1996 Domaine Armand Rousseau Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru "Clos St-Jacques"

SKU #997747 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 I have long considered the 1996 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos Saint-Jacques from Armand Rousseau to be a brilliant wine, though it is a few years since we last met. Here, it had a broody and surprisingly youthful bouquet: dark berry fruit, juniper berries, briary and sous-bois aromas. Captivating...but serious! The palate is medium-bodied with that impressive fruit concentration although it has clearly mellowed in recent years. There remains a firmness and an obduracy, yet also wondrous harmony and compose, almost effortless in nature as it gently fans out on the finish. As I said before, this has a long future. Tasted November 2016. (NM)  (2/2017)

93 points John Gilman

 The Rousseau ’96 Clos St. Jacques is a young wine of enormous potential. Even with an hour in decanter the wine remains quite youthfully shut down, but it offers up a primary and very classy bouquet of cassis, black cherries, fresh herb tones, coffee, a great base of soil, woodsmoke and a fair bit of well-integrated new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and still quite shut down, with a sappy core of fruit, perfect focus and balance, modest tannins, tangy acids and excellent length and grip on the very long and nascently complex finish. This will be a terrific wine, but it still needs a good five years of cellaring to fully blossom. (Drink between 2016-2045)  (9/2011)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good red-ruby. Altogether more vibrant, sexy nose combines cherry, plum, smoke, coffee, game and Cuban tobacco. Fleshy, round and elegant; a distinct step up in extract and volume. Really compelling sweetness of fruit. Very suave and very long on the finish, which features extremely fine tannins. A superb showing today. (ST)  (4/1999)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 There is grand cru breed and elegance to burn in a medium bodied, finely detailed package with good richness and compelling complexity to the reasonably concentrated and very long flavors. As one would expect from a '96, there is enough acidity to notice yet in this case it appears reasonably well-integrated and gives real lift to the persistent finish. In short, this is a fine if not truly outstanding Rousseau Clos St. Jacques that has arrived at full maturity though it should hold there for many years. Mostly consistent notes.  (4/2016)

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Burgundy

- The province of eastern France, famous for its red wines produced from Pinot Noir and its whites produced from Chardonnay. (Small of amounts of Gamay and Aligoté are still grown, although these have to be labeled differently.) The most famous part of the region is known as the Côte d'Or (the Golden Slope). It is divided into the Côte de Beaune, south of the town of Beaune (famous principally for its whites), and the Côte de Nuits, North of Beaune (home of the most famous reds). In addition, the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais are important wine growing regions, although historically a clear level (or more) below the Côte d'Or. Also include by some are the regions of Chablis and Auxerrois, farther north. View our bestselling Burgundy.
Specific Appellation:

Gevrey Chambertin

- For many wine aficionados, Gevrey Chambertin is the northernmost end of the true Côte d'Or. The largest of all of the communes, it has 9 Grands Crus (Chambertin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Chapelle Chambertin, Charmes Chambertin, Griotte Chambertin, Latricieres Chambertin, Mazy Chambertin, Mazoyeres Chambertin and Ruchottes Chambertin). The best Premier Cru wines come form the vineyards nestled along a hill to the west of the village. The Grands Crus are planted in compacted limestone, while the soils in the rest of the village vary as to their clay content. If we are to characterize broadly, the wines are powerful, muscular and need time in the bottle to develop.