geat year
As anyone knows, what we need in Burgundy is warm weather all the time, with the exception of a few showers now and then just to keep the leaves green, and at the end of the season to help the vine continue to produce sugar and to lower acidity.
The spell of cold that we had at the beginning of September interrupted a long period of sunshine and stopped for a while the maturing of the grapes: rain only came during the vendange itself, too late to ensure their perfect ripening.
The last days of the season were, as always, the most breath-taking, with marvellous summer-like weather in the second half of September. Harvesting as late as possible was beneficial, as it nearly always is: there was no rot on the superb bunches of grapes, a deep colour, and an excellent balance of the various elements.
During the summer of 1988 and until the very end we had only one half of the average rainfall. This deficit was difficult to overcome and, with the hot weather of August and most of September and the happy flowering of the grapes in the middle of June, we have been just a hair's breadth from a great vintage.
All the good winegrowers who had pruned carefully and not indulged in high yields easily obtained from 12 to 12.5 potential degrees of alcohol, which indicates very good quality; and although the lack of rain slowed the ripening, it had the advantage of keeping the individual grapes small, giving concentration, tannin and colour to the wines.
After the first "décuvage", the overall impression is that the red wines have structure and tannin, with a beautiful vivid colour, the depth of which is really only seen in good vintages.
The acidity is medium to high and it is obvious that we will have a "vin de garde", which will mellow only after a long period of ageing in cask and bottle.
It is difficult to compare 1988 with another vintage, as precocity usually means that the vines have had plenty of sunshine and produce mellow and soft wines; however, the `88 will compare more with a very good vintage picked in October, like 1978 or 1952.
The great whites will be put in the same category as the reds: good structure, power and a lot of firmness.
In the Beaujolais, the news is excellent too: good colour, perfect ripening and overall abundance.