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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
1996 VINTAGE in Burgundy
Maturity levels were in general high following a long hot summer. The wines from the famous Pinot Noir have an intense ruby red colour with lush red fruit aromas. They are wines that are comparable with the outstanding 88s and 89s. The whites are just as outstanding full-bodied with elegant vibrant Chardonnay fruit and sweet white flower and grilled nut aromas. These are wines that have the potential to age magnificently.
Each harvest we hope for three things, favorable weather conditions, healthy grape clusters and high sugar levels. The 1996 harvest provided all of these. April was particularly sunny and brought about an early bud burst (18th of April). Following this we had what can be described as a flash flowering which leads to good pollination, creating high yields.
Arean had low rainfall levels, a sturdy breeze (which kept rot to a minimum) and a long ripening period. These factors created high sugar levels and good acidity within the grapes. Cloud cover in August, combined with the coldest September on record meant that the sugar levels were exceptionally high and so was the acidity: 12% potential alcohol with 5.5g of acidity for Corton Reds and 13%-14% potential alcohol with 6g of acidity for Corton Charlemagne.
As a result, most are very pleased with the 1996 vintage. The reds have an intense color, good tannin structure and concentrated Pinot Noir flavor. The white wines are also impressive, containing plenty of rich fruit character, a crisp acidity and are already showing an attractive bouquet.