Vinous – 92+
Bright, dark red. Knockout nose combines dark berries, licorice, spices, violet, game and pepper, plus a whiff of caramel. Sweet, sappy and concentrated, with excellent spicy lift to the flavors of blueberry and black cherry. Mounts impressively on the chewy, tactile back end.
Robert Parker – 90
The 2011 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru has a lifted bouquet, perhaps with a slight tinny element at the beginning: touches of red cherries, dried rose petals and wet clay. The palate is well-defined and cohesive with some conspicuous oak influence on the entry. It does not fan out, remaining linear and focused with a strict finish with slightly bitter fruit on the aftertaste. Fine. Drink now-2019. The man, the legend himself, was sitting in the entrance office. Charles Rousseau, now in his ninth decade, looked gaunter than when we last met two or three years ago, but what a privilege just to see him enjoying the summer rays. I tasted through the 2011 with vineyard manager Frederic Robert, whose candid answers I always appreciate when tasting through their portfolio, especially since it is easy to succumb to reputation at this address. The 2011 is the first vintage with a redesigned bottle now embossed with the domaine name to prevent fraud. He also spoke about their new 1.3-hectares of vine from Chateau de Gevrey that is tentatively called â€œClos du Chateauâ€ or something similar. However, he admitted that there is much work to do in the vineyard since around 25% to 30% of the vines are missing and were replanting last October. â€œWe started to pick early on the last day in August as spring had been so hot,â€ he informed me as we broached the subject of the 2011s. â€œIt was a ripe vintage with more acidity if you compare it to 2007 but the wines are more balanced. It is more a vintage for restaurants than for aging.â€ Given that this is one of my favorite producers in the Cote d’Or, I have to admit that the Village and Premier Crus were lacking a little stuffing and precision compared to their own impeccable standards. In a way, I do not mind that since Rousseau always expresses the strengths and weaknesses of a vintage, which is something to be admired. Plus, on one or two occasions, I wonder whether they should have dialed down the new oak, in particular with the Clos-de-Beze that seems unable to handle the wood nearly as well as the Chambertin. Still, there are some beautiful wines here in 2011 and a quick barrel tasting of 2012s revealed joy to come. Importer: Frederick Wildman Selections; New York, NY; tel. (212) 355-0700
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019
JancisRobinson.com – 18.0
Rich and broad and flattering nose. Very seductive. And with firm and fine and lovely texture. This is really very successful! Fine tannins. Quite different from the Gevreys but vinified the same – on purpose.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2032